Fantasy Basketball 2015-16: A Dozen Dimes, Volume 23
Because we're past the vast majority of fantasy hoops trade deadlines, A Dozen Dimes converted into a waiver wire column a few weeks ago. In other words, instead of offering up 12 nuggets of adding, dropping, buying, and selling advice for this upcoming week, we're focusing on just the adding.
The default ending of most leagues happened last week, so there probably aren't many of you left out there reading this. That's fine, this week's installment is just for the sake of being thorough and so that we don't neglect those of you that are crazy enough to keep playing fantasy basketball during the NBA's "silly season," when players are rested and/or shut down all over the place.
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.
Ok, let's get down to it.
The New Orleans Pelicans are basically fielding a team of third-stringers, with all five of their top scorers from this season either shutdown or out indefinitely with only a week and a half to go. The next four adds have all come into relevance because of all those injuries and they're still available in a large percentage of leagues. First up, Tim Frazier is available in 85% of Yahoo leagues and has averaged 15.7 points, 1.7 threes, 3.3 rebounds, 9.3 assists, 1.7 steals, and 1.7 turnovers in 30.5 minutes per contest over his last three, while shooting 54.8% from the field and 80.0% from the free throw line. If you need the scoring, threes, assists, and steals, Frazier could be the guy for you.
Luke Babbitt has started three of the Pelicans' last five games, averaging 16.2 points, 1.8 threes, 4.2 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.4 blocks, and 1.0 turnover in 28.3 minutes per contest in the process, while shooting 48.4% from the field and 83.3% from the line. That kind of mid-round value is still available in a whopping 92% of Yahoo leagues, so there's a decent chance that he's available for you if you need the boost in scoring or threes.
It initially seemed like Omer Asik would be the main beneficiary from Anthony Davis getting ruled out for the rest of the season, but it has actually been Alexis Ajinca who has benefitted the most in New Orleans' frontcourt. Over his last six contests, Ajinca has averaged 14.2 points, 7.0 rebounds, 0.8 assists, 1.0 steal, 1.2 blocks, and 2.5 turnovers in 26.6 minutes per game, while shooting 47.4% from the field and 86.7% from the free throw line. Like Babbitt, he's still available in 92% of Yahoo leagues, so owners in need of a touch of scoring, rebounding, and both defensive categories should take a long look at Ajinca.
Jordan Hamilton has only played five games for the New Orleans Pelicans this season, but he's averaged 11.4 points, 0.8 triples, 6.2 boards, 2.8 assists, 1.0 steal, 0.4 blocks, and 1.2 turnovers in 28.0 minutes per contest over that span, while shooting 45.5% from the field and 42.9% from the charity stripe. Those numbers might not jump off the page at you, but they are certainly serviceable for a guy who is available in 97% of Yahoo leagues. One thing that is extra enticing about all four of the Pelicans we've just listed is that New Orleans is one of only seven teams with six games remaining on their schedule. They're not the sexiest picks, but they offer a fair bit of bang for your buck with not one player topping 15% ownership.
That wraps up the New Orleans Pelicans section of this week's Dimes, and now we move onto the depleted Phoenix Suns, who have four players with decently low ownership rates who could make a difference for you down the stretch of your fantasy season. First up is Tyson Chandler, who was probably drafted in the top-100 in your league but may have been dropped along the way. Most recently, Chandler sat out a slew of games due to back spasms, but he's back in the mix now and has been a monster over his last three games. Over that span, he has double-doubled in every game, posting averages of 15.0 points, 15.3 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 0.3 steals, 1.0 block and 1.7 turnovers in 37.2 minutes per contest, and shooting 74.1% from the field and 45.5% from the line. He's still owned in nearly 65% of Yahoo leagues, but make sure you check your wire to see if a desperate owner had to drop him during his absence.
