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Rotisserie specials for Week 16

by | Fantasy Writer
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Fantasy Week 16 (Feb. 11-17) is one of the more difficult scoring periods for owners to deal with as there are only 28 games scheduled over the next seven days due to the All-Star break. In fact, most teams are only scheduled to play one or two games during the upcoming scoring period, which makes setting lineups a challenge. However, this week is as important as any other during the Fantasy season -- especially with playoffs just seven weeks away in the majority of leagues.

Despite the light schedule, there are still plenty of great options for owners to use in their lineup this week, including Samuel Dalembert.

After essentially spending most of December and January on the outside looking in of former coach Scott Skilies' rotation, Dalembert has gotten a chance to play under interim coach Jim Boylan. The 10-year veteran has appeared in each of Milwaukee's last eight games and an injury to Larry Sanders has allowed him to start the last two. Dalembert has done well to take advantage of his extended playing time as he has posted three straight double-doubles for the Bucks and is averaging 16.3 points, 11.7 rebounds and 3.3 blocks over that stretch on 67 percent shooting from the field. Even before he stepped in for the injured Sanders, Dalembert was seeing around 20 minutes as a reserve under Boylan and was still giving owners close to a double-double once he started seeing run again.

The 31-year-old has proved numerous times over his career that he can be counted as a decent source for scoring, rebounds and blocks when he sees quality minutes, but he has always had to compete for playing time. Unfortunately that trend continued this year, until Boylan took a hold of the reigns from Skiles. With Saunders' status still very much in question heading into Week 16 and Dalembert playing his best basketball of the year, the big man is worth a look in most formats this week. Even with matchups on tap against the stingy Wizards and 76ers -- who are two of the better teams at defending the paint -- owners should feel free to get Dalembert active at the thin center position.

Find a place for 'em

Eric Bledsoe, G, Clippers (@PHI, HOU, @LAL): While the Clippers endured one of their toughest stretches of the season without the reliable Chris Paul running the point, it did allow Bledsoe to show what he can do. The third-year guard averaged a very productive 15 points and 5.8 assists over his nine starts, but it was the 4.7 rebounds, 2.4 steals, 1.6 blocks and 40 percent shooting from downtown over that span that made him such a hit for owners in Rotisserie formats. While the return of Paul will make it hard for Bledsoe to continue to get his numbers, that might not be the case this week. Paul has been on a minutes restriction since his return to the lineup, which is expected to carry over into Week 16. Combine that with the fact the Clippers are the only team scheduled to play three times in the upcoming scoring period and will have played a total of five games over seven days when the All-Star break finally arrives, and the Clippers may hold Paul back a bit. That should allow Bledsoe to continue to see around 25 minutes most nights, which is what he averaged during Paul's first two games back in the lineup. Bledsoe has more than proven his worth when he sees quality playing time, so continue to roll with him in the majority of category-based leagues as we would expect that to be the case once again this week.(owned in 76 percent of leagues)

Nate Robinson, G, Bulls (SA, @BOS): Robinson has taken over the team’s starting point guard duties while Kirk Hinrich has been sidelined with an elbow injury, and the 28-year-old has been impressive over that stretch. Robinson is averaging 16.6 points and 8.6 assists over his last five games as a starter and is shooting 53 percent from downtown in that span. He is also giving owners 3.2 rebounds and 1.4 steals during his run and has been seeing around 39 minutes per game. The Bulls are only slated to play twice during the upcoming scoring period and Kirk Hinrich has already been ruled out for Monday’s tilt. That means Robinson is likely looking at least one more game of 30-plus minutes, which is when he has thrived this year. In fact, Robinson is averaging 17.6 points and 7.5 assists when he sees at least 30 minutes per game and that trend should continue this week. Even if Hinrich does return in time for Wednesday’s contest, he is unlikely to log big minutes, which would leave the door open for Robinson. Fantasy owners should continue to roll with the eighth-year guard in the majority of Rotisserie formats this week.(owned in 75 percent of leagues)

