Fantasy Basketball: A Dozen Dimes, Volume 12
We are currently on our third-string writer (me) here at numberFire with Russell Peddle and Bryan Mears both out for the short term. Don’t worry though, they’ll be back sooner rather than later! In the mean time, I’ll try to match their production with a solid Dozen Dimes today. Let’s get started.
Add Dion Waiters
Waiters has picked it up after being traded to the Thunder, and they are using him as the primary scorer of the bench. In his last four games, Waiters is averaging almost 14 shots per game and is scoring at a solid rate (15, 16, 21, 16). He has also been very active on defense, averaging 0.75 blocks and 2.25 steals over that stretch. This is solid production and even when Waiters inevitably cools down a bit, he seems to have a big enough role on the Thunder to be owned in almost all 12-man leagues. Don’t expect him to keep this up fully, but he is showing improvement.
Add Matt Barnes
This is likely just short-term value, but it’s short-term value you can’t miss. Barnes has been on fire from deep lately and is putting up numbers you want on your fantasy team. He’ll give you points, rebounds, steals, and threes with the occasional block and should be owned in all 12-man leagues right now. It’s worth noting Barnes had a hot-streak like this last year that saw him get double digit scoring in 18 of 20 games towards the end of the year. He’s now had double digit scoring in six of his last seven including a 26 point, 10 rebound outing on Saturday, and it certainly looks like the beginning of another streak.
Leave Ersan Ilyasova on the Waiver Wire
I know Ilyasova is an enticing add in a Bucks front-court that can give him minutes, but he just hasn’t shown he can produce this year. An always inconsistent headache, Ilyasova has just averaged 9.4 points and 3.7 rebounds in 18.2 minutes this year. On top of that, he’s missed over a month with injuries and only played 12 minutes in his return last Thursday. Ersan is 3.7% owned in ESPN leagues, so wait until he shows that he can productive before picking him up.
Add and Sell George Hill
George Hill is about to return from a groin injury this week and is a solid short-term add. However, you should look to sell him once he puts together a few good games. Hill missed a lot of games last year with the groin injury and it also bothered him in 2012-13. This is certainly not a new problem, and it’s nagged him for a large part of the past two years. Short-term memory owners likely won’t remember that, and you can get decent value for him if he plays the way he played before the injury this season -- averaging 14.2 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 threes per game.
Sell Kobe Bryant
The Black Mamba has now missed 7 of the Lakers’ last 14 games and seemed primed to miss more going forward. It isn’t out of the question that he gets shut down after the All-Star break (maybe even sooner). Chances are high there is at least one Kobe lover in your league who is dying to have him, and to be honest, his production has been fantastic when he plays. He is averaging 22.6 points, 5.7 assists, 5.6 rebounds, 1.4 steals, and 1.6 threes per game. Find a Kobe lover who doesn’t care about field goal percentage, and try to get third-round value back.
Add Alex Len
Len has averaged 10.5 boards and 2.8 blocks in his last six, and that alone is enough to roster him in standard leagues. He doesn’t score much, but the defensive stats and boards alongside solid percentages keep him relevant. He is a good add who is somehow owned in only 16.9% of ESPN leagues.
Buy/Add the Wolves Backcourt
Ricky Rubio and Kevin Martin should return from their injuries soon and pick up major minutes in the Timberwolves backcourt. Mo Williams has been on fire the past week but that is very unlikely to last long and the Wolves are in rebuild mode, where they’ll only benefit from developing Rubio’s game further. Rubio is also playing for a new contract and believes he should be a max player, so he’ll surely be on top of his game. Martin played close to 30 minutes per game before getting injured and although Andrew Wiggins and Shabazz Muhammad might take a few minutes from him, he will likely get at least 25 per night. Rubio will give you assists, rebounds, and steals while Martin will give you an elite number of threes and points.
Add Elfrid Payton
We are not sure how Payton is not owned in more leagues (29.6% on ESPN) as he’s averaging 16.5 points, 7.8 assists, 4.5 rebounds and 2.3 steals over the last week. Those are very impressive numbers and although Payton isn’t likely to keep shooting at this rate, the assists, rebounds, and steals have been fairly steady all season long. He’s worth owning in 12-man leagues.
Sell Carmelo Anthony
Carmelo returned to the lineup last Thursday and put up a solid line of 25 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals, and a block. He is no longer on the injury report and seems like he’ll play for at least another one or two weeks. Despite the positive news, we expect Anthony to get shut down sooner or later this season considering the Knicks are in last place and he has five years left on a hefty contract. The Knicks aren’t going to risk playing their star player in meaningless games for too long so you should sell Anthony sooner rather than later, while he still has some value.
Add Khris Middleton
There is nothing exciting here, but Middleton is putting up solid stats over the last 15 days. He is averaging 12.3 points, 2.7 steals, 1.5 threes, and 4.5 rebounds during that stretch and should continue putting up solid production down the line. Use him with confidence.