by Will Overton
This was one of the quietest and most underwhelming trade deadlines I can remember. The best player to get moved was arguably Evan Turner. There were a lot of factors that went into this quiet trade deadline, but a big part was no one wants to let go of their draft picks right now.
Still, even with the quieter deadline there was still fantasy impact made. Most moves make some kind of an impact. The thing is that it’s not always the guys who get traded that gain or lose value, a lot of times it’s the guys who were left behind on their former teams.
When someone leaves, someone else has to fill the gap and that guy gets an automatic fantasy bump, at least until we see whether he can hold his own or not.
Here are three guys I think gained value and three guys I think lost value this week with the trade deadline.
Aaron Brooks – PG, Denver Nuggets: While Aaron Brooks had his moments in Houston he never really got a consistent chance to shine on the court. He was always behind Jeremy Lin and Patrick Beverley and so he only got his chance when one of those guys were hurt. Brooks is really the only true backup point guard on the Nuggets now and with Ty Lawson banged up he has a chance to make an immediate impact. Read more
by Ray Lin
The All-Star break has come and gone, so let’s look forward to the second part of the season. I like to think that where there’s smoke….there’s some players possibly catching fire. Here are some non-obvious players who have been hot in the month leading up to the All-Star break and how they might fare down the stretch in fantasy land.
Jamal Crawford, LAC (past month: 14 games, 23.3 ppg, 2.5 3PM, 4.3 apg, 1.2 spg, 90.5 FT% // last season post-All Star break: 15.7 ppg, 2.1 3PM, 2.6 apg, 1.1 spg, 94 FT%)
Even though Darren Collison has been the primary beneficiary of Chris Paul’s absence at the PG position, Crawford has been catapulted into primary scorer status in Lob City the past couple of months. His scoring averages have gone up every month since November, and he’s now averaging nearly 10 points more a game than he was back around Thanksgiving.
And while Collison has been racking up his fair share of assists, Crawford’s dime production has doubled in the new calendar year. The fantasy conversation with Crawford always starts and ends with what he arms owners with from deep range. Interestingly enough though, he’s actually shooting at a lower clip (34.1%) on treys than he was at the beginning of the season (nearly 40%). The reason for the scoring jump has clearly been his improvement inside the 3-point line, which has resulted in beefing up his overall FG% by over 10 percentage points from December to February. Read more
by Will Overton
It’s amazing how much change can take place in just half of a season. We have the same guys at the top of this list, but we also have a lot of guys moving up and down these rankings.
Keep in mind as you look at the top 50 that these rankings are for just the remainder of this season and not the future.
- Kevin Durant – SF, Oklahoma City Thunder
- LeBron James – SF, Miami Heat
- Stephen Curry – PG, Golden State Warriors
- Kevin Love – PF, Minnesota Timberwolves
- James Harden – SG, Houston Rockets
- Anthony Davis – PF/C, New Orleans Pelicans
- Paul George – SG/SF, Indiana Pacers
- Chris Paul – PG, Los Angeles Clippers
- John Wall – PG, Washignton Wizards
- Kyrie Irving – PG, Cleveland Cavaliers
- Carmelo Anthony – SF, New York Knicks
- LaMarcus Aldridge – PF, Portland Trail Blazers Read more
by Will Overton
We’re a little over half way through the season now, but the all-star break is a nice place to re-evaluate things. These rankings aren’t about long term success, but rather how I think these players will perform for the next few months until the season ends.
Here is the second half of the rankings with the top 50 to come tomorrow:
51. Greg Monroe –PF, Detroit Pistons
52. Pau Gasol – PF, Los Angeles Lakers
53. Jeff Green – SF/PF, Boston Celtics
54. Evan Turner – SG, Philadelphia 76ers
55. Nikola Vucevic – C, Orlando Magic
56. Anderson Varejao – C, Cleveland Cavaliers
57. Jeff Teague – PG, Atlanta Hawks
58. Lance Stephenson – SG, Indiana Pacers
59. Roy Hibbert – C, Indiana Pacers
60. Jimmy Butler – SG/SF, Chicago Bulls
61. Zach Randolph – PF, Memphis Grizzlies
62. Trevor Ariza – SF, Washington Wizards Read more
by Ray Lin
Back in September, I presented a list of players who had finished particularly strong in the second half of last season in specific categories. As we approach the All-Star break this weekend, I thought it’d be a good idea to revisit that list and see how they’ve actually done in the first half of this season.
SG Gerald Henderson, CHA — Post 2012-13 All-Star break: 18.9 ppg, (21st in NBA) / Pre 2013-14 All-Star break: 15.3 ppg (46th)
It was going to be a tall order for Henderson to crack the Top-20 in scoring to start this season, but he’s still held his own so far this season. Henderson was throwing up 14.7 attempts a game at 46.2 FG% in the second half last season that contributed to his 18.9 ppg. This year, he’s still attempting 13.3 shots from the field but shooting at a slightly lower clip (42.5%).
The addition of Al Jefferson and the breakout of Kemba Walker has taken some of the scoring emphasis off Henderson, but he should still be a steady source of scoring after the All-Star break. On the plus side, he’s scoring less but has averaged half a rebound more a game compared to last season. Treat him as a solid mid-tier swingman in fantasy the rest of the way. Read more
by Will Overton
Really when you consider the fact that the Atlanta Hawks lost Josh Smith in the offseason and then lost Al Horford for the year due to injury it’s amazing that there even playing .500 ball this year. A big reason for that is some unexpected efforts, none bigger than DeMarre Carroll who I hereby dub the most underrated player in fantasy basketball.
