Fantasy Forecast: Week 22
Here we are, week 22 of the NBA season and some of you will move on to the second round of the fantasy basketball playoffs, and others will move to the consolation bracket to battle the best of the worst. Even if you aren’t still in the hunt for the league title, I hope you all play until the final whistle blows because that is what my grandmother would have wanted.
Timberwolves Fantasy Report
Kevin Love left Sunday’s game in the 2nd quarter with a strained groin and Coach Kurt Rambis didn’t give an update after the game. Love’s absence is a HUGE loss to fantasy owners and the Timberwolves team, but I can’t see the team rushing him back and risking further injury.
Luke Ridnour and Michael Beasley will pick up additional value with Love out, or limited. I had hoped that Wes Johnson would step his game up and make a fantasy mark as the season winds down, but he came up short on Sunday as he finished with just two points on 1-5 shooting in 21:43 minutes.
Darko Milicic could see added value if Love misses time, but he isn’t someone I would pick up until we know for certain the extent of Love’s injury.
PG – Toney Douglas: Douglas comes off the bench with the Knicks, but that hasn’t stopped him from averaging 16.9 points and 6.5 assists a night over the last two weeks. Douglas is also helping fantasy owners by shooting 49.5 percent from the field and 50.8 percent from the 3-point line over the same period. He is still available in 53 percent of leagues, so I’d snatch him up right now that title run.
SG – James Harden: Harden is heating up right when fantasy owners need him the most and he is still unowned in 33 percent of leagues. Over the last two weeks, Harden has averaged 17.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.5 steals a night, good enough to rank him just in the top 20 for all fantasy players. Even though the Thunder only play three games, Harden is still worth starting while he puts up these types of numbers
SF – Carlos Delfino: Delfino is playing out of his mind over the last two games, putting up 26 points and eight rebounds against the Nets on Friday, and then rocking the Knicks for 30 points and 11 boards on Sunday. You can’t count on this type of production from him, but as long as he is white-hot, ride the bandwagon until the wheels fall off!
PF – Anthony Randolph: This is more of a speculation that Kevin Love will miss some time with his groin injury. Even if he doesn’t miss a game, I am sure his minutes will dip, and Randolph has shown flashes of great play when given the chance. If Love does miss time, Randolph is a must-start. But, even with limited minutes, Randolph could be worth an pick up in 14-team or deeper leagues right now as a handcuff.
C – Marcin Gortat: Why is this guy still available in 33 percent of all leagues? We are at the final push for fantasy supremacy and he is sitting on the waiver wire in some leagues despite averaging 14.5 points, 9.9 rebounds and 1.5 blocks-per-game over the last month. People are so enamored by Robin Lopez that they are forgetting about Gortat and their loss could be your gain.
PG – Deron Williams: I’m not ready to call D-Willy a full cut just yet, but I will say that if you own Williams you will want to grab Jordan Farmar as a handcuff. Word is that the Nets are seriously considering shutting him down for the season (wrist) and it could easily happen since they have nothing to play for and everything to lose by making the injury worse. He is out for at least the next three games, but you’ll want to watch this situation very closely and be ready to pull the trigger.
SG – Nick Young: Young was a hot pickup earlier this season, but in five games in March he is shooting just 38.4 percent from the field. Not to mention that Jordan Crawford has been playing so well (21.3 PPG and 45.9 percent shooting from the field over the last week), there is no rush to get Young back on the floor. I’d go ahead and cut him loose because even when he does get back, he is bound to split minutes with Crawford to finish the season out.
SF – Chase Budinger: Just as I got excited about the fantasy potential of Budinger, he went out and sprained his ankle against the Jazz on Sunday. The Rockets are calling it a “mild to moderate” sprain, which means there is about a 100 percent certainty that he will miss some time. Since the Rockets play just twice in week 22, I’d sit him in weekly transaction and cap leagues.
PF – Kevin Love: Love has been the savior of many fantasy teams this season, but he has been nursing a sore knee and he had to leave Sunday’s game with a strained groin. The Wolves play three games this week (Thu/Fri/Sun), but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him miss a game with the groin injury. I’d watch this closely and have a backup plan in place.
C – Chuck Hayes: Hayes is the victim of the 2-game work week and owners will want to bench him in weekly transaction leagues and sell him in cap leagues. Hayes has been a nice waiver wire addition, but there isn’t much help you can give while in the film room or at home.
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 Rotoexperts.com where he does a weekly article and blog, or listen to the Rotoexperts XM Sirius radio show Monday nights at 8:15 to hear him talk some NBA. Or, you can check him out on Twitter and Facebook for all your fantasy sports updates.