Fantasy Basketball: A Dozen Dimes, Volume 23
Welcome to this year's penultimate edition of A Dozen Dimes!
This will be the last instalment filled with advice, but we'll be back one final time next week to hand out some well-earned fantasy hoops awards (including some early ideas about draft targets for next season). Make sure you come on back one last time.
As for coming to the end of year two of addin', droppin', buyin', and sellin' advice from this column, we here at numberFire want to thank you for playing along. Hopefully we managed to help you reach your league's promised land. If we were even remotely responsible for that, we're happy we could help.
This week's installment will be a bit of a lightning round, considering the large majority of fantasy hoops leagues have already ended. This is the time of year when actual NBA playoff matchups get set in stone, teams with nothing to play for rest their stars, and basically all hell breaks loose with rotations (as if it hadn't already).
With that in mind, here are some possible guys to have on your radar this week if you're still playing the fake game.
Evan Turner is out there putting up triple-doubles (or close to it) on a nearly nightly basis, while actually holding onto the ball and shooting relatively well too (his usual drawbacks). He's averaged 13.6 points, 0.4 three-pointers, 6.1 rebounds, 7.4 assists, 1.2 steals, 2.4 turnovers, shot 50.3% from the field, and 67.7% from the free throw line over his last 14 (mid-round value) and is still over 40% available in Yahoo leagues.
Brandan Wright could be a championship-clinching play in fantasy leagues this week. Alex Len is sidelined until Friday at the earliest and the Suns are basically playing for nothing at this point, having already given guys like Brandon Knight the shutdown treatment. Meanwhile, Wright will start at least two of the four Suns games and play big minutes in the rest. In four starts this season, he's averaging 16.0 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.5 steals, 3.3 blocks, and shooting 67.5% from the field, so you'll want to get on board. He's still almost 70% available in Yahoo leagues.
I feel like I've been mentioning Jordan Clarkson a lot lately, but he's basically the only positive thing happening on the Lakers' roster right now. He's been a borderline top-20 play over his last eight games, averaging 19.4 points, 0.8 triples, 5.4 boards, 6.0 assists, 1.0 steal, 0.5 blocks, 2.5 turnovers, 53.1% shooting from the field, and 80.6% from the line. Competitive leagues snatched him up long ago, but he's still 45% available on Yahoo, so you'd better check for him on your waiver wire just in case.
The Timberwolves have shut Ricky Rubio down, so Zach LaVine will be the point man for the Wolves' four games this week and play as many minutes as he can possibly handle. In nine games as the team's starting point guard since March 15th, LaVine's averaged 17.4 points, 1.4 threes, 4.7 rebounds, and 4.6 assists per game, while shooting 85.7% from the charity stripe. His value has been harpooned by 39.7% shooting and 4.7 turnovers per contest over that span, but if you can absorb those numbers, the rest of his line and steady 40.0 minutes per game as a starter lately make him someone to target.
Speaking of the Wolves, if you're looking for a better all-around play with fewer deficiencies than LaVine, take a look at Chase Budinger. Over his last 11 games, Bud's been a top-25 option in nine-category leagues for his averages of 15.6 points, 1.7 threes, 5.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.4 blocks, 0.8 turnovers, 52.0% shooting from the field, and 83.3% from the line. He might not be starting for Minnesota, but Chase is contributing across the board in a healthy 34.5 minutes per game and is over 75% available on Yahoo.
Marvin Williams is rarely a guy you rush to the wire for, but he's been terrific over his last five games, averaging 13.2 points, 1.6 triples, 6.0 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.4 steals, 1.0 block, and a minuscule 0.4 turnovers per contest, while shooting 48.9% from the field and 85.7% from the line. The Hornets have a banged up frontline and less to play for by the day, so it's possible that Williams comes up big for fantasy teams in the Hornets' four games this week. He's available in over 80% of Yahoo leagues.
Ben McLemore is playing too hot to be ignored, even if Rudy Gay is on his way back from a concussion and will surely sap a bit of his value. Over his last three games, McLemore has averaged 17.0 points, 2.3 threes, 4.0 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 2.3 steals, 0.3 blocks, and 2.0 turnovers per contest, while shooting 56.8% from the floor and a perfect 2 for 2 from the free throw line. That's top-15 value over that span that's still 70% available in Yahoo leagues and playing four games this week.
Speaking of Kings that are playing well, Ray McCallum has had a decent enough last four games to garner some attention. He's averaged 12.0 points, 1.3 triples, 4.0 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 1.3 steals, 0.3 blocks, and 2.0 turnovers over that time, while shooting 45.0% from the field and 53.8% from the line. The freebie shooting is a bummer, but the rest makes him worth a look while he's averaging 33.0 minutes per game for Sacramento in a four-game week.
I get Ray McCallum mixed up with C.J. McCollum all the time, but luckily for me, both of them are worthy of your fantasy love this week. McCollum has taken over as the Blazers' sixth man over the last two games, and posted averages of 18.5 points, 1.5 threes, 3.5 boards, 2.5 helpers, and 1.0 steal per game in a healthy 26.8 minutes over that span, without committing a single turnover and while shooting 56.0% from the field and 85.7% from the free throw line. He makes for an interesting under-the-radar add with a current 6% ownership rate in Yahoo leagues.
Another player that's barely owned and playing decent enough ball over his last two games is Shane Larkin. Over that span, Larkin's averages of 14.5 points, 8.0 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 1.5 steals, and 1.5 turnovers in a robust 38.7 minutes per game are enticing, as is his shooting split of 56.3% from the field and 91.7% from the line. The Knicks don't have many point guards left on their depth chart, so they'll probably just keep going to him until the end of the season.
Otto Porter Jr.
Paul Pierce is resting up for the playoffs and Otto Porter Jr. has been starting in his place over the Wizards' last three games, averaging 13.0 points, 1.3 threes, 7.0 rebounds, 1.0 assist, 2.3 steals, 0.3 blocks, and 1.7 turnovers per contest, while shooting 53.6% from the field and 83.3% from the line. Pierce still isn't practicing and probably won't play much during Washington's three-game week, so Porter might make for a nice add from Wednesday onward.
Why not? Sure, Paul George is on a minute-limit, might miss the occasional game down the stretch, and has nearly a year of rust to brush off after recovering from his brutal leg injury, but wouldn't it be fun to roll him out there for the Pacers' three games this week? In his glorious return on Sunday, George posted a very serviceable 13 points, three triples, two boards, two assists, and two steals in only 15 minutes of action. Temper expectations and watch the injury report, but Paul is a former first-round fantasy pick playing for a team fighting for a playoff berth -- the potential for at least one big game is there for the taking.