Welcome to the second week of Fantasy Focus. This week, there are some excellent match-ups, with some players that you could use on your fantasy team. Kevin (@KevinHFY) and I (Caleb_Cottrell) break down who you should start, who you should sit, possible trade ideas, and who to add to your team. Lets get into it.
Love (by Kevin):
Jose Calderon, PG, Dallas Mavericks (PHI, HOU, UTA, @DEN)
Calderon has been slumping a bit to start the season, with averages of 10.4 points and 5.4 assists so far. Fantasy owners might be hesitant to put him back in their lineup, but don’t be. The Mavericks’ electric offense gets four games against the not-so-fearsome defenses of the 76ers, Rockets, Jazz and Nuggets. The assists should come for Jose, and it’s safe to expect higher point totals too. Minus the Jazz, all of the Mavericks’ opponents as well as the Mavs themselves rank top 10 in pace so far.
Markieff Morris, PF, Phoenix Suns (@SAC, SAC, @CHA, @ORL)
Caleb put Markieff Morris in his ‘Love’ column last week, but Morris gets another vote of confidence this week. After three straight games of scoring 20+ points, Morris seems to have cooled off some with just 8 points against the Blazers and then 4 points against the Nets. He should be able to bounce back some this week, as the Suns get to play the lowly Kings twice and then the surprisingly decent (for now) Bobcats and Magic. The Kings and the Bobcats play slow basketball, while the Magic have rebounded the ball well. However, matchups against the likes of Jason Thompson, Josh McRoberts and Jason Maxiell should work out well for Morris more often than not and give him a good chance to rediscover his early season form, even if just for a week.
Mario Chalmers, PG, Miami Heat (ATL, @ORL, ORL)
Two games against Jameer Nelson, and one against an Atlanta Hawks team ranked 5th in opponent threes per game made? Sign me up. Chalmers was suspended a game for elbowing Dirk Nowitzki, but he’ll be back this week. He’s picked up at least one steal in all but one of the games he’s played, and hit at least one three-pointer in every game except for the one that he got ejected from. For the season, he’s averaging 2.1 steals and 1.7 threes in 27.4 minutes. This week could be a great opportunity for Chalmers to pick up where he left off.
The Los Angeles Clippers (MEM, @MIN, @OKC, SAC, CHI)
The Clippers get 5 games this week, and their players will have plenty of court time to rack up the stats. Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, J.J. Redick, DeAndre Jordan and Jamal Crawford will outperform a lot of other players this week simply by virtue of opportunity. Their schedule isn’t great as the Bulls and the Timberwolves are both top six in defensive rating this season while the Grizzlies and the Thunder were top three last season (comparatively slow start on defense for both teams this season). Still, the Clippers have been playing great in the early going and your fantasy teams will thrive with them in your lineups this week. Jared Dudley, while largely a non-factor in fantasy so far, makes sense as a deep-league add for the week.
Hate (by Kevin):
J.R. Smith, SG, New York Knicks (@DET, IND, @WSH)
This wasn’t the best week for J.R. Smith, as he got slapped with a $25,000 fine for a Twitter spat with Brandon Jennings and struggled mightily on the court. In four games since returning from suspension, Smith is shooting a brutal 22.6% from the field. He’s still making threes, rebounding and creating steals well, but you can probably do better this week. J.R. has a matchup against that scary Pacers defense, and Mike Woodson is contemplating moving him back to the bench.
Jonas Valanciunas, C, Toronto Raptors (@PHI, WSH)
I love JV as much as anyone, but this isn’t going to be his week to bounce back. Philly and Washington are great matchups, but playing just two games this week really limits any upside. He’s also been very inconsistent to start the season, averaging just 8.5 points and 7.6 rebounds. The minutes have been scarce, and Valanciunas has topped 30 minutes just twice this season (playing less than 20 minutes in the same amount of games). Dwane Casey likes Tyler Hansbrough and JV won’t get enough court time this week to make a difference. Sit him this week.
Kawhi Leonard, SG/SF, San Antonio Spurs (BOS, @MEM, CLE)
Gregg Popovich has been doing his thing, as Leonard is averaging just 25.0 minutes over the last 7 days and 28.1 for the season. The per-game averages of 12.3 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.7 steals haven’t been getting it done, and things won’t be great this week either. Each of the Spurs’ opponents rank in the lower half of the league in terms of pace, with the Grizzlies all the way down at 27th. A matchup with Tony Allen is no fun, and Boston is allowing the least amount of threes made per game in the NBA.
Victor Oladipo, SG/PG, Orlando Magic (MIA, @MIA, PHX)
Oladipo hasn’t quite lived up to the hype, with averages of 11.9 points, 3.7 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.6 steals. He’s shooting just 39.3% from the field and his minutes are declining quickly – he’s down to just 23.0 per game over the past week. There’s probably enough upside there that you don’t want to drop him yet, but this definitely won’t be his week to pick things up. He’ll get two games against the Miami Heat, and then a matchup against a surprisingly stout Phoenix Suns defense. Oladipo’s probably going to struggle against the likes of Dwyane Wade and Eric Bledsoe, so the bench is a good spot for him this week.
