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Rotisserie specials for Week 20

by | Fantasy Writer
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Injuries continue to take a toll on Fantasy owners as more and more players start to break down near the end of the year.

However, when a player goes down with an injury, another steps up in his place, which sometimes results in a huge boost in Fantasy value. Amir Johnson is the player who we think has the chance to make one of the bigger impacts in Fantasy Week 20 (March 11-17) thanks to Andrea Bargnani going down with another injury. Bargnani sprained the same right elbow that cost him 27 games earlier in the year last Friday against the Lakers and could be out a significant amount of time once again. That means Johnson will get another chance to start at power forward for the Raptors, which should be a welcome sight for Fantasy owners.

Johnson has thrived as a starter this season, averaging 13 points and 9.4 rebounds when he is in the starting five, compared to just 8.5 points and 6.0 rebounds when he comes off the bench. That is probably why Johnson -- who is owned in 90 percent of CBSSports.com standard formats -- was only active in 64 percent of those leagues heading into the upcoming scoring period as he was moved back to the bench in favor of Bargnani just prior to Week 19 (March 4-10). However, the 25-year-old still put up 15 points, 7.7 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in his three games coming off the bench, so even if Bargnani miraculously is able to return sooner than anticipated, owners should still be able to get some solid performances out of Johnson this week. While Johnson certainly doesn't look to have the most favorable matchups on tap this week, he has been productive enough against all three of his upcoming opponents this season to warrant getting active.

Find a place for 'em

Kyle Korver, G, Hawks (@MIA, LAL, PHO, @BKN): Korver has been on a bit of a down trend lately as he has struggled with his shot since returning to the lineup from a toe injury. He has failed to score in double figures in each of his last three games and is averaging just 6.3 points over that span, while shooting 27 percent from downtown. However, he has played fairly well against all four of his upcoming opponents this week, which could help him get right back on track. In fact, Korver has averaged 11.5 points in his two meetings against the Heat this season while shooting a whopping 58.3 percent (7 of 12) from downtown. He also poured in 16 points in his lone meeting against the Lakers and went for 17 points, eight rebounds, two assists and two blocks against the Suns just a day earlier. Despite scoring just seven points in his last game versus the Nets, Korver is still averaging 9.7 points in his three meetings against them this season and continues to see 30-plus minutes most nights, even though he has been shuffled in and out of the starting lineup. Fantasy owners should consider getting Korver active this week. (owned in 72 percent of leagues)

Marco Belinelli, G, Bulls (@SAC, @GS): Bellinelli's first year with the Bulls has been a bit up and down, but that is the way most of the 26-year-old's seasons have gone during his career. However, the one place Belinelli has thrived has been the starting lineup. The sixth-year guard has played well when he cracks the starting five as he entered Sunday's contest against the Lakers averaging 15.3 points on 43 percent shooting as a starter compared to just 9.6 points on 37 percent as a reserve. With Richard Hamilton sidelined with back spasms, Belinelli has been seeing starts at shooting guard and has scored 20-plus points in three of his last five contests. He is averaging 20.1 points and 4.0 assists during his latest run while connecting on 63 percent of his 3-point attempts. Hamilton did not travel with the Bulls during their current three-game road trip, which means more starts for Belinelli. While the Bulls are only scheduled to play twice during Fantasy Week 20, those matchups are against the defensively challenged Warriors and Kings. Fantasy owners looking for help in the scoring and 3-point departments this week should consider taking a flier on Belinelli, despite his light schedule. (owned in 21 percent of leagues)

Tobias Harris, F, Magic (@PHI, SAC, HOU, MEM): As most owners are well aware by now, Harris has taken off since being dealt to the Magic and has been one of the most popular pickups off the waiver wire in recent weeks. While we always knew Harris had upside, his lack of playing time in Milwaukee limited his opportunities. However, that hasn't been the case in Orlando as Harris has averaged 27.8 minutes per game -- mostly in a reserve role -- during his brief time with the Magic. He has responded by averaging 15.5 points on 53 percent shooting from the field and 5.3 rebounds over his first eight games to go along with 1.3 assists and one block. Harris' strong play has now earned him a spot in coach Jacque Vaughn's starting lineup as he made his second straight start at small forward against the Cavaliers last Sunday. While Harris did struggle in his first start against the Pacers last Friday, the 20-year-old has only logged 78 games in his NBA career, so he likely will take a few lumps most nights. Still, Harris' recent play, move into the starting lineup and far-from-daunting upcoming schedule are all reasons enough to get him active this week. (owned in 76 percent of leagues)

