Fantasy Basketball 2016-17: A Dozen Dimes, Volume 22
With most fantasy hoops trade deadlines having already passed and the playoffs in the majority of head-to-head leagues having already started, A Dozen Dimes has essentially converted into a waiver wire column for the rest of the season. In other words, instead of offering up 12 nuggets of adding, dropping, buying, and selling advice for this upcoming week and beyond, we're focusing on just the adding.
As usual, these are in relative order of importance. If you're looking for more advice, check the "related articles" 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 more ideas you like from previous weeks that are still valid.
Ok, let's get down to it.
The Phoenix Suns are in full-on youth development mode at the moment, having shut down veterans Tyson Chandler, Brandon Knight, and Eric Bledsoe in order to get their young dudes some minutes. In recent weeks, we've talked about grabbing guys like T.J. Warren, Marquese Chriss, and Alan Williams (all of which remain must-own players), but this week, we're focusing on rookie point guard Tyler Ulis.
Now that Eric Bledsoe has been officially ruled out for the remainder of the season, Ulis has been given the reigns as the team's starting point guard. In three starts with the team, Ulis is the 99th-ranked player in nine-category leagues with averages of 16.3 points, 0.3 three-pointers, 2.7 rebounds, 10.7 assists, 2.0 steals, 0.3 blocks, and 2.0 turnovers in a whopping 40.9 minutes per contest, and a shooting split of 35.6% from the field and 75.0% from the free throw line.
As a rookie who was picked in the second round of the 2016 draft, Ulis is not likely to be a beacon of consistency down the stretch of the fantasy season. That said, the minutes and opportunity for some fantasy goodies will certainly be there and that makes him worth a look if he's available in your league. He's still available in 50% of Yahoo leagues and 60% on ESPN if you need help at point guard.
It hasn't exactly been a breakout rookie season for 2016's second overall pick, Brandon Ingram, but his stock is currently trending upwards in fantasy hoops.
Ingram joined the Los Angeles Lakers' starting lineup for good back in early February, but the returns have generally been mixed. Over his last five contests, however, he has showcased enough consistency to make him a relevant add in standard leagues.
Over that five-game span, Ingram has averaged 14.6 points, 0.6 threes, 3.4 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.4 steals, 0.8 blocks, and 2.0 turnovers in a healthy 35.7 minutes per contest. while shooting 52.5% from the field and 75.0% from the free throw line, making him the 63rd-ranked player in nine-category leagues over that stretch.
The points, rebounds, and assists are nothing to write home about, but the strong defensive stats and strong field goal percentage make him worth a look if you're in need of those numbers. He's still available in 45% of Yahoo leagues and 60% on ESPN, if you're interested.
Whenever Will Barton has gotten minutes for the Denver Nuggets this season, he has produced solid fantasy numbers. It's been hard for him to get consistent time when the Nuggets have been at full strength, but current injuries to Danilo Gallinari (knee) and Wilson Chandler (groin) have opened up space for Will the Thrill yet again.
Over Barton's last three games, he has averaged 22.3 points, a whopping 4.0 triples, 2.7 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.7 blocks, and 2.3 turnovers in 33.2 minutes per contest, while shooting 48.8% from the field and 68.4% from the line. He's been the 56th-ranked player in nine-category leagues over that span and is absolutely worthy of universal ownership until Gallinari and Chandler return and push him back down the depth chart. Barton is currently available in 40% of Yahoo leagues and 55% on ESPN.
Jamal Murray has also benefited from the absences of Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler, getting increased minutes and solid fantasy returns over his last three contests as well.
Over that span, the rookie has averaged 14.7 points, 2.7 threes, 3.7 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 2.3 steals, 0.3 blocks, and 2.3 turnovers in 25.9 minutes per game, while shooting 40.0% from the field and 66.7% from the free throw line.
He's not producing quite at the level of Will Barton and will pretty well lose standard-league relevance entirely when Gallinari and Chandler return, but for now, he's the 82nd-ranked player in nine-category leagues over the last week and is available in 65% of Yahoo leagues and 85% on ESPN. If Barton is unavailable in your league, Murray is a perfectly serviceable consolation prize.
Frank Kaminsky was in the midst of a fantasy breakout before a shoulder injury cost him five games. Cody Zeller took over as the Charlotte Hornets' starting center while he was out and has yet to relinquish the role, but Kaminsky is still putting up decent numbers from the bench.
Over his last two games, Frank the Tank has averaged 17.0 points, 1.5 threes, 4.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.5 blocks, and 1.5 turnovers in 30.4 minutes per contest, while shooting 37.9% from the field and 60.0% from the charity stripe.
The low shooting percentages and general lack of defensive stats have kept his nine-category ranking out of standard-league range since his return, but the points, threes, and rebounds make him worth a look while you wait for the other numbers to sort themselves out. He's receiving enough minutes to believe that he could get back to the groove he was in before the injury (ranked 36th in nine-category leagues during the month of February), regardless of whether he starts or backs up Zeller.
He's currently available in 60% of Yahoo leagues and 75% on ESPN, if you're looking for a high-ceiling big man down the stretch of the fantasy season.
JaMychal Green has been the starting power forward for the Memphis Grizzlies in 66 of the 68 games he's played this season, and that's resulted in decent late-round value. He's the 116th-ranked player in nine-category leagues on the year, but despite a decent all-around line (9.1 points, 0.7 triples, 7.3 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.5 blocks, 1.3 turnovers, 49.9% field goal percentage, 81.5% field goal percentage), his ownership percentages only sit at 25% in Yahoo leagues and 20% on ESPN.
