Hey folks! This addition of Fantasy Gods - Hot Flyers will focus on players that are really kicking into high gear to ramp up a big second half of the NBA season.
This will focus mostly on standard and deep leagues, but will also show you people slumping or catching fire in shallower leagues if they are still available in most leagues, or were recently dropped.
Jeff Teague - The caution flag has popped up for this guy. If you are in roto leagues than he is still fairly valuable, but most of his value went down the toilet with the number 2, point guard that is, showing up - Kirk Hinrich. His slump is starting to look like the norm going for the rest of the season. Trade him while you still have offers as he has been averaging a meager 9 pts, 3 reb, 3 ast since the return of Kirk, and his minutes have dropped significantly. He still provides decent steal which is helping him hold value in roto leagues, so I would recommend trying to package him in a trade, while he still has value, or if you are really desperate, drop him for a hot free agent.
Marvin Williams - His numbers are down because his minutes are down, which he is definitely not happy about, and he made it well known. He rarely holds value in head to head leagues anyway, as he is usually used as a stop gap in standard and deep leagues. Leave him on the waiver wire.
Chris Wilcox - He has been the beneficiary of Garnett’s recent injuries, and is a great stop gap in Leagues this week for Points and Rebounds, but don’t expect it to last as KG will get enough rest through the All-Star break to return back to the starting line up
Kemba Walker - he has returned to the bench with DJ Augustin back and healthy, and the small ball experiment is officially over. He is, however, holding his value coming off the bench, so expect the 6th man to get 28-30 minutes going forward, as Paul Silas still has no problem running two guard sets through stretches of the game.
Reggie Williams - His value will going to tank tomorrow when Gerald Henderson returns. If Gerald is available on your waiver wire he will made a nice add if you need some scoring, as his starting job is safe, and he will be eased into the rotation. Don’t expect much else than 14-15 pts a game from him though
Bismack Biyombo - Though very unpolished offensively, he makes a good deep league add with his 8 boards and 2 blocks per game average. If you are desperate for a Center, and your wire is really thin, pick him up, though I would much rather play the risk reward of Epke Udoh after his big game on monday night.
Corey Maggette - is the starting SF, putting Tyrus Thomas on the bench where he belongs. Corey will be good for Pts and FT% until he inevitably goes down with another injury.
CJ Watson - He is back to being a Derrick Rose handcuff, and his value will return only if Rose’s back starts acting up, or he sustains another injury.
Rip Hamilton - is slated to return post All-Star Break, meaning Ronnie Brewer and Kyle Korver’s clock is ticking.
Boobie Gibson - back from his ankle injury, and Anthony Parker is also returning meaning Ramon Sessions value will drop with his minutes to around 20 a game.
Alonzo Gee- He holds his value whether he starts or comes off the bench. He is a decent add for the tail end of standard benches, and is a good add for deep leagues. He also got a nose contusion on Tuesday, which may end up being a broken nose. Luckily All-Star break came at a great time for a lot of Players.
Andy Varejao - Out 4-6 weeks, if you are in 1st in your league with a healthy lead, you can probably stash him. If you are in the middle of the pack, or lower, it is best to drop him and get somebody who will help you stay in the middle, or help you jump into the playoffs.
Antawn Jameson - Has been on a scoring tear, he looks like a good sell high candidate, but I like to hold. There is speculation they will go young towards the end of the season as they get further away from a playoff spot, but I doubt it because Antawn gives them the best chance of winning.
Delonte West - Unless you haven’t already, it is safe to drop him as he is out indefinitely. Pick up a hot new free agent from your waiver wire because most of the Veterans on this team will sop up the minutes, although Roddy Beaubois is a decent replacement once he returns from personal leave.
Wilson Chandler - There is going to be a serious logjam post All-Star break for the Nuggets, which isn’t exactly a big problem. I still say they came away the big winners after the Melo trade, and even with losing Kenyon Martin and JR Smith this year this team is still probably the deepest in the league, with 10 potential starters! Wilson Chandler will be signing soon, and probably will spot start for Danilo Galinari until he returns from that bad ankle sprain, then will return to the 6th man role good for 28-30 minutes a game. That is bad news for Corey Brewer, who will probably be bumped from the rotation completely depsite playing well, Rudy Fernandez with back problems will return to a role of 12-16 minutes a game, Chris Anderen will be out of the rotation completey, and Al Harrington and Andre Miller will see their minutes dropped too! Crazy affect for adding just one guy to the rotation.
Ty Lawson - Andre Miller will hold some decent value over the next few games as Ty looked to have re-aggravated that troublesome left ankle. It looks like Terminator will get a few spot starts before the break, and maybe even some afterwards, making him a great play for the rest of the week!
