Nov 15, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers guard Steve Blake (5) steals the ball from Memphis Grizzlies forward Quincy Pondexter (20) during the fourth quarter at Staples Center. The Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 89-86. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Fantasy Focus: Week 3


Another NBA week is in the books, and we are starting to figure out how players are going to do this year. Some players have raised their stock, while others have lowered theirs. Lets take a look to see who we love, hate, want to buy/sell, and pick up.

Love (by Caleb): 

Terrence Jones, PF, Houston Rockets (@Mem, Atl, BKN, @SAS) 

Since joining the Houston Rockets starters, Terrence Jones has been an animal. In his last seven games, Jones is averaging about 16 points, seven rebounds, and two blocks. Jones can also occasionally step out and hit a three. For the season, the second year player out of Kentucky is shooting 55.4 percent from the field, and 53.8 percent from deep. Jones will be facing some tough competition this week, but with all the focus on Dwight Howard inside, Jones should get his opportunities.

 

Harrison Barnes, SF, Golden State Warriors (@NOP, @Dal, @OKC, @Sac)

Two weeks ago I put Harrison Barnes in my Hate section. Well, things have changed. With the Warriors battling injuries — Stephen Curry earlier, and now Andre Iguodala — Barnes has been getting an increase in minutes,  and he has been putting them to good use. Over his last five games,  Barnes is averaging 16 points, 4.6 rebounds, and over 2 assists a game. He’s also been knocking down about two shots from beyond the three point line a game. His shooting has been much more efficient, and he will get good looks, thanks to Curry and Klay Thompson.

 

Jared Sullinger, PF, Boston Celtics (@Cha, Mem, Cle, @Mil)

Yes, I know Sully is a Celtic, but I still love him. I’m an Ohio State fan. What can I say? Sullinger can’t do much besides rebound and score, but that’s all you may need. When on the court, Sullinger is grabbing almost every fourth defensive rebound. That’s pretty impressive. Over his last three games, Sullinger has averaged 31 minutes, 15.6 points, 10.3 rebounds, and is shooting almost 49 percent from the field. I should also mention those three games were against the Spurs, Hawks, and Pacers. Not too shabby. Jared Sullinger is a bit like Jordan Hill, which is a pretty good guy to have in your lineup.

Hate (by Caleb):

George Hill, PG, Indiana Pacers (Min, @Cha, Wash, @LAC)

It’s been a season-long struggle for the Pacers point guard. He just can’t get anything consistent going for him. A point guard only averaging 3.4 assists on the season isn’t usually going to cut it. Besides the assists, Hill can’t score on a consistent basis. One day he will put up eight points, the next game he will have 15. Hill can hit a couple shots from outside, but he hasn’t been shooting well from the field as a whole. He’ll have Rubio, Walker, Wall, and CP3 on him this week, so he  may struggle even more.

 

Enes Kanter, C, Utah Jazz (@OKC, Chi, Pho, @Pho)

Enes Kanter started off the season really well, but has progressively gotten worse. Over the last five games, Kanter is averaging just under 10 points and 7 rebounds. With news that Kanter may be out of the starting rotation, things aren’t exactly looking up for the young big man. He may still get good minutes, but he hasn’t been doing as much with those minutes as expected right now. Wait and see how Kanter handles his new role.

 

Tim Duncan, PF/C, San Antonio Spurs (NOP, @OKC, @Orl, Hou) 

It has been really tough to watch Duncan this season. He just can’t seem to get anything going. His rebounding seemed to be getting better, but then he had back-to-back games with just six apiece. The best power forward of all-time is barely averaging nine points a game in his last seven games. His minutes continue to fluctuate (32, 23, 25, 34, 27, 32, 16), which probably doesn’t help. Duncan may be able to help with rebounds and blocks at times, but the minutes aren’t always going to be there.

 

Buy Low/Sell High (by Kevin): 

 

Gordon Hayward, SG/SF, Utah Jazz (Buy low!)

Hayward is going through a rough patch right now, averaging 13.2 points on 28.2% shooting from the field over his last 5 games. He was bothered by a bruised right knee cap late in the week, which might’ve factored into that ugly 1-of-17 shooting performance. So, obviously, it’s time to pounce! Even in spite of his ugly scoring numbers, he’s still putting up versatile stats (5.6 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 1.5 steals, 1.4 threes for the season) that any fantasy team can use. There’s nobody challenging for his minutes in Utah, and when his field goal percentage rebounds closer to his career average of 44.5%, you’ll definitely want to be the owner with him on your team.

 

Victor Oladipo, SG/PG, Orlando Magic (Buy low!)

