A Dozen Dimes: Volume 19
For most default fantasy basketball leagues, the trade deadline has passed and we’re heading into the last week before the fantasy playoffs. Seeing as how so few leagues can still make trades at this point, the remaining Dimes pieces from here on out will essentially take the form of your standard waiver wire article, instead of the usual one-stop shop for buys, sell, adds, and drops.
The focus will be on players available in at least 40 percent of the leagues out there. Pay close attention to schedules and your team’s needs when using your valuable adds in these last few weeks. Those extra games and counting stats can go a long way in a close matchup and every little inch counts come playoff time.
These are presented more or less in the order of importance, but your needs in terms of positions and categories can shift things considerably. If you have specific questions about who I’d take in your situation, hit me up on Twitter or head on over to numberFire’s NBA Questions section and I’ll do my best to stay on top of replying in both spots.
Let’s go into the playoffs strong!
Matt Barnes is making a case for universal ownership, posting early-round value over the past month and top-five value over his last eight games. During that span, he has put up a stellar 9-category line with averages of 17.3 points, 3.3 three-pointers, 5.9 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.3 steals, 0.6 blocks, and 1.4 turnovers, while shooting .570 from the field, .473 from deep, and 1.000 from the line.
I mentioned Barnes in Volume 17 as a speculative add and he has certainly delivered since then. Guys like Danny Granger and Jared Dudley are on the roster and could conceivably challenge him for minutes and touches, but it really doesn’t seem like that will happen at this point. As it becomes less and less likely that we’ll see J.J. Redick anytime soon, and as Jamal Crawford continues to miss time, Barnes looks locked in for solid value for the foreseeable future.
D.J. Augustin's assent to relevance as a member of the Chicago Bulls has been one of the most interesting stories from this season. The Pacers let him walk this past summer without a peep, and the Raptors cut him in December after 10 games of inconsequential output. Fast-forward to March, and Augustin is the leading scorer for the Bulls since the Deng trade. That sentence alone would seem like proof of tanking, only that the Bulls have gone 21-10 over that time with Augustin representing a sizeable part of the reason for their success (he's number 42 on our NBA Player Rankings with a nERD of 4.1).
While Augustin represented a hot pickup in fantasy in January, his February was a bit inconsistent, and his ownership rate fluctuated as a result. He’s currently available in over half the leagues out there, despite putting up averages of 20.2 points, 3.0 assists, and 2.4 treys per contest over his last five, while shooting .517 from the floor, .462 from deep, and .964 from the line over that span. Some people are turned off by the fact that he comes off the bench behind Kirk Hinrich, but he has still been putting up 30.2 minutes per game in March, and is a must-own player at this point in the season. Bump that outlook up even higher if injury-prone Hinrich goes down at any point.
Patrick Beverley has been putting up solid value in fantasy leagues lately, despite generally low scoring outputs. Over the past month, he has posted borderline early-round value on the strength of 11.2 points, 3.1 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.8 steals, 0.5 blocks, 1.9 three-pointers, and only 1.0 turnover in 12 games, while shooting .438 from the field, .442 from long range, and .731 from the charity stripe.
He doesn’t really give you the assists that you might want from the point guard position, but the elite defense and three-point shooting is nothing to balk at. The Rockets are absolutely rolling right now and Beverley is likely to keep his foot on the gas. He’s not only worth rolling out there this week, but he also makes for a decent rest-of-season add as well. Jeremy Lin has a good game from time to time, but the starting spot is Beverley's and he doesn't seem to be in danger of losing it any time soon.
We’re a long way removed from the days of “Vinsanity”, but Vince Carter is still plenty relevant in fantasy leagues. Over the last month, he's been a solid top-50 play as the sixth man for the Mavericks. In 13 games during that time, he has posted averages of 14.2 points, 2.3 three-pointers, 4.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.2 steals, 0.4 blocks, and a mere 0.9 turnovers per contest.
His .407 shooting from the field over that period leaves a little to be desired, but the .435 from deep and .841 from the line aren’t too shabby. If your fantasy team is in need of points, threes, steals, or veteran leadership, bring in Vince and ride the wave.
Larry Drew’s coin-flip rotations are generally fantasy kryptonite, but this week owners will have no choice but to give every healthy guy donning a Bucks uniform a long look when it comes to making the most out of their adds and drops. The Bucks are the only team playing five games in the final week before the default fantasy playoffs, in what seems like some kind of a cruel joke. Basically, everyone is in play, for better or worse.
I couldn’t fault you for adding any Buck, given the circumstances, but there are very few of them that I’m willing to recommend with a clean conscience. O.J. Mayo? No thank you. John Henson? Started the year off great, but has been a non-factor lately. Giannis Antetokounmpo? Sky-high potential, but has not been producing. Ramon Sessions? Sure, but scoring is basically all you’re getting from him.
It took me a while to get to the point there, but all you need to know is that Adrien at least represents a Buck trending in the right direction. In his eight games since coming to Milwaukee in a trade with the Bobcats, he has averaged 9.0 points, 8.9 rebounds, 0.9 blocks, and shot .500 from the floor and .800 from the line.
