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Rotisserie specials for Week 2

by | Fantasy Writer
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With so much information provided to Fantasy owners who play in Head-to-Head leagues, owners who play in Rotisserie formats sometimes feel left out.

However, we at CBSSports.com have heard those owners' cries for help and decided to add a new column aimed at helping those players in category-based formats. We will list the five players who may be a bit under the radar but who, we feel, will make a meaningful impact in Rotisserie formats for the upcoming week. While these players may not be long-term solutions at their respective positions, they should be able to help owners get through the week.

Here is our list of Rotisserie studs and Duds for Fantasy Week 2 (Nov 5-11).

Find a place for 'em

Jarrett Jack, G, Warriors (@SAC, CLE, @LA, DEN): Most weren't exactly sure what Jack's role would be when he signed with the Warriors, but he has been a major factor for Golden State and Fantasy owners over the first few games. Jack has seen time at both guard positions in the first three contests and is averaging right around 30 minutes per contest. That has allowed the 29-year-old to show off his all-around game as he is averaging 10.3 points, 6.7 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 0.7 steals while shooting 47.6 percent from the field. He is also shooting 67 percent from behind the arc and 90 percent from the free-throw line and looks to have somewhat of a favorable schedule on tap this week. The Kings, Cavaliers and Nuggets all ranked in the bottom of the league in points allowed and opposition field-goal percentage last season and haven't fared much better thus far this year while the Clippers have struggled as well. As long as Jack continues to get his minutes, we would expect another very productive stretch from him into Week 2. (owned in 58 percent of leagues)

Danny Green, F, Spurs (IND, @LAC, @SAC, @POR): Green busted on to the scene with the Spurs last season and has picked up right where he left off this year. The 25-year-old has settled in as San Antonio's starting shooting guard and produced a productive 14.3 points, 2.7 rebounds, 1.7 assists and one steal over his first three games. He is shooting 58.6 percent from the field and 50 percent from downtown while seeing 33.3 minutes per game. While Green's main asset to Fantasy owners continues to be his ability to knock down 3-pointers, his extended minutes thus far has allowed him to contribute in other areas. He should be in line to keep seeing extra playing time with Manu Ginobili still slowed a bit by a back injury and the four teams he is facing this week aren't exactly considered defensive juggernauts. Fantasy owners looking for help in the 3-point department, as well as in shooting percentage without missing much production in other categories, should ride the hot hand of Green in Week 2. (owned in 24 percent of leagues)

Caron Butler, F, Clippers (CLE, SA, @POR, ATL): Butler struggled to find his footing in his first season with the Clippers and as a result his numbers took a hit across the board. However, he has come out firing this year and is shooting 62 percent from the field over the first three games. He has been especially hot from downtown, connecting on six of his first 10 attempts from behind the arc, which has also helped him score in double digits in each of his first three games. Sure, Butler's secondary stats haven't been much to write home about but his red-hot field-goal shooting and free-throw percentages have helped make up the difference. While he will likely cool down eventually, we don't see that happening in Week 2. Fantasy owners should continue to ride the 32-year-old's hot hand heading into the upcoming scoring period. (owned in 43 percent of leagues)

Brandan Wright, F, Mavericks (POR, TOR, @NY, @CHA): Wright has been one of the bigger surprises during the early of part of the year as the 25-year-old has been putting up impressive stat lines. With the Mavericks dealing with a ton of injures in their frontcourt, Wright has been pressed into the starting lineup with Dallas deciding to go small. Wright has really responded to his extended minutes as he has posted 13 points and 4.7 rebounds over his first three contests. However, what has been even more impressive has been Wright's ability to knock down shots. He has made 17 of his 21 attempts thus far (81 percent) and is also averaging 2.0 blocks per contest. While he will get pushed further down the rotation once Chris Kaman and Dirk Nowitzki get healthy, Wright should find himself back in the starting lineup for Week 2. With four games on tap, including against the defensively challenged Bobcats and Raptors, Wright may have at least one more productive week left in him. (owned in 21 percent of leagues)

Jason Maxiell, C, Pistons (@DEN, @SAC, @OKC, @HOU): With Greg Monroe and promising rookie Andre Drummond manning the frontcourt for the Pistons, it's easy to overlook Maxiell. However, the 29-year-old has gotten off to a very nice start this season as he has scored in double figures in each of his first three contests. He is shooting a whopping 57 percent from the field over that stretch and has also added solid rebounding totals to go along with 1.5 blocks per contest. While center is obviously the shallowest position in Fantasy, Maxiell has dual eligibility as a center and power forward, which only adds to his rising value. Based on his track record, Maxiell's numbers are likely to come back to down closer to his career averages of 6.0 points and 4.2 rebounds eventually. But with matchups on tap against the faster up-tempo, Nuggets, Kings, Thunder and Rockets on the docket, we would expect Maxiell to continue to produce solid a field-goal percentage, blocks and rebounding totals for at least another week. (owned in nine percent of leagues)

