Fantasy Basketball: A Dozen Dimes, Week 15
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.
Sell Lou Williams
Lou Williams is playing out of his mind right now and is even garnering some All-Star buzz. While it's fun to ride along with this recent surge in fantasy, it's hard not to think that he has nowhere to go but down.
For that reason, you should be looking to sell high right now.
Sweet Lou has started the last seven games for the Los Angeles Clippers and he's been the fifth-ranked player in nine-category leagues over that span, averaging 31.3 points, 4.1 three-pointers, 2.1 rebounds, 5.7 assists, 2.4 steals, 0.3 blocks, and 3.3 turnovers in 37.4 minutes per game, while shooting 46.5% from the field and 93.9% from the free throw line.
The top-five ranking -- even over a limited sample -- is unprecedented for Williams, as he's only had four top-100 finishes in his 12 NBA seasons, with his 60th-ranked finish in 2009-10 being his overall peak.
He's been the seventh-ranked player over the last month and is now up to 22nd on the season, but he has admittedly benefited from being basically the only Clipper that's had any semblance of consistent health this season. He could very well be a top-50 guy from here on out and certainly has early-round upside, but it's not like he suddenly realized he's Stephen Curry overnight at age 31. There's bound to be a drop-off at some point.
If you can get a surefire, consistent early-round asset in exchange for Williams right now, you should jump on that.
Add Kelly Oubre Jr.
Kelly Oubre Jr. has been a decent late-round fantasy asset this year while coming off the bench for the Washington Wizards. He currently ranks 102nd in nine-category leagues through 46 games, and while that's probably reason enough for him to have higher ownership rates than 40% on Yahoo and 20% on ESPN, his recent play is what makes those low rates look particularly egregious.
Oubre Jr. has been the 80th-ranked player in nine-category leagues over the last month, 63rd over the last two weeks, and 52nd over the last seven days. Over his last seven games, he's averaged 16.3 points, 2.9 triples, 4.7 rebounds, 0.7 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.1 blocks, and 1.6 turnovers in a healthy 29.5 minutes per game, while shooting a sterling 57.4% from the field and 88.9% from the free throw line.
You'd like to see more help in assists or on the defensive end, but the points, threes, rebounds, percentages, and low turnovers make him worth the price of admission. Oubre Jr. has been playing well enough lately to deserve your attention, so give him a look if he's sitting there on your waiver wire.
Add DeMarre Carroll
DeMarre Carroll has maintained standard league value whenever he's been healthy this year, currently sitting as the 104th-ranked player in nine-category leagues. He's been particularly hot over the last couple weeks, too, ranking 31st over the last 14 days (six games).
Over that span, the ninth-year forward has averaged 16.8 points, 2.2 triples, 7.2 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.7 steals, 0.2 blocks, and 1.3 turnovers in 31.6 minutes per contest, while shooting 49.3% from the field and 81.8% from the line.
A 31-year-old on a lottery-bound team generally doesn't have much hope of productivity down the stretch, but the Brooklyn Nets don't have their pick this year, and thus have nothing to tank for. If Carroll can keep his recent hot play going, he'll probably need to be owned in more than 55% of Yahoo leagues and 45% on ESPN.
Add Al-Farouq Aminu
Al-Farouq Aminu is the 84th-ranked player in nine-category leagues on the season, but his modest scoring average of 9.9 points per game has kept him off most people's radars, as evidenced by his 45% ownership rate in Yahoo leagues and 20% on ESPN.
With the way he's played over his last five contests, however, those rates are starting to rise. Over that span, Aminu has been the 51st-ranked player in nine-category leagues, averaging 12.8 points, 2.4 triples, 7.6 rebounds, 1.0 assist, 1.0 steal, 0.6 blocks, and a mere 0.4 turnovers in 30.0 minutes per contest, while shooting 42.9% from the field and a perfect 4 for 4 from the charity stripe.
He's never going to get you a lot of points, but Aminu gets his fair share of boards while contributing well across the peripheral categories like threes, steals, and blocks. There's a good chance that he's a better asset than the last guy on your bench in 10- and 12-team leagues, so give him a glance if you're looking to shake things up.
Buy Aaron Gordon
Aaron Gordon was having a breakout season before a calf strain cost him seven games in December, but since his return on December 28th, he's fallen off a cliff.
If you look at his numbers before and after the injury, however, you'll notice that there's really only one thing torpedoing his ranking.
|First 26 games||29th||33.3||18.3||2.2||8.0||2.2||1.0||0.8||49.0%||74.3%||1.6|
|Last 11 games||207th||34.9||18.6||1.7||8.6||1.9||0.5||0.4||38.3%||71.8%||2.4|
The minutes are still very much there, as are most of the counting stats. What's killed Gordon's ranking over the last month has been his efficiency: he's seen a 10.7% dip in field goal percentage, a 2.5% drop from the line, and 0.8 more turnovers per contest.
Let's call these last 11 games a shooting slump and take the opportunity to buy low. Once Gordon's percentages rebound, he should be right back to posting early- to mid-round value on a regular basis. His early-season percentages and turnover average were much closer to his career averages prior to his calf injury, so he should be back up in that range before long.
Add Wayne Ellington
If you're in need of three-pointers and don't have Wayne Ellington on your roster, I don't know what to tell you.
He's averaging 3.0 triples per game on the season and 3.8 over the last month. Only Stephen Curry (4.9) and Lou Williams (4.1) have hit more long-range bombs per contest over their last 15 games, yet Ellington is owned in less than 40% of Yahoo leagues and 15% on ESPN. Go figure.
