Just over halfway through the fantasy season seems like an appropriate time to rejoin us here on the Island, so welcome back. Last time we spoke we were dealing with the athletes that wear helmets, but with that sport’s fantasy season coming to a close we will move on and turn our attention now to the athletes that wear headbands. Let’s get all caught up and then ahead of the game in the world of NBA Fantasy Basketball. I want my readers skilled enough to not only beat their opponents, but to break their ankles on the way.
Games Per Week (How many games each team has this week. Use this to base your lineup choices and waiver pickups.)
1 Game: ORL, TOR
2 Games: LAC, PHI
3 Games: ATL, CHA, CLE, DEN, DET, MEM, NOP, NYK, PHX, POR, SAC, UTA
4 Games: BOS, BRK, CHI, DAL, GSW, HOU, IND, LAL, MIA, MIL, MIN, OKC, SAS, WAS
Hot Off the Wire
Will Barton, G/F Denver Nuggets (80 percent owned on Yahoo! format)
Okay I shouldn’t have to mention this guy at all in a waiver wire section, but according to my data he is available in one out of every five leagues and if you are lucky enough that might be yours. If he is available, do yourself a huge favor and put him on your roster in place of the terrible person you drafted that hasn’t done a damn thing to this point. Kevin Garnett and OJ Mayo owners, I’m looking at you. Although Will hasn’t exactly caught his feet yet in 2016 like he did in the first couple months, the man still averages 16, 6.2, and 2.5. This is his team now, and no stars should be on free agent list.
Aaron Gordon, F Orlando Magic (43 percent owned)
The fact that this young guy has been a bust in respects to his high draft pick is a drag for the Magic, but a benefit to you and your team. His inconsistencies make him a player that is not worth drafting at the beginning of the year, but fantasy basketball pickups are all based off of how hot players are and riding out those streaks. Aaron is coming off of great outings in his last two games where he registered his season high in minutes, points, rebounds, steals, and even three-pointers. Needless to say his increase in minutes has boosted his stat sheet and he definitely holds some true value in the next coming weeks, especially in deeper leagues. Plus the kid is a whole lot of fun to watch…
Omri Casspi, F Sacramento Kings (55 percent owned)
You probably know this guy as the player who you think has been in the league since you were born, but it’s really just his seventh season. Anyways, this old young guy has been out the last few games but looks to be set to play tonight against a struggling New Orleans team. Despite missing a couple games, Casspi still is among the best in the league when it comes to three point shooting. His percentage from that distance is an outstanding .477 percent, which ranks fourth in the NBA this season, leaving him above the likes of Steph Curry (7th) and the rest of the people on that California team of his. If you are in need of help in 3’s or either of your percentage categories, this is the man for you.
The Los Angeles Lakers Starters
Please read this with the understanding that I do not recommend you pick up Roy Hibbert and that you probably can’t get Kobe at this point. So whom does that leave? Larry Nance Jr (25 percent), Jordan Clarkson (76 percent), and Lou Williams (74 percent). Larry “Sir Nancelot” Nance Jr. has earned himself a starting spot despite being drafted well after DeAngelo Russell this year and being well undervalued compared to Julius Randle last year due to his consistency and what Byron Scott calls “Playing the game the right way”. Larry has been a beast on the boards, has a fantastic field goal percentage, and gets an unbelievable amount of steals for a big. Getting a large portion of minutes on this team, he is very valuable in deeper leagues.
Clarkson has taken this team under his wing as far as being “The Guy” goes and has done an excellent job as he is sadly one of the more veteran players on his team despite him being just a second year. If he is available in your league, make sure to grab him because he touches the ball every single play, guaranteed.
The man who gained endless popularity from Drake last season has found a new home and he is no sixth man anymore. He has the ability to add some boards, steals, and assists to your score but 3’s, dropping points, and doing it efficiently are his made modes of action. He is coming off his career high in scoring having dropped 44 against a very strong OKC team. In his last seven games he has averaged 23 points with another 30 point outing coming last week against Phoenix. “The Drifter” as his teammates call him for his style of fade-away shot, is definitely worth a spot on your roster.
Cody Zeller, F/C Charlotte Hornets (42 percent owned)
The middle brother of the three Zeller’s may be the best that the family has raised, in the NBA sense of course. In you are searching for boards and blocks, then get on board with Zeller and join his block party, you’re definitely invited. In his last 12 games he registered at least one block in all but two games and had an average of 1.8 per game. Despite his team’s seven game losing skid, the kid reels in about 30+ minutes a game and is huge piece to their team on both sides of the ball. Boards and blocks are his main value but he is not afraid to help out in points, field goal percentage, and even steals as he is averaging 1.3 a game over the last 12.
Drop’em, They’re Not Hot
I know that half of you read this title in a Snoop Dawg voice. If you did, you have succeeded. Below is a list of current players that are on the downfall or are hitting a cold streak and do not present enough value to keep on your roster at the moment. These are the players you should consider sacrificing to gain one of the players from above.
-Bismack Biyombo, C Toronto Raptors
-DeMarre Carroll, F Toronto Raptors
-Shane Larkin, PG Brooklyn Nets
-Jon Leuer, PF Phoenix Suns
-Robert Covington, F Philadelphia 76ers
-Nikola Jokic, PF Denver Nuggets (See Jusuf Nurkic fro a perfect replacement)
-Gorgui Deng, C Minnesota Timberwolves
-Bobby Portis, PF Chicago Bulls
-Tyson Chandler, C Phoenix Suns