Put 'em on your bench

Ben Gordon, G, Bobcats (PHO, @NO, DAL): Gordon was shipped to Charlotte in the offseason and is expected to serve as the team's 3-point specialist off the bench. However, it has been tough sledding for the veteran in the early going as he has not seen the type of minutes most were expecting. While it is still very early and most coaches are still tweaking their rotations, Gordon has only averaged 20.5 minutes over his first two contests and is putting up just 8.0 points over that stretch. He does have the capability to heat up at any moment, but we aren't quite sure how much run he is going to see under coach Mike Dunlap. Combine that with the fact that he doesn't exactly fill up the stat sheet most nights along with matchups against the slower-paced Hornets and Mavericks on tap, and we feel owners are best to leave the 29-year-old reserved in the majority of Rotisserie formats for Week 2. (owned in 25 percent of leagues)

Landry Fields, F, Raptors (@OKC, DAL, PHI): Fields has been a fixture in Toronto's starting lineup over the first week of the season, but you wouldn't know it by looking at his numbers. The 24-year-old has scored a combined seven points over his first three games (2.3 ppg) to go along with 3.3 rebounds and just 1.6 assists. He is also shooting a putrid 21 percent from the field and missed on his only 3-point attempt thus far. While we would expect Fields to get himself on track a bit once he gets comfortable with his new teammates, it doesn't appear he is going to see much more than 20 minutes per game with the Raptors' deep bench. Fields' all-around production has made him a viable low-end option in most Rotisserie leagues over his first two years in the league, but he is simply not performing up to par right now. With no standout type matchups on the schedule this week, owners are best to leave Fields reserved in the upcoming scoring period. (owned in 28 percent of leagues)

Marvin Williams, F, Jazz (@MEM, LAL, @DEN, PHO); Williams turned quite a few heads after dropping 21 points in his debut with the Jazz on opening night but has since reverted back to his old ways. The 26-year-old has failed to score in double figures in the two games that have followed and he hasn't made much noise in any other area of the box score as well. While Williams has failed to live up to the high expectations placed upon him when he entered the league, the former Tar Heel has been a decent low-end option in category-based formats over the years due to his ability to fill up the box score. However, there hasn't been much evidence of that during his brief run with the Jazz as he is considered the fifth option when he is on the floor with the starters. Until Williams proves he can consistently contribute out in Utah, we recommend leaving him reserved -- at least for Week 2. (owned in 43 percent of leagues)

Lamar Odom, Clippers (CLE, SA, @POR, ATL): After enduring one of the worst statistical seasons of his career last season with the Mavericks, most were expecting big things from Odom when he signed with the Clippers in the offseason. However, his first run with his new team has not gone as expected for the 32-year-old. He has yet to score in double figures in each of his first three games and is averaging just 15 minutes per contest thus far. We would expect his minutes to go up as coach Vinny Del Negro tweaks his rotation, but Odom must first prove he can produce at the level he did with the Lakers. While the Clippers do play four times this week with three of their matchups coming at home, the 3.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, 1.0 assist, 1.3 blocks and 1.3 turnovers Odom has averaged thus far isn't going help many owners out. Leave the veteran reserved for the upcoming scoring period. (owned in 44 percent of leagues)

Emeka Okafor, C, Wizards @BOS, MIL, @IND): Okafor was hoping to get his career back on track with the Wizards this season, but he has struggled out of the gate in Washington. Despite being the team's starting center, Okafor has averaged just 6.5 points and 7.0 rebounds over his first two games and is shooting just 31.3 percent from the field over that stretch. He is seeing right around 20 minutes per contest and now looks to have some tough matchups on tap this week. The 30-year-old struggled mightily in his lone contest against Boston this year and facing 7-footers Roy Hibbert and Samuel Dalembert will be no small task. With poor numbers and a few tough matchups to deal with, we recommend leaving Okafor stashed in the majority of Rotisserie formats for now. (owned in 65 percent of leagues)

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Player News
Omer Asik ready to clean up in return to starting role
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(9/17/2014) Last season was a rough one for Omer Asik, who had to deal with returning to a reserve role after really shining as a starter the previous year. He should be much happier with his role this season, as the Pelicans acquired him this offseason with the intention of installing him as the starting center.

The Pelicans should have a fearsome frontcourt with Asik starting next to Anthony Davis, and Davis' presence should free Asik up to do the kind of work he excels at. Asik isn't a great offensive player, but he can be a dominant offensive rebounder, and should have many chances to clean up the boards with teams keying in on Davis offensively. Among players who have logged at least 5,000 minutes in the NBA, Asik is 22nd all-time in offensive rebounding percentage.

