December 7, 2016, 11:31 pm
The regular season is just a third of the way done and player volatility has been a head-scratcher to say the least. A lot of players held some solid, albeit temporary value. In this edition of the Daily Dish, we’re going to take a look at the games played and discuss some players and their fluctuating fantasy values.
Detroit Pistons 77, Charlotte Hornets 87 – Because 20-20s are how the cool guys get double-doubles
Andre Drummond went HAM on the Hornets, but unfortunately his 26-20-2 line was not enough to carry his team. This is his second 20-20 game of the season, but expect at least several more to come before it’s all said and done. I’ve received a lot of offers for my Drummond and also have been offered Drummond in a couple of leagues. His ability to win REB for your team on a weekly basis makes him such a force in H2H. Drummond is a good asset to have moving forward and is a dependable big man with good a rest-of-season (ROS) outlook.
Ish Smith is a guy that should be dropped by now and should only be kept in the deepest of leagues. Reggie Jackson is adjusting slowly, but should get his groove going soon. Unless R-Jax gets hurt, Smith’s value will continue to trend downward.
Despite his six points, four boards, and six assists in this game I still like Jon Leuer as a deep-league asset and I’m confident that his role and minutes are safe moving forward.
Marvin Williams (12 points, two treys) is back in action and the 26 minutes he played means that it’s time to say goodbye to your Frank Kaminsky. Despite his slow start to the season, Williams is the guy to own and managers in standard leagues may want to check out the FA pool for him as he was likely dropped a while back.
Boston Celtics 117, Orlando Magic 87 – No Isaiah? No problem.
Even without Isaiah Thomas, who is day-to-day with a groin injury, the Celtics still managed to walk all over the Orlando Magic in this one. Marcus Smart, who started in place of Thomas had a decent game with 13 points, three rebounds and three assists. His productivity should spike in the short-term, but probably still not enough to warrant an add in standard leagues.
Just to be clear, do not trust Amir Johnson nor Jonas Jerebko, regardless which guy is starting at power forward for the Celtics. They will be shuffled in and out of the starting lineup depending on match-ups, which is something that will not do their fantasy value any favors. Leave ‘em be and go for say a, Mike Muscala (ATL), if you’re looking for a big man in deep leagues.
The Orlando Magic are a mess and I wouldn’t be surprised if Frank Vogel is let go before the season is over. Nikola Vucevic was not hurt too much with his move to the bench and is worth a hold. Serge Ibaka has cooled off after a string of solid games. On a smaller scale, the same can be said of Jeff Green, who also turned in a poor game with three points and two rebounds to his name.
After sorting through this mess, guys like Bismack Biyombo and D.J. Augustin are worth owning in 16-man leagues or deeper. Maybe 14-man, if you’ve got a lot of injuries and are desperate. Elfrid Payton has not found a path towards consistent productivity and should be left on the wire in standard leagues until he figures it out.
Denver Nuggets 111, Brooklyn Nets 116 – No way, Rondae! Bye-bye!
The Nets did an outstanding job in this one with Sean Kilpatrick stepping up with 22-6-3 and two triples. He’s going to be a good asset ROS, even when Jeremy Lin eventually returns. I recently traded Gorgui Dieng for Trevor Booker in one league and declined an offer of Darren Collison for my Trev Booker in another league. That pretty much sums up how I feel about him moving forward. 15-12-5 tonight will be just another of many double-doubles to come this season.
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson slid to a bench role and missed all six of his shot attempts from the field in 14 minutes. Yeah, he’s been one of the more disappointing players this season, relative to the preseason hype. Drop him for now as his value has slid really low. He does still have potential so add him to your watch list.
Wilson Chandler will win Sixth Man of the Year. I’m pretty sure you heard that here first. 27-15 off the bench with six treys! Sign me up. As long as Chandler stays healthy he should be a stud.
Emmanuel Mudiay is like Elfrid Payton in the sense that he cannot handle being the duties of being primary point guard. Drop him in standard leagues. That said, “old man” Jameer Nelson (14-5-5) should hold deep-league value for quite some time, making him worth a hold in those leagues.
Nikola Jokic (14 points, 11 rebounds) will be a great player, but timing is the issue here with him living up to said destiny may not happen this season. Best case scenario, he has a strong second-half of the season. Worst case is he continues on his fantasy-value roller coaster ride, making his owners sick to their stomach every now and then. I like the guy, but he’s hard to trust right now.