Rodney Stuckey - has been on a scoring binge, scoring between 16-36 points in each game over the last 6. Pick him up if he is still available
Ben Gordon - looks droppable in standard leagues, and even in some deep leagues, as his 9 category value is in the toilet because he provides no peripheral stats, and has been fairly inconsistent this year. Unless you are desperate for scoring then you can hold onto him
Golden State Warriors
Epke Udoh - After successfully calling out Jeremy Lin, Nikola Pekovic and Isaiah Thomas before their emergence as solid waiver wire picks for the rest of the season, I’m gonna try and go 4-4 and pick up this guy here. He is a diamond in the rough, and actually his game is pretty rough and raw around the edges as well. He dropped 19 and 8 with 2 blocks in his first start for sick Andris Biedrens, and if Mark Jackson is a fool, which is very possible, than I think that’s all you needed to see if you want to fix this team organically and start winning. He plays well beside David Lee allowing David Lee to concentrate on being himself, and Monta also had a very good rhythm with Epke out on the floor. This one change made one of the top temas in the league the Clippers struggle, as they were shut out from scoring in the last 3 minutes of the game. Now I am not a stat chaser, actually Joel Anthony is one of my favorite players in the league, not because of his impact he has with his own statistics, but since we are talking statistics, he consistently posts a big +/- ratio while he is out on the floor even though he doesn’t score, depsite playing maybe half the game. But what he does well is set his team’s pace for defense, while enforcing the paint, and that foundation for defense continues throughout the 48 minutes, which rubs off on his teammates, and translates into an Alonzo Mourning/Dikembe Mutombo like “NOT IN MY HOUSE BABY!” attitude. This is exactly what the defensive-minded Coach Mark Jackson needs, and using him as a foundation I see him having a Serge Ibaka-like ceiling in the future, with a floor of DeAndre Jordan or JaVele McGee if he is given starter minutes. He is one of the best shot blockers in the league already in his second year, and I think they need to run with him. Anything is better than an Andris Biedrens starting center at this point. Let’s hope the knee injury is not serious, as he is listed day-to-day, so the All-Star break once again comes at a great time.
Kevin Martin - Be wary of this sitatuion. Kevin McHale will yank a guy out with a cane like this was a 1930’s act, no matter how good they are, and simply will play the players that play the hardest. Nobody is safe on this roster, and this coaching style has been effective because the results are wins, with a solid spot in the playoff race.
Chase Budinger – he is on the shortest leash of the group, and though McHale mentions matchups as the reason he doesn’t play him, I get the feeling he just doesn’t like his defense. There are safer options to sift through on the waiver wire.
Paul George – Unless you own one of the starting 5, move along, nothing to see here unless you are in a really deep league.
Los Angeles Clippers
DeAndre Jordan – He is getting his minutes stolen by Kenyon Martin. Knock him down at least 2 rounds from his current ADP if this continues, as Reggie Evans is getting in the mix for minutes at PF and Center as well. Luckily the blocks are holding, which is the main reason people drafted him in the first place, but the PTS and REB should drop to around 6.5 and 6.5 a game.
Los Angeles Lakers
Pau Gasol – A trade maybe looming, and the organization has to keep it in the dark to make sure they get the best possible offer. If they satisfy Kobe’s wish, and let everyone know what’s going on internally than his trade value will be shot. Although I don’t think Kobe would mind, considering he wants Pau to stay, which I think is best for the team if you asked my opinion, though you probably didn’t. They only thing they have left is that trade exception, and big holes at the PG and SF slot. Let’s hope something happens soon (Rumor: Beasley to the Lakers?) as Ramon Sessions looks like the best solution, at least temporarily.
Mareese Speights – looks like he is coming back down to earth after averaging almost 12 and 12 over a 4 game stretch. The ride will be over soon, as Zach Randolph is targeting March 7 to return, and maybe even sooner. If he is available in your league please do yourself a favor and pick him up, as Zach is a scoring and rebound MONSTER! He will take a few weeks to get acclimated, which is not good news for first round value Marc Gasol. Expect for Gasol’s numbers to dip to 3 round value at least when Zach is put back into the rotation.
Mario Chalmers – He may have been dropped in some leagues, if he was, go nab him immediately as he appears to be over his hand injury and dropped a season high 6 3 pointers on Tuesday. I expect him to finish in the TOP 50, even the TOP 40 if he can stay healthy.
Ersan Ilyasova - This guy is the real deal. When Drew Gooden gets back this team will look scary in the east as they have a new formidable duo since Andrew Bogut is out indefinitely. If he is on your waiver wire, he should not be, as Skiles has finally taken off the leash after poor play from Luc Richar Mbah a Moute. Larry Sanders had a good game spot starting for Gooden, and if Gooden receives bad news for a timetable from the specialist than Sanders can be worth a stop gap add at the tail end of standard and deep leagues.