Based on his last five games, however, those numbers should be on the rise.
Over that span, Green has averaged 10.6 points, 1.0 triple, 8.0 rebounds, 0.8 assists, 1.0 steal, 0.8 blocks, and 1.0 turnover in 24.5 minutes per contest, while shooting 54.1% from the field and a perfect 100.0% (8-for-8) from the line. He doesn't give you much in the way of points or assists, but the combination of roughly one each of a three, steal, and block per game, the solid rebounding, low turnovers, and excellent percentages makes him a subtly solid pick-up for the last couple weeks of the fantasy season. Don't sleep on him.
In his six games since joining the starting lineup on March 10th, Hield has been the 90th-ranked player in nine-category leagues, averaging 14.7 points, 2.3 threes, 4.2 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.2 blocks, and 1.7 turnovers in a healthy 30.7 minutes per contest, while shooting 48.6% from the field and 85.7% from the free throw line.
There's not much going on there outside of points and threes, but the percentages are nice, and the Kings have every reason to ride the guy they traded DeMarcus Cousins for until the bitter end of yet another lost season in Sacramento. He's available in 50% of Yahoo leagues and 70% on ESPN and should be a solid player to own from here on out if you need scoring or triples from the wing.
Over his last four games (two starts), Ingles is the 67th-ranked player in nine-category leagues with averages of 13.0 points, 2.5 threes, 3.5 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.0 blocks, and 1.3 turnovers per contest, and a shooting split of 52.8% from the field and 80.0% from the line.
Want a wing who is starting for a playoff-bound team that can give you a bit of everything outside of blocks? Ingles is readily available in 90% of Yahoo leagues and 95% on ESPN and has you covered.
Patty Mills is Tony Parker's backup and that's not about to change, but he's still put up decent late-round value (ranked 149th in nine-category leagues on the year as a whole) from a reserve role. Over his last six games, he's been even better, putting up 50th-ranked value in a healthy 27.7 minutes per game.
Granted, Parker missed four of those games and is now back, but Patty's line of 12.8 points, 3.0 threes, 1.7 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.2 blocks, mere 0.5 turnovers, 46.7% field goal percentage, and 75.0% free throw mark over that span is still hard to ignore, since he came off the bench and still produced in three of those six games.
Like any bench player, Mills won't be a guaranteed hit every single game, but he gets consistent enough minutes off the bench and Parker is always a big enough threat to miss games for injuries or rest that Mills should have a higher ownership percentage than 35% in Yahoo leagues and 20% on ESPN. If you need a point guard with a decent floor that can get you solid threes and assists, Patty's your pal.
The Chicago Bulls are spiraling out of playoff contention and are starting to give their young guys more and more opportunities. Rookie Denzel Valentine has been one of the main beneficiaries of the recent youth movement in Chicago, as he's scored in double figures in five straight, while averaging 27.7 minutes per night.
Over that span, Valentine has been the 103rd-ranked player in nine-category leagues, averaging 11.4 points, 2.8 triples, 6.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.0 blocks, and a mere 0.8 turnovers per game, while shooting 41.7% from the field and a perfect 100.0% (3-for-3) from the line. The lack of defensive stats is what's dragging his ranking down, but you could do a lot worse than that boost in threes and boards with low turnovers if you're stuck for a wing, considering he's so readily available in 85% of Yahoo leagues and 95% on ESPN.
Listen, Jordan Crawford is a pretty volatile fantasy asset in theory, but it's getting kind of hard to ignore him as an add right now.
In his seven games playing for the New Orleans Pelicans, Crawford has scored in double figures six times, including a season-high 22 on Sunday in a win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. Over that span, he's the 100th-ranked player in nine-category leagues with averages of 14.3 points, 2.7 threes, 2.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.0 blocks, and 1.0 turnover in only 22.5 minutes per contest, and a shooting split of 51.3% from the field and 33.3% (1-for-3) from the charity stripe.
The other shoe might drop at any moment, considering he wasn't even the NBA as of a few weeks ago, but you have to at least look him up and down right now if you're desperate for the points or threes. He's currently available in 75% of Yahoo leagues and nearly 90% on ESPN.
Jamal Crawford / Austin Rivers
Jamal Crawford and Austin Rivers are not exactly tearing things up lately now that the Los Angeles Clippers are at full strength, but both are worth an add right now simply because the Clips play a whopping five games this week, smack-dab in the middle of most fantasy playoffs.
Crawford is ranked 225th in nine-category leagues on the year and Rivers is directly behind him at 226th, so neither inspires that much confidence in terms of game-to-game production, but both offer a good smattering of points, threes, assists, and steals when multiplied over a five-game sample.
So, which one should you prioritize? Well, looking at their lines, both players offer pretty much the same strengths and weaknesses:
Aren't those lines eerily similar?
Anyway, Rivers gets more spot starts than Crawford, so we'll say look for him first. Luckily, Rivers is more readily available, currently unowned in 80% of both Yahoo and ESPN leagues, while Crawford is a little harder to acquire, as he's only on the wire in 60% of Yahoo leagues and 70% on ESPN. Stream either of 'em for the five-game week, then drop them both for a hot hand next week.