• With injuries and random lineup changes in full swing, let’s take a look at The Wire this week. The criteria to be considered for The Wire is to be owned in less than 50% of Yahoo! Leagues.

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    Point Guards

    Seth Curry (37% owned) – This one was a bit less obvious until J.J. Barea was ruled out for at least the next six weeks. There was a bit of a scare the other night with a shoulder injury but it is believed to be minor. Curry will see 30 minutes going forward and you can count on him to help out in PTS, 3PT, AST, STL and FT%.

    Recommendation: Should be owned in 10-team leagues.

    Tony Parker (28% owned) – I will be the first to admit that I had written off Tony Parker already, but this past week he showed that he can still have some good fantasy value by averaging 14.2 points, 5.7 assists and great efficiency numbers. It doesn’t seem like Pop is ready to give up on the Frenchman anytime soon.

    Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues.

    Ish Smith (41% owned) – Ish Smith’s ownership rate continues to hover around the same place, but I encourage those of you in 12-team leagues to go pick him up. Reggie Jackson should be back soon, but the injury he is coming off could make him highly ineffective and there is a high risk of re-injury. You know what you’re getting with Ish – he is primarily there to score some buckets, snatch some steals and dish out some assists.

    Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues.

    Matthew Dellavedova (32% owned) – The FG% has been a bit brutal lately and the lack of 3PT has been disappointing, but we still believe that Delly will come through and get out of his slump. The AST and STL are still there so you’re betting that the FG% and 3PT increase together.

    Reommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues.

    Sean Kilpatrick (45% owned) – His production hit a large crater last week and he hasn’t been able to recover since. We still think there is value here with him and he should continue to see minutes since he is a lot more talented than many of the other Nets players. He isn’t a must-own in 12-teamers but certainly worth adding or keeping in deeper leagues.

    Reommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues.

    Shooting Guards

    Josh Richardson (46% owned) – In the past week, Richardson has ramped up his game really well. The Heat play fast and Richardson is a big part of their team. He can put up 3PT, PTS and STL in a hurry. He has taken over some minutes from Tyler Johnson and my bet is that he supplants Dion Waiters in the starting lineup once Justise Winslow is back from injury. If he’s available run to the waiver wire.

    Recommendation: Should be owned in 10-team leagues.

    Matt Barnes (17% owned) – Right when owners dropped Barnes, he came back and became relevant again. Barnes had a great week averaging almost 30 minutes, 15 points, three treys, four boards, one steal and one block on 57% shooting. The ups and downs in production are scary but when he’s getting minutes he’s a must own.

    Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues.

    Nick Young (48% owned) – There isn’t much to say about Uncle P. He will score points, hit treys and be efficient. If you’re lucky he will get some of the other stats when he’s motivated. You know what you’re getting here. If you need those categories then take a look at him.

    Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues.

    Dion Waiters (23% owned) – The opportunities are there, he just hasn’t been very efficient as of late. Consider this recommendation more of a bet that Waiters will have better weeks. While he didn’t help much this past week if you needed FG%, FT% or TOs, he still contributes in PTS, STL and 3PT so if he can pick up the slack then his value will sky-rocket.

    Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues.

    Tony Snell (4% owned) – Fantasy owners are still skeptical of Tony Snell, but he can rack up threes and boards while not hurting you much in FG% or TOs. The minutes are there for Snell, and we expect to see an uptick in steals from him as the season goes on.

    Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues.

    Small Forwards

    Moe Harkless (43% owned) – The Aminu injury is giving Harkless a chance to show his worth and he’s been great for fantasy owners as of late with top-80 value. Harkless can give you a little bit of everything other than assists and should be owned in 12-team leagues.

    Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues.

    James Johnson (8% owned) – The James Johnson train left the station last week and has continued to chug along nicely over the past week. He continues to stuff the box score with astonishing defensive numbers ala Andrei Kirilenko circa 2003 with at least one block and one steal in the past four games. Not only is he contributing defensively, he has multiple triples in two out of the last four games. Justise Winslow’s arrival from a wrist injury will hurt a bit, but we expect Derrick Williams’ minutes to go straight to Johnson. He’s a strong buy for us.

    Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues.

    Jared Dudley (17% owned) – Dudley is a bit of a mixed bag but when he gets the playing time he can be really valuable. He has a three in all but two games this season, has the ability to rack up steals and averages about four rebounds with solid shooting and low turnovers. He’s not someone that you have to dive to the computer for but definitely is worthy of being owned in 12-teamers.

    Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues.