Kawhi Leonard, F, Spurs (OKC, @MIN, DAL, CLE): Leonard told reporters a few weeks back that he will likely have to deal with the tendinitis in his left knee for the remainder of the season, but you wouldn't realize it by looking at his recent numbers. The 21-year-old has been asked to take on a larger role with all the injuries the Spurs have been dealing with of late and he has responded by averaging 14.8 points over his last six games. He is shooting 50.8 percent from the field over that stretch to go along with 5.5 rebounds, 2.3 rebounds and 1.7 steals, which keeps Rotisserie owners happy. Now he looks to have some favorable matchups on tap this week, which should allow him to maintain his productive ways. While Leonard struggled in his lone meeting against the Thunder earlier in the year, he has averaged 10.7 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.7 assists in his three meetings against the Mavericks, and posted a double-double in each of his last meetings versus the Timberwolves and Cavaliers. He is only active in 40 percent of all CBSSports.com leagues heading into Week 20, so owners looking for help at forward this week should feel free to use him. (owned in 82 percent of leagues)

Kosta Koufos, C, Nuggets (@PHO, NY, MEM): Koufos continues to consistently post solid numbers for the Nuggets thanks to his red-hot shooting. The 24-year-old entered Week 20 connecting on a career-best 60.9 percent from the field and he has made at least 57 percent of his shots in each of his last eight contests. Koufos is averaging 8.9 points, 7.3 rebounds and one block over that span on 68.1 percent shooting from the field and now looks to have a few favorable matchups on tap this week. While the Grizzlies and Knicks are two of the better teams at protecting the paint, Koufos has been able to get his numbers against them. The 7-footer has averaged 7.8 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.0 blocks in his three games against Memphis thus far and he finished with 8.0 points, 6.0 rebounds in 3.0 blocks in his lone meeting against New York. He will also get to face the Suns this week, who are allowing 43.6 points in the paint per game and don't have a true center right now as Marcin Gortat is out with an injury and Jermaine O'Neal remains away from the team due to personal reasons. While Koufos doesn't post the gaudy stat lines that some of his peers do, his recent production has been good enough to continue to roll with him as a viable low-end option at the thin center position this week.(owned in 39 percent of leagues)

Put 'em on your bench

Patrick Beverley, G, Rockets (PHO, MIN, GS): Beverley raised a few eyebrows a few weeks backs when he averaged 9.8 points, 3.4 rebounds, 3.2 assists and one steal during a five-game stretch when Toney Douglas was first shipped off to the Kings at the trade deadline. However, the rookie has hit a serious wall since then that has many wondering if he is still worth owning. The 24-year-old has been shutout in each of Houston's last three games as he has missed on each of his last eight field-goal attempts. He did still manage to put up 4.3 assists during his scoring drought, but Beverley's lack of scoring has forced coach Kevin McHale to give veteran Francisco Garcia some minutes of late. While the Rockets due look to have some favorable matchups on tap this week against the defensively challenged Suns and reeling Warriors, Fantasy owners should stay clear of Beverley this week. (owned in three percent of leagues)

Jordan Crawford, G, Celtics (@CHA, TOR, CHA): After going from a starter to bench warmer in Washington, some felt Crawford being traded to the Celtics could help him regain his old Fantasy form. However, that has been anything but the case thus far. While Crawford is playing for coach Doc Rivers, he has yet to log more than 17 minutes in a single game and has only scored in double figures in two of his first eight games with Boston. In fact, Crawford is averaging just 5.4 points, 2.7 rebounds and one steal during his brief tenure in Beantown and with the Celtics playing some of their best basketball of the year right now, we don't see his minutes going up anytime soon. While he still may light up the scoreboard from time to time, Crawford is averaging just 5.1 points when he sees fewer than 19 minutes per game throughout his career. Despite having matchups on tap against two of the weaker defensive teams in the league this week in the Bobcats and Raptors, owners should once again plan on leaving Crawford on the bench. (owned in 37 percent of leagues)

