• What’s up guys – this is an interesting week for the wire.  We’ve got the All Star break coming up, the trade deadline right around the corner and the end of the season is popping up just over the horizon.

    Check out Solomon Lerner’s great piece on maximizing games played for the rest of the year and now is as good of a time as ever to get acquainted with our premium products.  You can definitely get by on the free stuff, but if you want the added umph it’s there at a very low cost.  As usual, good luck and let’s keep our foot on the gas.

    Editor’s Note: We have a brand new APP for all of our FREE Hoop Ball podcasts. You can download it for your Apple devices here and for your Android devices here. ALSO, you can subscribe to our flagship show Fantasy NBA Today on iTunes right here and on Stitcher right here.

    POINT GUARDS

    Jameer Nelson (12% owned) – Nelson comes with no guarantees about the return of Emmanuel Mudiay (back), but he’s bringing back must-start numbers until Mudiay returns and even when that happens he might still bring back low-end numbers. Especially with Nikola Jokic missing at least one game, the four-game week gives owners something to work with here.

    Recommendation: Must-own player for at least the next week

    Raymond Felton (23% owned) – Felton should be owned in a lot more leagues than this. He’s a borderline lock for late-round value while Chris Paul is out. The Clippers’ schedule leaves a lot to be desired but he should stay inside of the top-150.

    Recommendation: Must-own player in 12-team leagues until Paul returns. Should be owned in most 10-team leagues.

    Matthew Dellavedova (29%) – There should be concerns about his stat set and his ability to sustatin late-round numbers, but he has gotten off to a good start since being thrust back into the starting lineup. Over his last four games he has averaged 12.5 points, 1.8 threes, 2.0 boards, 5.0 assists and 1.0 steals in 28 mpg. Malcolm Brogdon has slid a bit during that span and there could be market corrections in both directions, but Delly is worth a look if you need PG help.

    Recommendation: Worth a look in 12-team formats

    Brandon Jennings (21%) – Derrick Rose is going to miss a few games it seems and he’s officially day-to-day with his ankle injury. That gives Jennings a strong chance at returning late-round value with some upside beyond that (and some mild risk due to his inconsistency). There’s some small, hidden upside in that we just don’t know when Rose will get injured or have something else come up.

    Recommendation: A must-own player for at least the next week

    SHOOTING GUARDS

    Justin Holiday (2%) – I actually like Holiday over Jennings in the Rose-injury sweepstakes. He has a better stat set and though he might not get as many minutes as Jennings, I’m just a fan of upside. He’ll have a one-week window where he should be given strong consideration in 12-team formats.

    Recommendation: Worth a hard look in 12-team formats for at least the next week

    Tony Allen (22%) – Allen has been a solid top-115 option this year in 28 mpg. David Fizdale isn’t limiting him to 23 mpg the way that Dave Joerger used to and it has made him a consistent fantasy option.

    Recommendation: Should be owned in all standard leagues

    Tim Hardaway Jr. (26%) – His stat set has gone from abominable to bearable and if he’s getting 26-28 mpg he can check in with late-round value. The Hawks really seem to like him and they’re only going to thin out as the year goes on. It’s possible he treads water for a few weeks and then lifts off into a more sustainable asset.

    Recommendation: Worth a hard look in 12-team formats

    Jamal Murray (22%) – As we get closer to the trade deadline a player like Murray should get added consideration. How much? It’s going to be a day-to-day and even minute-to-minute endeavor figuring that out. If the Nuggets start looking at trading Emmanuel Mudiay or Jameer Nelson his situation improves greatly. His stat set is a bit of a mystery, too.

    Recommendation: Worth a look as a stash in 14-16 team formats but be ready to adjust upward as needed

    Editor’s Note: Hoop Ball Premium Subscribers get access to even more info, articles, live chats, tools and more. Subscribers to our Hoop Ball Fantasy Pro Service get in-depth analysis on a one-on-one basis from our pros. Check it out!

    SMALL FORWARD

    Dorian Finney-Smith (1%) – DFS isn’t exactly built for DFS but he does work in the money counting stat department. The Mavs aren’t quite ready to look to next season but when they do it’s possible that Finney-Smith racks up the minutes and turns in top-100 value.

    Recommendation: Keep on your watch list in 12-16 team formats

    Denzel Valentine (3%) – The Bulls play just twice this week so you’re not relying on him anytime soon and heck, he might not see the floor. But as a player that profiles as a stat producer and a high draft pick for a team that’s imploding, it seems like a matter of time before he gets on the floor.

    Recommendation: Keep on your watch list in 12-16 team formats

    Caris LeVert (17%) – We’ve discussed this guy ad nauseam and it sucks to push back on a young, exciting player but we’re not in charge of this stuff. It’s the same thing that happened with Trey Lyles earlier in the year and we’ll give you the cliff notes version here. Search his name on our site if you want the blow-by-blow rundown of his value. He has upside but plenty of challenges to his value. We want to soberly guide you through this and not act like it’s our first beer.

    Recommendation: Worth a look as a stash in 12-14 team formats

    POWER FORWARD

    Okaro White (0%) – Charles Barkley would definitely not know who he play for. White has won over the Heat and he stands a great shot at lasting the rest of the season in one capacity or another. White had a solid game with plenty of money counters followed up by a relative dud, but the Heat stand a very good shot of looking like the Pelicans did at the end of last season. Even though Luke Babbitt plays for the same team, we might be having Okaro Alerts relatively soon.

    Recommendation: Worth a look as a stash in 12-team formats

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    CENTER

    Jusuf Nurkic (40%) – Nurk has been terrible lately even with Nikola Jokic (hip) on the shelf and that’s a combination of things. Nurkic tends to get out of shape relatively quick, he gets out of rhythm fast and he also gets down on himself quickly. He’s lost right now. The Nuggets want to trade him and there will be interest around the league. He needs just 20 mpg to be a fantasy factor and this is a classic trade deadline stash.

    Recommendation: Worth a very hard look as a stash in any format

    Willie Cauley-Stein (16%) – I was as high on WCS as anybody in Fantasy and had I worked a bit harder to get on the ground info about his mindset maybe this wouldn’t have turned out so bad. In fairness, not too many people on the ground expected him to get completely rocked by the new system and in general. In double-fairness, he profiles as the type of player that can go through ups and downs. So yeah, we missed here. Big. But the switch has flipped on and though it hasn’t translated to stats or value, if he can keep it up we might be talking about him in a few weeks.

    Recommendation: Put on your watch lists and consider a stash in 16-team formats

    Cristiano Felicio (1%) – Felicio hasn’t been great lately in the fantasy sense but he has gained favor with the local writers and he looked good last year around this time. The Bulls do appear to be imploding and though Robin Lopez isn’t a part of that the thin center position begs the question of Felicio’s value.

    Recommendation: He’s worth putting on watch lists in 14-16 team formats

    Alex Len (35%) – Len has been brutal this year and Tyson Chandler has been getting it done. How long this goes for Chandler in Phoenix is anybody’s guess and I wouldn’t put it past them to develop Chandler all season while letting Len rust on the bench. But conventional wisdom says to trade Chandler and let Len loose.

    Recommendation: He’s worth a look in 14-16 team leagues as a stash

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