Ray McCallum is a Name to Know

by Ray Kuhn

Alright, let’s state the obvious. We are now in a confusing time for fantasy basketball. Teams are gearing up for their playoff runs, teams are fighting to make the playoffs, and there are teams merely playing out the string.

Injuries are catching up to players, some performances are beginning to suffer, and players who were previously unknown are beginning to emerge. Players are going from the waiver wire to the starting lineup and literally becoming valuable fantasy options over nigh after previously being unknown.

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Injury Report: Blake Griffin Still Out, The Grizzlies Have No Point Guards And More

by Will Overton

Staying on top of the injury news around the league can be one of the ways to get a leg up on your competition in fantasy basketball. It’s important to know when a guy goes on the shelf and even more important to know what the effect that injury is going to have on the team

Grabbing guys off the waiver wire who are getting an increase in minutes because of injury can be the kind of boost your fantasy team needs to get over the top. With that in mind here are some of the recent injuries around the NBA and a discussion of who will benefit:

Jae Crowder Sprains His Ankle
The Celtics are saying that Jae Crowder is going to miss at least a couple of weeks if not more with his high ankle sprain. With this we may very well just see the Celtics go three guards a whole lot more, but there are two guys on a lot of waiver wires who could benefit from Crowder’s absence. Read more

The Coming Out Party Of Alex Len

by Will Overton

Last night was an off night for Alex Len offensively when he shot just 2 – 13 from the field for four points total. However, this was just the first time in 10 games that Len has failed to reach double digit points and despite one poor outing, it really doesn’t derail what has been a coming out party of late for Len.

The Phoenix Suns took Alex Len with the fifth pick overall in the 2013 draft out of the University of Maryland. When the Suns took him they knew there was work to be done, but after barely playing at all for a season and a half I think fantasy owners and Suns fans started to forget about him. Then he started to work his way onto the peripheral of our minds in the second half of last season with some signs of dominant rebounding and shot blocking ability while still demonstrating a very raw offensive game. Read more

Why Fantasy Basketball Owners Should Learn The Name Jerami Grant

by Will Overton

It’s pretty easy to overlook players on a team as bad as the Philadelphia 76ers, especially when their rotation seems to change all the time. My guess is most NBA fans out there couldn’t name more than two, or maybe three players on the team right now. There’s one name not a lot of people know right now that they should though…

That name is Jerami Grant. The Sixers athletic big man has had a chance to put his talents on display a bit over the last couple weeks why Jahlil Okafor and Nerlens Noel are dealing with injuries, and it’s hard to not like what we have seen, even though not a lot of people saw it.

Part of the reason might not be getting noticed is that his offensive game still leaves a little to be desired. Grant has had his moments on offense, but the consistency has not been there and he too often goes multiple games in a row with single digit point totals. Read more

Waiver Worthy: Do These Four Team Transplants Hold Fantasy Value?

by Will Overton

There has been a lot of movement of players around the league, even since the trade deadline expired. We’ve seen a lot of guys waived and picked up by other teams over the last two weeks. For the most part they are just veteran guys going to contenders to add some veteran presence and play fairly small roles.

At the same time, there are also a handful of guys who are at least probing to see if there could be some fantasy value from their relocations. Here are five guys who have signed with new teams that we will discuss the fantasy merits of:

Joe Johnson – SG/SF, Miami Heat: Of the five guys on this list Joe Johnson is the guy who will have the biggest role on his new team and will also have the most fantasy value. That’s why he’s also the guy already owned in 50% of leagues, but that means he’s available in a lot too. Johnson has played five games for the Heat and averaged 30.2 MPG, 14.0 PPG, 3.2 RPG and 1.6 3PG. Johnson should maintain these kind of minutes, and while he’s not the go to guy on offense, he has been very efficient offensively, shooting a high percentage. Johnson will be a point scorer and threes guy who should be owned in the majority of leagues. Read more

Future Forecast: Where Is Justice Winslow’s Fantasy Ceiling And Can He Get There

by Will Overton

The 2015 NBA draft class is going to be looked back on very fondly 10 years from now I think, because there are going to be a lot of role players and names still bringing value to NBA teams. One of the names who is intriguing to me from a fantasy standpoint is Justice Winslow, who was the 10th overall pick by the Miami Heat.

Winslow was overlooked by a lot of teams on draft night, projected to be a top five pick and falling all the way to 10. After 56 games this season I think it’s clear some teams made big mistakes by passing on this guy and he’s one of those names we’ll be looking back on in 10 years playing a decent size role on an NBA team. Winslow is an X-Factor kind of player who doesn’t always standout in the box scores, but does all kinds of little things to impact his team. Read more

Waiver Worthy: Picking Out The Three-Point Shooting Specialists To Add To Your Team

by Will Overton

I say it a million times each basketball season, fantasy basketball players need to know their standings at all times to be successful. This is never truer than when you’re navigating the waiver wire looking for the next guy to add to your team. You don’t want to add a guy who excels in rebounding when you’re already blowing everyone away in that category, even if that guy is the “best player overall.”

