Fantasy Basketball: A Dozen Dimes, Week 20
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 Otto Porter Jr.
If I asked you to name the 25 most valuable players in fantasy hoops off the top of your head, you might not come up with Otto Porter Jr., but he currently ranks 22nd on the year in nine-category leagues and 16th over the last month.
Over that month (12 games), Porter Jr. has averaged 18.8 points, 1.7 three-pointers, 6.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.3 steals, 0.3 blocks, and 1.3 turnovers in 32.6 minutes per contest, while shooting 54.6% from the field and 90.3% from the free throw line.
He might not be elite in any one area, but he's decidedly solid in eight of the standard nine categories in fantasy hoops, and you can't say that about many guys. You can nitpick and say that he doesn't give you a lot of blocks, but that's literally the only thing resembling a hole in his line.
He's just as valuable as All-Stars Kemba Walker, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Joel Embiid, just without the name-brand appeal. If you can get him in exchange for someone who's better known for his name than his fantasy impact, jump on it.
Add Tomas Satoransky
Tomas Satoransky became a must-own fantasy player shortly after John Wall went on the shelf following knee surgery, but since he's only owned in 35% of Yahoo and ESPN leagues, we might as well talk about him again.
Seriously, dude's been the 28th-ranked player in nine-category leagues over the 12 games he's started in place of Wall, so he simply has to be owned and started everywhere at this point. His 11.5 points, 1.4 triples, 3.5 rebounds, 6.1 assists, 1.4 steals, 0.5 blocks, and 1.4 turnovers in 29.2 minutes per contest are certainly great, but who couldn't use a guy that's shooting 56.8% from the field and a perfect 21 for 21 from the charity stripe over the past month, as well?
If you have even the remotest need for a point guard, run out and grab him. Wall's out another three-to-five weeks, so Satoransky could very well still be starting for you throughout the fantasy playoffs.
Add Bobby Portis
Over that seven-game span, Portis has averaged 18.9 points, 2.0 triples, 6.3 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.3 blocks, and 0.9 turnovers in 25.6 minutes off the bench for the Chicago Bulls. He's not about to bump rookie Lauri Markkanen from the starting lineup, but he's getting more than enough minutes off the pine to be fantasy-relevant the rest of the way.
It'd be nice if he got a few more steals and blocks, but beggars can't be choosers this deep into the fantasy season. Portis is still out there in 50% of Yahoo leagues and 60% on ESPN, but he should be scooped up everywhere.
Add David Nwaba
The Bulls have officially shifted to a youth movement (or are tanking, if you prefer), benching veterans Robin Lopez and Justin Holiday to create more minutes for their young dudes. One of the main beneficiaries of that move is sophomore David Nwaba, who has started the last two games in place of Holiday.
Over those two games, Nwaba has averaged 17.5 points, 1.5 threes, 9.0 rebounds, 1.0 assist, 0.5 steals, 0.5 blocks, and 1.5 turnovers in a healthy 33.4 minutes per contest, while shooting 65.2% from the field and 2 for 4 from the free throw line.
That 72nd-ranked value in nine-category leagues might be a bit higher than what you can expect from Nwaba consistently going forward, but the opportunity looks like it'll be there. If you can stomach the ups and downs, he's available in 80% of Yahoo leagues and 90% on ESPN and is one of the hottest adds of the week.
Buy Zach LaVine
While we're talking about the youth movement in Chicago, Zach LaVine is taking over.
Over his last eight games, LaVine has been the 49th-ranked player in nine-category leagues, averaging 22.4 points, 2.4 triples, 4.4 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.3 blocks, and 1.5 turnovers in 30.1 minutes per contest, while shooting 43.3% from the field and 82.6% from the free throw line.
He's ramped up things fairly quickly in his first season back from an ACL tear, playing more than 30 minutes in six of his last seven contests. He's still not playing in back-to-back sets, something that probably won't change anytime soon, but that's just going to give you an in to acquiring him.
The Bulls would be wise to be cautious with LaVine down the stretch, but they are also going to want to see what they have in him before he enters restricted free agency this summer. He's pulling a lot of weight for his team right now and could be an early-round asset down the stretch of the fantasy season while doing so. Acquiring him comes with some risk, but the 22-year-old could very well be a league-winner if he plays every game outside of the occasional back-to-back the rest of the way.
Add Alex Len
Alex Len is the ultimate tease in fantasy hoops, putting together occasional stretches of multi-category dominance, only to disappear for several games like clockwork afterwards.
In other words, this recommendation comes with a caveat: yes, Len has been great over his last three, but he could very well vanish tomorrow.
Even with that in mind, however, it's hard not to add a guy who has started three contests in a row for the Phoenix Suns. He has averaged 13.0 points, 11.0 rebounds, 0.7 assists, 1.3 steals, 2.3 blocks, and 0.3 turnovers in 30.4 minutes per game in the process, while shooting 65.2% from the field and 47.4% from the charity stripe.
