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Week 4 Roto Fact Sheet

by | Fantasy Writer
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Most teams have reached double digit games, meaning the sample sizes used to write this column are becoming more trustworthy. For those of you in category-specific formats, here are some notable factoids that might help you gain an edge in areas of need. We'll continue to validate and debunk trends on a weekly basis in this column going forward.

(All stats up to date through Nov. 19 games. Info provided by NBA.com and Teamrankings.com)

Scoring

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Tony Wroten's 13.7 points per game have been a pleasant surprise for the 76ers. Even before he earned starting minutes filling in for the injured Michael Carter-Williams, Wroten has been scoring the basketball consistently -- finishing with double figures in 10 out 12 games so far. ... Paul Pierce hasn't scored 20 points in a game yet this year, averaging just 13.2 on the season. Hopefully he'll pick up the pace if Brooklyn can right the ship as a whole. Otherwise, this will be a career-low scoring year for Pierce. ... Extra attention paid to the Nets' wing players has given interim starting point guard Shaun Livingston a clear path to the hoop. He's reached double-digit scoring in his last four, including a season-high 23 against Portland on Monday. ... Michael Beasley is averaging an unfathomable 28.4 points per 36 minutes. The Heat are asking him to shoot, so this could become a regular thing as he works his way into Miami's rotation. He's also been surprisingly efficient, shooting almost 60 percent from the field and 50 percent from three. ... The Pacers, Bulls and Spurs are still holding opponents below 90 points per game, so continue to avoid them if you can. ... The Nuggets remain on the other end of the defensive spectrum, giving up an average of 116 points per game over their last three contests.

Field-goal percentage

Jordan Hill (86 percent) is pretty much the only member of the Lakers getting easy baskets, evidenced by his 62.2 field-goal percentage so far this year. ... Andre Drummond, Ryan Anderson and LeBron James are the only players shooting above 60 percent from the field while making at least six field goals per game. Anderson's numbers, however, are coming from just one game, as he made his season debut November 16 and finished with 26 points on six threes. ... Rudy Gay, on the other hand, is attempting 20 shots per game and only hitting 7.6 of them, leaving him with a gut-wrenching 38.2 shooting percentage. ... For some reason the Knicks allow teams to shoot more than 5 percent better at home than they do on the road. ... The Bobcats are the only team hitting less than 40 percent of their shots, while the Heat stands alone as the only team making more than 50 percent.

Rebounds

J.J. Hickson is still available in 16 percent of leagues, so if you're behind in boards, he's the guy to look for to play catch-up. Hickson grabbed a season-high 19 Monday night against the Thunder, upping his average to 9.2 per game. ... Jordan Hill is another free agent board snatcher, but he's only available in 13 percent of leagues due to a career-night, when he scored 24 points and grabbed 17 rebounds Sunday against the Pistons. ... Patrick Beverley (63 percent) is ninth among point guards in rebounds per game, hauling in just over four per game. ... Gerald Henderson (75 percent) currently ranks tied for sixth among shooting guards at 5.2 rebounds per game to go along with his 13.5 points. ... The Rockets have claimed the top spot in team rebounding -- the only team grabbing more than 60 per game. Terrence Jones (65 percent) has been a key contributor to Houston's surge to the top of this category, averaging 10 rebounds per game over his last five. Jones looks to be the answer to Houston's power forward vacancy, logging close to thirty minutes per game over that span. ...

Assists

A commenter at the bottom of a previous Roto Fact Sheet wondered why I was writing about "low-end garbage" like Josh McRoberts. Well, here's why: Compare McBob's production to that of Jeff Green -- a well-known NBA commodity and 98 percent owned Fantasy option. Based on their current averages, if both Green and McBob play four times in a scoring period, Green would outscore McRoberts by 21.2 and outrebound him by 2.0. Meanwhile, McBob would dish out 12.5 more assists. The Fantasy team with LaMarcus Aldridge and Kevin Martin likely doesn't need Jeff Green's 14.5 points per game, but could probably use the talents of McBob, who gets as many assists per game as Martin and Aldridge combined. And that's what Roto is really about -- striking a balance by identifying areas of weakness. Green is the better, more productive player, but his stats might not be as valuable as his reputation suggests. McRoberts' shooting percentages are sub-par, but he makes up for it by making 1.7 threes per game, so take a second look if you're lacking in assists.

Free-throw percentage

Jason Smith (39 percent) is converting on 91.7 percent of his free-throw attempts. His 10.7 points and 1.3 blocks per contest are added bonuses. ... Martell Webster (45 percent) has been lights out from the free-throw line so far, shooting 94.7 percent. ... You might consider picking up one of the previous two guys mentioned if you own Andre Drummond, currently shooting an ungodly 17.6 percent from the charity stripe. He even makes DeAndre Jordan's 45.8 percent look respectable. Then again, maybe not. ... Dwyane Wade, Tony Parker and Kyle Lowry aren't as bad, but still seem to be struggling from the line -- each of them hitting less than 67 percent of their free throws.

Three-pointers

The sample size is nearly as small as it gets (just two games), but Ryan Anderson might have shown us what's to come by hitting six three-pointers in his season debut. Then he had four three-pointers again Wednesday. Obviously, that number will come down, but you should still expect to see Anderson among the league leaders from long range. ... Jodie Meeks (25 percent) has shot his way to becoming the Lakers' leading scorer, averaging 13.7 points on 2.5 made threes per game. This might say more about L.A.'s scattered, inefficient offense, but you might as well add Meeks while he's hot. ... Go ahead and lump Gerald Green into that conversation as well. The Suns' guard/forward is hitting 2.4 threes per game while scoring 14.1 per night. As long as Phoenix is content to let him do whatever he wants, it's not a bad idea to roll him out there for his threes. ... The Trailblazers have overtaken the Celtics as the team limiting opponents to the fewest three pointers per contest. Meanwhile, the 76ers are still far and away the worst at defending the line -- giving up almost 12 per game on average.

Steals/turnovers

Mario Chalmers (66 percent) continues to be an intriguing Roto option, as he currently ranks fifth in steals per game at 2.2. His 10.1 points, 4.9 assists and 1.8 threes per game aren't too shabby either. ... Rookie point guard Shane Larkin made good use of the nine measly minutes he received in his season debut, coming up with three steals, three assists and a three pointer in that brief window. Keep an eye on him if he starts to get more minutes in a shallow Dallas backcourt. ... DeJuan Blair's numbers took a hit when Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle opted to play a smaller, quicker lineup against the 76ers Monday night. He should get back up to speed as the Mavericks get back to their normal rotation. Blair is one of 12 players averaging at least two steals per contest, and is just 0.1 per game behind Anthony Davis as the league's most steal-prone center. ... If you're in a really deep league, keep Rashard Lewis on your radar. The Miami veteran has tallied eight steals in his last four contests, including a five-steal outing Tuesday night against the Hawks. ... Since returning from injury, Wilson Chandler has done an excellent job of not turning the ball over. He's only given the ball away once in four games. ... Marcus Thornton is another model of ball security, specifically because he shoots just about every time he gets it. He's averaging 10.3 points on 1.6 threes and just 0.3 turnovers per game. ... Nasty Nate Wolters still lays claim to the league's best assist-to-turnover ratio, dishing out 4.6 dimes for every one turnover per game.

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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.  


Isaiah Thomas undergoes wrist surgery
by Joe Polito | CBSSports.com
(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. 


DeMarcus Cousins avoids serious injury at Team USA practice
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. 


Pacers shopping Roy Hibbert, call Pistons about Greg Monroe
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.


Rockets sign Kostas Papanikolaou
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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