Fantasy Basketball 2016-17: A Dozen Dimes, Volume 14
Welcome back to our weekly transactions article, where we dish out 12 dimes of fantasy hoops advice, including the top adds, drops, buys, and sells for this upcoming week and beyond.
These are generally listed in relative order of importance. If you're looking for even more advice, check the "related news" section to cycle through other recent editions of this column. We try not to repeat ourselves too much from one week to the next, so you might find ideas you like from previous weeks that are still valid.
Okay, let's get down to it.
Buy George Hill
On the infuriating side, Hill has been inactive for 24 of the Jazz's 45 games with various unrelated injuries (a sprained thumb, a sprained toe, a concussion). He's missed those games in three separate chunks of 8, 13, and 3 games and can't seem to get a rhythm going between ailments.
His current eight-game active streak is actually the most consecutive games he's played all year, but his numbers lately haven't lived up to his early-season hype. Here's a look at how he was performing before a sprained toe caused him to miss a season-high 13 games in December, and how he's been in the 10 total games since returning.
|George Hill||9-Cat Rank||PTS||3s||REB||AST||STL||BLK||FG%||FT%||TOV|
|First 11 games||13th||20.0||2.4||3.5||4.3||1.1||0.2||53.4%||88.4%||1.4|
|Last 10 games||109th||16.7||1.8||4.0||4.1||0.8||0.3||47.2%||70.2%||1.8|
The nearly first-round value Hill posted in his first 11 games might be an unrealistic season-long goal, but he's also generally better than these last 10. He has been a consistent early- to mid-round value the last four years and seems to be a great fit in Utah, so it probably won't be long before he settles back into something close to his early-season rhythm with the team.
This is a bit of a buy-low opportunity, although his 30 points, 3 triples, 6 boards, and 5 dimes on Saturday night are threatening to slam that window shut. If you can play on his current owner's frustrations with Hill's inability to stay on the floor earlier this season, maybe you can acquire him just as he's finally getting healthy and ready to go on a run.
Add David Lee
Pau Gasol is out indefinitely with a broken fourth metacarpal in his left hand, so David Lee has slipped into his starting spot for the San Antonio Spurs over their last two games and looks like a good bet to stick there until Gasol returns.
Over those two games, Lee has posted back-to-back double-doubles, averaging 12.0 points, 13.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 0.5 steals, 1.0 block, and 0.5 turnovers in a healthy 34.4 minutes per contest while shooting 66.7% from the field (without a single free throw attempt).
Don't forget, prior to these last few years, Lee was a regular double-double machine that posted consistent early- to mid-round value in nine-category leagues for eight straight seasons between 2006 and 2013. With this increased opportunity, he could turn back the clock over the next little while and provide fantasy owners with some solid scoring, rebounding, and field goal percentage. He's a top pick-up this week if available in your league (which is still the case in 70% of Yahoo leagues and 85% on ESPN).
Add Raymond Felton / Austin Rivers
With Chris Paul sidelined for the next six-to-eight weeks following surgery for a torn ligament in his left thumb, the Los Angeles Clippers need to turn to Raymond Felton and Austin Rivers to fill the void at point guard. The starting position will likely remain fluid, but both have the opportunity to provide standard league fantasy value with the extra minutes.
Over the last three games (the game that CP3 suffered his injury and the two he's missed since), both Felton and Rivers have been top-100 players in nine-category leagues.
|Last 3 games||9-Cat Rank||MIN||PTS||3s||REB||AST||STL||BLK||FG%||FT%||TOV|
Felton is available in 60% of Yahoo leagues and 80% on ESPN, while Rivers is available in 50% and 60%, respectively.
Both are worth owning in standard leagues, while Paul is sidelined and should be scooped up if you're looking for a boost. If you're having trouble deciding between the two, Felton has a bit more short-term upside with the increased opportunity, but Rivers was starting alongside Paul prior to his injury and likely has the better rest-of-season outlook.
Do with that what you will.
Add Garrett Temple
Even though Gay has only missed the last two games, Temple has been a guy to own for a while now, coming in as the 85th-ranked player in nine-category leagues over the last month and a half (23 games).