It’s probably not surprising that, as a rookie, Victor Oladipo came out to a cold start. He’s still averaging just 12.5 points to go with 3.7 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.8 steals. However, those numbers should turn around soon as Oladipo continues to earn more and more of Jacque Vaughn’s trust. He replaced Jason Maxiell in the starting lineup on Wednesday, and the minutes should be on the rise too. Oladipo’s not polished enough that he will shoot around 45% like Hayward can, but one can see from his per-36s that he does have similar versatility in the counting stats. Per 36 minutes, he’s averaging 16.9 points, 5.1 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 2.5 steals and 1.4 threes. If Oladipo can work his way to 30+ minutes, he’ll be a boon for fantasy owners. Before he builds up too much momentum as a starter, now is the time to get him cheap.

 

Arron Afflalo, SG/SF, Orlando Magic (Sell high!)

This isn’t related to Oladipo’s promotion to the starting lineup as much as it is about just how ridiculously well Afflalo is playing right now. For the Magic, Afflalo will see plenty of minutes and take plenty of shots. Just don’t expect them to keep up the way they have so far, because 3.0 threes per game on 54.1% three-point shooting is not sustainable. His 22.5 points per game, 49.4% field goal percentage, 4.7 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game are all likely due for some regression. While he can still be very helpful, now is the time to move Afflalo for someone that will be even more helpful in the long term.

 

DeAndre Jordan, C, Los Angeles Clippers (Sell high!)

DeAndre Jordan is seeing heavy minutes under Doc Rivers for a Clippers team playing at one of the NBA’s fastest paces. It’s led to Jordan now being currently third in rebounds per game with 13.2. He’s always been a good rebounder, with his per-36s always in the double digits throughout his career. However, his rebound percentage abnormally high even by his standards (20.7% this season compared to a career norm of 17.7%), which would indicate an eventual regression there. It’s also worth keeping in mind that with more minutes, he’ll be more prone to Hack-a-DAJ fouling strategies. He’s a career 42.4% free throw shooter, and shooting just 42.9% this season. You probably don’t want him dragging down your free throw percentage, especially if some of his appeal in rebounding gets reduced. Trade him while his value is high for someone better.

 

Waiver Wire (by Kevin):

Terrence Jones, PF, Houston Rockets (54.4% owned in ESPN leagues)

Jones is suddenly the starter at power forward for the Rockets, and he’s excelling in heavy minutes. Over the last two weeks, he’s been averaging 13.2 points, 8.7 rebounds and 2.0 blocks on 55.0% shooting. Provided he can hold on the role (and for now, nobody is challenging him), this level of production seems pretty reliable. Playing alongside Dwight will do wonders for Jones, who could still have more upside than his current averages indicate.

 

Harrison Barnes, SF, Golden State Warriors (68.7% owned)

With Andre Iguodala out indefinitely, Barnes is looking at big minutes and probably the starting small forward role. He’s already been playing well off of the bench, and an increased role could lend itself to legitimate fantasy value for Barnes. Over the last week, Barnes has put up 16.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.8 threes per game on 57.4% shooting. That field goal percentage seems likely to drop, but everything else should remain relatively stable if Barnes can hold down Iguodala’s minutes for however long the star swingman will be out.

 

Kosta Koufos, C, Memphis Grizzlies (0.2% owned)

Marc Gasol is going to be out for 6-8 weeks with a MCL sprain, and this leaves Koufos as the only true center on the Grizzlies roster. Ed Davis can assume one for short bursts of time and the Grizzlies will probably find a way to add one more big man soon, but it looks like Koufos should be in line for heavy minutes as the fill-in for Marc. We could be looking at a double-double guy that’ll block maybe two shots per game and score pretty efficiently. Someone like that can make for a very useful waiver wire addition to your team.

 

Jordan Crawford, SG/PG, Boston Celtics (55.9% owned)

I’m dubious, but when he’s playing this well, might as well take the plunge. Steez has been the starting point guard in Boston for a while now, and with Rajon Rondo still possibly out for a month or longer (the Celtics will be in no rush to get him back), his role looks secure. And really, he has looked great. As the starter, Crawford is averaging 13.0 points with 3.2 rebounds, 5.1 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.0 threes per game. If you look at his recent box scores, his stats have been remarkably consistent, with the odd outburst here and there. He’s ranked 37th on ESPN’s Player Rater for the season. So hey, why not give Steez a look?

 

If you have any questions regarding trades or who to start, feel free to send Kevin (@KevinHFY), or myself (Caleb_Cottrell). Good luck!

Tags: Arron Afflalo Deandre Jordan Enes Kanter Fantasy Basketball George Hill Gordon Hayward Harrison Barnes Jared Sullinger Jordan Crawford Kosta Koufos Los Angeles Lakers Terrence Jones Tim Duncan Victor Oladipo