Fantasy Basketball 2015-16: A Dozen Dimes, Volume 15
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.
Buy Hassan Whiteside
Hassan Whiteside has been coming off the bench for the Heat in his three games since returning from an oblique strain, averaging just 20.4 minutes per contest. That might be the best buy-low window you get for him all season, as one really can't expect what's left of Amar'e Stoudemire to keep Whiteside on the bench that much longer.
Hassan's still managed to average 10.0 points, 9.7 rebounds, 5.0 blocks, and 1.0 turnover per game over that span, while shooting 66.7% from the field and the same from the charity stripe (good for 11th-ranked value in nine-category leagues), so it's not like you'll be able to grab his first-round upside for nothing. Still, it might be smart to test his current owner and see how he or she feels about the seemingly reduced role.
Add Stanley Johnson
Stanley Johnson has started the last two games for the Detroit Pistons in place of the injured Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and has been putting up solid numbers lately in general. Over his last seven games, in a healthy 31.8 minutes per contest, the rookie has averaged 15.0 points, 1.3 triples, 5.7 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.0 steal, 0.1 blocks, and 2.0 turnovers, while shooting 45.5% from the field and 84.2% from the line. KCP is out through the All-Star break, but even upon his return, Johnson should continue to see healthy burn. Based on recent play, it looks likely that he'll be able to put up top-100 value the rest of the way, with extra upside if any of the Pistons' starters get injured, traded, or fall out of favor with coach Stan Van Gundy.
Sell Markieff Morris
Lots of fantasy players have gone crawling back to Markieff Morris after the recent firing of Jeff Hornacek, since Suns' interim coach Earl Watson has repeatedly expressed his love for Morris and intention to run the team's offense through him. In the three games since the coaching change, 'Kieff has started and averaged a healthy 35.5 minutes per game, while putting up 61st-ranked value in nine-category leagues on the strength of 20.3 points, 1.3 three-pointers, 7.7 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 0.7 steals, 1.7 blocks, 3.3 turnovers, 42.6% shooting from the field, and 78.6% from the line.
This is one of the more obvious examples of a team showcasing a player for trade suitors in recent memory, since Morris and the Suns have been at odds since last summer and a trade at the deadline is still highly likely. Whichever team does take a shot on Morris will likely not be featuring him quite so heavily, so now is the best time to sell him off for something of equal or better value before that shoe inevitably drops.
Add Evan Turner
Evan Turner seems to flirt with being a consistent contributor in fantasy leagues every season, but he's never finished a year with anything better than borderline standard-league value. That said, his last two weeks make him worth a flier at 44% ownership in Yahoo leagues, since his averages of 14.1 points, 5.6 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 1.0 steal, 0.6 blocks, 2.3 turnovers, 55.6% shooting from the field, and 92.0% from the line have made him the 33rd-ranked player in nine-category leagues over that eight-game span.
Both of those shooting percentages are over 10% better than his career marks, so you can definitely expect some regression, but he's averaged fairly consistent minutes all season (27.0 per contest) and is certainly worth rostering while he's rolling and is a decent enough end-of-your-bench guy when he eventually comes back down to earth as well.
Add Norris Cole
The Pelicans have had a pretty depleted backcourt lately, with Eric Gordon sidelined until March with a fractured finger and Tyreke Evans having missed six straight games with knee tendinitis. Cole has started nine consecutive games for the team, and even with a 2-point, 1-for-10 shooting effort last Thursday, Cole is the 90th-ranked player in nine-category leagues over the past week (four games). Over that span, he's averaged 16.3 points, 1.3 threes, 2.3 rebounds, 5.5 assists, 1.3 steals, and 2.3 turnovers per game, while shooting 44.3% from the field and a perfect 6-for-6 from the charity stripe.
He might end up being frustrating to own on a night-to-night basis, but he's 70% available in Yahoo leagues and could help a fantasy team in need of a boost in counting stats. Evans is a likely shutdown candidate, since the Pelicans are unlikely to make the postseason this year (we currently have them at a 0.7% likelihood of making it), so Cole could even get enough minutes to be a useful late-round guy to own down the stretch.
Sell Carmelo Anthony
Carmelo Anthony might not be the center of attention in New York anymore, but he's still putting up 41st-ranked value in nine-category leagues on the season for his averages of 21.1 points, 1.3 threes, 7.8 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.5 blocks, and 2.5 turnovers per game, with a shooting split of 42.2% from the field and 81.7% from the free throw line.
The scoring, threes, and field goal percentage are all down from recent years, but the added assists have been a nice touch and have managed to buoy his early-round value. That said, he's been struggling of late, shooting only 39.6% from the field over the last month (12 games), 32.9% over the last two weeks (5 games), and 28.3% over the last week (3 games). That troubling trend is made even scarier by the fact that Melo has apparently had two MRIs on his sore left knee over the last three weeks.