Over that span, Temple has averaged 9.9 points, 1.5 threes, 3.0 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.2 steals, 0.5 blocks, and 1.1 turnovers in 30.1 minutes per game, while shooting 46.3% from the field and 80.0% from the charity stripe. That's admittedly not a very flashy stat line, but it's devoid of any major holes and it might do you less harm than whatever is currently on the end of your bench.
Matt Barnes also has a chance to pick it up with more forward minutes to go around on the Sacramento Kings in the wake of the Gay injury, but he hasn't been that great lately and pales in comparison to Temple as an add for the moment. Temple is still available in 75% of Yahoo leagues and 90% on ESPN, but shouldn't be much longer.
Add Joe Ingles
Rodney Hood will likely be sidelined for at least another week, considering he's only seven days into his initial two-week timetable for a hyperextended right knee. Joe Ingles has been starting in his place and performing admirably, making him worth a short-term pick-up in standard fantasy leagues.
Over three starts, Ingles has been the 31st-ranked player in nine-category leagues for his averages of 8.3 points, 1.7 triples, 3.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 2.7 steals, 0.3 blocks, and 1.0 turnover in 34.7 minutes per contest, and shooting split of 42.9% from the field and a perfect 2-for-2 from the free throw line.
He's still available in over 90% of Yahoo leagues and over 95% on ESPN, so he's a great short-term add going into Utah's four-game week if you've got some dead weight on your bench.
Buy Damian Lillard
Damian Lillard is having another stellar fantasy season, currently ranking 22nd in nine-category leagues with a line of 26.2 points, 2.5 triples, 4.8 rebounds, 5.9 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.3 blocks, and 2.7 turnovers per contest with a shooting split of 44.5% from the field and 89.6% from the free throw line.
Dame recently missed five games with a sprained ankle and has been off a bit in the nine games since his return. Over that span, he's only been the 79th-ranked player in nine-category leagues, averaging 23.3 points, 2.3 triples, 5.9 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 0.2 steals, 0.4 blocks, and 2.8 turnovers per contest, while shooting 41.4% from the field and 90.0% from the line.
It won't be long before his scoring, assists, steals, and field goal percentage normalize and he's back to being a first- or second-round asset. This is about as good of a buy-low opportunity as you're going to get on Lillard, so check to see if his owner in your league has been dissatisfied with his recent time missed and dip in production.
Add Caris LeVert
The Brooklyn Nets are the worst team in the NBA, coming in last in our NBA Team Power Rankings with their 9-34 record, but all is not lost. Rookie Caris LeVert -- this year's 20th overall pick that the Nets received via the Thaddeus Young trade -- has been showing some signs of life lately.
After missing the start of the season with a broken foot, LeVert saw his first NBA action in early December and had the normal growing pains associated with being a rookie in the NBA. Over his last four games, however, he's been putting up fat stat lines like a seasoned vet.
Over that four-game span, LeVert is averaging 12.0 points, 1.8 three-pointers, 2.8 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 1.5 steals, 0.3 blocks and 1.3 turnovers in only 22.3 minutes per game, while shooting a blistering 61.5% from the field and 90.0% from the free throw line. That's good enough to make him the 35th-ranked player in nine-category leagues over that span and worthy of some attention in standard fantasy leagues.
He's likely to have the occasional dud (like any rookie), but there should be more minutes available for him on a bottom-feeding Brooklyn team, so he'll get even more of a chance to feel things out as the season progresses. He's available in 80% of Yahoo leagues and 95% on ESPN, so he's mostly out there if you want a hot hand.
Add Rondae Hollis-Jefferson
Another positive in Brooklyn is that Rondae Hollis-Jefferson is starting to come around after a rough start to his sophomore season.
He has not quite lived up to expectations on the season as a whole, ranking 203rd in nine-category leagues after having an average draft position of 109th across the industry. Over his last four games, though, he's been much better and showing why some saw him as a breakout candidate this year.
Over that four-game stretch, RHJ has been the 98th-ranked player in nine-category leagues with averages of 11.8 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.5 steals, 0.3 blocks, and 2.8 turnovers in 20.6 minutes per contest with a shooting split of 60.7% from the field and 81.3% from the line.