Shawn Marion, F, Mavericks (ATL, SAC): Despite being the center of non-stop trade rumors, Marion has been one of the hottest players in the association nobody is talking about right now. The seasoned veteran has scored in double figures in eight of his last 10 games and is averaging 15.4 points and 8.9 rebounds over that stretch. He is making 56 percent of his shots during his run and is also giving owners 2.1 assists, 1.4 steals and a block while logging around 30 minutes per game. Marion's ability to fill up a stat sheet has always made his value a bit higher in category-based formats and that has once again been the case this year. The only area of the box score that Marion has struggled with has been his 3-point shooting (32 percent) -- which is actually his highest mark since the 2007-08 campaign. The 34-year-old looks to have a great chance to keep things rolling this week against the Kings and Hawks. Marion dropped 19 points and 10 rebounds in his lone meeting against Sacramento this season, while the Hawks have been scorched by opposing forwards of late. While Marion could be headed to a new team soon, owners should keep him active heading into Week 16.(owned in 85 percent of leagues)

Martell Webster, F, Wizards (@MIL, @DET): While John Wall gets most of the credit for the Wizards' recent turnaround, he isn't the only player who has given Washington a lift. Webster has also elevated his play in recent weeks as the veteran has scored in double figures in nine of his last 11 games. He is averaging 15.2 points over that span on 55 percent shooting from the field and is also giving owners 3.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists during his run. However, the most impressive part of Webster's recent upward trend has been his 3-point shooting. He has made at least two treys in 10 of his last 11 games and is shooting a whopping 54 percent from downtown over that span as the constant double teams Wall draws has given Webster plenty of open looks. Despite the Pistons and Bucks being very good at defending the 3-point line, Webster has been way too hot to consider sitting. Fantasy owners should continue to roll with the 26-year-old in the majority of Rotisserie formats heading into the shortened Week 16. (owned in 37 percent of leagues)

Lavoy Allen, C, 76ers (LAC, @MIL): While the loss of Thaddeus Young was a huge blow to the 76ers, his injury opened up some additional playing time at the power forward position. Allen has gotten the first crack at trying to fill the void left by Young and has performed very well thus far. Allen has scored in double figures in each of the three games Young has been sidelined and is averaging 12 points on 51 percent shooting from the field. He has also pulled down a combined 34 rebounds over that stretch, including a career-best 22 in Philadelphia's win over the Bobcats last Saturday. While owners shouldn't count on the 24-year-old to post 20-plus rebounds on a nightly basis, his increased playing time should allow him to post more productive stat lines for owners. In fact, Allen is averaging 10.3 points and 9.1 rebounds when he sees more than 30 minutes, which has been the case in each of his last three games. That trend should continue heading into Week 16 as Young is expected to be out until at least after the All-Star break. With dual eligibility at forward and center in most leagues, owners could do a lot worse than to roll with Allen this week.(owned in 20 percent of leagues)

Put 'em on your bench

Jason Kidd, G, Knicks (TOR): Kidd owners have been on a roller coaster this season as the veteran continues to frustrate with his inconsistent play. Unfortunately, Kidd's production has been in a downward spiral for some time now and as he has struggled to score lately. Kidd has not scored in double figures in any of his last eight contests and he has gone scoreless three times over that span. He is averaging just 2.6 points on 23 percent shooting from the field during his cold spell to go along with a modest 2.9 rebounds and 1.8 assists. The return of Iman Shumpert and Raymond Felton have cut into some of Kidd's minutes of late as he has only been seeing around 18 minutes per game since their return as coach Mike Woodson fine-tunes his rotation. While Kidd's track record suggests it should only be a matter of time before he bounces back, the Knicks' light upcoming schedule makes him a prime sit candidate. With only one game scheduled this week, owners should consider leaving the 39-year-old benched. (owned in 47 percent of leagues)

