Fantasy Basketball 2015-16: A Dozen Dimes, Volume 13
Welcome back to our weekly transactions article for fantasy hoops, where we offer up 12 nuggets of advice, featuring the top adds, drops, buys, and sells for this upcoming week and beyond.
As usual, these are in relative order of importance. If you're looking for more advice, check the "related articles" section 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.
Okay, let's get down to it.
Add Myles Turner
Ian Mahinmi has been in and out of the lineup over the last few games for the Pacers, first with a heel injury that cost him one game, and now with a badly sprained ankle that has kept him out the last two. In his absence, rookie Myles Turner has come on strong, averaging 20.5 points, 6.3 rebounds, 0.5 assists, 0.8 steals, 3.3 blocks, and 0.8 turnovers per game over his last four, while shooting 64.8% from the field and 66.7% from the free throw line. That's first-round value over that span, so Turner should obviously be owned for as long as Mahinmi is sidelined. There's even a chance that he wrestles the starting gig away from Mahinmi, so he's even got upside appeal as a stash as well. He's the number one add this week, with a bullet.
Add Willie Cauley-Stein
Rookie Willie Cauley-Stein has started the last five games for the Kings and has looked good next to DeMarcus Cousins. In his last three, in particular, "Trill" has posted 20th-ranked value in nine-category leagues, averaging 10.0 points, 11.0 rebounds, 1.0 assist, 2.0 steals, 1.0 block, and 0.3 turnovers in a healthy 31.2 minutes per game, while shooting 59.1% from the field and 66.7% from the charity stripe. He might not post that kind of early-round value on a regular basis, but coach George Karl seems ready to start handing the kid big minutes, so he's worth picking up to see where this goes.
Add Alex Len
If Turner and Cauley-Stein have already been snagged in your league, another big that has come on strong over the last week is Alex Len. He has been backing up Tyson Chandler for much of the season, but for the last two games, he's started at power forward next to Chandler. The early returns have been very positive for the pairing, as Len has averaged 14.5 points, 10.0 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 0.5 steals, 1.0 block, and 2.5 turnovers over those two contests, while shooting 50.0% from the field and 83.3% from the line. He's still available in over 70% of Yahoo leagues, so he's worth grabbing for as long as he's starting and putting up those kinds of numbers.
Add Archie Goodwin
The Phoenix Suns are running out of point guards, with Eric Bledsoe out for the season after a meniscus tear, Brandon Knight ailing with a groin injury, and Ronnie Price out until around March after having toe surgery. All that mess has left Archie Goodwin to start the last two games at point guard for the Suns and play a whopping 40.1 minutes per contest. In those two games, Goodwin has performed well, averaging 22.0 points, 2.0 triples, 2.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.5 steals, 1.5 blocks, and 4.0 turnovers, while shooting 38.7% from the field and 84.2% from the line. He probably won't hold much value once Knight returns, but he makes for a good plug-and-play option until that happens.
Buy Jeff Teague
Jeff Teague has not had a great follow-up campaign to his first All-Star season, coming in as only the 104th-ranked player in nine-category leagues so far this year -- a far cry from last season's 29th-ranked finish. Over the last two weeks, Teague has bottomed out even further, posting 223rd-ranked value for averages of 10.1 points, 1.1 threes, 2.7 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 1.1 steals, 2.6 turnovers, 35.9% shooting from the field, and 70.0% from the free throw line. To make matters worse, the Hawks have been turning to Dennis Schroder over Teague down the stretch of games, so there's no doubt that most Teague owners are at the end of their rope.
Now is a good time to swoop in with a buy-low offer, since a lot of Teague's struggles are being attributed to an ankle issues and Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer has expressed confidence that his All-Star point guard will be fine. He might not come all the way back, but he can probably be had at a massive discount right now, and his early-round upside is worth taking a shot on.
Sell Tyreke Evans
Tyreke Evans has been nursing knee tendinitis all season and is at risk to be shut down if the Pelicans don't manage to make a run at the playoffs. For that reason, owners should be looking to sell Evans while he's playing at peak value. He's currently ranked 50th on the season in nine-category leagues with averages of 15.6 points, 1.3 threes, 5.3 rebounds, 6.8 assists, 1.3 steals, 0.3 blocks, and 3.0 turnovers per contest, and a shooting split of 43.6% shooting from the field and 82.2% from the free throw line. If you can get anything of early- to mid-round value for him now, you should probably pull the trigger.