    Ersan Ilyasova (22% owned) – We have played this game time and time again with Ilyasova. So we meet again. The minutes are hovering around the area that makes him relevant in deeper leagues. He can supply you guy points, the long ball, a respectable amount of boards and the efficiency stats which makes him worth looking at.

    Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues.

    Vince Carter (20% owned) – I feel like my eyes have deceived me a couple of times this year with the performances that VC has been able to put up. His minutes have been ramped up and it has resulted in some incredible three point shooting and a ton of points. If you need points, threes and efficiency Vinsanity can help you, but we don’t think he’s anything more than a deep league add. The four games next week is nice too and having Parsons out for a couple of weeks helps as well.

    Recommendation: Should be owned in 16-team leagues.

    Power Forward

    Jon Leuer (39% owned) – Last night was a poor outing for Leuer. We need to erase that game from out memories. He has solid value as a big who can shoot from deep, grab boards, be efficient from the charity stripe and add some assists from time to time. He’s one injury away from being a top add.

    Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues.

    Frank Kaminsky (14% owned) – Here’s a guy who would be a top-50 player if he saw 30 MPG. For now, he’s sitting somewhere between the high teens and high twenties on a given night. He can step out and knock it down from downtown, rip some boards, dish out assists, and grab steals. The opportunity may never come, but he’s still worth an add based on his recent performances.

    Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues.

    Justin Hamilton (12% owned) – The numbers are cooling off for Hamilton, but the ownership rate is very surprising. He is still shooting above 50% and spraying from downtown at the PF/C slots. The rebounds and defensive numbers have died down but we’re certain that those will come back into the picture as the season goes on. By the end of the season, Hamilton could be starting as the Nets protect their investment in Lopez.

    Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues.

    Channing Frye (23% owned) – There are a lot of variables that come in to play for Frye. If Love or LeBron sit, he is an obvious add. If he hangs around at 20 MPG then the 3PT, PTS, FT%, REB and BLK are worth acquiring, but as we have seen in the past, he is capable of a nine minute game with nothing to show. For now, he’s a deep leaguer.

    Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues.

    Nemanja Bjelica (3% owned) – Nemanja Bjelica. Nemanja Bjelica. Nemanja Bjelica. Try saying that five times fast. After a nice game last week, Bjelica was not able to keep the momentum going. We saw what he could do when he gets minutes (24-8-3-1-3 in 41 minutes vs. the Lakers). If something happens to Dieng or KAT, run to the wire.

    Recommendation: Should be owned in 16-team leagues.

    Centers

    John Henson (19% owned) – Jason Kidd has long been messing with fantasy owner’s hearts, but this time he is giving us a little bit of what we want by starting Henson. We’ve been waiting for Henson to see more minutes for years and the time has finally come at the expense of Greg Monroe. Henson is a BLK, REB and FG% machine. If he’s available you need to run an snag him.

    Recommendation: Should be owned in 10-team leagues.

    Cody Zeller (35% owned) – Zeller has finally earned the starting center role. He did miss a game with a shoulder injury but it is not serious. He had the best game of his career with 23 points, three blocks and two steals. He has back to back games of 31 minutes and should continue to see over 25 MPG as the season progresses. Go to the wire and pick him up in 12-team leagues or deeper.

    Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues.

    Mike Muscala (22% owned) – His value was higher while Dwight Howard was out, but the value still exists when Dwight is in the lineup. Moose offers a good number of treys, boards, efficiency stats and assists to be worth an add in deep leagues.

    Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues.

    Alex Len (45% owned) – It is important to note that Tyson Chandler has been out for a while and has contributed to Len’s boosted value. However, when Chandler comes back Len is still worth a stash as a guy who can provide FG%, REB and BLK even with limited minutes. He’s not a must-own in 12-team leagues but certainly in 14-teamers.

    Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues.

    Kelly Olynyk (23% owned) – With Horford back in the lineup, Olynyk has been relegated to a bench role and has been seeing about 15 MPG. To see any real value in 12-team leagues we need to see that go up to about 20-25 MPG, but his treys as a stretch center are very important in fantasy. Give him a look in deeper leagues and hope his role increases.

    Recommendation: Should be owned in 14-team leagues.

Fantasy News

  • Jaylen Brown
    SG, Boston Celtics

    Jaylen Brown (right ankle sprain) said he is going to "try to play" Friday night versus Orlando.

    Brown looks like he's good to go, barring a sudden conservative turn from head coach Brad Stevens. He returns to a lineup missing Jayson Tatum and Enes Kanter, so expect Brown to be busy if he plays tonight.