Ed Davis, F, Grizzlies (@POR, @LAC, @DEN, @UTA): Injuries to Darrell Arthur and Zach Randolph have once again given Davis a chance to crack the starting lineup and just like with the Raptors, he has played well in the starting five. In fact, Davis has averaged 9.0 points 9.3 rebounds and 2.8 blocks over his last three games and shot 50 percent from the field over that stretch. However, both Randolph and Arthur are close to returning to action, which will move Davis right back to the bench. Unfortunately for Davis and Fantasy owners, the 23-year-old hasn't seen much of the court in a reserve role for coach Lionel Hollins. He is seeing just 11 minutes per game over his first 13 contests with Memphis and averaged 4.5 points and 2.4 rebounds over that span. While Davis has more than proved his worth as a starter, he doesn't hold much value as a reserve. With at least Randolph expected back in action this week, owners should plan on leaving Davis reserved heading into the upcoming scoring period. (owned in 30 percent of leagues)

John Salmons, F, Kings (CHI, @LAL): Salmons has been a huge bust for most of the season, but the veteran was able to put together a hot streak a few weeks back that grabbed the attention of some Fantasy owners. However, Salmons has since reverted back to his unproductive ways over the past week. The 33-year-old has scored a combined seven points over his last two contests and shot just 3 of 14 (21 percent) from the field over that span, including hitting on one of his last nine 3-point attempts. Salmons has never really been considered a reliable source for anything other than points and sometimes 3-pointers, so when he isn't scoring, he can become a huge liability for owners in Rotisserie formats. With the playoffs just weeks away in most formats and the Kings being one of two teams slated to play twice during the upcoming scoring period, owners should plan on leaving Salmons firmly planted on the bench heading into Week 20. (owned in 23 percent of leagues)

Byron Mullens, C, Bobcats (BOS, @TOR, @BOS): Mullens looked strong during his initial return from an ankle injury a few weeks back as he put up 14.2 points and 7.4 rebounds over his first 13 games back in the lineup. However, the 24-year-old then started dealing with some soreness in his right knee and has not been the same since. While Mullens has not missed a game since his knee soreness became an issue, he has logged a combined 38 minutes over his last four games and is averaging just 2.8 points and 0.5 rebounds over that span. Clearly, Mullens is not completely healthy right now and it is obviously affecting his production and playing time. With the playoffs just weeks away in most formats, Mullens may actually do more harm than good for owners in Rotisserie formats while he is putting up these types of numbers. We strongly recommend owners leave Mullens reserved in all formats until he proves to be healthy and productive again. (owned in 82 percent of leagues)

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Player News
Heat add Reggie Williams
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(8/16/2014) The Heat signed guard Reggie Williams to a free-agency contract last week, the team announced. Terms of the deal are not known.

Williams appeared in just three games for the Thunder last season, and has played 180 games over parts of five NBA seasons. He averages 8.5 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game, while shooting 46.0 percent from the field and 37.1 percent from three-point range for his career.  


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(8/15/2014) Suns newcomer Isaiah Thomas underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left wrist, the team announced Thursday.

Thomas dealt with a sprained wrist last season but was able to play through it on his way to a career year. An MRI in February revealed no ligament damage, which would indicate this latest procedure is nothing to worry about. The team expects him to be ready for training camp. 


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by Joe Polito | CBSSports.com
(8/15/2014) Kings center DeMarcus Cousins dodged a bullet Thursday when the MRI on his right knee came back negative.

According to Yahoo Sports, Cousins limped off the court during a Team USA training session after Anthony Davis landed on his knee during a scrimmage. Cousins later tweeted that he was "fine," helping to suppress any concerns of a serious injury. 


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by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(8/11/2014) The Pacers are shopping center Roy Hibbert, and they have called the Pistons regarding a potential deal involving restricted free agent Greg Monroe, Detroit Sports 105.1 reports.

There's no word about whether the Pistons would be interested in a Monroe-for-Hibbert spot, but they are pretty well set in the middle with Andre Drummond in the starting lineup. It's a rumor that seemingly has very little chance of coming to fruition.


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by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(8/11/2014) The Rockets have signed small forward Kostas Papanikolaou .

Papanikolaou gets $4.8 million guaranteed in the upcoming season, with a team option of $4.6 million for the following season. He has been playing in Europe since being drafted in the second round of the 2012 draft.