Add Norris Cole
With Eric Gordon out for the next four to six week, Norris Cole seems poised to get the biggest boost in the Pelicans' backcourt. Cole has started the last two games for New Orleans, averaged 11.5 points, 1.5 threes, 5.5 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 0.5 steals, and 1.0 turnover per game, and shot 42.9% from the field and a perfect 2-for-2 from the charity stripe. He won't necessarily be a league-winner, but he should be a decent late-round value over the next month or so, making him worth a flier for as long as he's starting.
Add Isaiah Canaan
Isaiah Canaan is another decent flier for as long as he's hot. Over Canaan's last four games, he has been averaging 13.0 points, 2.3 triples, 3.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.0 steal, 0.3 blocks, and 2.3 turnovers per contest, while shooting 53.3% from the field and 84.6% from the free throw line. He's a bit streaky, so you can't expect that kind of production every game, but owners in need of threes should give him a look for decent short-term value.
Buy George Hill
George Hill missed three consecutive games for the birth of his first child last week, then followed it up by inexplicably coming off the bench on Saturday. The benching shouldn't be a permanent move, so now is the perfect buy-low window if you're looking at acquiring him. He's the 65th-ranked player in nine-category leagues this season, on the strength of his 12.7 points, 1.9 threes, 4.0 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.4 turnovers, 0.2 blocks, and 1.5 turnovers per game, and shooting split of 44.3% from the field and 73.4% from the line. He's not the flashiest of fantasy assets, but his balanced line makes him a great/underrated trade target as a guy capable of putting up subtly consistent mid-round value.
Add Josh Smith
Josh Smith was traded back to the Houston Rockets a few days ago, a team that he had mild success with last year. He enters an already crowded frontcourt with Terrence Jones, Clint Capela, and eventually Donatas Motiejunas (when he gets healthy), but the Rockets and coach J.B. Bickerstaff seem to have Smoove fever, as he's played 22.2 minutes per contest in his two games since the trade.
In those two games, he's put up decent numbers, with averages of 9.0 points, 1.0 triple, 4.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 2.0 steals, 2.5 blocks, and 1.5 turnovers per contest, while shooting 29.2% from the field and 50.0% from the free throw line. In other words, he's been his usual self, putting up popcorn numbers while being horribly inefficient. If your team can take the hit in the percentages, Smith should be owned for as long as the Rockets are putting over 20 minutes of trust in him per night.
Buy Nicolas Batum
Nicolas Batum has played at an All-Star level at times during his first season with the Charlotte Hornets, but various ailments have kept him out of the lineup for certain stretches over the last month-plus. Throw in the fact that his production has dropped off a bit over the last couple weeks, and his fantasy owners might be growing frustrated with a lack of consistency. If that's the case in your league, swoop in and grab him at a discount.
On the season, Batum is still the 64th-ranked player in nine-category leagues, with averages of 15.1 points, 2.0 threes, 6.2 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.5 blocks, and 3.1 turnovers per game, and a shooting split of 41.6% from the field and 84.4% from the line. His all-around contributions give him early-round upside, so he's worth buying into in case the various minor health issues work themselves out over the All-Star break and he manages to have a strong second half.
Drop Danny Green
Danny Green has been one of the most frustrating players to own all season. You probably drafted him in the middle rounds or picked him up after he was dropped, hoping for last season's early-round production. Well, now that we're past the halfway mark of the season, it's becoming harder to believe that last year's Danny Green is coming back.
After finishing last season as the 29th-ranked player in nine-category leagues, he has been the 186th-ranked player this year. His averages of 6.9 points, 1.4 threes, 3.6 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 0.7 steals, and 0.8 blocks per game seem wholly replaceable on the wire of any standard league, and his shooting percentage of 36.1% represents a career worst. Yes, he might still show flashes of that early-round guy, but he hasn't been able to string those kinds of performances together. He has been the ultimate tease and I know you're just waiting for someone to tell you that it's okay to drop Danny Green. Well, guess what?
It's okay to drop Danny Green.