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Week 10 Roto Fact Sheet

by | Fantasy Writer
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Let's just take a moment to marvel at the production of Kevin Love. Here's a guy outscoring Carmelo Anthony, outrebounding Dwight Howard, out-assisting Pau Gasol, making more threes than James Harden and shooting better from the field than Chris Paul. On average, he was being drafted ninth overall in CBSSports.com leagues, meaning his stellar production, second only to Paul in total Fantasy points, came at a bargain price for most of the owners who drafted him. OK -- enough Love love. Let's get into the ups and downs of the statistical world of NBA basketball. 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 Dec. 31 games. Info provided by NBA.com and Teamrankings.com)

Scoring

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Khris Middleton has been one of the best scorers in the league over the last two weeks, averaging 17.6 points per game in that span. His average took a huge hit Tuesday night when he only managed five points in 17 minutes. He's just the latest illustration of how frustrating it is to count on a Bucks player for steady production as their contributors seem to fluctuate on a nightly basis. ... Keep an eye on Dion Waiters heading into next week because Kyrie Irving hurt his knee Tuesday night against Indiana. If Irving misses significant time, Waiters gets a huge, bright green light to launch shots all game. He's averaging 16.4 points per game over the last two weeks. ... Without Jeff Taylor and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, the Bobcats offense comes almost exclusively from three players -- one of whom is Gerald Henderson. He's been one of the most consistent score-only guys in the league, so pick him up if you need points fast. ... With Russell Westbrook out until at least the All Star break, young Thunder guard Jeremy Lamb will take on more of a sixth-man responsibility. Look for him to score off the bench while acting as the primary ball handler for OKC's second unit. ... Deep leagues should take a look at Tim Hardaway Jr. The Knicks have been without Carmelo Anthony's 26.3 points per game the last three outings, and Hardaway Jr. has scored admirably in his absence, going for 21, 15 and 12 in those three games. ... Having been the laughing stock of the league the last few years, you'd think the Bobcats would be a Fantasy gold mine, but that hasn't been the case this year. They're giving up the third fewest points per game at 93.8 -- better than the Spurs, Grizzlies and Heat. The Pacers remain the only team allowing fewer than 90 points on average while the 76ers continue to be a revolving door for opposing offenses as the only team allowing more than 110 points per game.

Field-goal percentage

Brandan Wright hasn't gotten the consistent minutes to be a starting Fantasy option, but his 34 makes on 45 shot attempts to start the year is a good sign that he'll be efficient once he gets there. ... Robin Lopez has just about reached must-add status in category leagues. He's making 54.4 percent of his shots from the field on the season. He's also made more than 80 percent of his free throws while averaging 9.8 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game. For the sake of comparison, consider him a younger, healthier Andrew Bogut who can actually make free throws ... Point guards are usually among the least efficient players with much of their scoring coming from the perimeter. That being said, Tony Parker has been brilliant from the field as the only Fantasy point guard making 50 percent of his field goals. Just behind him is the Suns' tandem of Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic, whose numbers are similar to the point of creepiness: .001 difference in field-goal percentage, .011 difference in free-throw percentage, 0.1 difference in made threes per game, 0.2 difference in steals per game, 0.1 difference in blocks per game, 0.4 difference in points per game. Weird, right? ... J.R. Smith sure is happy Danny Granger's back on the court, as the Indiana swing man has taken the crown as the worst-shooting player in Fantasy. Granger is owned in 82 percent of leagues, but we expect that number to continually decline as he's only made 28.9 percent of his shots since his return. Granted, it's only been a handful of games, but Granger was never efficient to begin with. Smith, meanwhile, has increased his field-goal rate to 35 percent. Baby steps. ... O.J. Mayo and Gordon Hayward haven't been much better this year, as both are still striving to reach the 40 percent mark.

Rebounds

The Cavs have set into motion a plan to sever ties with center Andrew Bynum, which is great news if you won Anderson Varejao or Tristan Thompson. Both become must-adds for their bounce-tastic rebounding abilities, which will be fully unleashed now that the big man is out of the middle. Varejao's averaging 10.0 over the last two weeks and Thompson's been good for 9.1. ... Brook Lopez going down for the year has also opened up some playing time for the Nets bench. Keep an eye on Reggie "The Rebound Monster" Evans' minutes going forward, as he is the one-stop shop for emergency rebounds in Fantasy basketball. He's been buried on a talented roster, but he snagged 13 rebounds in 20 minutes two nights in a row recently. Don't add him yet, but break the glass if he starts to get minutes. ... Brandon Knight has been the best rebounding point guard as of late, averaging 6.7 per game over the last two weeks. Reggie Jackson should also enter that discussion as he fills in as a starter for the injured Russell Westbrook. ... Paul Milsap has averaged 8.6 rebounds per game to start the year, but I expect him to be above 10 from here on out with the Hawks' loss of Al Horford. Someone else will likely pick up the rebounding pace too, but expect Milsap to be the main beneficiary of Horford's absence. ... If you're looking to stream a rebounder, look for players with Miami on their schedules. The Heat have the worst rebounding rate in the league, grabbing only 46.9 percent of the rebound opportunities afforded to them. Meanwhile, teams such as the Pacers, Timberwolves, Grizzlies and Warriors are keeping rebounders at bay and minimizing extra opportunities on the glass.

