Fantasy Forecast: Week 21
Sunday was selection day for the NCAA basketball tournament, but Monday starts Week 21 of the NBA season and that means the start fantasy basketball playoffs are officially here! Did you make the cut? I’ve been in constant contact with a lot of readers and have helped many of you position yourself for a title run, but now is not the time to quit. It’s like I tell the guys I play in leagues with, “all I came here to do is win a title and chew some bubble gum. I’m almost out of bubble gum!”
Timberwolves Fantasy Report
Kevin Love’s double-double streak ended at 53 games. Love is saving many fantasy owners seasons with his huge lines and consistent play, so there is no reason to think he will do any less as we head into the home stretch.
Luke Ridnour has elevated himself to a solid fantasy starter with his 10.9 points, 5.0 assists and 1.4 steals a night over the past two weeks. His job is fairly secure as Jonny Flynn has done little to build a case for a timeshare.
Darko Milicic is the starting center and can put up over two blocks a night with five rebounds, but the points are sporadic. If you own Milicic, you will have to pick your plays with him just right as his fantasy playoff schedule isn’t the easiest in the league.
PG – Ty Lawson: I was a little shocked to see that Lawson was still available in all but three of the leagues I play in (25 leagues total). In the last week, Lawson has posted 35 points, 22 assists and eight steals, good enough to rank him in the top 45 for all fantasy players. With four games this week and the Nuggets fighting to keep themselves in the playoffs, I’d pick up Lawson if you are in one of the 45 percent of leagues he is available in.
SG – Marco Belinelli: Belinelli looks like he is the starting SG for the Hornets, and is a better bet to own over Willie Green. Over the last five games, Belinelli has averaged 16.4 points on 54.5 percent shooting, while collecting 4.0 rebounds a night. He also adds roughly four 3-pointers a night, so I’d pick him up for a playoff run (16 percent owned in leagues).
SF – Chase Budinger: I’ve been pumping Budinger since the trade deadline and he hasn’t disappointed me. The last 10 games he has put up 16.3 points and 4.4 rebounds a night, but the 48.7 percent shooting from the field and 89.7 percent shooting from the free-throw line are what make him someone to own in any format. He is still unowned in 54 percent of leagues, so chances are he is available in your league right now.
PF – Ryan Anderson: Even though Anderson logs just 21:30 MPG this season, he is ranked 85th for all fantasy players with 10.5 points and 5.1 rebounds a night. I’d like to see more than 0.6 blocks-per-game, but he is owned in just 38 percent of leagues and is most likely better than the waiver wire fodder riding your bench right now.
C – Kendrick Perkins: Perkins is scheduled to make his debut in the Thunders uniform Wednesday, but it is possible we could see him play limited action Monday night. Either way, I’d activate him this week because he is going to put up good numbers when he gets on the floor.
PG – Ramon Sessions: Sessions was a good add last month, but his minutes and stats have been on a steady decline over the last few games. In his last six games, Sessions is averaging just 10.3 points and shooting 30.0 percent from the field, meaning that when Baron Davis gets back from personal leave, Sessions is riding the Cavs bench. Cut him now.
SG – Gilbert Arenas: If there were ever a more fitting nickname than Agent Zero, I haven’t found it. Over the last 10 games Arenas is averaging the emptiest 7.9 points he could average. I really need to find one of the 65 percent of leagues he is still owned in so I can win a few more league titles. Just cut him loose for a more productive FA.
SF – Danilo Gallinari: Gallinari is recovering from a fractured big toe, but he isn’t going to be back until Friday at the earliest. The Nuggets play four games this week, but two are before Friday and the other two are on Friday and Saturday. I don’t think he will play back-to-back games from the jump-off, so I’d bench him again this week and see how things play out.
PF – Ed Davis: Davis had four straight games where he scored 12 points and put up two double-digit rebound games in that same span. But, Amir Johnson is due back soon and there is no word on Davis keeping the starting gig once Johnson gets back. Davis was a hot waiver wire addition as fantasy owners looked to catch lightning in a bottle for their playoff run, but I wouldn’t fall in love with him just yet.
C – JaVale McGee: McGee is as inconsistent as they come these days and that makes him a risky play as we head into the fantasy playoffs. He is averaging 9.7 points and 7.3 rebounds a night over the past two weeks, but those numbers are inflated because of a few big double-double’s sandwiched between a bunch of very average games. I’d rather have Krstic or even Anderson on my squad to finish the season out.
James Morris hails from Rio Rancho, N.M., and has been playing fantasy sports since 1997. In addition to writing the Timberwolves Fantasy Forecast, Morris also writes fantasy articles for the Boston Celtics, and Indiana Pacers, as well as the NFL fantasy forecast for the Cincinnati Bengals, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Arizona Cardinals. You can also find him on Twitter or get him on Facebook for all your fantasy sports updates.