Miami Heat 95, Atlanta Hawks 103 – Millsap Time! Again!
Yes, Paul Millsap’s fantasy value has indeed taken a hit, playing alongside the new-look Hawks; but his ability to contribute across so many categories just cannot be ignored. He’s come back strong after missing a few games. If you want to own him, you will have to wait for another buy-low window to open. He’s scored 20 points and gotten three steals or more over his last two games. He dropped 21 points, nine rebounds, four steals, and three blocks in this game. OMFG!
Kent Bazemore has been frustrating to own this season, to say the least. He thrills you with a great game and then he makes you want to pull your hair out in the next one. The latest ding on his fluctuating value is his injured knee, causing him to miss this game. Is he worth holding onto? The short answer is “yes”, but if you can afford to sit him in weekly leagues then be patient and wait for him to get into his groove. Thabo Sefolosha should see some short-term increase in value, but it should be minimal. He’s never need many minutes to contribute on defense and that’s why he’s worth owning; good shooting percentages, almost non-existent turnovers, a bunch of steals, and the occasional trey. I picked up Thabo in a standard league and will ride him over the next couple of games and see how things go.
Hassan Whiteside had an off game tonight (eight points, 12 boards, one block), but should bounce back sooner than later. He’s card-carrying member of what I call the “Four Horsemen of Big Man Stats”. Joining him in that group are Andre Drummond, Rudy Gobert, and Anthony Davis.
Wayne Ellington continues to sizzle and is worth riding in the short-term. Dion Waiters won’t be out for much longer and will likely reprise his role as the team’s starting shooting guard, which will obviously eat a chunk out of Ellington’s value.
James Johnson was a low-key multi-cat contributor prior to going down with a rotator cuff strain. He missed this game and could be sidelined for at least a few more. He’s worth holding onto in deep leagues with weekly changes settings. Outside of that, you can drop him now and grab him once he’s healthy again.
Portland Trail Blazers 107, Milwaukee Bucks 115 – Can we count on John Henson?
At this stage, John Henson (7-6-2) would be on my list of candidates for poster boy of fantasy volatility this season. His upside is high enough that you want to keep him, but the threat of Jason Kidd handing Henson’s minutes to some other big off the bench is a stressful situation. This makes his spectrum of volatility so wide. I look at it this way. He’s starting, Monroe could be traded (hopefully soon), so go with the upside. If John’s minutes start dwindling in the short-term, bench him, but don’t drop him. He’s definitely worth a hold.
Maurice Harkless (11-4-4-4) is making a good case for winning the Most Improved Player of the Year award. His value is now steady, making him one of the better FA adds this season.
Al-Farouq Aminu was dropped in many leagues and is worth an add based on him being a “1-1-1” threat (1 trey, 1 steal, 1 block). His shooting percentages leave a bit to be desired, but his counting stats contributions are a boon for almost any team.
Mason Plumlee has become one of my favorite players to own this season. I recently traded my Thaddeus Young for him in a 7-cat league (no percentages) and have not regretted it at all. Plumlee is a sneaky way of adding assists without trading for a point guard. He can rebound and give you the occasional block. I’m glad I own him.
Los Angeles Lakers 95, Houston 134 – Be prepared for the future and arm yourself with an Ingram.
The Rockets ran away with this game easily and there was a lot of garbage time to go around. Patrick Beverley had arguably his best game of the season with 10 points, seven boards, 12 dimes, and three steals. He’s worth owning in 14-16 team leagues or deeper at the moment, but has not gained enough traction lately to warrant a standard-league add. When, not “if”, Eric Gordon goes down due to his annually scheduled hiatus due to injury, then Bev is worth a grab.
Ryan Anderson (12-5, no treys) has been far streakier than I predicted in the preseason. Still, his ability to blow up and knock down a ton of threes allows him some slack. He’s a hold in standard leagues for that reason.
Brandon Ingram (12-7-1-1) is only going to get better and better as the season progresses. While Joel Embiid is running away with the ROY race, Ingram could well be the runner-up after all is said and done. He’s a bit of a long(er) term investment at this point, but he should pay off dividends soon enough.
Nick Young said he plans to play by Monday and is now worth a grab from FA pools all around. He’s been one of the more pleasant surprises this year and should resume the best season of his career in solid form once his strained calf is 100% healed.
