Fantasy Forecast: Carmelo Anthony may be odd-man out in NY
The big news from the All Star weekend for the Timberwolves is that one of their own, Kevin Love, walked away from the festivities with a trophy. That’s right, Love managed to beat out Kevin Durant to win the 3-Point Shootout, which is even more impressive when you consider that his 49 3-pointers this season rank him 36th in the NBA.
Moving to fantasy basketball, the Wolves play a 4-game schedule this week and the Rubio-Love combo is one of the best in the league this season. The perception that I think a lot of fans outside of Minnesota have is that Rubio is a sell-high candidate, and I couldn’t disagree with that thought more. Rubio and Love have the chemistry and talent to be a top tier PG/PF combo for years to come, and I would be a buyer of Rubio (while telling the other owner how his stats have peaked to knock down the price) in fantasy leagues right now.
Someone you will all want to go out and snatch up off the waiver wire right now is Isaiah Thomas from the Kings. The kid started four straight games leading into the break and scored 13, 23, 24 and 18 points in the contests. His value is further increased as he has nine 3-pointers in the 4-games he started. Being that he is owned in just 49 percent of Yahoo leagues, there is still time to grab him before someone else does.
Ricky Rubio: Coming back from the All Star break, Rubio and the Wolves play a tough schedule (Clippers, Lakers, Suns and Trail Blazers) that will force him to be on top of his game. I like him to average around 11 points with 8-9 assists and 2-3 steals a night this week.
Jared Dudley: Dudley is starting once again for the Suns, and that means he is worth owning in most standard 12-team leagues. You will get a rollercoaster ride with his production because of how the Suns offense is set up, but a SG that gets 30 MPG is always worth owning and starting.
Luol Deng: Deng is back from his injury and playing enough minutes that owners can feel confident in playing him after the break. His drawback this season has to be his shooting hands down. Over the last seven games, Deng is shooting just 36.5 percent from the field. That being said, I think the break will give him time to rest his non-shooting wrist and he should be able to bounce back in the second half of the season.
Antawn Jamison: Anyone who sends me emails knows that I am not a fan of Jamison in fantasy formats. At 35-years-old, Jamison has a lot of wear on his body and the last seasons he was bitten by the injury bug. The Cavaliers don’t have a lot to brag about on offense, but there are rumors floating around that Jamison (and his expiring contract) is on the trading block. What that means is they are sure to feature him even more in the offensive scheme in order to maximize his trade value, and that makes him someone worth starting until the wheels fall off his bandwagon.
Chris Kaman: Kaman wasn’t happy with his role in New Orleans and an injury to Emeka Okafor thrust him back into the fantasy spotlight. From what I hear, the Hornets may give Kaman the green light to shoot as much as possible in order to showcase him in trade talks. If that is true, Kaman becomes a must-start at center for the foreseeable future and I have no problems putting him as a C1 heading into week 10 of the fantasy season.
Greivis Vasquez: Vasquez has managed to hold off Jarrett Jack from taking back the starting PG job, but that doesn’t mean his fantasy job is secure. The reality is that Vasquez and Jack will be in a timeshare situation for the remainder of the season provided neither is traded, and that means his stats are going to be erratic. I personally have sold high on Vasquez and cut him in favor of Jason Kidd (someone cut him) in the pro league that I am in.
Paul George: Coming off an impressive showing at the dunk contest, George’s stock is going to rise even further than it had in his break-out season. However, the Pacers play just two games this week and that means George should remain on benches for those in cap and weekly transaction leagues.
Carmelo Anthony: The truth about Anthony is that I want no part of him in the second half of the NBA season, and I would be a seller if the price is right. Jeremy Lin has taken New York by storm and there is no way the team doesn’t get him his shots going forward; J.R. Smith has arrived in NY and he is going to demand his shots as well; couple that with Amare Stoudemire needing his looks and you can see a problem since there are only SO many shots to be taken in any given game. Someone has to suffer and I think Melo is the one who has the most fantasy value to lose.
Amare Stoudemire: Much like Melo, Amare plays just two games this week and that kills his week 10 value. However, unlike his teammate, I think his value remains about the same following the emergence of Lin and Smith in the Knicks offensive gameplan. If Lin and Amare can figure out the pick-and-roll, they could be the type of force on offense that would make fantasy owners drool.
Roy Hibbert: Hibbert is still an underrated center in the NBA, largely because he plays in the hidden confines of Indiana. The 7’2” kid (25-years-old) is averaging 13.8 points, 9.6 rebounds and 1.7 blocks-per-game this season, which ranks him in the top 60 of all fantasy players this season. Even though I am a big fan of Hibbert’s in fantasy leagues, he still plays just twice this week and that makes him someone to avoid in those cap and weekly transaction leagues.