December 10, 2017, 6:10 pm
Week 9 Schedule
2 games: GSW, LAL, PHI
3 games: ATL, CHI, DAL, DEN, IND, MIL, MIN, NOR, NYK, ORL, PHX, SAC, SAS, UTA
All other teams play 4 games.
Stephen Curry is already out with an ankle injury, but if you have Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Joel Embiid or Ben Simmons, you’re going to lose almost half of their usual weekly output. You also want to pay attention to how dependent your team might be on their respective category weights: KD (BLKS/PTS), Klay (3s), Draymond (ASTS), The Process (BLKS/REBS) and Simmons (STLS/ASTS). KD is tied for second in the league in blocks, and his weight in this category outweighs all others (of the four aforementioned players).
If you’re watching your standings closely, you might want to stream to make up for some of the lost stats, or, if you’re playing a team with at least one of these players, you might find ways to compete in categories you wouldn’t normally.
If you don’t know who’s on your opponent’s team, you, sir or madam, are a lazy fantasy manager. Thank you; I will feast on your negligence.
For My Streamers
For daily leaguers, the schedule is fairly spread out with Friday having 11 games and all other days fewer than 10.
If you have a low-end player benched on Friday, consider dropping him after Wednesday’s game for a Cavalier. Cleveland plays four games overall, with three games in four nights to round out the week (Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday). Dwyane Wade is probably rostered, but over the last two weeks, Jeff Green (top-70), J.R. Smith (top-120) and Kyle Korver (top-140) have been usable. To me, they still are, and have a pretty easy schedule this week, too.
If your Friday isn’t overbooked, BOS, CHA, HOU, LAC, MEM, MIA, OKC, and POR all have four game weeks that end Saturday, leaving your Sunday open for an add and an extra fifth game.
Again, you must know the context surrounding your teams when streaming. Current realities and team build should dictate your adds. When Gobert and AD were out, why would I keep (or add) a low-end center or two? Two players averaging 8.0 rebounds and 1.2 blocks aren’t going to cut it with only Al Horford holding down the fort (despite his uptick in rebounds this season). In such a situation, I’m streaming guards up the wazoo, and hoping to win three or four in assists, threes, steals, free throw percentage and turnovers instead of just winning turnovers and free throws, while chasing blocks and rebounds in vain the whole week.
This is especially important when dropping in the standings; how far down lays the abyss?
WORKING THE WIRE
*Quite a few players carried over from last week’s Wire.
Tyler Johnson’s been hitting shots and threes and he’s shooting up the rankings because of it. Top-30 last week and top-65 over the last two means you should be playing him, especially with four games.
The three-headed monster in Dallas continues to put up low-end standard league value. J.J. Barea, Devin Harris and Yogi Ferrell all were top-130 ranked over the last week with Dennis Smith (hip) missing two games. With such similar values, scoop what stats you need: Barea for points and threes, Harris for points and steals, and Ferrell for efficiency and a little of everything. DSJ might return this week and I think Barea keeps the most value, followed by Ferrell and Harris. Dallas goes four times this week.
Fred VanVleet is barely owned at all (less than 5 percent) but continues to quietly be effective with low-end guard stats. He’s averaging a fairly efficient 12.5 points, two threes and four and a half assists over the past week, good enough for top-130 value. The Raptors plays four games this week.
Patty Mills slowed down a bit last week, but still was in the top-130. He has low upside, but he’s consistent with the threes, efficiency and a smattering of assists, although he only plays three games this week.
Malcolm Brogdon has started popping up on random waivers. He’s just top-150 since Eric Bledsoe‘s arrival, and except for a nice fantasy playoff schedule, he offers little appeal. Off he bench, he’s a team caretaker as opposed to a secondary ball handler/open 3-point shooter with the starters. He’s a low-end option if the wire is extra dry. He’s still a hold in deep leagues unless there’s better available.
Frank Mason vs. De’Aaron Fox: Internet darling Frank Mason III is getting buzz for looking more NBA-ready than Fox. I agree, but they both don’t really hit threes or steal the ball, which makes them not ready for my squads. Fox has been consistently bad (top-230 last week) and Mason has been trending up (top-160), but I wouldn’t add either of them in 12-team standard leagues, not with VanVleet or Mills out there.
Joe Harris missed the Mexico City game on Saturday, but overall, continues to hit threes and do nothing else. On the flip, Caris LeVert is suddenly killing it, ranking inside the top-25 for the last week due to ridiculously unsustainable shooting percentages. He’s .423 from the field and .672 from the line on the season, but over the past week he’s at .531 and .933. Ride him ‘til the wheels fall off.
E’Twaun Moore did his best Steph Curry impersonation last week, averaging 3.3 threes per game. That’s not going to last, but he’s top-100 on the season, top-70 over the last month. He remains a must-add.
Related: Darius Miller has fallen off a bit (top-150ish last two weeks), but sustains value with threes (2.5) for deep leagues and the desperate.
I’m already seeing Jeremy Lamb hit some waivers, as he’s out with a shin contusion and collapsing value. Though he’s still top-80 on the season, he’s trending down at top-150 over the last two weeks, and just inside the top-250 last week. No bueno. If there’s someone with top-100 production on your waivers, I would drop him (I did). Otherwise hold on, as Nic Batum’s elbow doesn’t appear to be getting any better and Lamb has a chance to return to his early-season feasting ways.