    Source: Amanda Pflugrad on Twitter

  • Gary Harris
    SG, Denver Nuggets

    According to coach Mike Malone, there is a "good chance" Gary Harris (right adductor strain) will be available against the Pelicans on Friday.

    Harris will have missed five straight contests and he returns at a time when the Nuggets need him the most. That said, Harris has been frustrating to roster this season and has settled in as an end-of-roster steals specialist. The top-40 upside he displayed two seasons ago looks gone for good, but he can still put up decent numbers and has a large role on this team.

    Source: Katy Winge on Twitter

  • Michael Porter Jr.
    PF, Denver Nuggets

    Coach Mike Malone said Michael Porter Jr. will test out his back during pre-game warmups and then decide if he will play against the Pelicans.

    Porter has been cruising in the absence of Paul Millsap and Mason Plumlee, but his latest back injury threw cold water on the idea of him as must-add. While we'd prefer the solid, consistent Jerami Grant over him, we can't fault managers for banking on Porter's upside as he's certainly put up interesting per-minute numbers this season, despite grading out negatively on the court. MPJ figures to be one of the most divisive fantasy players for next season.

    Source: Katy Winge on Twitter

  • Jayson Tatum
    SF, Boston Celtics

    Jayson Tatum (right groin strain) is "feeling better" but will sit out of Friday's game against the Magic.

    There was a collective sigh of relief when Tatum was unexpectedly tagged as questionable yesterday, but we cautioned that didn't necessarily mean that the team would rush him back. Groin strains, just like any other soft tissue injury, can only be healed through rest if there's no complete tear of the fiber, so this is actually good news for fantasy managers who are counting on Tatum for the long run. Gordon Hayward and Marcus Smart will see a nice usage bump tonight.

    Source: Adam Himmelsbach on Twitter

  • Enes Kanter
    C, Boston Celtics

    Enes Kanter (right hip contusion) will miss at least the next two games.

    He had a hot stretch a few weeks ago, but Kanter's not worth holding onto while he rehabs from this injury. His role and upside are extremely limited in Boston and nothing about his situation figures to improve at the deadline. He's more of a FG% and rebounds streamer.

    Source: Mark Murphy on Twitter

  • Kevin Love
    PF, Cleveland Cavaliers

    According to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com, Kevin Love shared that he'd be happy to stay in Cleveland past the trade deadline if that becomes the case.

    Previously, it had been reported that Love was frustrated with both his new coach and his young teammates, but a conversation with Koby Altman has apparently set him straight. Of course, Love will say all the right things so as to not alienate the team and its fanbase. Trade or no trade, Love figure to keep cashing in game checks and putting up top-75 numbers, with frequent rest days in between.

    Source: Cleveland.com

  • Damian Lillard
    PG, Portland Trail Blazers

    Damian Lillard was on fire again in Thursday's 125-133 loss to the Mavs, scoring 47 points on 16-of-28 shooting to go with six boards, eight assists, a steal and eight 3-pointers.

    Lillard put forth his best efforts to Carry the Blazers to another win tonight and it's going to be looking like this for the foreseeable future. He's the No. 6 player overall in 9-cat leagues and there's no reason he can't finish there with some upside beyond that with how much the Blazers are leaning on him.

  • Trevor Ariza
    SF, Portland Trail Blazers

    Trevor Ariza started on Thursday and scored 21 points on 7-of-11 shooting to go with seven boards, two dimes, two steals and four triples.

    Ariza did a great job on offense in his start and the Blazers have no real reason to not play him big minutes as they don't have many reliable options. His defensive abilities are still limited, but it might be worth it to scoop up Ariza just to see where this thing goes as the Blazers have revived a few fantasy careers this year already.

  • Hassan Whiteside
    C, Portland Trail Blazers

    Hassan Whiteside had some foul trouble (5) on Thursday, but still managed to play 33 minutes, tallying 14 pointson 6-of-8 shooting to go with 10 boards and a block.

    Whiteside couldn't really keep up with the Mavs tonight, which led to his poor stat line. He's the No. 7 player in 9-cat leagues so we'll give him some leash considering the Mavs are the No. 1 offense in the NBA. Even with Jusuf Nurkic (leg) resuming practice, as long as Whiteside stays in Portland, he should maintain early-round value.

  • Carmelo Anthony
    PF, Portland Trail Blazers

    Carmelo Anthony double-doubled on Thursday with 16 points and 11 boardsto go with five dimes, one steal, one block and two triples on Thursday.

    Anthony recorded his first double-double since his game against Houston on January 15th and added his usual inefficient scoring to his line. He had a couple extra dimes thanks to closing out the game in garbage time minutes so don't expect those to come too often.