Fantasy Basketball: A Dozen Dimes, Week 18
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 Josh Richardson
Josh Richardson is one of those players in fantasy that makes you do a double take every time you look at his ownership rates. As of right now, he's only 75% owned in Yahoo leagues and 60% on ESPN, despite being the 56th-ranked player in nine-category leagues on the season and 27th over the last month.
Guys, what gives?
J-Rich has been particularly scorching over his last eight games, averaging 18.1 points, 2.5 three-pointers, 2.5 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.3 steals, 1.3 blocks, and 1.5 turnovers in 34.9 minutes per contest, while shooting 53.4% from the field and 78.9% from the free throw line. If you insist on finding a flaw in that solid nine-category line, I suppose you could say the rebounds are a bit low, but everything else is at or well above league average, including elite contributions in threes, steals, and blocks.
Why are there so many leagues where people are willing to let a player like that just sit on the waiver wire? Because he had such a modest average draft position of 183.5 and a slow start to the season? Because he doesn't fill it up as much in the high-volume counting stats like points, rebounds, and assists? Because people don't like winning?
If you're playing in a league that's the least bit competitive, Richardson is rightfully owned. Just in case his owner is sleeping on just how valuable he is for his contributions in just about every standard fantasy category, however, you should take a shot at trying to acquire him.
The return of Dwyane Wade to Miami might make the Richardson owner in your league nervous, but J-Rich is just too damn good to let a 36-year-old D-Wade eat into his production. He's a consistent mid-round value with early-round upside going forward, and if you can get him in exchange for a more household name with a lower ceiling, you should do so.
Add Michael Beasley
Beasley has flirted with standard league fantasy value all season, but he's been particularly enticing when starting. Over nine starts for the New York Knicks, Supercool Beas has averaged 19.9 points, 0.6 triples, 6.2 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 0.3 steals, 0.9 blocks, and 2.8 turnovers in 29.1 minutes per contest, while shooting 54.0% from the field, 45.5% from long range, and 82.8% from the free throw line.
In his two games since joining the starting lineup for what we assume is the rest of the season, he has held to those numbers quite well, averaging 18.5 points, 10.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.5 steals, 0.5 blocks, and 0.5 turnovers in 29.9 minutes per contest, while shooting 51.7% from the field and a perfect 7-for-7 from the charity stripe.
He's been on and off fantasy rosters all season, but he's still available in 40% of Yahoo leagues and 50% on ESPN. If you're looking for someone who has top-50 upside the rest of the way, take a gander for Beasley on your wire.
Add D.J. Augustin
Augustin has been solid in his last two starts for the Magic, but he's actually been pretty good over the last couple weeks as well, ranking 77th in nine-category leagues over his last six games. Over that span, he's averaged 12.5 points, 1.3 triples, 2.7 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 1.3 steals, and 1.0 turnover in 25.4 minutes per contest, while shooting 41.1% from the field and 91.3% from the free throw line.
It's worth noting that fellow journeyman point guard Shelvin Mack outplayed Augustin on Saturday, and this could very well end up being a timeshare. That said, Augustin has the inside track for value with a solid few weeks of production under his belt and the two consecutive starts.
If you're looking for help at point guard and the upside that comes with such a starting gig, Augustin is available in 70% of Yahoo leagues and 85% on ESPN.
Add Dewayne Dedmon
Dewayne Dedmon jumped into the Atlanta Hawks' starting lineup on Sunday and went off for 20 points on 7-for-9 shooting from the field and 5-for-6 from the line, while adding a triple, 13 rebounds, an assist, 3 steals, and a block. Head coach Mike Budenholzer said after the game that the team will probably stick with the new starting lineup, which means great things for Dedmon's fantasy value going forward.
On the year, Dedmon is the 91st-ranked player in nine-category leagues, but he's been really coming on over his last four games. Over that span, he's been the 45th-ranked player in nine-category leagues, averaging 10.5 points, 1.3 threes, 5.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.5 steals, 1.0 block, and 1.0 turnover per game, while shooting a red-hot 57.1% from the field and 83.3% from the free throw line.
He won't give you a ton of anything, but the solid percentages and low turnovers are a good constant for one of the last spots on your bench, and the scattered points, rebounds, defensive stats, and triples don't hurt either. Dedmon's currently unowned in nearly 70% of Yahoo leagues and 80% on ESPN, but shouldn't really be available anywhere after Sunday's performance.
Add Bojan Bogdanovic
Bojan Bogdanovic has held late-round fantasy value for much of the year, but he's been flirting with early-round returns over the last couple weeks.
Over his last six games, Bogdanovic has been the 23rd-ranked player in nine-category leagues, averaging 20.0 points, 3.0 triples, 3.7 boards, 1.8 assists, 1.0 steal, 0.3 blocks, and 1.3 turnovers in 32.4 minutes per contest, while shooting a blistering 54.3% from the field and 86.7% from the free throw line.
He's ranked more modestly on the season at 117th, but he is locked into a starting role in Indiana, and gives owners plenty of threes (1.9 per game on the year), solid percentages (47.1% from the field, 84.4% from the line), and low turnovers (1.2) even at the worst of times. He should be owned in more than 50% of Yahoo leagues and 35% on ESPN as it is, but those rates look particularly egregious when he's this hot.
Buy Isaiah Thomas
Isaiah Thomas' value has been in the toilet for most of the season.
He missed Cleveland's first 36 games with a back issue, he played like and talked a lot of crap over his 15 games in a Cavaliers uniform, then got unceremoniously shipped to the Los Angeles Lakers at the trade deadline, where he'll have to share minutes with polarizing rookie Lonzo Ball, and word is he will come off the bench until further notice.
In other words, there's nowhere for IT's value to go but up.