The Knicks, losers of nine of their last 10 and fresh off firing head coach Derek Fisher, are free falling. Another Anthony shutdown isn't completely out of the question this season, so you're better off trading him now than holding out hope that he'll be healthy and contributing for you come fantasy playoff time.
Add Wesley Johnson
Wesley Johnson is only owned in a mere 14% of Yahoo leagues, but has actually been the 31st-ranked player in nine-category formats since January 22nd, if you can believe it. He's averaging an uninspiring 9.9 points in 24.1 minutes per game off the Clippers bench over that nine-game span, but he's otherwise stuffing the stat sheet, putting up 2.3 triples, 3.6 rebounds, 2.0 steals, 1.1 blocks, and only 0.4 turnovers per game. Guys who give you such a healthy helping of low-frequency stats like threes, steals, and blocks are surprisingly hard to come by in fantasy hoops, so Johnson is a sneaky good pick-up right now, especially with the Clippers currently so thin due to injuries.
Add Jamal Crawford
While we're talking about the ridiculously thinned out Clippers, Jamal Crawford has shown signs of life over his last six games, averaging 20.5 points, 1.2 threes, 1.5 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.0 steal, 0.3 blocks, and 1.3 turnovers per contest, while shooting 48.9% from the field and 96.3% from the charity stripe. With both Blake Griffin and Austin Rivers out for a long time with matching broken hands, Crawford's 30.2 minutes per game over this recent surge should be the new norm for a while. That should make him worth owning in standard formats for the foreseeable future if you need a boost in scoring, threes, and your free throw percentage.
Buy/Add Al-Farouq Aminu
Al-Farouq Aminu has been dropped in quite a few leagues lately, with an ownership rate that's now under 70% on Yahoo. The 9.6 points per game and 41.3% shooting from the field over the last month (14 games) probably has a lot to do with that, but don't sleep on the fact that the 1.4 threes, 5.6 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 1.4 steals, 1.1 blocks, and 1.3 turnovers have made him the 87th-ranked player in nine-category leagues over that span, despite the low scoring and efficiency. As mentioned in the Wesley Johnson blurb above, players who average a three, steal, and block per game are more valuable than a lot of people realize, so see if you can buy Aminu from someone who is sleeping on his subtle value.
Buy/Add Danny Green
Owning Danny Green has been one of the bumpiest rides in fantasy hoops so far this season. It's quite possible that he's already changed hands a few times in your league by way of buy-low trade, or from being dropped and then scooped up by someone else hoping for regression to last season's top-25 performance. His 157th-ranked value on the season is on pace to be his worst mark of the last five campaigns and his numbers are down pretty much across the board.
Well, don't look now, but Green has subtly been a top-40 player again over the last two weeks, averaging 10.1 points, 2.9 threes, 5.0 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1.1 steals, 1.0 block, 0.9 turnovers, and shooting 46.8% from the field over that 8-game span. It seems to be a theme in this edition of Dimes, but Green is another one of those guys who can fill it up in the low-frequency three, steal, and block categories, so his tantalizing upside is once again worth taking a chance on. There might be some bumps in the road, but he simply can't be left unowned when he's filling up the stat sheet like that.
Add/Buy Darren Collison
All the attention at the guard position in Sacramento this year has rested squarely on the Rajon Rondo resurgence, but Darren Collison is quietly having himself a solid 102nd-ranked season in nine-category leagues in a healthy 28.3 minutes per game off the Kings' bench. Over the last week (four games), he's been even more impressive, averaging 18.5 points, 1.3 three-pointers, 2.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.0 steal, and 1.3 turnovers per contest, while shooting a blistering 61.9% from the field and 89.5% from the free throw line.
The shooting split will obviously regress a little (he's shooting 46.9% and 84.2%, respectively, on the season), but that early-round value over that span should be owned in more than 59% of Yahoo leagues right now, especially since his floor is still standard-league worthy and his ceiling (if Rondo were ever to get hurt or traded) is of the early-round variety.
Add Matt Barnes
The recent strong play of Jeff Green has relegated Matt Barnes back to being something of a fantasy afterthought (currently available in over 60% of Yahoo leagues), but no one should sleep on the fact that Barnes has still managed to put up top-50 value in nine-category leagues over the last month (12 games, eight of which were off the bench). In a respectable 28.2 minutes per contest over that span, there's plenty to like in Barnes' averages of 10.6 points, 2.2 threes, 5.9 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.8 blocks, and 1.3 turnovers per contest, and his shooting split of 42.9% from the field and 94.4% from the line is getting it done too. Barnes is the 81st-ranked player in nine-category leagues on the season, and I might never understand why people are so hesitant to keep him rostered.