by Matthew Bellerose
Robin Lopez has more victories over mascots than the 76ers have against other NBA teams, what a sad world we live in. The Warriors have as many wins as the Rockets, Pelicans, and Clippers combined, all of whom were playoff teams last year. This week there are two teams each with one stud to grab and one dud to let go. Enjoy a wonderful Thanksgiving, sit back, relax, eat, and study fantasy basketball.
Tyreke Evans SG New Orleans Pelicans
Evans has put up a disappointing zero points so far this year, but has committed zero turnovers. Tyreke is finally returning after surgery on his right knee. People seem to forget how productive Evans has been in recent years. He has averaged around 15 points, 5 assists, 5 rebounds, and more than a steal per game. He also comes with multiple position eligibility. He is currently not owned in every league, and if he is available in yours, go pick him up immediately. If an owner has held onto him since the draft, he may be a difficult asset to pry away, but I would certainly try. He is a very good fantasy contributor and can make a drastic impact on your team for the rest of the season.
Kenneth Faried PF Denver Nuggets
Faried is a very interesting case study. Coming into the season he could have been considered a breakout candidate, and yet even as he is posting career highs, he can also be a buy-low player. He was a high pick in many drafts and has not performed up to expectations. The last week and a half he has provided very minimal production, which can be attributed to an ankle injury. With Wilson Chandler done for the season, Faried will be more involved in the offense. He should improve upon his 12 points and low defensive stats and be a more dominant power forward for the remainder of the season.
John Wall PG Washington Wizards
Wall has seemingly hit a wall these past few games. He has not topped 20 points in his last nine games, while also seeing a spike in turnovers during this period. Wall is still putting up elite assist numbers, most of his production has been down this year, especially recently. He is the best player on the Wizards and one of the best point guards in the league. He will break out of his slump soon, so offer a package deal of two midrange players and see if you can get the owner to bite. A two-time all star, and the best player on a solid team will start to find his magic soon.
Ryan Anderson PF New Orleans Pelicans
Insert Tyreke Evans. Anderson is shooting at an amazingly efficient rate in the past week, posting five straight 20 point performances (with two 30s in there) while shooting .556 from the field during that stretch. Anderson has been valuable for impressive 3 point shooting from his position along with decent point and rebound totals, but he is playing far better now than he ever has. He is a career .425 shooter, with averages of 16 points and just under 6 rebounds during his time in New Orleans. I expect a regression back to his career averages, if not lower. There is only one concern on this team and that is Anthony Davis. Add the second best player on the team back into the equation, and all signs point to regression. Sell Anderson as soon as possible, and try to get Tyreke or another very good player.
Nikola Jokic PF/C Denver Nuggets
Jokic has been starting recently with the slew of injuries to the Nuggets. Jusuf Nurkic is recovering from his injury and should assume his starting role when healthy. If he is a free agent in your league, leave him on the wire, but if you’ve picked him up, try to trade him or look to the free agent pool. He is not someone who will continue his current trend for the remainder of the season. His significant rise in minutes over the last four games still only reached 25 minutes a game, allowing him to almost double his season long point and rebound totals. If Nurkic were to remain sidelined for a longer chunk of the season, it may be a smart idea to hold onto Jokic for a bit longer and wait for his value to rise higher. I still expect a decline very soon with Nurkic and Faried taking control of the frontcourt in Denver.
Deron Williams PG Dallas Mavericks
Williams is finding a new life in Dallas, leading a very efficient Mavericks offense. I do not expect him to have a rapid decline like the others, but I do think is value is high right now. He has four blocks this season, all in his last five games. All of his category season highs have occurred in the last five games, increasing his averages. I think it is reasonable to expect 6 assists, a steal, and more than 3 rebounds a game, but I think the point totals and his free throw percentage will drop. He is not the first or second option on the scoring chart in Dallas, causing his points to fall, but allowing his assists to stay consistent. I would seek out a potential investor for Williams and see if they like his recent increase in production, but do not sell low on Williams, as he can still be a solid point guard for the season.