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Rotisserie specials for Week 4

by | Fantasy Writer
  •  

This will be the second shortened scoring period Fantasy owners will have to deal with this season, as the league did not schedule any games on Thanksgiving this year.

The entire league will now be off Thursday, which means each team will play one less game during Fantasy Week 4 (Nov. 19-26). We have once again listed the five options who may be a bit under the radar but who, we feel, will make a meaningful impact in Rotisserie formats this week. Conversely, we have also compiled a list of players who could do more harm than good this week.

Find a place for 'em

Ramon Sessions, G, Bobcats (MIL, TOR, ATL, @WAS): Sessions continues to serve as Kemba Walker's primary backup and has performed well in that role. He has scored in double figures in all eight of his games thus far and is averaging a healthy 15.8 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game. While he is shooting just 41.7 percent from the field and a putrid 19 percent from the behind the arc, he looks to have a chance to improve on those numbers in the upcoming scoring period. The Bucks, Raptors, and Hawks all rank in the bottom half of the league in opponent field-goal percentage while the Wizards have surrendered an average of 95.3 points over their last six games. Despite his poor 3-point shooting and lack of steals thus far, Sessions has been productive and efficient enough to leave active in most formats and that trend should continue this week. Continue to roll with the 26-year-old in most category-based formats during the upcoming scoring period.(owned in 74 percent of leagues)

Jason Richardson, G, 76ers (TOR, @CLE, OKC, @PHI): Richardson did not get off to the best start in Philadelphia as he scored just 10 points in his season opener before missing the next four-plus games with an ankle injury. However, the veteran was able to return to the starting lineup last week and responded by posting 15.3 points, 5.5 rebounds. 2.0 assists and 1.8 steals over the four games since he came back. He is also shooting 42.6 percent from the field since his return, including an impressive 48.1 percent from downtown. While most figure the 31-year-old's best days are behind him, he remains one of the better 3-point shooters in the game and has received the green light by coach Doug Collins. Richardson is still capable of lighting up the scoreboard when he is on and looks to have a plethora of favorable matchups on tap this week. The Cavaliers, Suns and Raptors are allowing their opponents to shoot at least 46.4 percent from the field while Phoenix and Toronto are also allowing opponents to hit over 40 percent of their shots from behind the arc. Look for Richardson to come out firing this week and we would expect him to make more than he misses in the upcoming scoring period. (owned in 64 percent of leagues)

Kyle Korver, F, Hawks (ORL, WAS, @CHA, LAC): After shooting just 32 percent from the field and averaging 7.0 points over his first four games of the season, Korver has finally found his range for the Hawks. The 31-year-old is averaging 14.3 points per game over his past four games and has made 65 percent of his shots from the field, including 65 percent from behind the arc. He is also averaging a healthy 4.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.2 steals over that stretch and is seeing just over 30 minutes per game while splitting time at shooting guard and small forward. It seems Korver has finally readjusted himself to being a full-time starter for the first time since the 2005-06 season and now will face the defensively challenged Magic, Wizards and Bobcats in the upcoming scoring period. Even the Clippers are allowing opponents to shoot nearly 35 percent from the field from downtown, which bodes well for the free-shooting Korver. Fantasy owners should continue to ride his hot hand this week. (owned in 23 percent of leagues)

Metta World Peace, F, Lakers (BKN, @SAC, @MEM, @DAL): After almost completely disappearing from Fantasy relevancy the past two years, it appears World Peace is back. The veteran was a Rotisserie owners' dream during his better years as he offered solid mid-teen scoring numbers while filling up the stat sheet. However, he has seen his numbers and stock completely plummet during his two years in Los Angeles and entered this season as merely an afterthought to most owners. World Peace has found his scoring prowess again as he has scored in double figures in seven straight games and is averaging 15.7 points over that stretch. He is shooting 47 percent from the field -- including 38 percent from downtown -- to go along with 5.3 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.5 steals. While most don't think he will be able to maintain his current pace -- especially once new coach Mike D'Antoni takes over -- World Peace's production has been too hard to ignore. It will likely take D'Antoni a few weeks to get his system in place, which should allow World Peace to continue to chuck it up for a few more games. Fantasy owners should take advantage of his hot hand and leave the 33-year-old active for at least one more week. (owned in 52 percent of leagues)