If Len could become just a tad more consistent, that mid-round value could be the norm for the 24-year-old. For this year, at least, Tyson Chandler has a sore neck and is missing more and more games lately. Chandler's chances of being shut down are fairly high on the lowly Suns, which could finally mean some consistent minutes -- and consistent fantasy value -- for Len.
He's out there in 70% of Yahoo leagues and 80% on ESPN if you want to give him a shot this time around.
Add Buddy Hield
Buddy Hield has had a very up-and-down season, but he's currently on an upswing coming out of the All-Star break.
Over his first two games back, Hield has averaged 20.0 points, 4.0 triples, 8.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.0 blocks, and 2.0 turnovers in 30.1 minutes per contest off Sacramento's bench, while shooting 53.3% from the field (without attempting a single free throw).
You probably can't expect that kind of early-round value on a consistent basis, but Hield's quietly been the 81st-ranked player in nine-category leagues over his last 15 contests and has the opportunity to really breakout on the lottery-bound Kings down the stretch.
He's available in 50% of Yahoo leagues and 80% on ESPN if you need a boost in scoring and threes, in particular.
Sell Dirk Nowitzki
It probably seems obvious that you should sell off old guys on bottom-feeding teams, but we should check in on Dirk Nowitzki right now anyway since his value is at such a peak.
Dirk's been simply fantastic lately, ranking 23rd in nine-category leagues since January 31st (eight games), with averages of 14.3 points, 2.3 triples, 7.3 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 0.8 steals, 1.3 blocks, and 0.8 turnovers in 26.6 minutes per contest, and a shooting split of 51.3% from the field and 93.3% from the free throw line.
He's talking about coming back for another season, but there's no denying that he's a shutdown candidate for this year at age 39 on the 18-42 Dallas Mavericks. If you can convince someone in your league that Dirk's likely to play out the string after only missing one game this season, it's probably safe to go ahead and move him, particularly if you can get someone who has more to play for as we approach the end of the year.
Add Wilson Chandler
Wilson Chandler hasn't been the most consistent fantasy asset this year, but he's on a heater right now and is worth owning while the going is this good.
Over his last four games, Chandler has been the 35th-ranked player in nine-category leagues, averaging 16.4 points, 2.0 triples, 6.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 0.8 steals, 1.2 blocks, and 0.8 turnovers in 36.3 minutes per contest, while shooting 50.7% from the field and 66.7% from the free throw line.
The return of Paul Millsap in one-to-two weeks will certainly eat into Chandler's high minutes, but for now, we might as well see where this goes. He's out there in 50% of Yahoo leagues and 60% on ESPN, if you're interested.
Add Nemanja Bjelica
Nemanja Bjelica hasn't really earned this add recommendation yet, but with Jimmy Butler out the next four-to-six weeks following a meniscus tear, Bjelica will have an opportunity to become fantasy-relevant as a fill-in starter for the Minnesota Timberwolves.
He was quiet in his first game in the role, posting only eight points, a triple, seven boards, and four assists on Saturday, but his 32.7 minutes in that contest were promising, especially since 'Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau is known for playing his starters so much.
And in five games as a starter this year, Bjelica has averaged 10.8 points, 1.8 threes, 7.0 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.4 steals, 0.0 blocks, and 1.0 turnover in a healthy 33.3 minutes per contest, while shooting 40.0% from the field and 71.4% from the free throw line.
If he can build on that, he could be one of the top adds this week. If you feel like taking a flier, he's still available in 85% of Yahoo leagues and over 95% on ESPN.
Add Trey Burke
It's hard to get too excited about anyone in the New York Knicks' guard rotation going forward, but Trey Burke just put up back-to-back 26-point performances, and we almost have no choice but to take notice.
Over that two-game span, Burke has averaged 26.0 points, 2.0 threes, 2.0 rebounds, 7.0 assists, 1.0 steal, 0.5 blocks, and 1.0 turnover in 28.1 minutes per contest, while shooting 53.7% from the field and 80.0% from the free throw line.
He, Emmanuel Mudiay, and Frank Ntilikina may trade off good games in no discernible pattern going forward, but Burke is worth a speculative add after two impressive outings. Just don't be surprised if he's a drop candidate a few days from now.
Drop Dwyane Wade
Wade's the 215th-ranked player in nine-category leagues on the season, and he has been the 328th-ranked player in his five games back in a Heat uniform, averaging 8.6 points, 0.2 threes, 5.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.6 blocks, and 3.0 turnovers in 22.1 minutes per contest over that span, while shooting 34.5% from the field and 66.7% from the line.
Despite those horrible numbers, he's still owned in nearly 60% of Yahoo leagues and 50% on ESPN. Give it a rest, you guys. There are literally hundreds of better options.