Asik had trouble staying healthy last season, but that was the first time he had ever missed a regular-season game in his career, so we can probably write that off as a fluke. He averaged a double-double with 1.1 blocks per game in 30.0 minutes per game two years ago, and should be capable of similar production as he returns to a starting role.

Asik should be viewed as a starting Fantasy option this season, though he may not have the upside of some other younger centers at this point. 


Tobias Harris' Fantasy value a mystery at this point
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(9/17/2014) Perception is a funny thing. Just ask Magic forward Tobias Harris, who enjoyed by far the most productive season of his career in 2013-14 but was somehow viewed as a Fantasy disappointment.

Part of that stemmed from Harris' issues with availability, as he missed 20 games and got off to a slow start to the season as a result. It really took until January for Harris to find his stride, but he averaged 15.2 points and 7.1 rebounds per game from Jan. 1 on, without missing a contest.

Harris was probably better than the general perception of him a year ago, but the power of expectations hurt him. And now he enters his fourth season as something of a career crossroads, and it is hard to say just how Fantasy owners should approach him this season.

The Magic added Channing Frye and Aaron Gordon to the roster this season, further confusing what was already one of the most crowded frontcourts in the league. Harris can play both forward spots, but he is probably best used as a small-ball power forward; the presence of Frye, one of the league's elite stretch-fours certainly complicates matters for Harris, then.

At just 22, Harris still has a world of potential ahead of him. However, he probably profiles best as a reserve Fantasy option heading into the season, given concerns about his role.   


Hype may be too high for Giannis Antetokounmpo
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(9/17/2014) No matter what he accomplishes in his second NBA season, Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo is likely to be a historical outlier, given his age. The question is, how much of a leap can the now-20-year-old take next season.

Only 15 players in NBA history have logged as many minutes in a single season as a teenager as Antetokounmpo's 1,897, so he is occupying fairly rarified air already. His age is a big part of why he is considered a big-time breakout prospect for Fantasy purposes, but he has a long way to go from a statistical standpoint.

Antetokounmpo was good for a 19-year-old rookie, but his season averages of 6.8 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game left a lot to be desired. It is easy to dream about a Antetokounmpo taking a big step forward, but that next step is never guaranteed -- for every Anthony Davis there is a Michael Kidd-Gilchrist whose development follows a slower, less linear path. 

Antetokounmpo was very good -- for a 19-year-old. However, Fantasy owners don't get extra points, rebounds or assists if the degree of difficulty is higher, so you are betting on Giannis taking a huge step forward at the age of 20. Antetokounmpo has become something of an internet darling, and his play in Summer League and the FIBA World Cup dominated much of the offseason discussion, which only helped build the hype to potentially unsustainable levels. 

He is a lottery ticket, for sure, but he is one that might not be worth the cost at this point. 


Improved jump shot all Jimmy Butler needs
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(9/17/2014) Bulls guard Jimmy Butler had the breakout season many expected from him a year ago, but there were still plenty of flaws apparent in his game as he finished his third NBA season. With a better team around him, Butler just might have enough help to vault him to stardom.

Butler's jump shot abandoned him last season, especially after a toe injury forced him to miss 11 games in November and December. He was shooting 43.7 percent from the field and 38.5 percent from three-point range prior to the injury, but connected on just 39.3 percent of his shots overall and 27.1 percent from three-point range from that point on.

We can blame Butler's season-long shooting slump on the injury or his increased offensive role, but he should have neither excuse available for him this season. Butler should be healthy, and the Bulls added plenty of offensive firepower this offseason, in the form of Pau Gasol and Doug McDermott, not to mention a hopefully healthy Derrick Rose. Butler took 154 shots off the dribble last season, per Stats.NBA.com, and made just 30.7 percent of them. With a better team around him, Butler should get many more opportunities to shoot with his feet set.

Butler has the skill set to be a tremendously efficient offensive player, given how often he bullies his way to the free-throw line. Last season, Butler filled up the box score extremely well, but his poor shooting limited his Fantasy value somewhat. If a new role helps his efficiency, he could be one of the very best guards in the league in category-based formats. 


Lance Stephenson set for bigger role in new setting
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(9/17/2014) Though there were fits and starts, Lance Stephenson finally began to live up to his considerable promise last season. Now in a new home in Charlotte, will Stephenson take another step forward in 2014-15?

By the end of last season, the Pacers were a mess, and Stephenson caught plenty of the blame for that. Still, he might have been arguably the team's most consistent player throughout the season, averaging between 25.8 and 29.7 Fantasy points per game from before and after the All-Star break as well as the playoffs. For as much of a mess as that team was, Stephenson emerged as something of a rock, at least for Fantasy purposes.

