Fantasy Basketball: A Dozen Dimes, Week 8
Welcome back to our weekly transactions article, where we dish out 12 dimes of advice 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 more ideas you like from previous weeks that are still valid.
All fantasy rankings are courtesy of BasketballMonster.com.
Okay, let's get down to it.
Sell Brook Lopez
Brook Lopez has been a top-60 asset in nine-category leagues his whole career and a top-30 guy in four of his last five seasons. He's still under 30-years-old, and the move to the Los Angeles Lakers didn't initially seem like it would have a considerable negative impact on his fantasy stock, so you had no real reason not to feel comfortable drafting him at around his 40.7 average draft position (per FantasyPros.com).
So far this season, however, BroLo hasn't been worth the price of admission. He's currently the 86th-ranked player in nine-category leagues, averaging 13.3 points, 1.2 threes, 4.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 0.4 steals, 1.7 blocks, and 1.6 turnovers, while shooting 44.5% from the field and 78.5% from the free throw line.
There's still some stuff to like in that line, but the blocks are the only thing truly anchoring his value. He used to be a solid source of points, threes, rebounds, and assists as well, but drop-offs in minutes (29.6 last year to 23.1 this season) and usage rate (29.2% to 24.9%) have meant dips in just about every category across the board, even if his per-36 numbers from last season have remained fairly similar.
If you can sell Lopez to a owner in need of swats for a more consistent mid-round guy, you should jump on that. The Lakers are pumping a lot of their frontcourt minutes into young bigs like Kyle Kuzma, Larry Nance Jr., and Julius Randle (who has played 82% of his 22.2 minutes per game this season at center), so Lopez's early-round ceiling has been unmistakably lowered.
Add/Buy Danilo Gallinari
Danilo Gallinari is on track to return this Wednesday and is coming back to a Los Angeles Clippers team that has lost Patrick Beverley (knee surgery) for the season, has Blake Griffin (MCL sprain) sidelined up to two months, and has Milos Teodosic (foot) out until Christmas at the earliest. In other words, Gallo's coming back to a team that's down three starters and will likely need to rely on him a lot on offense going forward.
And Gallinari is built for such a thing. He's been a top-50-ish asset for the six of the last seven seasons, mostly as a big cog in Denver's offense, where he averaged 18.2 points, 2.0 threes, 5.1 boards, 2.2 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.2 blocks, and 1.3 turnovers in 33.9 minutes per contest in 2016-17 (his last season with the Nuggets). He also shot 44.7% from the field and 90.2% from the free throw line.
That line made him the 43rd-ranked player in nine-category leagues last year, and he's actually available to be added in 30% of Yahoo leagues and 55% on ESPN, so quickly run and grab him if that's the case in your league. If it's not, see if his owner is still willing to sell him for a bit of an injury discount. Yes, you'd be assuming the risk of his injury woes yourself, but the potential early-round ceiling for a guy that most people are undervaluing right now is worth taking a shot to get.
Add Josh Richardson
Josh Richardson has had plenty of chances to become a relevant fantasy asset this season, considering he's started every game for the Miami Heat and played 32.6 minutes per night. It just hasn't really come together, however, as he ranks only 170th in nine-category leagues, sitting outside standard-league value. The threes (1.4), steals (1.2), and blocks (0.7) have been decent, but nothing else in his overall line has helped sell him as a guy that has to be owned.
He's come alive over his last four games, though, and that deserves your attention. Over that span, he's averaged 16.8 points, 2.5 triples, 2.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.3 steals, 0.8 blocks, and 2.0 turnovers in 30.9 minutes per contest, while shooting 56.3% from the field and 60.0% from the free throw line. He's been the 58th-ranked player in nine-category leagues over the last week and might finally be turning a corner.
J-Rich is only owned in 40% of Yahoo leagues and 10% on ESPN, and should be added where he can be found. His defense will keep him in the Heat lineup and playing heavy minutes regardless, but if he's ready to take a step forward on offense, he has the opportunity to be a late- to mid-round guy the rest of the year.
Add Jonathon Simmons
Terrence Ross is out indefinitely with a sprained right MCL and a non-displaced fracture of his right tibial plateau, so Jonathon Simmons' recent move to the starting lineup for the Orlando Magic figures to stick for the foreseeable future.
Over Simmons' last four games (all starts), he has averaged 15.3 points, 1.3 triples, 3.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.3 blocks, and 2.8 turnovers in a healthy 36.1 minutes per night, while shooting 42.9% from the field and 77.8% from the charity stripe.