Cleveland Cavaliers 126, New York Knicks 94 – A re-run from the “Derrick Rose Show”?
The Cavs just destroyed the Knicks and their “Big 3” dropped 20 points or more apiece. Even Tristan Thompson pinged on fantasy radars with his 20-rebound outing. Cleveland was without J.R. Smith who missed the game with a knee injury. Deep-league managers can look to Iman Shumpert for some short-term value, while Smith is out.
Oh look, Derrick Rose is injured and missed a game. Yeah, we read that headline like three seasons ago. So, what’s new? The MRI on Rose’s back came up negative. That’s the good news. Bad news is we don’t have a timetable yet for this oft-injured player’s return. He was playing well prior to going down with the injury and is worth a stash, at least until more updates are released. Brandon Jennings started in his stead and scored 16 points and handed out three assists. Jennings had deep-league appeal prior to Rose’s injury and is now a must-own guy in 14-team or deeper.
Kristaps Porzingis had a lackluster outing with 12 points, three boards, and two blocks. Foul trouble was an issue for a bit, but this is more the result of getting steamrolled by the Cavs. He should resume his all-star caliber play soon enough, so owners need not worry.
Sacramento Kings 120, Dallas Mavericks 89 – Get down and Boogie!
DeMarcus Cousins has been on a stellar run as of late and he totally destroyed the helpless Mavs with his 24-14-7-3 line. I would not fault Cousins owners if they opted to cash in on this run and sell their star center for some depth. We’re already in high-end territory of what Cousins can bring. IF he’s ever traded this season, expect his numbers to take a sizeable hit. If you are in the market for a Rudy Gay (19-3-4-4) or a DeMarcus Cousins, just be sure you’re not overpaying when you do decide to pull the trigger.
Darren Collison is an interesting guy at this point. He’ll explode if the Kings get marginal players plus draft picks in a Cousins or Gay deal, but could also fall off if they get a better PG, *cough*RickyRubio*cough*. It’s quite polarizing indeed. The best thing to do is hold him for now.
Harrison Barnes was essentially shutdown (5-of-16 shooting from the field) in this one. He’s been more of a vanilla guy, and still doesn’t hold much upside outside of high-scoring games.
Wesley Matthews has been rolling lately, but is also known for going on cold streaks. His value should even out as a solid, early mid-round asset in the end and should be treated accordingly.
Dwight Powell now has a window to grow, in the absence of Dirk Nowitzki and Andrew Bogut. He had a low-key stat sheet filling night with six points, five boards, five assists, two steals, and a block in this one. The upside is there folks, you know you can smell it. Powell is definitely worth a stash at this point.
Indiana Pacers 109, Phoenix Suns 94 – Jeff Teague is for real!
Jeff Teague (19-5-11-2) is returning early round value so far this season and I do not expect that to change. While he won’t likely be able to sustain his two steals per game, Teague should still has a good all-around game for a point guard. People who are inquiring about my Jeff Teague will have to shell out someone delivering second-round value; well, maybe third if the deal looks good.
Monta Ellis is now an afterthought and the fact that I had to look up what he’s been doing recently speaks volumes at how much he’s fallen off.
I was high on Marquese Chriss before the season started, but it is apparent that the rookie is still too raw to be counted on, despite the opportunities handed to him. He needs time to learn and absorb the game. Can he be a second-half surprise? Yes, the potential is there, but look to him then and get value where you can for now.
Brandon Knight (10 points, 3-of-10 from the field) has struggled this season. Patient owners can stash him if they’re buying into those trade rumors. As far as I’m concerned he can be left on the wire in standard leagues.
Golden State Warriors 115, Los Angeles Clippers 98 – Warriors just keep on rolling!
I anticipated this match-up to be an exciting one between two of the Western Conference’s top teams. However, I was mildly disappointed with the ease that the Warriors destroyed the clips.
As far as fantasy basketball is concerned, I’m going to allow myself a bit of laziness and just say that the four Warriors (Curry, Durant, Green, Thompson) rock and leave it at that.
This was a tough game for owners of Clipper players. Everyone was just underwhelming. They’re still a solid bunch of guys and were simply just outmatched by the Dubs in this one. I would like to remind everyone that I own Clippers players only in rotisserie leagues. LAC has the worst fantasy playoff schedule and I stayed away from drafting them in head to head leagues. Keep that in mind as you might want to consider letting go of your Clips before the fantasy trade deadline.