As we head into Fantasy Week 5 (Nov. 26-Dec. 2), things are beginning to take shape a bit on the Fantasy landscape.
Players who got off to hot starts are starting to cool down and produce around their averages while players who got off to cold starts are beginning to heat up. We are also starting to see some trends developing as the calendar turns to December and the real fun starts. However, there are still plenty of intriguing matchups on the docket this week, which is why we have put together the fourth installment of our Rotisserie-based advice column.
Find a place for 'em
Randy Foye, G, Jazz (DEN, @NO, @OKC,@HOU): Foye has been one of more frustrating options for Fantasy owners thus far as he has been extremely inconsistent during his first year in Utah. The 29-year-old has turned in prolonged stretches of hot and cold spells and is averaging 11.1 points entering Week 5. However, the part of Foye's game that has remained consistent thus far has been his 3-point shooting. He is shooting a whopping 45.8 percent from downtown and is averaging 2.4 makes from behind the arc, which has him ranked in the top 10. While Foye has seen time at both guard positions, he could be in line to see a boost in minutes this week. Mo Williams has been dealing with a rash of minor injuries and could miss some time with an ankle issue this upcoming scoring period. That should open the window for more playing time for Foye this week and he looks to have some favorable matchups on tap. The Nuggets, Hornets and Rockets are all ranked near the bottom of the pack in opponent 3-point percentage, which could bode well for the free-shooting Foye. While he doesn't offer much in the assist or rebounding or departments, owners looking for help with points and treys should consider rolling with Foye in Week 5.(owned in 21 percent of leagues)
Jason Kidd, G, Knicks (@BKN, @MIL, WAS, PHO): Kidd was expected to serve as Raymond Felton's primary backup when he signed with New York, but coach Mike Woodson has used him as his starting shooting guard. The veteran has responded by posting 8.2 points over his first 11 games and is shooting 51 percent from the field over that stretch. While Kidd can no longer be counted on to provide owners with solid mid-teen scoring numbers, he still has been a big asset for owners in Rotisserie formats thanks to his solid all-around production. Over his last five games, Kidd is averaging 4.6 rebounds and 3.8 assists to go along with 2.4 steals per contest and is also making 1.8 3-pointers over that span. He has connected on 51.3 percent of his shots from behind the arc this season, which has him ranked in the top 10. Kidd should be able to maintain his productive ways this week as he looks to have some favorable matchups on tap. The Nets, Bucks and Suns all rank near the bottom of the pack in opposition field-goal percentage and the Wizards are averaging almost 17 turnovers per contest. Fantasy owners should continue to roll with Kidd in the majority of Rotisserie formats this week.(owned in 45 percent of leagues)
Kyle Singler, F, Pistons (POR, PHO, @MEM, @DAL): After spending the first three weeks of the season coming off the bench, coach Lawrence Frank finally decided to get Singler in the starting lineup. The rookie has responded by scoring in double figures in four of his last six games and is averaging a very respectable 11.3 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.2 assists since the move. He is shooting 51 percent from the field over that stretch while seeing a healthy 30.8 minutes per contest. With the losses already starting to mount for Detroit, the Pistons seem content to let the rookie learn on the fly, which bodes well for Fantasy owners. While he doesn't really excel at any one category, Singler has been extremely efficient when he has been on the court and has provided owners solid points and field-goal percentage numbers. He has shown flashes of being able to go on scoring runs and we would expect that trend to continue this week. The Mavericks, Suns and Trail Blazers are all allowing more than 100 points per contest and also rank near the bottom of the pack in opposition field-goal percentage. Singler's stock has definitely been on the rise of late, so owners should continue to ride his hot hand during the upcoming scoring period. (owned in 14 percent of leagues)
Alonzo Gee, F, Cavaliers (@MEM, PHO, @ATL, POR): While Jeremy Pargo and Daniel Gibson have garnered most of the attention from Fantasy owners since Kyrie Irving went down with an injury, there is another Cavs player who has stepped up his game. After averaging 10.8 points on 38.5 percent shooting from the field over his first eight games, Gee has improved his scoring. The 25-year-old has scored in double figures in each of his last five games and is averaging 14 points over that stretch while making 42 percent of his shots. He is also putting up 4.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.2 blocks during his run and averaging 1.2 made 3-pointers while seeing a healthy 34 minutes per game. While Gee has always been good at filling up a stat sheet, he has been much more aggressive offensively as he is averaging nearly two more shot attempts per game over his last five contests. With the defensively challenged Suns, Hawks and Trail Blazers on tap this week, Fantasy owners should continue to roll with Gee in Week 5. (owned in 65 percent of leagues)