Report: Greg Oden faces felony charge
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(8/11/2014) Free agent Greg Oden is facing a felony charge after allegedly attacking his former girlfriend after a night of drinking, the Indianapolis Star reports.

Oden is accused of punching the woman in the face three times and fracturing a bone in her nose, according to court documents. The felony offense carries a penaly of one-to-six years in prison.


Markel Brown out with broken hand
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(8/11/2014) Nets guard Markel Brown will be held out of basketball activities for four-to-six weeks after being diagnosed with a nondisplaced fracture of the fourth metacarpal in his right hand, the team announced Monday.

Brown was selected 44th overall in this year's draft, and the Nets acquired him for cash considerations on the night of the draft. He averaged 17.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.9 assists in his senior season at Oklahoma State.


Report: Wolves to swap Anthony Bennett for Thaddeus Young
by Joe Polito | CBSSports.com
(8/8/2014) Though the trade can't go official until August 23, the deal reportedly struck between the Cavaliers and Timberwolves will lead to another trade between Minnesota and the 76ers.

The Philadelphia Daily News reported early Friday that Minnesota, upon receiving Anthony Bennett from the Cavs as part of the Kevin Love trade, would then trade him for Thaddeus Young. The Timberwolves have been showing interest in Young since Love stated his desire to be traded.

Meanwhile, the 76ers want to move Young because he's entering his prime at age 26 and only has one additional year left on his contract. Acquiring Bennett would complete a core of young talent to develop over the coming years. Young was one of the most productive forwards in the league last year playing in Brett Brown's up-tempo offense, averaging 17.9 points, 6.0 rebounds and 2.1 steals per game. Bennett, on the other hand, failed to make any impact what so ever but did show signs of growth during the Summer League. 


Landing in Minnesota should improve Andrew Wiggins' value
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(8/7/2014) The prize of the trade that ultimately sent Kevin Love to Cleveland will likely be the Timberwolves' acquisition of No. 1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins , assuming there are no unexpected changes in the deal the two sides agreed to.

If Wiggins does ultimately land in Minnesota, as expected, this should be a boon to his Fantasy value. Though Wiggins will have substantially less help as he makes the transition to the NBA than he would have in Cleveland, he is also likely to be much more of a featured option than he otherwise might have been.

Wiggins was likely going to be the third or possibly even fourth offensive option for the Cavs, and likely would have been so for some time, given the presence of LeBron James and Kyrie Irving on long-term deals. Now, the Timberwolves get to build around Wiggins as their long-term centerpiece, and he should be given plenty of rope as the team tries to navigate their upcoming rebuild.

Wiggins is raw, but still put up 17.1 points and 5.9 rebounds in 32.8 minutes per game as a freshman at the University of Kansas. There are some questions about how well his game will translate to the NBA, but he will at least have some help, in the form of point guard Ricky Rubio, who knows exactly how to set up teammates for shots they like.

Wiggins is mostly upside right now, but should be considered a second-round pick in all keeper-league Fantasy formats. In yearly re-draft leagues, he is more of a mid-round option at this point, albeit one with tremendous upside. 


Anthony Bennett a bit more intriguing following trade
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(8/7/2014) After a rookie season that can be charitably described as lost, a change of scenery is probably the best outcome Anthony Bennett could have hoped for this offseason. He got that Thursday, with the news that the long-awaited Kevin Love trade has landed him in Minnesota.

Last year's No. 1 overall pick luckily doesn't have to join the Cavaliers with the pressure of replacing Love as the face of the franchise -- this year's No. 1 pick, Andrew Wiggin, will take that on. Bennett gets to join a Timberwolves team that can give him more consistent playing time than last year's Cavaliers afforded him, but which won't ask him to do more than he is capable.

Bennett might end up starting at power forward for the Wolves, though a bench role seems more likely at this point. He had a disastrous rookie season after entering the season out of shape, but appeared to be in better shape while playing with the Cavaliers during the Summer League in Las Vegas. He still shot the ball poorly in Vegas -- 42.6 percent from the field and just 4 of 16 from three-point range -- but Bennett looked much more capable during his time there.

Based on his rookie season, Bennett has a long way to go before he is contributing at a high level. However, Fantasy owners in deeper category-based leagues should consider taking a chance on the 21-year-old in the later rounds, because he will have the chance to earn a large role if he proves worthy. 


 
 
 
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