I’ll go ahead and pat myself on the back and talk about how I liked Carroll as a sleeper in the preseason. He’s exceeding my expectations with the way he is playing right now. Over the first couple of months of the season Carroll was a nice player, mostly a deep league guy. The last month and a half with Al Horford out he has hit another level and he’s now a must own in all leagues.
Fantasy owners are starting to come around, but it’s happening pretty slowly. Carroll is owned in 71% of leagues by now, but he should really be owned in 100% and I’m going to tell you why right here. Let’s first look exactly at what numbers he’s posted since the beginning of 2014:
33.8 Minutes Per Game
53.8% Field Goal Shooting
71.4% Free Throw Shooting Read more
by Will Overton
There are a couple of ways to approach the waiver wire. The most common thing you’ll see in add/drops is that owners drop a guy who isn’t performing for someone who is on a hot streak. Obviously this approach makes sense as you want as much production as possible.
The other thing you can do is try and be the pre-emptive owner who grabs a guy who is underperforming and hope for a turn around. Sometimes the best player isn’t the hot player, the best player is the guy who just got dropped, but you know is better than he’s shown so far.
We’re a little over halfway through the season and with the all-star break coming up owners have given up on a lot of guys who have had bad first halves. One man’s trash may just be another man’s treasure though. Last year we saw it with Ersan Ilyasova who was dropped in a bunch of leagues after a bad first half and he ended up being a top 50 player in the second half.
Inevitably that’s going to happen again this year too with a few guys. It’s just a matter of being able to pick them out. Here are some guys available in over 50% of leagues who I think could turn it around: Read more
by Ray Kuhn
Just a few short years ago, Jarred Sullinger seemed primed to be a top-5 draft choice. Instead back woes, concerns about his height, and his lack of athleticism caused his draft stock to suffer. Now he was still drafted in the first round by the Boston Celtics so all was not lost, but Sullinger did fall off of people’s radars to some degree.
Last season the Celtics were a veteran team built to win now. Sullinger was blocked by Kevin Garnett and only averaged 19.8 minutes of playing a game. And when he was in the game, Sullinger was left to fend for himself for the most part and only averaged six points a game. The problem was twofold; Sullinger didn’t have a concrete role and the now 21-year old still had some adjusting to do in the NBA. However, Sullinger did show a nose for the ball as he did average 5.9 rebounds per game.
This year, things are a little different. Garnett, along with Paul Pierce, now plays in Brooklyn and the Celtics are the land of opportunity for young players. With no real plan other than to rebuild and get younger, there is a lot more opportunity for Sullinger. And he has certainly begun to take advantage of the chance he is getting. Read more
by Will Overton
The superstars came to play this week. Big weeks were turned in by Blake Griffin, LeBron James, Stephen Curry and several other big names. We also had big weeks from budding superstars like DeMar DeRozan and Serge Ibaka. Then there were the under the radar guys like Marvin Williams and Nick Calethes.
Star of the Week: Blake Griffin – Los Angeles Clippers
The pressure has been on Blake Griffin to carry the Clippers team and keep them a float with Chris Paul out of action. After one of his best months as a pro in January Griffin has come back out in February and kept that pace up. In four games this week Griffin is averaging 35.0 PPG, 11.3 RPG and 4.3 APG. In his last three games he has scored 36 points or more each time. Griffin has stepped up to be the focal point of the offense, and it’s clear by the points scored and assists that on almost every possession the ball is going through Griffin at some point.
Coming into this season Griffin had his fair share of critics, and his game did leave a bit to be desired last year. There was questions about whether he had another gear to kick things into or not. This season he’s back to being a dominant scorer, he’s back to averaging nearly double digits in rebounds and he’s getting a fair amount of assists and steals. If you took Griffin in the second round this year you probably took some heat for it, but you’re being rewarded nicely by Blake so far. Read more
by Ray Lin
With Kobe Bryant sidelined, Pau Gasol had been taking the reins of the Lakers and going on an absolute tear in January (20.8 ppg, 11.9 rpg, 3.9 apg, 1.7 bpg, 51% FG). It’s only fitting then for a team that has lost so many star players to injury that Gasol would also get bit. After last Friday’s loss to the Bobcats, Gasol said “something’s not right in there” in reference to his right groin, which turned out to be strained according to an MRI.
His earliest possible return date is Feb. 19th, so Jordan Hill, Chris Kaman and Robert Sacre will all get temporary bumps in playing time. Sacre started at center against the T-Wolves on Tuesday and scored 14 pts, adding 4 rebounds to go with a steal and a block (plus a perfect 4-for-4 from the line). The sophomore seven-footer had been averaging a solid 12.1 points and 9.0 rebounds per 40 minutes coming off the bench.
Hill (owned in 19% of Yahoo leagues) was averaging close to a double-double from November to December while playing around 20 minutes, so he could catch fire again and provide some rebounding help while shooting at a very healthy percentage (54% FG on the season). Even though Kaman is owned in more leagues than Hill (29% on Yahoo), he’s largely been a disappointment this year and should probably be ignored. Read more