Over that 15-game span, he's also averaged 15.1 points, 3.9 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.2 blocks, and 0.9 turnovers in a healthy 33.3 minutes per contest off the Miami Heat's bench, while shooting 43.3% from the field and 70.0% from the line.
The threes are certainly a big part of his nine-category ranking of 87th during that period, but the scoring, rebounding, and low turnovers don't hurt either. He's definitely worth owning everywhere while he's this hot, and he also holds rest-of-season appeal as a three-point specialist. Grab him if you need more triples in your life.
Add Milos Teodosic
Milos Teodosic is potentially made of glass, playing just 18 of a possible 45 games in his rookie year for the Clippers, mostly due to a nagging plantar fascia injury. That said, when he's been on the floor, he's been pretty solid from a fantasy perspective.
Over his five games back since his latest absence (all starts), the 30-year-old rookie has averaged 11.2 points, 2.8 triples, 2.8 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.0 blocks, and 2.6 turnovers in 28.2 minutes per contest, with a shooting split of 47.6% from the field and a perfect 2-for-2 from the free throw line.
The low points, rebounds, and defensive stats have kept his ranking in nine-categories down to 103rd over that span, but the threes, assists, and solid percentages make him well worth owning if you're in need of a point guard. He's currently available in 70% of Yahoo leagues and 85% on ESPN, so he's not all that hard to acquire if you're interested.
Add Dillon Brooks
Dillon Brooks has started 37 consecutive games for the Memphis Grizzlies and averaged a healthy 27.4 minutes per contest on the season, but he hasn't exactly lit the world on fire as the 223rd-ranked player in nine-category leagues. Over the last week, however, we've seen some signs of life out of the rookie.
Over his last four contests, Brooks has been the 56th-ranked player in nine-category leagues, averaging 17.0 points, 3.0 threes, 4.3 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.5 steals, 0.0 blocks, and 2.3 turnovers per contest, while shooting 60.0% from the field and 72.7% from the free throw line.
He could wind back up in the fantasy cellar by this time next week, but he's worth a look for now while he's hot, considering his role is so safe and the opportunity will be there for him to sustain this production. He's out there in over 80% of Yahoo leagues and 95% on ESPN. Fair warning: Brooks is dealing with an illness and may sit Monday.
Buy Robert Covington
Robert Covington has been having a great season overall, coming in as the 35th-ranked player in nine-category leagues through 40 games played. He has fallen off a bit in the last little while, however, ranking 150th over the last two weeks and 117th over the last month.
Focusing in on the last month (11 games), Covington's averages of 8.6 points, 1.5 triples, 4.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.5 steals, 0.3 blocks, and 1.6 turnovers, and shooting split of 40.0% from the field and 88.2% from the charity stripe have been more or less in line with his season numbers with the exception of his points (down from 13.4 points per game overall), threes (2.8), and field goal percentage (41.9%).
RoCo is a notoriously streaky player, and his next surge is likely just around the corner. His 31.1 minutes per game over the last month line up with his 32.4 on the season, so the opportunity continues to be there despite the cold spell. Once Covington's shot starts falling again, he'll be right back to being an early-round asset, so take advantage of this buy-low window while you can.
Add T.J. McConnell
Over his last four, in particular, he's been balling out, averaging 14.0 points, 0.8 triples, 3.8 rebounds, 5.5 assists, 2.8 steals, 0.3 blocks, and 2.3 turnovers in 29.1 minutes per contest, while shooting 57.1% from the field and 71.4% from the free throw line. That line has made him the 28th-ranked player over the last two weeks, and he's absolutely worth your attention if you need some points, assists, or steals from your point guard position.
J.J. Redick is out the next week or two with a leg injury, so McConnell should continue to see consistent minutes for a surging Sixers team for the next little while. If you're in one of the 70% of Yahoo leagues or 85% on ESPN in which he's still available, give him some consideration.
Add Larry Nance Jr.
Larry Nance Jr. might be coming off the bench for the Los Angeles Lakers and fighting with Julius Randle, Kyle Kuzma, and Brook Lopez for minutes, but he's been an early-round asset in fantasy hoops over the last couple weeks and deserves your attention.
Over his last six games, Nance Jr. has been the 37th-ranked player in nine-category leagues, averaging 10.0 points, 0.0 threes, 8.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.8 steals, 1.3 blocks, and 1.0 turnover in 26.5 minutes per contest, while shooting 60.5% from the field and 66.7% from the line.
He could very well disappear on any given night in LA's crowded frontcourt, but he's worth owning while he's rolling like this. Also, it shouldn't be overlooked that he ranks 92nd on the season as a whole, so he's likely a decent bet for at least late-round value going forward no matter what happens in the rotation.
Nance Jr. is currently available in 55% of Yahoo leagues and 80% on ESPN and is a quality add thanks to his ability to grab boards, hit shots, and fill it up on the defensive end.
Drop Zach Randolph
Well, we're at that point even sooner than expected. Over the last two weeks (six games), Randolph has been the 349th-ranked player in nine-category leagues, averaging 9.3 points, 0.5 threes, 6.3 rebounds, 0.8 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.0 blocks, and 3.2 turnovers in only 22.4 minutes per contest, while shooting 34.4% from the field and 90.0% from the free throw line. He's still starting for the Kings, but he's playing fewer minutes than both youngsters Willie Cauley-Stein (31.1) and Skal Labissiere (24.2).
Kings head coach Dave Joerger has said that he plans to rest two veterans in every game going forward, so you can't even expect to have the 36-year-old Z-Bo available in the contests in which he's healthy. No one needs that headache, so hopefully you took our advice and sold him for something useful a few weeks back. If not, go ahead and cut him loose now and grab yourself a hot free agent.