Stephen Jackson – only way he gets any value is if he gets traded. Why the Bucks organization would trade for him in the first place, I don’t know as his contract and attitude are toxic. Carlos Delfino should also be a hot add for this week, and if he is available he is a must-own player. Mike Dunleavy will creep into a bench Scoring role providing value in deep leagues.
Nikola Pekovic – rolled his ankle on Monday and is doubtful for the next one. If you are pissed cause you missed out on him, try and throw out some trade offers as he recently rolled his ankle, and for a ‘300’ pounder that could pose a problem, though the ankle injury doesn’t sound serious, and an owner maybe tempted to move him if the offer is right. I myself am ready to unload either Manu Ginobili or Nene Hilario for him in one league that I covet him, though also both injured, are well known fantasy contributors.
New Jersey Nets
Anthony Morrow – looks to have found his touch after a recent lay off because of personal matters. It must have been tough for him after his lost his grandmother, and I think he has rededicated himself and is ready for a big second half to the season. Expect a little inconsistency with his new 6th man role, especially since Carmelo knocked out 4 of his teeth yesterday, but also expect a ton of 3 pointers.
Brook Lopez- He is rounding into basketball shape, and he also added 10 pounds of muscle. Look for him to be more aggressive this year in the paint to throw around that extra weight, which should translate to more free throws this season. Although I am calling out a dip in his percentages for this year, as his lockout induced season is starting 30 games late.
Greivis Vasquez – Monty Williams needs to run this guy more with Jarrett Jack back. But, I doubt it will happen. He should return to about 9 points and 4.5 assists, unless Monty does start giving him more minutes, but he just like Marco Bellinelli too much to cut his minutes. That and Marco is on a very good shooting streak recently. It is a messy situation, and though I don’t think Eric Gordon will return for this season, I think Jarrett Jack is a solid pickup if available, while the other two are deep leaguers.
New York Knicks
Carmelo Anthony - I expect his value to take a big hit this season, less points, less shots, and several games to find a new identity and rhythm playing alongside phenom Jeremy Lin. After watching 1 game with his Melo’s return, and Deron Williams abusing the Knicks, I think Lin’s value will hold, based on his turnovers coming down along with his scoring, however the defensive attention Amare and Melo draw will have a positive affect on his percentages.
JR Smith - He is worth a look as a source of Scoring and 3’s, but you should expect a roller coaster ride. Expect him to also hurt the value of Landry Fields and Iman Shumpert. Shumpert will probably be considered a big drop candidate once he returns and owners see the putrid lines he throws up, and Landry will offer deep league value as a starter, and that’s about it.
JJ Reddick – has been getting a few spot starts for Jason Richardson, who was out with a lung infection. He will return to his 6th man role where he will provide late round value as a source of PTS and 3’s, meaning he can be owned at the tail end of 12 team leagues, and is a good deep league add if he is still available.
Oklahoma City Thunder
Serge Ibaka – the buy low window is over as he is average over 9 point, 9 rebounds, and a RIDICULOUS 4.8 blocks per game in February. I will say it again, he will carry your team in blocks almost every week from here on out. Aside from the other big 3 on this team, nobody is worth owning unless you are in really deep leagues.
Thabo Sefelosha – should return after All-Star break after a very long layoff from injury, meaning Cookie’s run as the 3 point specialist will have be used off the bench.
Steve Nash – looks like a 50/50 trade candidate, and if so, keep an eye on Aaron Brooks in the CBA because he can put up some extreme value if and when he returns to the Suns.
Channing Frye – along with Jared Dudley should be scooped up in almost every league now that they have found their shooting touch, and play alongside Nash in one of the most fantasy friendly environments. Shots will be there, so this is a no brainer.
Spencer Hawes – was one of the biggest disappointments after a great start to the season with this annoying Achilles injury. Structurally the Achilles looks sound, but the tightness is prevented him from being explosive, which is something you definitely need competing with the fittest athletes in the world. Lavoy Allen and Nikola Vucevic are at a timeshare trading off big games as a result until his return
Elton Brand – it’s too bad the 76ers are hurting in the front court because they were showing title contender spirit in the beginning of the season. I have a feeling Brand’s thumb injury will linger through the season, and he is also locked into a timeshare with Thaddeus Young who is playing extremely efficient. Brand has virtually no trade value, and is not safe to drop unless you are in an 8 team league, so he is a hold for now until he gets healthy, as his steals and blocks alone help him provide late round value.