Jermaine O'Neal, C, Suns (@CLE, @DET, @TOR, @NY): O'Neal spent the first three weeks of the season earning DNPs and playing in mop-up duty, but with the Suns' losses mounting, coach Alvin Gentry decided to shake things up. He decided to insert O'Neal into his regular rotation and the veteran has responded by scoring in double figures in each of his last five contests. He is averaging 12.6 points on 57 percent shooting from the field over that stretch to go along with a healthy 6.0 rebounds and 1.8 blocks. While O'Neal can no longer be counted on as a reliable long-term Fantasy option, he still can be useful in spurts. He can be counted on as a decent low-end source for points and field-goal percentage when he is seeing minutes, which is the case right now. O'Neal is averaging a healthy 23 minutes during his run and that trend should continue this week against the Cavaliers, Pistons, Raptors and Knicks. While O'Neal's run may not last the entire year, owners in Roto leagues looking for some cheap help at center should get him active this week. (owned in 7 percent of leagues)
Put ‘em on your bench
Mario Chalmers, G, Heat (SA, BKN): While Chalmers' overall production has been down this season, he has really been struggling of late. The 26-year-old has become a viable option in most Rotisserie formats for his ability to knock down treys and rack up steals but has been failing to knock down his shots. In fact, Chalmers has only made four 3-pointers over his last seven games and is shooting 27 percent from deep over that stretch. He has only scored in double figures once over during his rut and has looked so out of sync running Miami's offense that he has been losing playing time to Norris Cole. Every player goes through shooting slumps at some point or another and the good news is Chalmers will continue to get open looks thanks to the constant double teams drawn by LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. However, with Miami only playing twice in the upcoming scoring period and Chalmers averaging 5.8 points over his last five games, this appears to be a good week to sit him down in favor of a more reliable option. (owned in 48 percent of leagues)
Luke Ridnour, G, Timberwolves (@SAC, @LAC, MIL): Ridnour had high expectations entering the season but has been mired in one of the worst slumps of his career over his first 12 games, especially over his last five contests. The 31-year-old is shooting just 36.5 percent from the field over his last five and just 21 percent from downtown over that stretch. He has also seen his playing time decrease a bit as the return of J.J. Barea and emergence of Alexey Shved has cut into his minutes. While Ridnour's efficient play last season made him a popular pick in deeper Rotisserie formats, his lack of production and poor shooting numbers are doing more harm than good right now for most owners. Even his free-throw shooting hasn't been there as is making just 58.3 percent from the charity stripe during his cold spell. While Ridnour should be able to bounce back, owners may want to sit him down until he gets himself back on track. (owned in 71 percent of leagues)
Dorell Wright, F, 76ers (DAL, @CHA, CHI): After getting off to a red-hot start this season, Wright has gone cooler than a polar bear's toe nails over the last few weeks. The sharpshooter has failed to score in double figures in each of his last seven games and is averaging just 5.0 points over that stretch on 28 percent shooting from the field. Wright has managed to somehow shoot a decent 37 percent from 3-point range during his rut, but has not been helping out much in other areas of the box score. We saw the 26-year-old experience the same set of ups and downs with the Warriors last season and owners knew the deal when drafting him this season. While Wright can be a great source for points, rebounds and threes when he is on, he can also become a gaping hole in your Fantasy lineup when he is off. With no outstanding matchups on tap this week, owners should leave Wright reserved until he finds the on switch again. (owned in 37 percent of leagues
Elton Brand, F, Mavericks, (@PHI, @CHI, DET): While it is still very early in the season, Brand is definitely in the running for biggest disappointment thus far. The veteran has been downright dreadful over the past week as he is averaging just 3.2 points and 4.6 rebounds over his last five contests. He is shooting just 27 percent from the field over that stretch and really looks lost at times in coach Rick Carlisle's offensive system. Now Brand is starting to lose playing time due to his struggles as he has been on the court more than 20 minutes just twice over his last six games. To be fair, most of the Mavericks are struggling right now and Carlisle has been tweaking his rotations to try and create a spark. While Brand's track record suggests he will be able to bounce back, owners should wait for that to happen before getting him active again. (owned in 66 percent of leagues)
Spencer Hawes, C, 76ers, (DAL, @CHA, CHI): Hawes is the second 76ers player to make our list this week, which should tell owners all they need to know about what is going on in Philadelphia. Just like Wright, Hawes got off to a decent start, averaging a solid 9.0 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.3 blocks. However, the 24-year-old then hit a wall and has failed to score in double figures in six of his last seven games and is shooting just 40 percent from the field over that stretch. Even coach Doug Collins was at a loss when asked about Hawes' struggles and called him out saying he needed more from him moving forward. To be fair, Hawes has been trying to play through a sore knee, which could be the reason for his recent cold spell (he won't admit as much). While the 7-footer's rare ability to fill up a stat sheet has made him a low-end Rotisserie format favorite, he just isn't getting it done right now. Owners are best to leave Hawes on the bench until he gets himself healthy and back on track. (owned in 53 percent of leagues)