Like with LeVert, the going-nowhere Nets have plenty of reason to develop Hollis-Jefferson more with increased minutes as their lost season progresses. He's currently trending up and could have a decent shot at top-100 value going forward.
If he's available in your league -- as he currently is in 50% of Yahoo leagues and nearly 95% on ESPN -- he's worth a look for his upside in rebounds, steals, field goal percentage, and low turnovers.
Buy Jrue Holiday
Jrue Holiday is the 92nd-ranked player in nine-category leagues and has been an early- to mid-round value now for seven seasons running. He's been in a bit of a rut lately, however, ranking 144th over the last two weeks and 171st over his last four games in particular.
Over that recent four-game span, Holiday has averaged 9.5 points, 1.3 threes, 2.5 rebounds, 7.8 assists, 1.8 steals, 0.5 blocks, and 3.0 turnovers in 27.3 minutes per game, while shooting a measly 34.1% from the field and 62.5% from the line.
The New Orleans Pelicans don't have a lot of reliable offensive options in their rotation, so they will continue to rely on Jrue until his scoring and shooting numbers trend back to the norm. Add in the fact that this is a contract year for the 26-year-old, and there's nowhere left to go from this recent slump but up. Take advantage of this buy-low opportunity if you can.
Drop Brandon Knight
Brandon Knight has been a mid-round value for his last two seasons, but the emergence of second-year guard Devin Booker has squashed any value he could have had on the Phoenix Suns. Knight's recent wrist injury looks like it might also be a nagging issue, so there's little reason to keep holding onto him in the short-term.
This season, Knight is only the 252nd-ranked player in nine-category leagues, with uninspiring averages of 11.9 points, 1.0 triple, 2.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.1 blocks, and 1.8 turnovers in 21.8 minutes per contest, and a shooting split of 39.3% from the field and 84.7% from the line.
A trade out of Phoenix could eventually make Knight a more attractive fantasy asset, but even his stash appeal has taken a hit with how much he's stunk coming off the Suns' bench. People are still holding out hope in 60% of Yahoo leagues and 50% on ESPN, but it's time to cut him if a hot hand is just sitting there on your waiver wire.
Drop Chandler Parsons
Like Knight, Chandler Parsons is another player whose ownership percentages are probably higher than they should be (55% on Yahoo, 30% on ESPN).
After four straight seasons of early- to mid-round value, Parsons has simply not lived up to his new four-year, $94 million with the Memphis Grizzlies. Offseason knee surgery and subsequent complications have held Parsons out of 21 of a possible 40 games, and that's been frustrating for his fantasy owners.
On top of that, he's been on minute restrictions when he has played and has produced very poor returns in his limited court time. He has managed to be only the 275th-ranked player in nine-category leagues, with low-end averages of 6.6 points, 0.7 threes, 1.9 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.2 blocks, and 0.5 turnovers in a mere 18.1 minutes per contest, and a mediocre shooting split of 36.6% from the field and 84.2% from the free throw line.
It makes sense that some people still want to hold out hope for a player that's been an early- to mid-round value in each of the last four seasons (even after a slow start last year), but this is starting to look like a lost year. If you're slipping in the standings and there's something tantalizing on your waiver wire, it's starting to look like you won't be missing much with Parsons, so make the move.
Add Khris Middleton
It initially looked like Khris Middleton would miss the entire 2016-17 season after tearing his hamstring this fall, but reports are surfacing that he could return around the All-Star break in just a few weeks.
When healthy, Middleton has early-round upside (he was the 30th-ranked player in nine-category leagues last year), so you should be running to pick him up if you have a free injury spot on your roster or you're high enough in your league's standings to stash him until he's back.
He'll almost certainly be brought along slowly at first -- with minute restrictions and regular rest games during back-to-backs -- but Middleton's high-end upside makes him a very appealing stash with the recent news. He's still out there in 65% of Yahoo leagues and a whopping 85% on ESPN, so hurry up and grab him if he's available and you can afford to play the waiting game.