Fantasy Basketball: A Dozen Dimes, Week 13
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 underneath 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.
Buy Kristaps Porzingis
Kristaps Porzingis, the 18th-ranked player in nine-category leagues, isn't exactly going to be easy to acquire. That said, if you've been coveting him this season, he's in a big enough shooting slump right now that you've got a slightly ajar buy-low window.
Over the Zinger's last 10 games, he's shot a measly 36.0% from the field and is only ranked 75th in nine-category leagues. He's still averaging 19.6 points, 1.2 three-pointers, 7.1 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 0.5 steals, 2.5 blocks, and 1.8 turnovers, while shooting 82.8% from the line over that span, however, and that's pretty much in line with his season averages (with a slight dip in scoring).
If Porzingis' owner in your league is even slightly worried about his recent comments about wear, tear, and fatigue, now is the time to pounce. He might hit the occasional wall, but the Latvian big man is the alpha dog in New York and has one of the most fantasy-friendly games around. Go see what it would take to get him on your squad.
Add Gerald Green
Gerald Green wasn't even the league two weeks ago, now he's one of the hottest adds in fantasy hoops.
Excluding an 11-minute dud in his debut, Green has averaged 19.8 points, 5.0 triples, 3.4 rebounds, 0.4 assists, 1.0 steal, 0.2 blocks, and 1.0 turnover per contest in healthy 27.9 minutes over his six-game tenure with the Houston Rockets, while shooting a sterling 53.2% from the field and perfect 8 for 8 from the charity stripe. Those numbers have made him the 18th-ranked player in nine-category leagues over that span and very deserving of your attention.
He has obviously benefited from the absence of James Harden (grade 2 hamstring strain), but he started putting up big numbers even before the Beard's injury. Harden's still another week away from his next evaluation, so Green is a must-add, must-start player until we at least get a clearer picture of when the MVP candidate will return. Regardless, Green shouldn't be on a single waiver wire while he's this hot and draining so many triples, and he's out there in 50% of Yahoo leagues and 65% on ESPN.
Add Marquese Chriss
It must be noted right away that Marquese Chriss left Sunday's game against the Oklahoma City Thunder with a strained right hip and never returned, so his status going into a two-game week for the Phoenix Suns is questionable. If you're in a position to take on that kind of injury risk, however, Chriss was just starting to put things together after a frustrating start to the campaign.
Over the five games prior to the contest in which he got injured, Chriss was averaging 14.2 points, 2.2 threes, 7.4 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.8 steals, 1.2 blocks, and 2.8 turnovers in 29.0 minutes per contest, while shooting 50.0% from the field and 40.0% from the line. The ugly free throw percentage held him down to a ranking of 96th over that span, but punt the freebies and we're talking a top-35 player with a very versatile stat line.
Who knows which version of Chriss you'll get going forward (he is only the 213th-ranked player in nine-category leagues on the season), but his upside as a multi-category threat makes him worth a roster spot if you've got one to spare, just in case he's finally ready to go on a run. But keep an eye on his status going into a back-to-back set this Tuesday and Wednesday.
Add Michael Beasley
Over his last five games, Supercool Beas has averaged 19.2 points, 0.6 threes, 9.0 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.4 steals, 1.0 block, and 1.2 turnovers in 25.7 minutes per contest off the Knicks' bench, while shooting 58.5% from the field and 85.0% from the line. That line has made him the 11th-ranked player over that span, if you can believe it.
Beasley is notorious for being a streaky player, and his recent strong play could be completely dried up by the time he returns from his bum ankle. Still, it's kind of hard to ignore his two-week period as an early-round asset, and it's worth noting that he even finished the game in which he initially injured the ankle. If he manages to return on Tuesday and is able to keep the good times rolling, he'll continue to be a hot add.
He's currently available in 55% of Yahoo leagues and 65% on ESPN, so monitor his status going into Tuesday and grab him if he's a go.
Buy Myles Turner
Myles Turner has not lived up to the hype of being a top-25 pick in fantasy drafts this year, coming in as the 48th-ranked player in nine-category leagues through his first 32 games played.
He's been even worse over his last six games, ranking 273rd with averages of 10.3 points, 0.5 threes, 4.2 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 0.5 steals, 1.2 blocks, and 2.5 turnovers in 24.4 minutes per contest, and a shooting split of 38.9% from the field and 73.9% from the free throw line. Compare that to his full-season line of 13.9 points, 0.9 threes, 6.5 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 0.4 steals, 2.2 blocks, 1.7 turnovers, 48.4% shooting from the field, and 76.4% shooting from the line, and a troubling downward trend emerges.
We're not ready to jump ship just yet, however. Turner's got a very fantasy-friendly skillset, and it's hard to give up on a guy that darn near leads the NBA in blocks per game. The 21-year-old has gone through cold patches before, and he likely will again, but his ceiling as a true nine-category threat is worth taking a shot on whenever there's a buy-low window.
Add Trey Lyles
We talked about Trey Lyles in the last edition of this column (prior to a two-week break for the holidays), but he's maintained such modest ownership percentages while continuing to play so well since then that it's worth mentioning him again.
Over the last two weeks (six games), Lyles has been a top-40 player in nine-category leagues, averaging 19.3 points, 2.7 triples, 8.8 boards, 0.5 dimes, 0.7 steals, 0.5 blocks, and 1.5 turnovers in a healthy 29.3 minutes per contest off the bench, while shooting 57.3% from the field and 66.7% from the line.
