A Dozen Dimes: Volume 21
Another week, another 12 streaming options for your fantasy playoffs. If your league follows the most common default settings, you’re probably down to the semi-finals right now, so congrats on making the Final Four! If your playoffs are just starting this week, best of luck to you. If you’re in a consolation round, here’s hoping you can avoid whatever unfortunate and embarrassing thing your league makes the loser do.
Regardless of what situation you’re in, the goal right now is to win at any cost. Here are some guys that are available in most leagues that could help put you over the top this week. As always, I’m trying not to be too repetitive, so some options from last week and the week before are still good. Make sure you sift through them as well before using your invaluable roster moves at this critical juncture in your season.
As always, these are in relative order of importance. Pay close attention to how many games each team plays this week to maximize your return on your adds, considering things like the fact that the Warriors only play twice (sorry Steph Curry owners) and the Blazers go a whopping five times. Checking out Week 22 on basketballmonster.com’s Schedule Grid is always a good place to start. Let’s get down to business.
J.J. Redick could return this week after more than a month and a half on the shelf with a bulging disc in his back. His return date has not been set, but he practiced on Friday and appears to be on the comeback trail. Monday night’s tilt against his former team, the Bucks, seems like it could be a good time for his 15.7 points, 2.1 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 2.1 treys, .459 shooting from the field, .914 shooting from the line, and overall top-60 value on the season to return. Stash him if you can manage it and you could stand to reap some major benefits. At the very least, monitor his status for tonight with your finger on the trigger.
With Kyrie Irving out for at least another week (and possibly the season), Jarrett Jack is a very hot pickup right now. Jack has been in the starting lineup for the Cavs since the beginning of February, but had done little with the opportunity. In the four games that Kyrie has missed since his bicep injury occurred, however, Jack has posted solid mid-round value on the strength of 17.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 6.0 assists, and 1.3 three-pointers to go along with .528 shooting from the field, .500 from deep, and .750 from the line. The Cavs go four times this week and Jack should be owned for all of them as he’s coming off a 31-point, 10-assist performance on 13 of 19 shooting on Sunday night against the Knicks.
Another Cavalier benefiting from the absence of Kyrie Irving is Dion Waiters. If you’re looking for scoring, Waiters’ 23.8 points per game over his last four make him a no-brainer. Add in 3.8 rebounds, 6.3 assists, 1.0 steal, and 1.5 long balls over that span and he becomes an even more enticing option. The 3.0 turnovers and .652 free-throw shooting are a bit of a drag, but if you can take the hit there, he’s worthy of your attention. He’s getting snatched up a lot for his four-game week, so take a look to see if he’s still available in your league before he’s gone.
Who? Yeah, Gorgui Dieng is swinging fantasy championships. Let that sink in for a moment. The same guy who has averaged 2.6 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 0.6 blocks in 8.7 minutes per game this season won many a matchup last week when he dropped 22 points and 21 rebounds on the Rockets. In the four games regular Wolves starter Nikola Pekovic has missed with an ankle issue, Dieng has put up top-20 value on averages of 12.5 points, 13.0 rebounds, 1.3 steals, and 1.5 blocks per game, while shooting .581 from the field and .737 from the line. Pek is getting in some light practice work, but each game he misses during the Wolves’ upcoming four-game week is a game you should feel confident about playing Dieng.
Ah, the joys of the NBA homestretch, when random injuries make way for odd fantasy stories. Enter Drew Gooden, an 11-year NBA vet who didn’t have a job until March 1st of this year, when the Wizards brought him in for some frontcourt relief after losing Nene for four to six weeks with a sprained MCL. Trevor Booker has been starting in Nene’s place, but Gooden has been coming off the Wizards’ bench and putting up better value. Over his last five games in particular, he has excelled with averages of 16.6 points, 7.6 rebounds, 0.8 steals, and 0.6 threes, while shooting .611 from the field and a perfect 1.000 from the line. He’s worth riding in the Wizards’ four-game week until the wheels inevitably fall off.
Part of me can’t help but feel a little relieved that this season will soon end and I’ll no longer have to find ways to explain how much of a mess Mike D’Antoni’s rotations are for the Lakers this year and how nearly impossible it is to predict who will be valuable for the team in any given week. Jordan Hill pretty much epitomizes this conundrum. He has had a few dominant stretches this year, but has all but physically disappeared every time after, without fail. He has started and come off the bench, has played anywhere from 5 to 35 minutes, and has simply been unreliable as a fantasy option. Well, here we go again. He’s posting early-round value over the last two games with averages of 18.5 points, 13.5 rebounds, 2.5 blocks, and .591 shooting from the field. He’s back in the starting lineup and Pau Gasol could miss some time due to illness, meaning more touches for Hill. He’s a risky play, but could be huge in the Lakers four-game week. Then again, maybe D'Antoni dusts off Chris Kaman and he becomes the one to own. Who knows? Check ‘em both out and flip a coin.