Mirza Teletovic recently missed a game due to illness, but he's scored 24 points in each of his two games since returning, while averaging 2.5 triples, 9.0 rebounds, 0.5 assists, 0.5 steals, and 3.0 turnovers in 31.5 minutes per contest on top of that, and shooting 47.2% from the field and 81.8% from the free throw line. He's an excellent source of points, threes, and rebounds when he's getting minutes, and the Suns look ready to give him plenty to close out their lost season.
Another one of the last men standing in Phoenix is P.J. Tucker, who has been an early-round stud over his last three contests. Over that span, he's averaged 17.3 points, 1.7 threes, 9.7 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 1.7 steals, and 2.0 turnovers in an exhausting 37.5 minutes per game, while shooting 47.5% from the field and a perfect 9-for-9 from the charity stripe. He's doing a bit of everything right now and definitely deserves a look if you're in one of the 55% of Yahoo leagues where he's still unowned.
Ronnie Price rounds out our collection of viable options on Phoenix this week, as he looks set to take over the team's starting point guard duties from here on out with Brandon Knight ruled out for the rest of the season with a sports hernia. Price has put up back-to-back duds as the team's starter in the two games since returning to the role, but in 13 games as a starter on the season, he's averaging a somewhat serviceable 9.0 points, 1.6 threes, 2.4 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 1.6 steals, 0.4 blocks, and 1.8 turnovers per contest, while shooting 43.3% from the field and 50.0% from the charity stripe. He's admittedly a deep-league option right now or one for the truly desperate, but he's certainly worth keeping an eye on because he did put up the scattered stud performance the last time he manned the starting point guard role for the Suns.
Thomas Robinson is one of the hottest adds in fantasy hoops right now, as he's double-doubled in four straight games and looks set to start for the lowly Nets for the rest of the season, after they shutdown their starting frontcourt of Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young. Over that four-game span, Robinson has averaged 13.3 points, 12.8 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.8 steals, 0.3 blocks, and 2.0 turnovers in 27.2 minutes per contest, while shooting 52.3% from the field and 31.8% from the line. The free throw percentage is admittedly dragging down his value, but owners in need of the points, rebounds, steals, and field goal percentage should give him a look if they can handle the dip in free throw percentage or are punting the category entirely.
Norman Powell is in the midst of a bit of a breakout, starting for the Toronto Raptors in place of the injured DeMarre Carroll. Over his last six games, in particular, Powell has been a top-50 fantasy asset in nine-category leagues with averages of 14.5 points, 2.3 threes, 4.3 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.0 steal, 0.7 blocks, and 2.2 turnovers in a healthy 31.4 minutes per contest, while shooting a blistering 52.6% from the field and 92.9% from the line. Carroll has started practicing in full, but still doesn't have a timetable to return and might not even get back before the end of the season. Grabbing Powell over the team's last six games could be a great move, especially because he's so readily available with a mere 6% ownership rate in Yahoo leagues.
Jose Calderon is likely out for the rest of the season, which means Jerian Grant will probably be the Knicks' starting point guard over their last four games. He's started the last two games for the team, but his averages have been pretty middle-of-the-road at 10.0 points, 1.5 threes, 3.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.5 blocks, and 1.0 turnover per contest over that span, with a shooting split of 36.4% from the field and 50.0% from the free throw line. Still, the minutes have been there at 27.4 per game, and we could very well see Grant step it up a notch with the added opportunity and a chance to prove himself after a ho-hum rookie season.
Seth Curry will always be in the shadow of his MVP brother, but he's gotten an opportunity to fill up box scores over his last six games with the tanking Sacramento Kings. Over that span, Curry has averaged 15.0 points, 2.3 threes, 2.0 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.0 steal, 0.2 blocks, and 1.5 turnovers in a healthy 26.0 minutes per game, while shooting 52.5% from the field and 93.3% from the free throw line. After five straight starts, he returned to the Kings bench in his last contest but still played over 24 minutes and put up 17 points, 2 triples, and 5 assists. He's worth a look if you're scrounging for points and threes, regardless of whether he starts or comes off the bench.