Buy Low/Sell High (By Caleb)
Deron Williams, Pg, Brooklyn Nets (Buy low!)
Deron Williams has been a complete bust thus far. For the season, Williams is averaging just 10 points, 6.5 assists, 1.1 three pointers made, and 1.9 rebounds. It feels like it was years ago when people were arguing that Williams was better than Chris Paul. Last season, Williams had a horrible first half of the season, but came alive after the All-Star break. Ankle are probably playing a role in Williams minutes (25.4 per game), but it is still a bit scary. Another thing that isn’t right is Williams only averaging 1.5 free throws a game. Again, the ankle may make it hard for D-Will to get into the paint. One good thing is his assist rate is 44.7; last year Williams’ was 37.5. I would look for Deron Williams to get more minutes once he fully heals, and his points, assists, and three pointers made to go up.
Tim Duncan, PF/C, San Antonio Spurs (Buy low!)
Has father time caught his next victim? Duncan is shooting a career low 39.4 percent from the field so far this season. Not only is he shooting bad, but he is also averaging a career low rebounds (7.1). His rebound percentage has dropped from 19.1 percent last season, to 14 percent this season. The one upside to Duncan this season, however, is his assists have gone up 2.7 last year, to 3.5 this season. I feel pretty confident in saying Tim Duncan is going to eventually get his field goal percentage up. With higher field goal percentage, comes more points, so pick buy Duncan right now.
Other buy low guys: Luol Deng, Zach Randolph, Dwyane Wade
Andre Iguodala SG/SF Golden State Warriors (Sell high!)
I love Andre Iguodala on this Warriors teams. I love him, but I just can’t see him sustaining this level of shooting. For his career, Iggy is shooting 46.2 percent from the field, and 33.3 percent from three. This season, Iggy is shooting 61.4 percent from the floor, and an incredible 51.3 percent from three. Those numbers have to come down, right? The rest of Iguodala’s stats seem to be somewhat sustainable, but the shooting is an outlier that can’t last much longer. Sell him while his value is its peak.
Other sell high candidates: Evan Turner, Klay Thompson, Jeremy Lin
Waiver Wire (By Caleb)
Tony Wroten, PG, Philadelphia 76ers (12% owned in ESPN leagues)
Wroten has been Michael Carter-Williams backup this season, but MCW has missed the last few games. Filling in for MCW, Wroten has done a tremendous job as the starter. He has shown the ability to score, put up big assist numbers, and even rebound. However, Wroten can’t do everything well. He has struggled with his shot, especially from downtown. Wroten is taking almost three outside shots a game, while only converting on 23.8 percent of them. If you’re in need of assists and points, Wroten is your guy while MCW is out.
Jordan Hill, PF/C, Los Angeles Lakers (42% owned)
Since joining the Lakers starting rotation, all Hill has done is flourish. Jordan Hill, sometimes know as the Garbage Man, has been an absolute beast on the boards during his time as a starter — he grabs every fifth rebound available while on the floor. Not only is Jordan grabbing boards, but he is scoring efficiently (60.6 field goal percentage). Hill will also add in a block and assist each game. Jordan Hill should be owned, if only because he can be an elite rebounder.
Corey Brewer, SF, Minnesota Wolves (52.5%)
When the name Corey Brewer is mentioned, most people think of an energy. Well, that’s what he’s been for the Timberwolves this season. Brewer is the one of the best guys in the league to have in the starting lineup with Kevin Love. Love is the best at the outlet pass, and it helps that Brewer is great at leaking out on the fast break. Brewer has averaged almost two steals a game, one three, a couple boards, and an assist so far this season. Not a bad guy to have on your team.
John Henson, PF, Milwaukee Bucks (29.2%)
With certain situations that I won’t discuss going on in Milwaukee, Henson has seen more playing time, and he has put it to good use. In his last three games, Henson is averaging almost 1o points, 3 blocks, and 7.7 rebounds per game. Per 36 minutes, Henson would average about 16 points, 8 rebounds, 3 blocks, an assist, and a steal. If Henson starts getting more minutes, pick him up, and don’t look back.
Other waiver-wire adds: J.J. Hickson, Jared Sullinger, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
Deep-league adds: Jason Smith, Terrance Jones, Nate Wolters
Tags: Andre Iguodala Corey Brewer Deron Williams Fantasy Basketball J.r. Smith John Henson Jonas Valanciunas Jordan Hill Jose Calderon Kawhi Leonard Mario Chalmers Markieff Morris Tim Duncan Tony Wroten Victor Oladipo