Ray Allen, G, Heat (POR, @OKC): Allen's shooting woes went from bad to worse during the past scoring period as he made just two of his 14 attempts over that span. He has scored a combined seven points over his last three games, which has left many owners scratching their heads. The veteran has only connected on six of his last 31 shot attempts (three 3s) and has failed to score in double figures in each of his last five contests. Allen's main asset to Fantasy owners is his ability to score as well as knock down treys, but he has not been doing much of either lately. While it should only be a matter of time before Allen shoots his way out of his latest slump, that could be easier said than done this week. Both Portland and Oklahoma City have done well defending the 3-point line thus far and with the Heat only slated to play twice in Week 16, owners won't have much room for error. Consider leaving Allen reserved heading into the All-Star break.(owned in 48 percent of leagues)

Harrison Barnes, F, Warriors (HOU): Barnes continues to show flashes of his potential in Golden State as the rookie has started all 50 of the games he has appeared in at small forward. However, the rookie has struggled to string long stretches of productivity together, which continues to limit his value. In fact, Barnes has alternated his scoring between single-and double-digits in each of his last five games and is averaging 13 points and 3.6 rebounds, while shooting 58 percent from the field over that span. Still, the Warriors are one of just four teams slated to play one game during Week 16, which makes him a bit of a risky play. One bad performance could really set owners back this week and Barnes' up-and-down track record doesn't leave a real comfortable feeling. Owners should consider using a more reliable option if available this week.(owned in 50 percent of leagues)

Al-Farouq Aminu, F, Hornets, (@DET, POR): Aminu's inconsistent ways continued during the last scoring period as owners got a glimpse of his best and worse. After starting the week off with a double-double, Aminu scored a combined four points and pulled down 12 rebounds over his next two games while only attempting three shots over that span. Unfortunately the 22-year-old has been posting stat lines like that all season long, which makes it hard to leave him active for long stretches. However, Aminu has been especially cold over the past few weeks as he has managed to score in double figures just once over his last eight games. Despite putting up 7.7 rebounds over that span, he is averaging just 4.7 points on 43 percent shooting from the field and isn't giving owners much in the assist, steals or block departments. While he will be facing the defensively challenged Pistons and Trail Blazers, owners should seek other options this week.(owned in 49 percent of leagues)

Tyler Zeller, C, Cavaliers, (MIN, SA): Zeller has made our sit list on more than one occasion this season and he finds himself back in that same spot this week. The rookie just can't seem to get his offensive game on track as he has managed to score in double figures in just one of his last nine games. He is shooting just 38 percent from the field over that span to go along with 6.3 rebounds and 2.4 assists. While those are respectable assist and rebound totals, they aren't enough to make up for the 23-year-old's lack of scoring or efficiency. Most thought the loss of Anderson Varejao would give Zeller all the opportunity he needed to show what he can do, but it has been Tristan Thompson who has taken his game to another level over the past few weeks. While Zeller still has a ton of upside to his game, his lack of scoring and poor shooting numbers are doing more harm than good for owners in Rotisserie formats. Consider leaving Zeller reserved heading into the upcoming scoring period. (owned in 47 percent of leagues)

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Player News
Lakers sign Wayne Ellington right before training camp
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(9/22/2014) With one week before the start of training camp, the Lakers have signed five-year veteran guard Wayne Ellington to a contract, the team announced. Ellington is now with his fourth team since June, after failing to crack the rotation with the Mavericks in 2013.

Ellington averaged 3.2 points on 43.7 percent shooting from the field over 45 games for Dallas.

Andray Blatche heading to China
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(9/20/2014) Free-agent center Andray Blatche has signed a one-year deal with the Xinjiang Guanghui Flying Tigers in China. Blatche's deal with pay him almost $2.5 million, and he'll be able to rejoin an NBA team in March, Yahoo! Sports reports.

Report: Kings add Ramon Sessions
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(9/20/2014) The Kings have agreed to a two-year, $4.2-million deal with free-agent guard Ramon Sessions , Yahoo! Sports reports.

The team is reportedly using its bi-annual exception provision to sign Sessions, who averaged 12.3 points, 4.1 points and 2.4 rebounds in 83 games between two teams last season.


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. 


 
 
 
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