Fantasy Forecast: Week 24
Some leagues finish up their fantasy season in week 23, but most leagues play through week 24 of the NBA season and that is just how it should be. The great thing about playing into week 24 is that some teams in the NBA are playing for extra ping-pong balls in the draft lottery, so you can actually snag a starting fantasy player off the waiver wire for you bench fodder or an injured star that you just couldn’t bring yourself to cut before. It almost makes the whole thing an even playing field all over again; and, if you are smart, you can win the league title with a starting cast of nothing but waiver wire additions.
Timberwolves Fantasy Report
Kevin Love is still battling a groin injury. He hasn’t been shut down yet, but I have a feeling it will happen eventually as he has more to lose than to gain by playing through the injury. From a fantasy standpoint, you will want to keep a close eye on this if you own Love so that you can drop him if a shutdown happens.
In the event that Love does get shut down, Anthony Randolph becomes an interesting fantasy player all over again. After causing fantasy owners to run to their waiver wire and pick him up back on March 24th, Randolph owners are left scratching their heads after he has racked up a total of five points and seven rebounds in his last two games combined. His minutes have been limited to the sub 20’s for four games, and he finished with just nine minutes against the Grizzlies on Saturday. The potential has always been there, but he is obviously still very raw and all over the map with his production.
Darko Milicic is dealing with a sprained ankle right now and missed Saturday’s game because of it. There is no real timetable for his return right now, but look for Anthony Tolliver to have some extra fantasy value for those in 16-team or deeper leagues.
PG – Jarryd Bayless: In his last two games, Bayless has put up 49 points, 16 assists, six rebounds and two steals. This sudden burst of energy is important because Bayless is starting for the Raptors and is available in 88 percent of fantasy leagues.
SG – Maurice Evans: Evans is starting after Trevor Booker went down for the season with a fractured right foot. The good news is that he is available in 92 percent of leagues, meaning there is an almost 100 percent chance you could get a SG/SF that can put up 15 points and six rebounds for the Wizards each night.
SF – Jared Dudley: Dudley qualifies as a SG, SF and PF in most fantasy formats, making him one of the most versatile players in fantasy basketball. In Sunday’s loss to the Spurs, Dudley finished with a double-double (12 points and 10 rebounds) while playing 32 minutes. The Suns are out of the playoffs and Dudley is in the starting lineup, so go check you wire to see if he can give you a one-week push for the title.
PF – Ed Davis: I am still a little leery of Davis because Andrea Bargnani hasn’t been officially shut down, which means he could return at any moment and slice into Davis’ fantasy value. That being said, when Davis does start he puts up starter quality numbers and that showed Saturday night when he finished with 17 points on 7-of-8 shooting with 11 rebounds, one assist, and three blocks in 40 minutes. Ride him until the wheels come off the bus.
C – Chuck Hayes: Hayes is not someone that jumps out at you in fantasy leagues, but he is a true fantasy asset due to his versatility. Sunday night Hayes finished with a typical line of 19 points, 12 rebounds, three assists and three steals. His stats are good enough to start in almost any standard 12-team league, yet he is unowned in 54 percent of all fantasy basketball leagues right now.
PG – Mike Bibby: Why are people SO convinced that Bibby is somehow a good player still? The kid is shooting a horrible 35.3 percent from the field over his last three games and has managed to amass just 12 assists. If you have Lebron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh on your team, and you are the starting PG, shouldn’t you be able to accidentally get more than four assists a night?
SG – Brandon Roy: Still owned in 76 percent of leagues, Roy managed to put up 24 points and 13 assists in his last four games. You can’t tell me there isn’t someone on your waiver wire right now that isn’t producing more than Roy is.
SF – Carlos Delfino: Delfino saw his fantasy value come to a crashing halt last week. In his last seven games, Delfino was playing the hot and cold game as he put up 30 points, then eight points, then 23 points, etc. He topped it all off with a goose egg against the Pacers on Friday night and then missed Saturday night’s game with a “rib injury”. The Bucks are deep at the wing and Delfino looks like he isn’t going to finish strong.
PF – Kevin Love: The Timberwolves haven’t officially shut Love down yet, but there is more to lose than to gain by playing Love at this point. Not only could he worsen his groin injury, but the Wolves could win a few games and thus get fewer ping-pong balls in the NBA Draft lottery. Word from the inside is that Love is out at least a few more games, but I think he could get shut down soon.
C – Tyrus Thomas: Thomas dual-qualifies at PF and C, but he is injured and should be cut in any format. Thomas' ribs and surgically-repaired knees are hurting him, so the chances of him making any meaningful contributions this season are slim and none.
It has been a long NBA season, but a fun one filled with ups and downs both in the NBA and fantasy basketball. It has truly been a pleasure talking with each and every fan that took time to write in with their questions and I look forward to playing in leagues with you again next season and answering your fantasy basketball questions. Remember these words as you finish up the NBA season, head into the MLB season and look forward to the NFL season: Second place is just the first loser!
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.