Today we are going to be looking at some guys who can help you make up ground or entrench your lead in three-pointers. It seems like there are more and more three-point shooters in the league as we now have so many bigs that step back for that shot. Finding the right guy is the key though, one who gets enough minutes to matter and ideally one who doesn’t kill your FG% by chucking up too many bad threes.

Here are some guys I would target for this category. For the purpose of this article we are looking at guys owned in fewer than 50% of leagues right now on ESPN: Read more

Does Danilo Gallinari’s Sprained Ankle Open Up Fantasy Basketball Doors In Denver?

by Will Overton

The oft-injured Danilo Gallinari is back on the injury report for the Denver Nuggets after an MRI reveals a badly sprained ankle. Gallinari is expected to be out for three to four weeks at least with this injury and he has been known to miss more time than expected.

This is a tough blow to fantasy owners because Gallinari was really having a nice season, averaging 19.5 PPG so far. Fantasy owners are tasked with finding a replacement for Gallinari now. We are going to look and see if there is anyone in Denver who could become waiver wire gold here, but we’ll also talk about other guys who are already owned who are affected positively.

If we are starting by looking to the waiver wire, the guy we should probably be talking about is JaKarr Sampson who the Nuggets recently signed to a multi-year deal. Sampson is 6’9, but despite the height plays a lot at shooting guard, while also running at small forward too. Read more

Myles Turner is Turning Into a Legit Option

by Ray Kuhn

It seemed to be a foregone conclusion. Karl-Anthony Towns would be the Rookie of the Month for the entire season in the Western Conference, and Kristaps Porzingas would receive the same honor in the Eastern Conference. However Porzingas appears to have hit a rookie wall, and Myles Turner is poised to take his place.

After spending one season in college with Texas, Turner was drafted more on his potential than his actual performance. Turner averaged 22 minutes a game last season and scored 10.1 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. With a little less than two months to go in Turner’s debut season, the forward is poised to eclipse that performance.

On the season, entering Wednesday night’s game, Turner appeared in 34 games and was averaged 10.4 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game. Over the past month though, things have begun to pick up for Turner. And he has certainly proven that he is worthy of the increased role.

First, let’s take a look at one of the most important factors for a rookie to deal with. Aside from the learning curve of adjusting to NBA action, the physical stress of an increased workload is a lot to deal with. As the Pacers increased Turner’s workload, they made sure to also make sure his body can withstand the physical demands (click here for an in depth profile of Turner as he progresses through his rookie season). There are few times when a player’s diet is noteworthy, but this is one of them.

“After the brief call, Turner devours his tortellini and cheese bread. He tries to eat as many carbs as possible because with all this newfound playing time, he’s losing so much weight. Turner will need the added pounds and strength, because the Pacers will need him.”

Other than the note about Turner’s diet, the article provides a great deal of insight into how hard the rookie works and how committed he is to being a successful professional. The fact that Turner missed 20 games with a thumb injury in November helped control his workload this season and also gave him time to work on his game.

The benefits of that are now being realized as Turner is seeing his role increased, especially late in games (click here for the article).

“I’m very comfortable in any situation with him shooting from the perimeter and catches inside,” Vogel said of Turner after Monday’s game. “He’s a great finisher.”

In the last month, Turner is averaging 13.6 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks per game while shooting 51.7% points per game and averaging about 31 minutes a night. Against the Knicks on Wednesday, Turner scored 24 points in 30 minutes while also picking up six rebounds.

Ultimately, this is a sign of things to come for Turner who we must remember is still just 19 years old.

Waiver Worthy: Did Joining The Jazz Make Shelvin Mack Fantasy Worthy?

by Will Overton

The trade deadline last week was awfully uneventful all around, leaving very little for us fantasy analysts to discuss. One of the moves that was made was a trade of Shelvin Mack to the Utah Jazz from the Atlanta Hawks. Despite it being a slow deadline, this trade still didn’t make it on many radars, including mine.

Well on Sunday Night of this week Mack made his Utah Jazz debut and certainly put himself on the radar of some fantasy owners, though it may have gone unnoticed by many others as well. Mack put up 16 points, six assists and three rebounds while going 7 – 11 from the field. This was all coming off the bench. I’m writing this before last night’s game took place, but there was a lot of talk that he’d be starting. It’s only one game, but how should fantasy owners take this and what should we expect going forward? Read more