The hip injury has obviously sapped some of Thomas' superpowers, but we're only a year removed from him being a fringe MVP candidate in Boston, and he should have plenty of opportunity to shoot himself back into value with high usage on the Lakers, regardless of whether he starts, comes off the bench, or plays right alongside Lonzo.
In his first game in purple and gold, Thomas scored 22 points, while adding 6 assists, 1 steal, and 4 triples in over 30 minutes of action off the bench, and that could be a decent sign of things to come.
We saw just how high IT's ceiling can be last year, when he was the 11th-ranked player in nine-category leagues, so he is a worthy risk to buy low on now while there's still so much stink on him. He'll be doing everything he can to revive his value in the second half of the season before going into unrestricted free agency this summer, so owners willing to take on his baggage could stand to benefit quite a bit.
Add Dragan Bender
Over Bender's last five games (including four consecutive starts), he's averaging 15.4 points, 2.8 triples, 6.8 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 0.2 steals, 0.6 blocks, and 2.2 turnovers per contest, with a shooting split of 53.8% from the field and 87.5% from the free throw line. That's good enough to be the 55th-ranked player in nine-category leagues over that span.
Bender has had opportunities to start at other points in the season (Chriss has been a rollercoaster ride of slumps, injuries, and suspensions), but he never really rose to the occasion before now. If he can keep this going, he's about to become a very hot add in fantasy hoops, so give him a look if you're in one of the 90% of Yahoo leagues or over 95% on ESPN where he's available.
Add Josh Jackson
Another young player that's tearing it up in Phoenix is rookie Josh Jackson.
Jackson has started the last six games for the Suns and is the 63rd-ranked player in nine-category leagues over that span, averaging 18.8 points, 1.0 three, 6.7 boards, 1.5 assists, 1.0 steal, 1.7 blocks, and 2.3 turnovers in a healthy 32.0 minutes per contest, while shooting 48.5% from the field and 64.3% from the free throw line.
Unfortunately for Jackson's long-term value, the Suns' recent acquisition of Elfrid Payton probably makes him the odd man out in the Suns' starting five when they're at full strength. With Payton as the team's new starting point guard, Devin Booker can shift back to his more natural position at shooting guard, while small forward T.J. Warren continues to hold down his spot at the three, blocking Jackson there.
For now, however, Booker is sidelined with a hip injury and Jackson can continue to start in his place. For however long last year's fourth overall pick can keep getting the minutes, it looks like he'll be worth owning in standard leagues. He's out there in 50% of Yahoo leagues and 60% on ESPN, if you want to take a flier.
Sell Danilo Gallinari
Over the five games he's played since his return, Gallinari has been the 17th-ranked player in nine-category leagues, averaging 21.0 points, 2.6 threes, 5.6 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.4 blocks, and 0.6 turnovers in 31.5 minutes per contest, while shooting 52.2% from the field and 95.7% from the free throw line.
If you held onto Gallo through the injury or scooped him up off the waiver wire around his return, you're enjoying this little stretch. Don't rest on your laurels, however, as Gallinari always seems to find a way to get hurt. He's only played 16 of a possible 54 games for the Clippers this year, and has only topped 63 games in a season twice since his career started in 2008-09.
If someone in your league is enamored with the Rooster's new starring role, see if you can offload him for a sturdier player of similar value. There's always the chance that he plays out the string, but history suggests otherwise.
Add Dwight Powell
Over those five contests, Powell has been the 29th-ranked player in nine-category leagues, averaging 16.0 points, 8.8 boards, 1.6 assists, 1.0 steal, 0.4 blocks, and 1.2 turnovers in 28.7 minutes per game, while shooting 66.7% from the field and 87.0% from the free throw line.
He can be had in 70% of Yahoo leagues and 90% on ESPN and is worth a look while he's rolling like this. The eventual return of Nerlens Noel might take some cookies from Powell's cookie jar, but Rick Carlisle hasn't really shown any faith in Noel at any other point this season, so there's no real reason to believe that he'd start to now.
Add Josh Hart
Josh Hart has started at point guard for the Lakers over their last five games and played fairly well while doing so.
Over that span, he's been the 31st-ranked player in nine-category leagues, averaging 12.6 points, 2.6 triples, 9.2 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.0 steal, 0.4 blocks, and 1.4 turnovers in 33.4 minutes per contest, while shooting 59.5% from the field and 75.0% from the free throw line. Apart from the healthy helping of triples, Hart's high rebounding and shooting rates have been great bonuses for anyone who's already picking him up.
He's still out there in 75% of Yahoo leagues and 80% on ESPN if you haven't yet. Just be aware that it's only a matter of time before the newly-acquired Isaiah Thomas and the sidelined Lonzo Ball (knee) eat into Hart's minutes and push him back to the fringe of fantasy-relevance.
For now, however, giddy up.
Drop Avery Bradley
Avery Bradley has been one of the biggest busts in fantasy hoops this year. After a 57th-ranked finish in nine-category leagues last season with the Boston Celtics, Bradley has been the 217th-ranked player during the 2017-18 campaign, spent mostly with the Detroit Pistons.
And things haven't been that much better since he moved from the Pistons to the Los Angeles Clippers in the Blake Griffin deal a couple weeks ago, either. In his four games as a Clipper, Bradley has been the 191st-ranked player in nine-category leagues, averaging 8.5 points, no triples, 5.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.0 steal, 0.3 blocks, and 1.5 turnovers in 28.7 minutes per game, while shooting 47.2% from the field and without attempting a single free throw.
It was scoring, triples, steals, and abnormally high rebounding numbers that made him so valuable last season, but so far this year, you can't really count on him to produce any of those things consistently.
If you're eyeing a hot free agent in a standard-sized league, don't hold onto Bradley just because he was a mid-round guy last year. Those days look to be a thing of the past.