The Rockets got great value when they selected forward Chandler Parsons with the 38th pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, as he currently ranks eighth among all rookies in scoring and sixth in rebounding, while playing an increasingly large role on a team that is looking like a playoff contender.
Parsons has emerged as one of the Rockets' best players over the last month, and he is starting to provide savvy Fantasy owners with the same kind of surprising value that the Rockets are getting. Parsons, owned in just 41 percent of all CBSSports.com Fantasy leagues, has been the 38th most valuable Fantasy forward in standard scoring formats over the last three weeks. And the Florida alum just keeps improving week by week, making him the Start of the Week for Fantasy Week 14 (March 26-April 1).
The Rockets have been entrusting Parsons with more responsibilities in the offense recently, and coach Kevin McHale even speculated last week that Parsons (all 6-foot-9 of him) might get some opportunities to run the offense exclusively as a backup point guard. Clearly, the Rockets are high as can be on the unheralded rookie and given his recent play, you should be too.
Parsons has made more than half of his shots in all but one game so far in the month of March, hitting an absurd 58.8 percent of his shots from the field. He has also shown a three-point shot, which has been the biggest knock on his game as a rookie; he is sinking 44.0 percent from downtown in the month. Add it all up and he has been good for 13.0 points per game, while also adding 4.9 rebounds and 3.1 assists.
Parsons has been playing inspired ball over the last few weeks, and the Rockets seem more than happy to continue to leaning on him more and more. While he probably won't continue to make three out of every five shots he attempts, the athletic swingman shouldn't have too much trouble with the Rockets' schedule as they take on the Kings, Mavericks, Grizzlies and Pacers; he has averaged 10.5 points per game against those four, and those games all came before his breakout.
That the Rockets trust him enough to run the offense through him only bodes well for his role on the team. Don't worry about his low draft stock or lack of pedigree; Parsons has earned his place on the floor, as well as in your starting lineup.
Leandro Barbosa, Pacers (MIA, @NJ, WAS, @SA, HOU): The Pacers open Week 14 with a tough matchup against the Heat, however the landing after that is incredibly soft, as they run into four below-average defensive teams. Barbosa's first few games with his new team have been mixed, however he remains one of the finest options in the NBA if you are looking for instant offense off the bench. He is a risky option on a day-to-day basis, but with the Pacers set to be one of just two teams playing five times in the week, Barbosa should be able to fill it up enough to make him worth using over higher end options who don't play as often.
|1.||Jose Juan Barea, G, Timberwolves||20|
|2.||Matt Barnes, F, Lakers||3|
|3.||John Lucas, G, Bulls||1|
|4.||J.R. Smith, G, Knicks||10|
|5.||Trevor Booker, F, Wizards||38|
|6.||Robin Lopez, C, Suns||5|
|7.||Kawhi Leonard, F, Spurs||11|
|8.||Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, F, Bucks||3|
|9.||Gerald Green, G, Nets||13|
|10.||Anthony Tolliver, F, Timberwolves||1|
Nate Robinson, Warriors (LAL, NO, NJ, @LAL): Robinson can be an infuriating player, as he takes a lot of bad shots and doesn't do a great job of initiating the offense at times. He is the type of player who struggles to find playing time and opportunities on good teams and runs wild on bad ones. Happily for Robinson's Fantasy value, the Warriors appear to be a very bad team right now, and one on which he has been handed the reins. Robinson is shooting just 36.8 percent from the field over the last five games, however he is still averaging 12.8 points and 5.8 assists in that span because somebody has to shoot and handle the ball for Golden State. While the week is bookended with tough games against the Lakers, the Hornets and Nets should give Robinson enough opportunities to do his thing.
Sleeper Alert: C.J. Watson, Bulls (DEN, @ATL, DET, @OKC): This is one that is entirely dependent on the health of Derrick Rose; if Rose is able to play, Watson will find minutes hard to come by, but if Rose's sore groin continues to bother him, Watson will continue to run the show. Rose was a limited participant in practice on Friday, however he has still yet to begin running. Rose appears to be a risky option for Week 14 and Watson has filled in decently, putting up 13.8 points and 2.6 assists per game in the last five without Rose, so if Rose remains out, take a chance on Watson.