Nothing in that screams "add me", but the points and triples should be fairly consistent, and the opportunity and minutes seem secure enough to take a flier on him with hopes that the other numbers follow suit eventually. He's available in 60% of Yahoo leagues and 75% on ESPN and is a good add if you're looking for upside on the wing.
Add Kenneth Faried
Back when Kenneth Faried was an entrenched starter for the Denver Nuggets -- and a solid bet for minutes in the high-20's every night -- he consistently put up mid- to late-round value in nine-category leagues. With the exception of a 125th-ranked finish in a mostly reserve role in 2016-17, the Manimal has finished every other campaign of his career ranked between 82nd and 92nd.
With Paul Millsap on the shelf for the next few months following wrist surgery, Faried has a chance to provide owners with that kind of solid production once again. In his five starts in Millsap's place, Faried has averaged 11.6 points, 9.2 boards, 0.6 assists, 0.2 steals, 0.6 blocks, and 1.0 turnover in 24.6 minutes per contest, while shooting 57.1% from the field and 72.0% from the line.
He's usually good for close to a steal and a block per game, so once his low defensive stats normalize, Faried should get right back into providing owners with value around the back end of the top-100. He's available in 70% of Yahoo leagues and 85% on ESPN but should be owned across the board for as long as Millsap is out.
Buy Eric Bledsoe
Eric Bledsoe had a bit of a shaky start to his Milwaukee Bucks career from a fantasy perspective, but lately he has gotten back to being the Bledsoe that has put up early-round value each of the last three seasons.
Over the last two weeks (six games), he has averaged 21.2 points, 1.7 triples, 3.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 2.8 steals, 0.7 blocks, and 3.0 turnovers in 32.7 minutes per contest, with a shooting split of 51.1% from the field and 73.0% from the line. That monster all-around line has made him the 20th-ranked player in nine-category leagues over that span, and he's stepped it up even more to be the ninth-ranked player over the last week.
If Bledsoe's owner in your league wants to use this as a sell-high opportunity, swoop in. Any concerns that Bledsoe wouldn't be able to produce next to Giannis Antetokounmpo have been put to bed, and Malcolm Brogdon doesn't seem to be a threat to take away any of his minutes. He's still only ranked 73rd on the season, but he's trending way up and much more likely to land in the top-50 (and maybe even top-30) by season's end than he is to stay down around that range.
Add Alec Burks
Over those three games, Burks has averaged 22.0 points, 2.7 three-pointers, 4.7 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 2.0 steals, 0.7 blocks, and a mere 0.7 turnovers in 26.9 minutes off the bench for the Utah Jazz, while shooting a blistering 56.8% from the field and a perfect 8-for-8 from the free throw line.
That fairly flawless all-around line has made Burks the ninth-ranked player in nine-category leagues over the last week, so he's just about the best add available if you're looking for a hot hand. He's out there in 25% of Yahoo leagues and 5% on ESPN, and should be scooped up in case Hood misses more time. Just keep in mind that Burks might not be able to keep things at this level once Hood returns.
Add Bam Adebayo / Kelly Olynyk
Hassan Whiteside has been shut down for the next one-to-two weeks with a bone bruise in his left knee. Rookie Bam Adebayo has been starting in his place, while Kelly Olynyk has seen a bump in minutes off the bench, making both worth an add for as long as Whiteside's on the mend.
Bam has managed 74th-ranked value over the last week (four games) with the increased opportunity, averaging 9.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 0.5 assists, 1.8 steals, 0.8 blocks, and 1.0 turnover in 21.8 minutes per contest, while shooting 70.0% from the field and 76.9% from the free throw line.
He comes with the usual consistency caveats attached to rookies, but owners in need of defensive stats or a boost in their percentages should look his way. He's available in over 90% of leagues on both Yahoo and ESPN.
Over that same span, Olynyk has averaged 11.8 points, 1.5 threes, 4.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 0.0 steals, 0.5 blocks, and 2.5 turnovers in 23.6 minutes, while shooting 50.0% from the field and 90.0% from the line. That line makes him the 142nd-ranked player over the last week.
Unlike Adebayo, Olynyk isn't offering owners much on the defensive end, but he's giving them enough everywhere else to warrant ownership. He's out there in 55% of Yahoo leagues and 80% on ESPN.
