by Matthew Bellerose
Welcome to 2016, where basketball continues to amaze. I was looking back at some of my old articles, because I found myself thinking about some of my previous recommendations. While there were some that I missed on (Selling Khris Middleton and Rajon Rondo, and buying Robert Covington), I think that I nailed some of my other recommendations. Selling Demarre Carrol, Derrick Rose, Robin Lopez, Mo Williams. While buying John Wall, Tyreke Evans, Wesley Matthews, DeMar DeRozan, Pau Gasol, Ricky Rubio, Karl Anthony Towns and Nerlens Noel.
If one were to assemble that team they were be in fantastic shape right now. Some of those might have been obvious, but my job is to help you realize what’s going on behind the public eye. I hope that this week helps, and that your 2016 is better than 2015!
Brook Lopez C Brooklyn Nets
The Nets are the biggest mess in basketball. They just lost their mediocre point guard for the remainder of the season, leaving Thaddeus Young and Brook Lopez as the only players with some level of extensive talent on the team. Over his last five games he is averaging over 23 points and 11 rebounds a game. Those numbers are far higher than his career averages of 18 and 7 respectively. Lopez is likely to see more defense as the Nets have no real outside scoring threat for opposing teams to worry about. Also, Lopez is no lock to remain healthy for the rest of the season. Trade him while his value is extremely high, because it can only fall from here.
Kyrie Irving PG Cleveland Cavaliers
One of the best players in the NBA is back and needs to be on your fantasy team. If you drafted him and waited him out, congratulations, if you don’t have him, see what the owner wants. While point guard is a premier position in fantasy with loads of studs, having a second can only be beneficial. He is a career 20 point and 5 assist guy, along with excellent three point shooting and good defensive numbers. His minute restriction is about to be lifted, and his rest days should be few and far between. Kyrie is back, and don’t hesitate to make a big offer.
Brandon Jennings PG Detroit Pistons
We have another point guard returning from injury to help fantasy teams. Jennings may still be available in your league, and if not, he should not cost too much to obtain. Currently a backup for Reggie Jackson, he should begin to see an increase in minutes, and the high tempo offense should bode well for Jennings. He is an excellent source of points and assists and can be found cheap. He put up 17 and 6 in just 18 minutes while going 3-4 from downtown. He is a career 16 and 6 guard, but does not provide good percentage numbers. If you are in need of points, but can afford a drop in field goal percentage, I would look to a high upside play in Jennings for the remainder of the season.
Jae Crowder SF Boston Celtics
Crowder was formerly known as a defensive stud that can help spread the floor on offense because he has a respectable 3 point shot. Crowder is playing significantly better than anyone outside of the Celtics organization could have predicted. He seems to have taken over a leadership role on the floor. His minutes are a constant as there are no other true small forwards on the roster. He averages just under 2 steals and 2 threes a game, while providing 14 points and 5 rebounds. Those are his season averages, where in his last 5 games, all of his number are up. Even if the Celtics make a blockbuster trade around the deadlines, Crowder’s role appears to be safe. He is returning fantastic value as a late round/undrafted pick and should continue to produce for your team.