It’s not mind-shattering, but extrapolating that over a five-game week makes him worth a look. To make him even more enticing, he’s put up 14.3 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks, while shooting .619 from the floor and .895 from the line over his last three. That’s good enough for early-round value, which is certainly deserving of your attention. Hey, why not?
Maurice Harkless showed flashes of being a very interesting fantasy player late last season, when the Magic were deep into developing their young guys. This season has been a little less encouraging, as Harkless has been experiencing a bit of a sophomore slump mired in inconsistency.
He has gotten a bit of a break recently though, due to injuries to guys like Arron Afflalo and Victor Oladipo. He has played well in his last six games for the Magic (all starts), in which he has averaged 14.3 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.8 steals, 1.2 blocks, 1.7 threes, and 1.3 turnovers per game, while shooting .465 from the field, .417 from deep, and .625 from the line.
The shooting isn’t always there, but you can count on him filling the stat sheet until the Magic get back to full strength. Even then, he might have earned more minutes and a better opportunity. Afflalo is back in the lineup and Oladipo is a game-time decision on Monday, but I'd still check out Harkless until he proves not to be useful.
Terrence Ross has been a top-20 play over the last couple weeks and is absolutely en fuego from deep right now. The 15.8 points with .574 shooting from the field and 1.000 from the line are certainly nice, but it’s the 4.0 three-pointers per game at a purely ridiculous clip of .645 that makes him impossible to ignore at this time.
Ross has been having a year of extreme highs and lows this season, but this current stretch is one of his best yet (51-point explosion notwithstanding) because of the accurate shooting numbers. He’s still available in three quarters of the leagues out there and really shouldn’t be, considering the Raps play four games in each of the next four weeks. His starting job is safe and he’s locked into the minutes that come with it. He’s a no-brainer at this point, at least while he’s rolling along at this rate.
Kelly Olynyk has been doing a lot with a little over his last four games. In a mere 22.6 minutes per game over that span, he has put up averages of 17.8 points, 1.5 three-pointers, 6.5 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game, while shooting .595 from the floor, .600 from long range, and .833 from the free-throw line.
The Celtics’ frontcourt is rather crowded, and the Canadian rookie has had some issues with shooting and turnovers all season. He’s peaking at a pretty good time for fantasy owners in need of a big, however, and is worth adding to see if his recent play is sustainable. The fact that it’s a four-game week for the Celtics doesn’t hurt either.
Any time Amar’e Stoudemire and fantasy basketball are mentioned in the same sentence this year, it kind of feels like the sky is falling. It’s impossible to deny, however, that he has been effective over his last five games (the last four of which have been starts).
In those games, he has shown flashes of his former self, averaging 16.2 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks per game to go along with .596 shooting from the field and .867 from the line. The chances of his knees holding up or this play continuing are probably not all that high, but the mid-round value he’s posted over the last week is nothing to shake a stick at. He’s someone to consider adding until the next random DNP.
Kyle O’Quinn has been a mid-round value over the last few weeks, largely due to an increased role since the buyout of Glen Davis. Over his last seven games, he has averaged a noteworthy 8.7 points, 7.7 rebounds, 1.1 steals, and 1.6 blocks per game, while shooting .491 from the field and .833 from the line.
The scoring doesn’t tip the scale, but the solid rebounding and defensive counting stats make him a decent add. He randomly started in place of a surging Tobias Harris on Saturday, despite the fact that they ended up playing their regular allocation of minutes (Harris at 32 and O’Quinn at 18). This was likely an isolated incident, but O’Quinn still looks poised to turn decent value in his limited bench role and you might want to consider adding him as the Magic shift to full-blown development mode to end the season.
There are very few basketball players left in Philly that would play at all on most teams in the NBA, but someone has to score some points when the Sixers play games. Lately, one of those players has been Tony Wroten.
Wroten has averaged 17.7 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 1.6 steals over his last seven games. Despite this, he still sits outside of standard league value, mostly due to the high turnover numbers (2.9 per game over that span) and lackluster shooting splits (.484 from the field, .091 from deep, and .700 from the line).
He's always been a guy to add when he starts, but now he's even producing from a bench role. If you don’t care a lot about threes or turnovers, or if you’re in the market for points or steals, Wroten is worth a look in a four-game week.
Chris Douglas-Roberts has started in place of the injured Gerald Henderson for the last three games and has made the most out of the opportunity. He’s put up averages of 13.7 points, 2.7 treys, 4.3 rebounds, 2.3 steals, and a negligible 0.3 turnovers over that stretch, while shooting .519 from the field, .615 from three-point range, and .500 from the line.
News on Henderson’s status has been scarce and there’s no indication that he’s that close to a return. CDR should continue to hold value in the starting role until Henderson gets back and is a good add for the Bobcats’ upcoming four-game week. There might be better longterm options out there, but considering CDR is almost universally available, he makes for an under-the-radar add during a week that your wire might be otherwise picked clean.