Raymond Felton – The demotion is official, and was very effective as the Blazers destroyed the Spurs (who were resting Tim and Tony) 137-97 on Tuesday. Jamaal Crawford went off, and so did many other players on the Blazer roster. This was the perfect scrimmage game for the new look blazers, and Raymond Felton even had 4 3 pointers with 16 points coming off the bench. This is the type of move that will make him play harder, no matter how much he whines like a little girl. It doesn’t matter how much he whines either, as his benching was deserved. Pick up Jamaal Crawford wherever available as he deserves consideration in at least 8 team leagues and higher.
Wesley Matthews – lost a toe nail after someone stepped on his foot, and sustained an ankle injury as well. He called it a day after the Spurs were routed in the first quarter, and the Blazers don’t play until next Wednesday giving them plenty of rest. In case you didn’t know, Nicolas Batum has put up 1st value since being inserted into the starting lineup and his upside was spot on. He is average over 2 3’s per game, with over a steal and block, putting him in a league of his own because no other player has been capable of that this season. (Better than Dorell Wright from Last Season)
Isaiah Thomas – This is the waiver wire pickup up the week, and if he is still available, you need to drop the struggling guy on your roster as far down as 8 team leagues. The last pick in the draft was an apparent steal, as he is not only playing better than most of the players in his draft class, but also better than most PGs in the league. He only has 3 starts under his belt, but if you don’t make the move and proves to post numbers like he has (think Jeremy Lin-lite) you will definitely regret it. Though he is undersized at 5’9 he plays a lot bigger, and his rebounding numbers are high for a guy his size meaning he makes it up with hustle. He went off for 20 points and 5 threes in the THIRD QUARTER ALONE against an Elite Miami Heat defense. We are all up on this guy, and you should be too. In his 3 starts alone he has posted averages of : 19/36=52.7 FG%, 13/14 =92.8 FT%, 2.6 3PTM @ 50%, 20 PTS, 5 REB 6.6 AST, .3 STL, .3BLK, 2.3 TO. I expect the steals numbers to rise and the scoring to dip to around 14-16 a game, with about 4 rebounds and 5 assists because SAC plays a very fast tempo, meaning plenty of opportunity for stats. If that isn’t a buy speech than I don’t know what is.
San Antonio Spurs
Tim Duncan – got the proverbial ‘rest’ day from Coach Popovich, though he barely looked like he needed it after playing like a savage in the month of February. Speaking of Savages, Tony Parker is shaping a career year for himself, and also got a rest day, meaning the practice squad was in full affect on Tuesday. Manu Ginobili will be out about two weeks with a strained oblique, and that sounds like the right amount of rest. It sucks that it had to happen right after coming back from his hand injury, and with 30 or so games left when he returns he should have very fresh legs for the second half of the season. Scary for a team that ran off 10 straight wins and then just gave up a loss to rest their guys before the break.
Matt Bonner – while Tiago Splitter is also out two weeks with a strained calve, this guy is a must add if you need 3’s, as he is offering 2.5 3 pointers a game, which puts him in the elite part of that category. Just know it comes with about 10 points and 3 rebounds and little else, including a measley .2 turnovers. This is a Jodie Meeks type line. Gary Neal has been feeling it recently, and I think he will also be the beneficiary of the two injuries to the Spurs rotation guys.
Jerryd Bayless - sure the rotation is inconsistent, but Jerryd started 5 out of 6 games before he went down, and is a good bet for 24-26 minutes at least whether he starts or not, and is healthy. Also, he looks like a good stash with Calderon on the Trade Block, and the need for a true PG for many teams in the League right now, meaning he could slide over to the starting PG slot soon. Take a look at his numbers as the starting PG last year towards the end of the season, and you can see he has a very high ceiling, so if you are sitting pretty in your league, and the wire is thin at point guard, he makes for a great stash at least, with upside of around 12 points a game with decent peripherals in his current role.
Gordan Hayward – he will have an up and down season, mostly down. Only worthy of deep leagues, until they move him to Shooting Guard and find a better Permiter Defender and Scorer to play the Small Forward spot (CJ Miles or Josh Howard are on their bench).
Jordan Crawford – has turned it up recently, although I rarely trust him because his %’s can be a nightmare. I wouldn’t blame you if you picked him up in deep leagues, and maybe the tail end of your 12 team roster, though I think you can find better.
Trevor Booker - I like his long-term outlook despite his recent struggles, and with Andray Blatche on his way back from injury I still think Trevor will carve out 28-30 minutes and hold late round value. Also take note that Blatche is on the trading block, though it will be difficult to move him, and his contract before the deadline. As for Rashard Lewis, I smell amnesty coming up for next season, and I wouldn’t touch him even in deep leagues.