The Hornets are actually built in a somewhat similar way to the Pacers, so there wont' be much of a stylistic shift for Stephenson to get used to. Per MySynergySports.com, 11.8 percent of the then-Bobcats' possessions ended in post-ups, actually down from the 13.2 percent mark the Pacers' posted. Stephenson struggled at times with his post-entry passing, though his off-target feeds might find their mark more often when being lobbed in to the soft hands of Al Jefferson, as opposed to Roy Hibbert.

The Hornets might lean even more heavily on Stephenson than the Pacers did, since Indiana liked to spread the ball around with their starting five. The Hornets, on the other hand, look to be extremely top-heavy, and Stephenson will get plenty of chances to be the second or third option. We have him projected for 29.1 Fantasy points per game, and consider Stephenson a borderline top-50 Fantasy option for this season.  


Move to Houston won't alter Trevor Ariza's trajectory
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(9/17/2014) Trevor Ariza parlayed a career-year into a lucrative free-agency contract with the Rockets this offseason -- stop me if you've heard this story before.

Ariza was largely a disappointment in his first stint with the Rockets, though it did lead him to the best per-game numbers of his career. Still, Ariza was obviously miscast as a primary offensive option the last time he was in Houston, and that won't be a problem this time around.

Ariza joins a Rockets team with two established stars, and will likely spend much of his time trying to fill the departed Chandler Parsons' role. That should suit him nicely, as Ariza has just enough of an off-the-bounce game to serve as the team's third ballhandler when the shot clock gets deep. Ariza attempted 11.1 field-goal attempts per game last season, and should see a boost given Parsons' role; he attempted 13.3 shots per game.

Ariza's improved three-point shot seems legitimate, as he is shooting 38.6 percent from long range over 738 attempts since 2012. However, he will no longer have John Wall feeding him for juicy corner 3-pointers; Wall to Ariza was the league's most productive corner-three combination last season. His shooting numbers may take a hit with his move.

Even acknowledging the loss of Wall's help, we know the Houston offense is set up to get every player the most efficient shots possible, so Ariza shouldn't see much of a dip in his efficiency. His ability to fill up the box score makes him a perfect No. 2 option at forward in category-based leagues, especially now that he is a high-volume shooter. 


Despite new role, don't write off Isaiah Thomas entirely
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(9/17/2014) Suns guard Isaiah Thomas might see one of the biggest dropoffs in his Fantasy value from last season to this, as he joins the crowded Suns' backcourt.

The Suns might have three All-Star caliber guards in the backcourt now, with Thomas likely to backup Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe this season. That should put a serious dent in Thomas' value; Thomas finished 13th in Fantasy scoring among guards a year ago, but is projected to finish just 43rd this season.

Still, Thomas is definitely someone you'll want to add to your team when drafting, and almost certainly before the rest of the No. 4-type guards he is grouped with. Thomas is likely to see his numbers fall off from the 20.3 points and 6.3 assists he averaged a year ago, at least at first. However, it wouldn't be a surprise to see him end up starting upwards of 25 games throughout the year, given Bledsoe's injury-proneness. Bledsoe has missed at least 25 games in two of the last three seasons for knee issues.

Thomas probably profiles as more of a bench option for Fantasy purposes next season, but you'll be targeting him much earlier than nearly any other reserve. His upside as a handcuff option for either Bledsoe or Dragic is sky-high, and will make him well worth your attention on Draft Day. 


Eric Gordon cleared for contact
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(9/17/2014) Pelicans guard Eric Gordon has been cleared to take part in full-contact offseason drills ahead of training camp, The Times-Picayune reports.

Gordon underwent season-ending knee surgery last April, but is expected to be ready for the start of the regular season. 


Jrue Holiday cleared for contact ahead of camp
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(9/17/2014) Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday was able to participate in full-contact offseason drills last week, the first time he has done so since undergoing season-ending surgery last January.

"Getting out playing has been a joy," Holiday told The Times-Picayune. "I've been running and jumping and stuff, but getting my rhythm back on the court is definitely a big thing right now for me."

The Pelicans open training camp Sept. 30, and Holiday is not expected to have any limitations as the team prepares for the start of the season. Holiday averaged 14.3 points, 7.9 assists and 1.6 steals per game last season prior to the injury.


Kent Bazemore focused on conditioning in recovery
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(9/17/2014) Newly signed Hawks guard Kent Bazemore did not pick up a basketball until August, preferring to focus on conditioning in his recovery from foot surgery in April.

"I think the injury was definitely a blessing," he told the Daily Press, "because I was able to step away from the game of basketball. I took myself out of my element all summer. I did stuff I'm not used to doing."

Bazemore signed a two-year deal with the Hawks this offseason, and is expected to compete for playing time on the wing immediately, as he is fully recovered from the surgery. 


 
 
 
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