Paul Millsap remains out indefinitely following wrist surgery back in November, so Lyles' spot in the Nuggets' rotation is safe for the foreseeable future. A mid-round asset for a month-plus, with plenty of points, threes, and rebounds to go around, Lyles should be owned in more than 50% of Yahoo leagues and 35% on ESPN, full stop.
Add Bismack Biyombo
Nikola Vucevic has missed the last six games for the Orlando Magic with a fractured hand, and he remains out indefinitely with the ailment. Bismack Biyombo has been the team's starting center over that span and has grabbed enough boards and blocked enough shots to make owning him a no-brainer until Vucevic's return.
During that six-game period as a starter, Biyombo has averaged 8.3 points, 11.5 rebounds, 0.5 assists, 0.2 steals, 2.3 blocks, and 1.5 turnovers in 28.2 minutes per contest, while shooting 48.7% from the field and 85.7% from the free throw line. That line has made him the 63rd-ranked player over the last two weeks and well worth your attention if you're in need of some big man stats.
He's still available in 55% of Yahoo leagues and 75% on ESPN, and really shouldn't be for as long as Vucevic is on the shelf.
Add Ish Smith
Reggie Jackson was ruled out for six to eight weeks after suffering a Grade 3 sprain of his right ankle two weeks ago. With another four to six weeks left on that initial timetable, Ish Smith -- the new starting point guard for the Detroit Pistons -- is worth owning in fantasy hoops.
Over his five starts, Ish has been the 75th-ranked player in nine-category leagues, averaging 14.0 points, 0.0 three-pointers, 3.6 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 1.4 steals, 0.6 blocks, and 0.6 turnovers in 29.1 minutes per contest, while shooting 44.6% from the field and 85.7% from the charity stripe.
His lack of three-point shooting is a bummer for the position, but everything else is pretty much where you'd want it to be for ownership, and you can't sleep on the opportunity he has to play big minutes with a higher-than-usual usage rate while Jackson is on the sidelines. If you're in need of a point guard, Smith is still available in 60% of Yahoo leagues and over 80% on ESPN.
Buy Dario Saric
Dario Saric figured to be a bit of a forgotten man with healthy bigs Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons set to return and dominate the 76ers' rotation this season, but Super Dario has managed to keep his starting spot and build on a solid debut season in 2016-17 in which he earned First Team All-Rookie honors.
This year, Saric is the 89th-ranked player in nine-category leagues, but he's been even better over the last month, coming in as the 35th-ranked player over his last 14 games. Over that span, he's averaged 17.2 points, 2.4 triples, 7.6 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.3 blocks, and 2.5 turnovers in 33.2 minutes per contest, while shooting 47.0% from the field and 89.5% from the free throw line.
His modest 80% ownership rate on both Yahoo and ESPN platforms suggests that people are underestimating the impact he's having on fantasy squads these days. If you can manage to buy in on a guy that's putting up early- to mid-round value as a third-or-worse option behind Embiid and Simmons, you should do that.
Sell Evan Fournier
Back in Week 4, we discussed the idea of selling Evan Fournier, since his top-20 start and blistering shooting split at the time (50.7% from the field, 47.4% from deep, 96.3% from the line) didn't seem very sustainable.
Well, here we are. Fournier is now the 60th-ranked player in nine-category leagues on the season and 120th over the last two months. He's still given owners plenty of points (16.5) and threes (1.9) over that span, while shooting decent percentages (43.2% from the field and 87.7% from the line), but it's clear once again that he's a mid- to late-round asset more so than an early-round one.
Hopefully you sold him when his value was at its peak, but we just want to remind you to try again while his season-long value is still in the top-60. Fournier is a fine player to own, but his arrow is pointing downward, and it's worth trying to squeeze all the value out of him that you can while it's still possible.
Add Delon Wright
Delon Wright isn't likely to be a must-own, must-start fantasy player long-term while playing behind one of the best backcourt duos in basketball in Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan, but he's had a very impressive last two weeks and that's worth an add for now at the very least.
Over his last seven games, Wright has been the 21st-ranked player in nine-category leagues, averaging 12.1 points, 1.0 triple, 4.1 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.7 steals, 1.1 blocks, and 0.9 turnovers in just 22.1 minutes per contest, while shooting a hot 57.4% from the field and 80.0% from the line.
He's now the 99th-ranked player on the season, and his defensive numbers and sterling season-long shooting split (51.3% from the field and 90.2% from the line) make him a decent guy to own for now as well as a top-tier stash in case one of Lowry or DeRozan ever gets hurt.
Wright might put up a dud on any given night -- like any backup -- but he's playing too well right now to be ignored. He's out there in 75% of Yahoo leagues and 90% on ESPN if you want to take a flier.
Drop Jordan Bell
Over our two-week holiday hiatus, Jordan Bell emerged as the hottest add in fantasy basketball, and now -- just as quickly -- he's become one of the most dropped guys across the industry.
The upside is still obvious in his month-long averages of 6.9 points, 5.3 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.1 steals, 1.3 blocks, and 1.6 turnovers over 14 contests, and shooting split of 59.7% from the field and 73.9% from the line, but the shine is fading. He's barely cracked 20 minutes in two of his six contests since returning to Golden State's bench on December 27th after seven consecutive starts, and that span includes a six-minute dud in which he did nothing but register a single block.
Dynasty owners should hold tight and hope for more minutes, but redrafters in standard leagues can't be expected to wait on a guy that's splitting time with Zaza Pachulia and JaVale McGee, while playing on a team with four megastars. Drop away if you are eyeing a hot free agent.