If you're curious which Heat big man you should be prioritizing off the wire, just focus on your team needs. If you want some threes and scoring upside, go Kelly, if you want defensive help, go Bam. Once Whiteside returns, feel free to cut either for the next hot free agent (although Olynyk should continue to flirt with late-round value all season long with a more consistent role).
Add Ersan Ilyasova
Ily and the Atlanta Hawks have only played two games over the last week, but Ersan put up early-round value in that small sample, averaging 15.5 points, 2.0 triples, 7.0 rebounds, 0.0 assists, 2.5 steals, 0.5 blocks, and 1.0 turnover in 27.1 minutes per contest, while shooting 50.0% from the field and 71.4% from the charity stripe.
Ilysova's always good for late-round fantasy returns when he has the opportunity, and he even had back-to-back top-50 seasons back in 2011-12 and 2012-13. His upside in points, threes, rebounds, and low turnovers is worth a look over the next couple weeks in the 60% of Yahoo and 90% of ESPN leagues in which he's still available.
Sell Harrison Barnes
Harrison Barnes is a fairly overrated asset in fantasy hoops. After finishing the 2016-17 campaign ranked 74th in nine-category leagues, he entered this season with an average draft position (ADP) of 63.7. Granted, he's been doing a bit more of everything since getting out of the shadows of all the All-Stars in Golden State and joining the Dallas Mavericks, but he's still failing to live up to those lofty ADP expectations so far this year, coming in as the 95th-ranked player in 2017-18.
The main reason that people overvalue Harrison Barnes is because he scores a decent amount of points. Generally, when players only contribute strongly in one category, we dismissively call them specialists, but when guys can score and do little else, we still see them with relatively high ADPs.
Barnes' 18.3 points per game this season are nice (as were the 19.2 he put up last year), but everything in his line beyond that is mostly empty. The increase in rebounding from 5.1 per game last year to 7.5 this time around is a bonus, and you can't fault the 83.3% mark from the line, but the threes (1.2), assists (2.0), steals (0.7), blocks (0.1), field goal percentage (43.2%), and turnovers (2.0) all range from middling to not helpful.
And the lack of diversity in his contributions lowers his ceiling. He basically is what he is: a guy who can score and grab a few boards. If he has an off shooting game, you can't count on the defensive numbers or anything else to still give him value. For that reason, you should be looking to sell whenever he strings a few good games together.
Add Lance Stephenson
Lance Stephenson flirted with being a fantasy-relevant player back in 2013-14, when he finished the season ranked 110th in nine-category leagues and actually played well enough to be considered an All-Star snub by some. Other than that lone season, however, Lance hasn't finished a single other campaign with standard-league value. Over the last three, he's been an afterthought, finishing outside the top-240 each time and bottoming out at 351st over just 18 games last year.
Well, don't look now, but "Born Ready" might be ready to be reborn. (I know it's a cheesy line. Just go with it.)
Over his last five games, Stephenson has been the 73rd-ranked player in nine-category leagues, averaging 14.8 points, 1.8 triples, 5.8 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 0.2 steals, 0.2 blocks, and 2.4 turnovers in 25.2 minutes per contest off the bench, and shooting 61.7% from the field and 87.5% from the line.
He's shown time and time again that he can't sustain that kind of efficient production over long stretches, but he's getting consistent enough minutes off the Pacers' bench and is worth a flier while he's stuffing the stat sheet. He's available in 80% of Yahoo leagues and nearly 90% of ESPN leagues, so take a shot on him if you're feeling like he can have a little post-hype breakout at the still-young age of 27.
Add Tomas Satoransky
Last week, we discussed Tim Frazier as an add since he would be starting for the injured John Wall for the next couple weeks. Since that time, Frazier has indeed been starting, but has ranked 236th in nine-category leagues in 19.5 minutes per game. Tomas Satoransky, meanwhile, has ranked 31st in 24.5 minutes backing him up off the bench over that same period.
In other words, we're changing our add to Satoransky for however long Wall remains out (and apparently there isn't a set timeline for his return at the moment).
Over the aforementioned period, Satoransky is averaging 12.0 points, 1.0 three, 3.7 rebounds, 6.0 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.0 blocks, and 0.0 turnovers, while shooting 63.2% from the field and a perfect 9-for-9 from the charity stripe. If you're in need of those kind of numbers, he's available in 85% of Yahoo leagues and 98% on ESPN and will be worth owning until Wall returns.