Fantasy Forecast: Week 23
Timberwolves Fantasy Report
The Timberwolves are still dealing with the loss of Kevin Love, but the emergence of Anthony Randolph has certainly softened the blow. Prior to Sunday night’s debacle (three points and four rebounds and early foul trouble), Randolph put up 55 points, 26 rebounds, three blocks and three steals in his previous two games.
While Randolph went MIA on Sunday, there was an Anthony Tolliver sighting in Minnesota. Tolliver went off for 16 points, 15 rebounds and four blocks, but the fame is going to be short-lived as Love could be back on Wednesday and Randolph is going to bounce back.
Michael Beasley and Darco Milicic kept the Timberwolves in Sunday’s loss to the Celtics as they accounted for 43 points, 19 rebounds and five blocks. Beasley can be counted on for fantasy purposes, but Milicic is all over the map and his greatest asset is blocks.
And yes, I did go on air during my XM fantasy sports radio interview and tell people to get on the Luke Ridnour bandwagon. I had so many emails asking if that was me that I felt like I had to address it. Over the last two weeks, Ridnour has managed to put up 12.3 points and 4.8 assists a night. Since he is only owned in 56 percent of leagues, there is a good chance he is available in your league and could very likely be better than the guy you have on your bench right now.
Around the league
Stephen Jackson picked up his 15th technical foul of the season Saturday night, meaning he is one away from earning himself a one-game suspension. Jackson’s game comes on and off every other game, so if he scores 10-plus tonight, you would be safe just sitting him down the following game.
Mike Dunleavy could return to the Pacers lineup this week if his evaluation goes well on Monday. From a fantasy standpoint, this will do more harm than good since the Pacers are deep on the wings and Dunleavy is going to be rusty after a month off. Dunleavy’s return means Paul George and Brandon Rush will see their minutes take a hit and their development too will suffer.
For years Anthony Randolph was hyped with promises of being an above-average starter in the NBA, but it took a trade to the Minnesota Timberwolves and an injury to their record setting PF, Kevin Love , for Randolph to finally live up to the hype. In his two starts for Love, Randolph posted 55 points and 26 rebounds, while adding three steals and blocks. I told you on the radio show to go snatch Randolph, but did you?
Not to be outdone, Ed Davis started in place of Andrea Bargnani and put up 21 points and 11 boards Saturday night. Davis put up 18 points and 11 rebounds the previous game, so he is obviously worth owning as we head into the homestretch of the fantasy playoffs. Don’t expect double-doubles, but he can fill in nicely if you own Tim Duncan or Love.
PG – Kirk Hinrich: Well, I’ve had to eat crow on the Jeff Teague pick, so now I am going 180 degrees in the opposite direction and running with Hinrich to finish the season out. The Hawks play just three games this week, but they are three tough matchups and Hinrich is the clear guy at PG.
SG - Francisco Garcia: Garcia is a SG/SF flex player and his stats aren’t flashy, but he does contribute across the board. Know that he is only going to get you about 10 points, three rebounds, three assists, two steals and maybe three 3-pointers most nights. That being said, Garcia is a solid flex player that won’t carry a team, but he will help get you over the hump if you look at it over the whole week.
SF – Carlos Delfino: Delfino is on fire and should be owned, and started, in all formats. Over the past two weeks, Delfino has averaged 16.9 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.6 steals a night, while shooting a blistering 51.7 percent from the field and 51.9 percent from 3-point land.
PF – Carl Landry: Landry is filling in for David West, who we will read about in the Sit ‘em section. On Sunday he posted 24 points and 10 boards and he is a lock for 33-35 MPG, so you can expect similar lines as we finish the fantasy playoffs.
C - Ekpe Udoh: Udoh is playing for Andris Biedrins, and word is that he will do so for at least two more games. Udoh is capable of putting up about 10 points, five rebounds and a handful of blocks if he gets the minutes. The Warriors aren’t a deep team in the front-court, so he is going to hold C2 value to finish the season out.
PG – Raymond Felton: Felton is getting about 31 MPG of court-time the last two weeks, but the minutes aren’t translating into the fantasy stats owners want to see. He is averaging 8.2 APG, but the points fluctuate from the low single-digits to the low 20’s, proving that he is a fairly one-dimensional fantasy play from here on out. I want more than eight assists and a steal from my fantasy PG, which is why Jason Kidd is on my permanent do-not-draft list.
SG – Tyreke Evans: Evans is back from his plantar fasciitis, but he is on a minute-limit and there is really no way to tell what he will do for you as the season winds down. I haven’t been impressed by his two games since returning and I personally would just shelve him and hope he turns things around.
SF – James Johnson: Johnson got some decent run last week with Andrea Bargnani out, but the injury was termed as an “aggravation”, which means he is likely to be back this week. Johnson is behind Ed Davis and Amir Johnson when it comes to fantasy options on the Raptors, so let him be someone else’s headache.
PF – David West: The short answer here is that West is done for the season with a torn ACL. There is no hope for him returning this season and he should be cut in any league that is not a keeper league. West being owned in 77 percent of leagues just shows that far too many owners aren’t paying attention.
C – Brook Lopez: Lopez is one of those players where his name value kind of exceeds his actual fantasy value right now. While he has averaged 17.8 PPG over the last two weeks, he only managed 4.8 rebounds and 1.1 blocks over that same span; his 68.8 percent shooting from the charity stripe doesn’t help either. You can’t cut Lopez or trade him at this point, but be aware and beware when it comes to what he actually does for you.
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.