Fantasy Basketball 2015-16: A Dozen Dimes, Volume 21
With most fantasy hoops trade deadlines having already passed and the playoffs in the majority of head-to-head leagues rolling on this week, A Dozen Dimes has essentially converted into a waiver wire column for the rest of the season. In other words, instead of offering up 12 nuggets of adding, dropping, buying, and selling advice for this upcoming week and beyond, we're focusing 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 (for instance, all of last week's add recommendations still stand as viable this week, with the exception of Meyers Leonard, who has a separated shoulder and could be out for a while).
Ok, let's get down to it.
While it initially seemed like the Heat got the steal of the draft last year when Justise Winslow slipped to them at the 10th pick of the first-round, lately it's been their second-round pick, Josh Richardson, who has been turning heads. Over his last six games, the rookie out of the University of Tennessee is averaging 16.3 points, 3.2 triples, 2.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.3 steals, 1.0 block, and 0.8 turnovers in a healthy 28.7 minutes per game off the Heat bench, while shooting a blistering 66.0% from the field and 52.9% from the free throw line. He's over 70% available in Yahoo leagues and is playing like a guy who could win some people some fantasy championships over the next few weeks.
Bojan Bogdanovic seemingly came out of nowhere by dropping 44 points on the 76ers last week, but he's been keeping his foot on the gas pedal ever since. Over his last four games, he's averaging 25.5 points, 3.0 three-pointers, 5.4 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 0.3 steals, 0.0 blocks, and 3.3 turnovers per contest, with a shooting split of 55.1% from the field and 82.4% from the free throw line. He might not keep things up at quite that early-round level going forward, and the lack of defensive stats is a bummer, but the Nets are running low on NBA-level talent, and Bogdanovic at least has enough of that to eat tons of minutes and usage from now until the end of the season.
Lou Williams might've been dropped in your league recently because he missed five straight games with a hamstring injury. He's available in roughly 40% of Yahoo leagues, and if he still is in yours, you should strongly consider picking him up. Over the three games since his return to the lineup, Sweet Lou is averaging 20.7 points, 2.3 threes, 2.7 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.7 blocks, and 1.3 turnovers per contest, while shooting 52.6% from the field and 88.2% from the charity stripe. Owners in need of a scoring punch could certainly get one with four games of Lou Williams this week.
Like Lou Williams, Mason Plumlee is another guy with a pretty high ownership rate on the surface but who might've been dropped in your league recently. In Plumlee's case, he's been mired in a bit of slump as of late, so his current 45% availability rate in Yahoo leagues is higher than it's been for most of the season. After his 14 points, career-high 19 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, and 1 block on Sunday, though, people should be rushing to pick him back up. The aforementioned injury to Meyers Leonard should keep Plumlee's minutes up, so owners in need of a boost in rebounds, blocks, field goal percentage, and sneaky assists for the position (3.1 per game over the last month), should check their wire for him.
Doug McDermott has been spitting hot fire lately, averaging 20.3 points and 3.3 triples per game over his last four contests, while shooting 56.5% from the field. Throw in the 2.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 0.3 steals, 0.3 rebounds, and 0.0 turnovers per game and 94.1% shooting from the free throw line and you're looking at second-round value over that span. McDermott might not be starting, and he did post a bit of a dud on Saturday, but he's still a great pick-up while he's averaging 29.5 minutes per game for the banged-up Bulls and putting up numbers like these.
D.J. Augustin might be coming off the bench behind Emmanuel Mudiay for the Denver Nuggets, but he's been putting up pretty consistent value lately, splitting time as Mudiay's backup and playing right alongside him when the Nuggets go small. Over Augustin's last five games, he's averaging 16.6 points, 1.8 threes, 1.8 rebounds, 6.2 assists, 1.4 steals, 0.2 blocks, and 2.4 turnovers per game, while shooting 50.0% from the field and 81.8% from the line. That mid-round production is available in over three-quarters of Yahoo leagues going into a four-game week for Denver, so you know what to do if you need some help in points, threes, assists, steals, or your percentages.
Bismack Biyombo just won a lot of fantasy matchups for people, playing extended minutes in place of the injured Jonas Valanciunas over a rare five-game week. During that period, Biyombo was a top-30 fantasy asset in nine-category leagues, averaging 10.0 points, 13.2 rebounds, 0.8 assists, 0.0 steals, 3.6 blocks, and 0.2 turnovers per game, while shooting 69.0% from the field and 52.6% from the line. The eventual return of Valanciunas will hamper his value, but Biyombo simply must be owned while he's playing big minutes and grabbing enough rebounds and swatting enough shots to carry your fantasy team in those categories.
To a much lesser extent than Biyombo, Luis Scola has upped his production during Valanciunas' absence as well. Over his last two games, in particular, he's averaged 18.5 points, 3.0 threes, 5.5 rebounds, 0.5 assists, 1.0 steal, 0.0 blocks, and 0.5 turnovers in 26.4 minutes, while shooting 55.6% from the field and going 1-for-4 from the free throw line. He can flame out with the best of them, but Scola might serve as a decent streaming option from Wednesday to Saturday, during which the Raptors play three games in four nights.
Norris Cole has now missed seven straight games for the New Orleans Pelicans, and the main beneficiary has been Toney Douglas. Over his last four games, in particular, Douglas has been a top-50 asset in nine-category leagues, averaging 15.0 points, 2.5 threes, 4.0 rebounds, 6.5 assists, 1.8 steals, 0.3 blocks, and 2.0 turnovers in 31.7 minutes per contest, while shooting 44.2% from the field and 75.0% from the free throw line. For as long as Cole is out, owning Douglas isn't a bad idea for owners in need of points, threes, assists, and steals.
Speaking of the Pelicans, their injury report is starting to look crowded. They added Anthony Davis to their long list of guys out for the season, as the future of the franchise gets two surgeries to repair his ailing knee and shoulder. While Ryan Anderson stands to be the biggest fantasy beneficiary with this news, he's currently nursing a strained groin, so the Pelicans' frontcourt rotation will feature a lot of Omer Asik for the time being. Asik hasn't been that great this season, but his 15 points on 6-for-9 shooting from the field, 14 rebounds, and 2 assists in nearly 30 minutes on Sunday should be enough to convince owners in need of rebounds, blocks, and a boost in field goal percentage to give him a look.
Darrell Arthur has quietly been putting up top-100 value in nine-category leagues over his last seven games, averaging 11.3 points, 1.6 threes, 4.1 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.6 blocks, and 0.6 turnovers in 26.9 minutes per contest, while shooting 53.3% from the field and 66.7% from the free throw line. He's not the sexiest option out there, but solid production like that is available in 90% of Yahoo leagues, and he could be a sneaky good play during Denver's four-game week for people playing in leagues where the waiver wire is picked dry.
Kelly Olynyk has not been that great in his three games since returning from a shoulder injury, but he's played a healthy 23.9 minutes per game and even started the second of half of Sunday's game against the Philadelphia 76ers in place of Amir Johnson. Olynyk's not exactly about to start getting 30 minutes per night consistently in Boston's crowded frontcourt, but he'll be an interesting late-round option once his shot starts falling, thanks to his ability to contribute to a respectable level across most categories. He might just be a watch list guy for now, but don't sleep on him and his 85% availability in Yahoo leagues if your waiver wire is getting thin and you're looking to get out ahead on a potentially solid pick-up.