Steve Blake, Lakers (@GS, OKC, NO, GS): Lakers coach Mike Brown said all of the right things after the team acquired Ramon Sessions at the trade deadline, standing by Blake, the presumed incumbent starter. And he even stuck to his guns -- for all of four games. However, Blake ended up with as many turnovers (5) as points in those games, and the decision was made Friday to move Sessions to the starting unit. It was maybe thought that Blake could hang on to the spot and maybe become a low-end Fantasy option as a result, however he totally bottomed out and at this point shouldn't be relied on, even with a favorable schedule in Week 14.
John Salmons, Kings (@HOU, SA, @UTA, NJ): Salmons has actually been starting recently for the Kings, as Tyreke Evans missed some time with an ankle injury, and then elected to come off the bench for two games while recovering. It would have been a great chance for Salmons to show the team that, even if he moved back to the bench, he needed to be a major part of the rotation. He responded by failing to reach double digits in scoring in three of his four starts, bottoming out with a one-point game on Thursday against the Jazz. Evans was moved back into the starting lineup on Saturday, making Salmons the odd man out yet again. Salmons will still get some share of the minutes, but as a reserve he simply is not worth using, even with a solid schedule in Week 14.
Bust Alert: Andre Miller, Nuggets (@CHI, @TOR, @CHA, @ORL): You've got to have immense respect for a 36-year-old NBA veteran who suffers a separated shoulder and doesn't even miss a single game. Despite his toughness, Miller has been struggling mightily recently, even before the injury, and then in his first game back on Wednesday, he failed to score even a single point. Miller is averaging just 5.4 points and 4.4 assists per game over the last five, and, coming off this injury, it seems very unlikely that he will be able to turn things around in time for Week 14, especially with three top-12 defenses staring him down.
Jason Thompson, Kings (@HOU, SAS, @UTA, NJ): Thompson had to be helped off of the floor on the last play of Thursday's loss to the Jazz, which would have certainly put a damper on his Fantasy value for Week 14. However X-rays taken after the game came back negative, and it turns out he just re-aggravated an older injury and is expected to be fine, which is very good news for his Fantasy owners. Thompson is in the midst of arguably the finest stretch of his career, as he matched a career-high on Thursday with his fifth straight double-double. Thompson missed Saturday's game as a precaution, however he is not expected to miss any further time. The Kings take on four below-average defenses in Week 14, so barring a setback, he should remain active.
Derrick Favors, Jazz (@NJ, @BOS, SAC, @LAC): Favors remains third on the depth chart for the Jazz in the frontcourt, however he has started to force his way into a bigger role with his play of late. The second-year big man is averaging 13.2 points, 10.6 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game in just 26.4 minutes over the last five games, as the Jazz have started to realize they can lean on him more without a major drop in production. If he was a full-time player, Favors could be one of the top big men in the league already, however Fantasy owners should follow Utah's lead and rely on him more. With three subpar defenses on the docket for Week 14, Favors should be able to keep his solid play up.
Sleeper Alert: Kevin Seraphin, Wizards (DET, @IND, PHI, @TOR): Seraphin enters Week 14 averaging just 4.5 points and 3.9 rebounds per game on the season, however that doesn't account for the fact that his role has increased by almost double over the last five games; Seraphin is averaging 26.2 minutes per game in that span, compared to 14.9 for the season as a whole. Seraphin is averaging 10.8 points and 6.8 rebounds per game in that span, and as a former first round pick, is starting to show his potential. While he'll see a lesser role with Nene's availability increasing, Seraphin should have locked up some solid minutes, making him a useful low-end option for the week.