David Nwaba (top-180 last week) played 32 minutes on Friday and 31 (including down the stretch) on Saturday, and is straight up stealing minutes from Denzel Valentine, who was barely top-250 last week. He’s a tornado off the bench, blocking shots and trying to dunk everything. He’s the preferred choice of the two, but his value is really tanked with poor shooting from the line (sixth worst free throw weight last week). He’s perfect for punt builds and deserves a hard look in deep leagues.
Thabo Sefolosha is steady low-key value, with an up arrow. He’s top-100 on the year, top-80 last two weeks, and top-50 last week with Rodney Hood (ankle) and Raul Neto (concussion) out. He gets his value with steals, a few threes and rebounds, and great efficiency (by mostly taking open threes and layups from off-ball cuts). Utah plays three games this week.
The Michael Beasley in-the-starting-lineup-experiment was fun while it lasted. Related: Dougie McBuckets is still trash.
Don’t look now, but Chandler Parsons has been top-70 over the past two weeks. He’s getting more minutes, and looking better than I’ve seen him since his Dallas days. The problem is that he’s rested half the games over that span and is a huge injury/DNP risk. He has high upside if he gets closer to his old form, but just a watch for now in standard leagues.
Domantas Sabonis’ arrow is pointed straight down. Ranked top-170 on the year, he’s fallen to top-210 over the past month and just top-250 last week, well outside of standard league value. He’s a drop candidate if there’s a higher upside power forward or center on the waivers (*cough* Olynyk).
Marvin Williams has been ranked in the top-100 for the season and consistently top-90 over the last month. His rank is mostly due to his high efficiency, but with Lamb out, he’ll have more opportunity to hit threes. Four games this week makes him must-add in head-to-heads if you need efficient threes and a few boards; he was already must-own in Roto-leagues.
Nikola Mirotic: The Bulls’ superb beat reporter K.C. Johnson thinks Bobby Portis will only be getting minutes as a backup center, which means Niko will at least be getting all the backup minutes behind Lauri Markkanen (who increasingly looks gassed) in addition to small ball center. He can hit threes, grab boards, and should average at least a stock and a half. In one of my leagues, an impatient manager dropped him after the first game. Lol, and, yoink.
Marquese Chriss has been the only Suns big not randomly DNPed, and finished the week scoring double figures in two consecutive games. He hasn’t been blocking many shots, but baby steps (we’re just babies, man). He was top-120 last week, which puts him on the radar for standard leagues and we all know the upside is there.
OG Anunoby sounds like new-school Jedi. The rookie plays like an O.G., and is top-120 over the last two weeks, adding some threes and steals and fantastic field goal percentage on good shot selection. He’ll be inconsistent but deep leaguers and Dynasty owners can consider an add, while everyone else take notice. If he’s knocking down threes and getting steals he keeps value, even with limited minutes (though his minutes have also been trending up).
Jahlil Okafor vs. Jarrett Allen: All over Fantasyland, diverging opinions on the Nets’ center situation have usually fallen into two camps. The first is the prevalent view that the Nets traded for Okafor to give him minutes, and that he can produce with consistent minutes. The second camp consists of the analytics guys, who slobber over Allen’s blocks potential and hate Jah’s anachronistic game.
My opinion falls in the middle. Okafor’s game is better suited for the 1990’s and he can’t defend at all; I’ve heard him likened to a worse Enes Kanter several times, and it’s an apt comparison. Still, I can’t imagine the Nets traded for him to keep him on the bench, or to get less run than Allen. I think Okafor will be given every chance to produce, and he’ll block Allen’s development the more he plays. You can pick up Jah if you’re in a points league or punting free throw percentage, but I’m not a big fan in standard leagues as he was outside the top-150 in his most productive season. Allen remains just a blocks specialist.
Gorgui Dieng: Well, that didn’t last, as KAT wasn’t going to be in foul trouble every game. Still, over the last week, he’s inside the top-110. The problem is that outside of percentages and turnovers, his value in the other categories are flat to negative. Not good. Remains a watch for me, but he might be helpful for certain Roto teams.
Richaun Holmes: On Thursday against the Lakers, the Sixers made their (almost) comeback with Holmes playing the four alongside Embiid, picking up extra burn while Dario Saric (eye) sat. Holmes looked impressive running ahead for dunks, off the pick & roll, grabbing offensive rebounds and going up strong in traffic.
Embiid didn’t play on Satuday, but Saric did, along with new Sixer Trevor Booker. All three of Holmes, Booker and Amir Johnson played 20 or 21 minutes. Holmes also had some foul trouble but still played a decent game. He was top-110 over that two-game sample. We’ll have to see how the rotation shakes out when Embiid returns unless you have a real scrub to drop.
-It was hilarious seeing Tomas Satoransky getting scooped up everywhere for last Monday’s game, then getting dropped en masse on Tuesday. Ha ha. Ha. He had a nice little game on Saturday, so maybe we’ll see a repeat for Week 9. Some casino in Macau probably has a line on this.
-Man, the Lakers are so sloppy with the ball. Oftentimes, it seems so egregious, especially in tight games when they try to make a comeback or hold the lead. Some of it is youth, but some is just being careless. When they cut down their turnovers (like last Thursday in Philly), they’re competitive.
Barber: How ‘bout them sideburns? You want me to fade ‘em?
Clarkson: Naw, just chop ‘em off at the ear.
Related: Clarkson is averaging the most turnovers per 36 minutes (3.0) in his career. I’m pretty sure he’d have more court balance and make fewer overanxious thirsty passes if he was rocking some bad-ass old-timey muttonchops.
Choppin’ it up,
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