Speaking of the Lakers' up-and-down fantasy season, Nick Young has returned from a knee injury that kept him sidelined for about a month and is scoring in bunches. In two games back off the bench, he has scored 23.5 points and 3.0 three-pointers in 29.8 minutes per game, while shooting .455 from the field, .462 from deep, and .846 from the line. Swaggy P won’t give you much else other than scoring and long balls, but if you’re looking for those things, he makes for a good option in a four-game week. Kobe Bryant is officially ruled out for the season and the Lakers won’t sniff the playoffs this year, so guys like Young will be given full licence to chuck at will. Have at it.
Avery Bradley recently missed over a month of basketball due to an ankle injury, but has come back with a vengeance. In his last three games since rejoining the starting lineup in particular, he has looked very sharp. In a very healthy 37.1 minutes per game, he has averaged 20.7 points, 3.7 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.3 steals, 0.3 blocks, and an outstanding 3.7 three-pointers per contest, while shooting .543 from the field, .524 from long range, and a perfect 1.000 from the charity stripe in the process. The Celtics only go three times this week, but Bradley’s recent top-20 surge should still be worth the add.
The Sixers are currently rostering players that even the most intense NBA diehards have trouble recognizing, but someone has to rack up stats in NBA games and that man has been Henry Sims over the last two contests. During the Sixers’ 23rd- and 24th-straight losses, Sims managed to average a dominant 17.0 points, 14.0 rebounds, 1.0 block, .560 shooting from the field, and a perfect 1.000 from the line. He’s had a couple other double-digit scoring and rebounding games this month and there’s little reason to believe the Sixers won’t continue to lean on him as they do everything they can to lose the rest of their games and get a top pick in this year’s loaded draft. At the very least, feel free to give him a go until he falls back down to Earth and realizes he’s Henry frickin’ Sims.
Samuel Dalembert / Devin Harris
Much like how Drew Gooden is turning back the clock with his recent fantasy relevance, Samuel Dalembert is suddenly putting up early-round value over the past week. Over his last three games in particular, Sammy D has averaged 7.7 points, 13.0 rebounds, and 3.7 blocks per contest. He’s the starting center on a Mavs team that is fighting for a playoff spot, so the opportunity will be there for him to continue dominating in the boards and blocks department. The Mavs have only three games this week, but if Dalembert can keep this up, he might put up enough rebounds and swats to make a difference. Give him a long look. Also, while we're on the topic of the Mavs, it's worth noting that Jose Calderon took a shot to the nose on Sunday and could miss some time, clearing the way for Devin Harris. I don't necessarily trust the guy to produce though, particularly in a three-game week. Keep an eye on him though, at the very least.
Adding Omer Asik should be done with extreme caution, as his value hinges entirely on whether or not Dwight Howard manages to return from his ankle injury tonight to face the Bobcats. If he doesn’t, there’s little reason to think the Rockets would bother bringing him back to face the hapless Sixers on Thursday either. In any game that Dwight ends up sitting, Asik makes for a great streaming option at the center position. In his last three games as a starter, Asik has been a mid-round value play on 11.0 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 2.3 blocks per game, with .542 shooting from the field thrown in for good measure. Dwight’s return would make Asik instantly droppable, but he’s certainly worth monitoring until we get a final word on Dwight’s status later today.
Mo Williams / Dorell Wright / Thomas Robinson
The Blazers go five times this week, so go ahead and rejoice if you own Damian Lillard, Nicolas Batum, Wesley Matthews, or Robin Lopez. If you’re a LaMarcus Aldridge owner, no one will fault you for reciting all your favorite curse words in close succession over the possibility that LMA misses all five.
If you’re in the streaming game, your options are pretty limited here, unfortunately. Dorell Wright, Mo Williams, and Thomas Robinson are the main sparsely-owned guys left in Portland’s regular rotation, but they’re all inconsistent with borderline standard-league value. Wright is currently starting for Aldridge and would be the most enticing pick for five games out of the bunch, followed by Williams, and then Robinson. It’s not pretty, but five games of just about anyone could positively impact your counting stats this week, so it’ll be hard to look away from that trio if they’re still sitting on your wire. Don’t be afraid to roll the dice.