Tristan Thompson, C, Cavaliers (PHI, ORL, MIA): While Kyrie Irving and Dion Waters have been getting all the attention in Cleveland of late, Thompson has very quietly been having a productive sophomore campaign. After going through some ups and downs early on in the year, the 21-year-old enters Week 4 averaging a solid 9.7 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. He has scored in double figures in six straight contests and is shooting 49 percent from the field during his run while also posting an assist and one steal over that stretch. While Thompson continues to see starts at power forward, he is also eligible at center and looks to have somewhat of a favorable schedule on tap this week. Despite the Magic, Heat and 76ers all holding their opponents to less than 100 points per game, all three teams are allowing clubs to make over 44 percent of their field goals, which is way above the league average. The one knock on Thompson thus far has been his lack of blocked shots; however, the fact that he is averaging nearly a double-double to go along with a steal and assist over his last six games is reason enough to leave him active in most category-based formats this week. (owned in 78 percent of leagues)

Put 'em on your bench

Jerryd Bayless, G, Grizzlies (DEN, LAL): After averaging 11.4 points per game with the Raptors a year ago, Bayless has been surprisingly quiet during his first year in Memphis. He has only scored in double figures in two of his nine games on the year and is averaging just 6.9 points, 2.9 assists and 1.3 rebounds. He is making 47 percent of his field-goal attempts and 50 percent of his shots from behind the arc, so his lack of production seems to be the result of a lack of playing time rather than because of poor shooting. Bayless is seeing an average of just 15.9 minutes per game thus far, which is well below the 22.7 minutes he saw during his final year in Toronto, and we don't see that changing this week. The Grizzlies are the hottest team in the league right now, so don't expect coach Lional Hollins to mess with his rotation much. Combine that with the fact that the Grizzlies only play twice this week against the Lakers and surprisingly stingy Nuggets, and we feel Bayless is best left on the bench for at least another week.(owned in 29 percent of leagues)

Austin Rivers, G, Hornets (NY, @IND, @PHO, @DEN): Rivers was one of the few rookies to enter the league this season expected to make an immediate impact. However, that has not been the case over the first three weeks of the season. The 20-year-old has struggled with injuries and the speed of the NBA game, which has resulted in him averaging 6.7 points, 2.7 assists and 1.9 rebounds thus far. He has only scored in double figures once over his first seven games -- which was 10 points -- and is shooting a dreadful 28 percent from the field and 23.1 percent from behind the arc. While the Hornets seem content to leave Rivers in the starting lineup and have him learn on the fly, we strongly recommend owners do not follow suit. New Orleans will face some of the leagues' better defensive teams in the upcoming scoring period as the Knicks and Pacers rank in the top 10 in opposition field-goal percentage. Even the Nuggets have been stingier than expected on defense thus far, so Fantasy owners should leave Rivers sidelined for at least one more scoring period. (owned in 45 percent of leagues)

Gerald Green, F, Pacers (@WAS, NO, SA): Green got himself off to a fairly productive start this season, but like the rest of the Pacers, he has hit a wall of late. The 26-year-old was moved to the bench after beginning the year in the starting lineup and as a result has seen a dip in production. He is averaging 8.3 points on 37.5 percent shooting from the field -- including 33 percent from downtown -- to go along with 5.8 rebounds. His numbers have been lacking in the steals and blocks departments, and he has just one block and no steals over his last five games. While Green's ability to fill up the stat sheet and post a decent field goal (49 percent) and 3-point (39 percent) percentages made him a popular pickup in deeper category-based formats last season, he has been more of a liability in those leagues so far this year. Even with the lowly Hornets and Wizards on the schedule, Green is not worth activating in most formats for the upcoming scoring period. (owned in 37 percent of leagues)

Taj Gibson, F, Bulls, (@HOU, @MIL): Gibson had high expectations entering the season as the departure of Omer Asik was supposed to open up more minutes and elevated production for the 27-year-old, But so far neither of those two things have happened. Coach Tom Thibodeau has kept his minutes right around the 20-per game mark and as a result, Gibson is actually averaging over a point less than he did a season ago, thanks to his 41 percent field goal shooting from the field. He is also averaging the same number of shot attempts this season as he did last year, so even if he starts knocking down more shots, his numbers aren't likely to increase from what they were last year. The only thing Gibson has been thriving at is blocking shots as he is averaging just under two per contest (1.9). However, that isn't enough to stand on its own, especially when he is putting up just 6.4 points and 4.6 rebounds per game. With the Bulls only slated to play twice in Week 4 and no hint at any extra minutes in the near future, owners may want to sit Gibson down for a week. (owned in 47 percent of leagues)