Gustavo Ayon, Hornets (@LAC, @GS, @POR, @LAL, @PHO): Ayon is another unheralded rookie who has played a surprisingly large role for his team this season, however he was removed from the starting lineup on Thursday in favor of Jason Smith. While Smith promptly earned himself a two-game suspension in that contest, he is likely going to be back in the starting lineup when he returns. Ayon has struggled with his rebounding this month, averaging just 3.7 per game, which is a departure from what he had been doing prior, which is what made him a viable low-end Fantasy option. It appears as if Ayon's minutes will remain lower moving forward, especially with the return of Carl Landry on Saturday, making him an unattractive Fantasy option even with five games on the schedule.
Michael Beasley, Timberwolves (@MEM, @CHA, BOS, @POR): Beasley has been bothered in a big way over the last few weeks with a toe injury, and he is at risk of continuing to miss time in Week 14 as the injury doesn't seem to be healing very well. Beasley's minutes have gone down in a major way recently, as he is down to 15.6 per game in the month of March. Part of that is the injury, obviously, but part of it is that coach Rick Adelman simply doesn't like using him much. Add the injury risk on top of his lack of minutes recently, and it is just too hard to rely on Beasley.
Bust Alert: Shawn Marion, Mavericks (HOU, @MIA, @ORL): Marion is expected to be fully recovered from the knee injury that cost him three games during Week 13, however his production had been slipping even before the knee started bothering him, as he is averaging just 8.9 points and 7.8 rebounds per game in the month of March. Even if Marion isn't bothered by the knee or rust, he has a back-to-back on the schedule against Miami and Orlando coming up and just one other game in the week, making him a very risky option for Week 14.
Spencer Hawes, 76ers (CLE, @WAS, ATL): We have been warning you to avoid Hawes since his return to the floor last week from an Achilles' injury, as the Sixers have been extremely careful with his minutes. However, as of Week 14, they are finally ready to begin unleashing him in longer bursts, as he has been cleared to play in seven minute stretches at a time. As a result, he put up 12 points, 10 rebounds and three assists in 28 minutes on Friday against the Celtics, and he should be able to maintain that kind of production. Even with the Sixers playing just three times, Hawes is worth starting now that he is back to being a full-time player.
Sleeper Alert: Tristan Thompson, Cavaliers (@PHI, DET, MIL, @NY): Thompson is listed as a forward for his primary position, but as of Sunday, he earned his fifth start at center, meaning he is now eligible at two positions beginning in Week 14. Thompson has thrived since the move into the team's primary center role as he is averaging 13.6 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per game in his five games as a starter while seeing his minutes go up in a big way, to 32.4 per game. Owners in all formats won't be able to take advantage of his new-found eligibility, but if you can, Thompsons is much more valuable at the very weak center position, especially with four games on the schedule.
Timofey Mozgov, Nuggets (@CHI, @TOR, @CHA, @ORL): Mozgov has bounced back and forth between relevance and being invisible this season, however it was assumed that with the trade of Nene at the deadline, he would assume a larger role in the team's plans moving forward. Five games later, he has averaging 15.8 minutes per game, one minute below his season average -- so much for that. He remains the nominal starter, however newly-acquired backup Javale McGee has played more minutes and produced more than Mozgov in every game they have played together. A cupcake in Charlotte provides the only easy game on the schedule for Mozgov in Week 14, so don't expect the trends to turn around there.
Bust Alert: Nikola Pekovic, Timberwolves (@MEM, @CHA, BOS, @POR): Pekovic has been borderline dominant at times this season, especially on the offensive glass, where he leads the league in offensive rebounding rate. The big man out of Montenegro weighs in at 290 pounds, which makes recovering from even minor leg injuries an issue, which is why Pekovic's Week 14 is in jeopardy as he continues to deal with an ankle injury. He has missed four of the last five games and is out until at least Friday this week as he continues to try to get back on the floor. If Pekovic does return by Friday, he would have just two opportunities to produce, and with the injury hampering him, it is hard to expect much from him, so keep him on the bench.