Fantasy Basketball 2015-16: A Dozen Dimes, Volume 19
With most fantasy hoops trade deadlines having passed last week, A Dozen Dimes will essentially convert into a waiver wire column from now until season's end. In other words, instead of offering up 12 nuggets of adding, dropping, buying, and selling advice for this upcoming week and beyond, we'll focus on just the adding.
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 (like that fact that Mirza Teletovic and Alex Len should be owned in way more leagues than they currently are, for example).
Ok, let's get down to it.
Gary Harris got a mention in this column last week, but his low 35% ownership rate in Yahoo leagues makes him worth plugging again. Over his last six games, Harris is averaging 17.0 points, 2.2 three-pointers, 3.2 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.8 steals, 0.3 blocks, and 1.8 turnovers in a whopping 39.0 minutes per game, while shooting 50.0% from the field and 75.0% from the line. If that 41st-ranked value over that span isn't enough to convince you, you should be aware that he's also been the 74th-ranked player in nine-category leagues over the last two months (28 games). It makes no sense whatsoever that Harris is so widely available, especially with Danilo Gallinari likely done for the season.
Another Nugget who should be owned in more leagues is Nikola Jokic. His ownership seems to dip whenever he has a game in which he gets into foul trouble or plays low minutes for some other reason, but his overall numbers remain sterling. Over the last week (four games), Jokic has averaged 13.0 points, 0.3 triples, 9.0 boards, 3.3 assists, 1.0 steals, 1.3 blocks, and 2.3 turnovers per game, with a shooting split of 43.2% from the field and 95.0% from the charity stripe. That's 44th-ranked value over that span in nine-category leagues, right around where he's been for the last two months. The fact that Jokic is not universally owned in fantasy leagues remains confounding.
Patrick Beverley should have a clear path to putting up mid-round value for the rest of the season with Ty Lawson out of the picture in Houston, so he's well worth a pick-up if you're in need of a point guard. Beverley has been putting up 49th-ranked value in nine-category leagues over the last couple weeks as it is (eight games), averaging 12.4 points, 1.6 threes, 5.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 2.1 steals, 0.3 blocks, and 1.3 turnovers and shooting 45.5% from the field and 72.7% from the line. Now, without Lawson around, Beverley has been averaging a solid 36.1 minutes per game over his last four (while posting 79th-ranked value), so he should have all the opportunity he needs to give his owners a generous helping of threes, assists, and steals the rest of the way.
Tony Allen has missed the last eight games for the Memphis Grizzlies with a knee issue, and Mario Chalmers has picked up the slack admirably. Chalmers has scored in double figures in five straight games, averaging 14.0 points, 0.8 threes, 2.0 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 3.0 steals, 0.6 blocks, and 1.4 turnovers in 25.9 minutes per contest in the process, and shooting 39.5% from the field and 94.1% from the line. That balanced line with elite steals has made Chalmers the 20th-ranked player in nine-category leagues over that span. Allen's eventual return could put a damper on that early-round value, but for now, Mario is one of the hottest pick-ups out there and he's available in over 70% of Yahoo leagues.
Norris Cole is not the most exciting fantasy asset, but the Pelicans are running out of options in their backcourt with both Tyreke Evans and now Eric Gordon done for the season. Cole has been serviceable for the last two weeks (six games), with averages of 12.5 points, 1.2 triples, 3.7 rebounds, 6.0 assists, 1.0 steal, 0.2 blocks, and 1.7 turnovers per game, and a shooting split of 42.3% from the field and a perfect 8-for-8 from the charity stripe. He's certainly liable to put up a scattered dud from time to time, but that top-100 value is likely safe for the rest of the season as he continues to start and rack up around 30 minutes per game.
Ian Mahinmi has been putting up subtle top-100 value in nine-category leagues all season long and he's been the 85th-ranked player over his last 10 games while rookie Myles Turner has been bumping up against the proverbial rookie wall. Over said 10-game span, Mahinmi has been posting solid averages of 9.5 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.2 steals, 1.6 blocks, and 1.8 turnovers in 28.2 minutes per contest, while shooting 54.1% from the field and 55.6% from the line. The low point totals keep him off most radars, but he'll continue to be a solid low-end option for as long as he's starting and getting consistent minutes from the Pacers.
No one has really put up consistent value on the Brooklyn Nets since the departure of Joe Johnson outside of Thaddeus Young and Brook Lopez, but Markel Brown has had two solid games in a row and deserves a look. Over those two contests, Brown has averaged 22.0 points, 3.0 threes, 4.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 0.5 steals, and a mere 0.5 turnovers in 31.0 minutes, while shooting 57.1% from the field and a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line. Feel free to pick him up now and ride the hot hand, just be aware that everyone outside of Young and Lopez looks set to trade off value for the rest of the way and you're not likely to find consistent production from anyone on the team outside of those two established fantasy studs.
David Lee somehow continues to roll and demand ownership in standard-sized fantasy leagues. In six games since joining the Mavericks, he has been the 36th-ranked player in nine-category leagues, averaging 11.3 points, 9.0 boards, 1.8 assists, 0.8 steals, 1.3 blocks, and 1.5 turnovers in 20.0 minutes per contest, and shooting a blazing 67.4% from the field and 71.4% from the line. His production feels unsustainable after watching him rot away on Golden State's and Boston's benches over the last two seasons -- particularly the gaudy defensive numbers -- but Dallas seems intent on using Lee to spell Zaza Pachulia as much possible. Until he cools off, Lee should be owned.
Jerryd Bayless has played a solid 31.2 minutes per contest in his four since returning from a knee injury, while averaging 11.8 points, 1.8 threes, 3.3 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 0.5 steals, and 0.8 turnovers, and shooting 40.6% from the field and 87.5% from the line. He should be good for that 124th-ranked value in nine-category leagues for as long as Michael Carter-Williams is sidelined with knee problems of his own.
Both Nerlens Noel and Jahlil Okafor are missing games due to injury, and Jerami Grant has been one of the biggest beneficiaries during their absence. Over his last five games, Grant has averaged 9.2 points, 0.2 threes, 7.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 0.8 steals, 2.4 blocks, and 1.8 turnovers in 35.8 minutes per contest, while shooting 43.9% from the field and 60.0% from the line. He likely won't be able to sustain that value for much longer with both Noel and Okafor due back soon, but he will always make a nice streaming option for owners in need of rebounds and blocks whenever either of those two are sidelined.
It looks like Brandon Knight could actually make a return to the Phoenix Suns relatively soon, but for now, Ronnie Price is calling out for ownership during his absence. Price has been Phoenix's starting point guard for their last eight games and he's posted 72nd-ranked value in nine-category leagues over that span. Nothing in his eight-game averages of 10.3 points, 1.6 threes, 2.5 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.8 steals, 0.6 blocks, 1.8 turnovers, 47.8% shooting from the field, and 75.0% from the line will make you run to your waiver wire for him, but you could do worse than him and his consistent 29.6 minutes per night right now.
Utah's point guard situation has been a mess for most of the season, but Shelvin Mack has been serviceable for them in his eight games since coming over from the Atlanta Hawks in a deal at the trade deadline. His averages of 11.3 points, 0.8 threes, 2.6 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 1.0 steal, 0.1 blocks, 2.6 turnovers, 44.3% shooting from the field, and 66.7% from the line are nothing to write home about, nor is his 230th-ranked value over that span, but as long as the starting gig and 28.0 minutes per game are there, he's worth considering for owners starving at point guard. Be warned, however, that the impending return of Alec Burks will likely kill Mack's minimal value.