by Matthew Bellerose
Week 3 is all about the 3’s. Doug McDermott leads the way in the percentage categories (with more than 10 attempted), there are only two people that Stephen Curry is not doubling in the made category, and Jimmer Fredette is a solid 0-1. There are some shooters who are underrated; while others are just not producing enough other stats to make their 3’s worthwhile.
Nerlens Noel, PF/C – Philadelphia 76ers
One of Noel’s most attractive features is his defensive contributions of steals and blocks. In the teams last six games (Noel only played in four) he has only put up 2 blocks and six steals. While the per game average for the steals seems to be fair, the blocks need to rise to almost 2 per game to give the owners what they are looking for. He is attempting more than three more shots per game than he did last year.
Okafor will begin to draw off defenders, meaning that Noel’s FG% should begin to rise, and more points per game as well. I see Noel posting a solid 2 steals and 2 blocks per game for the remainder or the season as well as around 7 rebounds and upward of 14 points a game, making him a great buy low candidate as he is averaging poor numbers over his past few games to start the season.
George Hill, PG – Indiana Pacers
Once George gets over the hill of his illness, he will be an excellent contributor for the remainder of the season. His last two games he scored in single digits, and the last team game he sat out due to a temporary illness. Hill has quietly averaged just shy of 2.5 3’s per game, and more than 1.5 steals a game. Hill is 10th in the league in 3’s per game, and tied for 23rd in steals per game. Hill is also playing the most minutes on a new and improved Pacers team. There is room for improvement in points, as well as assists for the remainder of the season. Seek out an owner who is frustrated with his recent production and scoop him up for a boost to your team, especially as a top tier 3 point specialist.
Robert Covington, SF – Philadelphia 76ers
Speaking of 3 point specialist, Robert Covington is someone who needs to be added in virtually every league. Covington is a very similar player to Hill, but has different position eligibility and slightly worse field goal percentage. He put up excellent 3 point numbers last year, and should assume the starting role on the 76ers, who like the Jaguars, are great for fantasy production, yet not the best real-life production. Covington is not owned in a large percentage of leagues due to his injury to begin the season. If he is available, go scoop him up, but if another team has him, go make a trade before he starts to put up elite tier numbers in 3’s as well as solid points and steal numbers once he is fully healed.
Trevor Ariza, SF – Houston Rockets
Insert Terrence Jones, and a new head coach. Ariza is one of the fantastic defense assets who do not provide full category production. He just went for his best game of the season putting up 19 points and 9 rebounds. However, he attempted more shots than the bearded beast in James Harden. Do not expect this trend to continue. Yes he should continue to give around two steals, but his 3’s made are double his career average per game, and he is taking almost 3 more shots per game than his career average.
He was asked to take a larger role in the offense with a struggling James Harden and Ty Lawson, and Terrence Jones sidelined with an injury. Now with a new head coach, he is more likely to rely on his proven offensive stars and let Ariza do his damage on the defensive side of the ball. I see his rebounds, 3’s, and points all sliding downward for the season. But if you are in need of steals and or 3’s, look to Hill or Covington who can produce almost the same numbers in those categories along with better overall production.
J.J. Redick, SG – Los Angeles Clippers
I’m sensing a theme of three point shooters this week. There are two to buy, and two to sell. The Clippers coach for some reason has a fascination with giving Austin Rivers a significant amount of minutes. I was watching a Clippers game, they were down by two, and Paul Pierce was enjoying the bench life while Austin Rivers had the ball in his hands. If you’re losing out to Austin Rivers, you should not be considered a fantasy asset.
J.J. has new tattoos on his arms, and I think that they are affecting his shooting as well as his looks. He looks as good with that tattoo as Rajon Rondo does at the free-throw line. He is widely known for his shooting, but he is not producing enough numbers to make him valuable. In the last five games Hassan Whiteside has more blocks than Redick has steals, assists, rebounds, and blocks over 8 games this season. There are other shooters producing the same 3 numbers and percentages at a much lower cost. See if someone likes college Redick or is in need of 3’s, because you could earn a much better return if you can trade for a forward and another decent guard.
Rajon Rondo, PG – Sacramento Kings
The Celtics Rondo is back and playing like Jason Kidd used too in his Nets days. Rondo has 3 triple-doubles in his last five games while averaging 14 assists throughout those five games. This pace is just not sustainable for the rest of the season. I am worried that he is going to get to the free-throw line and just run away from basketball. He is converting free-throws at the same rate as DeAndre Jordan, which is just going to destroy your free-throw percentage. He has also played multiple 40 minute games this past week with Darren Collison sidelined. His value will fall once Collison returns and begins to steal his production and cut into his minutes. He is leaving many people questioning what went on in Dallas last year with this recent hot streak. If he can return to Boston form, fantastic for Sacramento, but if he returns to his Dallas days owners are in a world of trouble. Sell the recent hot streak, because even if he plays at his all-star level, his production will not be able to maintain that rate, and he will ruin your free-throw percentage. Sell Rondo while his value is at a peak now.
The only categories that he provides in are 3’s and points, neither of which is spectacular. He provides no other categorical help and his shooting percentages are nothing spectacular. Redick is a player widely known for his shooting, where as Hill and Covington are not as recognized for their 3 point shooting. Redick has had a few good games this year, but his backups are earning more minutes, and Redick’s overall production is down. See if someone likes college Redick or is in need of 3’s, because you could earn a much better return in you can trade for a forward and another decent guard.