Brandan Wright, C, Mavericks, (GS, NY, LAL): Wright got off to a red-hot start this season and as a result became a very popular pick off the waiver wire. But as in all aspects of life, things change and so has Wright's Fantasy value. After posting a solid 12.0 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.8 blocks over his first six games, he is averaging 5.3 points, 2.3 rebounds and 0.3 blocks over his next five contests. His recent lack of production has landed him in the doghouse with coach Rick Carlisle, who benched him because of poor effort and has since reduced his role to that of a benchwarmer. Wright is only averaging 12.5 minutes over his last five contests and most of that has been in mop-up time. To be fair, the return of Shawn Marion and Chris Kaman would have reduced his playing time anyway, but not to where it is right now. Until Wright is able to get back in Carlisle's good graces, he should be left on the bench in all Rotisserie formats this week. (owned in 33 percent of leagues)

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Player News
Despite new role, don't write off Isaiah Thomas entirely
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(12:28 pm ET) 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
(11:34 am ET) 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
(11:26 am ET) 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
(11:18 am ET) 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. 


Xavier Henry still aiming for start of regular season
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(11:13 am ET) Lakers forward Xavier Henry is recovered from offseason wrist surgery, but is still working his way back from a procedure on his right knee. Lakers coach Byron Scott told the Los Angeles Daily News he is not sure if Henry will be ready to play in games by the start of training camp.

"I haven't seen him do much on the court," Scott said. "It's going to be close on if he's ready for camp."

Henry has been able to take part in basketball activities, but has still not been cleared for contact. Still, he is expected to be ready for the start of the regular season, after appeared in 43 games a year ago. 


Larry Sanders 'absolutely' a part of team's future plans
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(11:09 am ET) Bucks assistant general manager David Morway told HoopsHype.com in September center Larry Sanders is still a part of the team's future plans, despite a troubled 2013-14 season.

"Absolutely," Morway said. "Yeah, yeah. Larry is in our future plans. We are hopeful that this year Larry gets back to being the basketball player that he was two years ago."

Sanders had a long list of issues follow him last season, including a drug suspension served at the end of the season, as well as a thumb injury suffered during a bar fight. Sanders was limited to just 23 games, during which he averaged 7.7 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game before his season ended in February with a fractured eye socket.

Sanders is expected to open the season as the team's starting center. 


Brendan Haywood possibly ahead of schedule
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(10:55 am ET) Cavaliers center Brendan Haywood might be able to play during the first half of the 2014-15 season according to The Plain Dealer, as he is in better shape than expected ahead of the start of training camp.

According to the report, the team was concerned their recently-acquired big man might not be able to play until January, if at all, due to foot surgery last season. Haywood missed all of last season as a result of the surgery, but might be able to provide some depth in the backcourt shortly.  


Brook Lopez sheds weight in order to stay healthy
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(10:46 am ET) Nets center Brook Lopez lost 15 pounds this offseason, in hopes that he can stay healthy following a second season lost due to foot issues.

Lopez told The New York Post in August he is down to 275 pounds, after entering training camp at 290 pounds a year ago. Lopez's season ended in January after foot surgery, and he also underwent a procedure to clean up his ankle during the season.

Lopez is not expected to be on a minutes limit for the Nets this season, despite his injury history. He averaged 20.7 points and 6.0 rebounds per game in 17 appearances before the injury a year ago. 


John Jenkins gets healthy over summer
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(10:29 am ET) Hawks guard John Jenkins was able to play a few games during the team's Las Vegas Summer League run, a sign that he has recovered from a lower back issue that derailed his 2013-14 season.

Jenkins appeared in just 13 games a year ago before finally having back surgery in January, but is expected to be at full health for the start of training camp. He appeared in two Summer League games, and is expected to compete for a backup role in the backcourt.

Jenkins has averaged just 5.6 points in 74 games over two seasons since the Hawks selected him 23rd overall in the 2012 draft. 


Jason Smith expected to be ready for camp
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(10:23 am ET) Knicks center Jason Smith is expected to be healthy for the start of training camp, after season-ending knee surgery in 2013-14.

Smith signed a one-year deal worth $3.3 million with the Knicks this offseason, despite playing just 31 games a year ago. He was productive when he played, averaging 9.7 points and 5.8 rebounds per game for the Pelicans, and should figure into the Knicks' frontcourt rotation.


 
 
 
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