Assists

Isaiah Thomas has adapted nicely to full-time point guard duties, averaging 8.1 assists per game over the last two weeks. He's recorded more than 10 assists four times in the month of December, which should be a sign of things to come for the 24-year-old. ... Tyreke Evans has been a beast as of late, and his beasting has extended to the assists column, averaging 8.5 per game over the last two weeks. ... It's difficult to say whether or not you can trust D.J. Augustin for assists. I lean on the side of no because, 1. Kirk Hinrich is working his way back from injury, 2. He's more of a shoot-first player and 3. He's just not that great. He's averaging 6.3 over the last two weeks, but it's been very hit or miss: 10, 5, 3, 9, 3. ... After starting the year as an uncharacteristic spot-up shooter off the ball, Jose Calderon is starting to dish like we expected him too, tallying 15 total assists in his last two outings. ... Josh McRoberts leads power-forward eligible players in assists per game at 4.4 -- that is if you don't count LeBron James and his 6.6, which we never do. ... Mario Chalmers has been owning the assist column lately, tallying 9, 9, 10 and 7 in his last four outings. He's been filling up other categories too, so keep an eye on this production to see if Chalmers can become Lance Stephenson Lite for Fantasy purposes. ... If you're in a super deep league and need assists, check out Kendall Marshall. The Lakers could embrace full-on tank mode soon as the injuries continue to pile up, Jordan Farmar being the latest casualty. Marshall is a pass-first guy in an offense that inflates the production of its point guards. He dished out seven assists in 27 minutes when Farmar left Tuesday's game.

Three pointers

Damian Lillard has surged up the three-point rankings, currently tied for first at 3.2 makes per game with Ryan Anderson and Stephen Curry. This uptick is due in part to his recent string of three-point happy games, averaging a hair under five made threes per game over the last two weeks. ... Pretty much all of Gerald Green's production comes from the three-point line, so he's a safe bet if you need cheap points and threes. He's making more threes per game than Kevin Love, Arron Afflalo, Jamal Crawford and Kevin Durant. ... Kyle Korver will also be benefitting from Horford's absence, with the Hawks needing to draw up a few more plays per game for their 50 percent three-point shooter. ... Mirza Teletovic looks like he'll have the green light to launch from deep the rest of the season as the Nets will be hurting for frontcourt scoring without Brook Lopez. Teletovic is averaging 2.7 made threes per game over the last two weeks. ... Marcus Thornton and Randy Foye have been huge disappointments as three-point specialists. Thornton's only hit 31.4 percent of his threes on the year and Foye 33.3 percent. Foye's numbers might increase as he returns to Denver's starting lineup, but Thornton's Fantasy value basically got a death sentence when Rudy Gay arrived in Sacramento. ... Boston, Portland and Indiana each hold opponents to fewer than six made threes per game. Meanwhile, the 76ers give up more than 10 per night and the Kings more than nine.

Free-throw percentage

Ryan Anderson has made 54 of his 56 free throws this season. ... Kevin Durant averages the most free throw attempts per game (9.4) and still makes 88 percent of them. Pretty impressive. ... Kelly Olynyk has made 86 percent of his free throws to start his career. He also went for 21, 4 and 5 with 2 blocks and 1 steal in just 24 minutes Tuesday night, so keep an eye on the young center as the Celtics may reward him for this outing with more playing time. ... Larry Sanders is back and his free throw shooting has not improved. He's making only 29 percent of them on the year, but he did shoot a career-best 62 percent from the line last season, so it's reasonable to expect he'll turn it around. ... J.R. Smith is really hard to start in Roto. He's only hitting on 60 percent of his free throw attempts and as a shooting guard that's almost unacceptable.

Blocks

Speaking of Larry Sanders, he's averaging 2.0 blocks per game -- good for fifth in the league. I'm higher on Sanders than most, but he's a must-add in a category leagues regardless of how you value him. Look for him to get up close to three blocks per game as the season goes on. ... Paul Milsap is averaging 1.6 swats a contest the last two weeks, so that's probably a sign that he'll be patrolling the paint more often without Horford down low. ... Bismack Biyombo is to blocks what Reggie Evans is to rebounds. He's averaging 1.8 per game over the last two weeks despite playing only 14.8 minutes per game during that span. ... Brandan Wright also is good for a block or two no matter how many minutes he receives. He's averaging 1.7 per game over the last two weeks. ... James Johnson is a widely available athletic player averaging 1.3 blocks per game. Keep an eye on his minutes as he'll fill up the stat sheet when given ample minute -- and the Grizzlies need help from someone.

Steals/Turnovers

Trevor Ariza continues to impress me. He's been Roto gold over the last two weeks, averaging 2.2 steals per game to go along with 90 percent free-throw shooting, 5.8 rebounds, 3.4 made threes and just 1.6 turnovers per game. ... James Johnson also pops up in this category, averaging 1.4 steals per game in just 23 minutes per contest. That's better than LeBron James, Jeff Teague and Gordon Hayward. ... Playing full-time point guard has been great for Stephen Curry's assists, but an unfortunate side effect has been his league-leading 4.1 turnovers per game. ... Miami's relentless help defense has forced teams into a league-high 18.5 turnovers per game on average. On the flip side, the Trail Blazers generally let teams do what they please with the ball, forcing a league-low 12.3 turnovers per game.

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Player News
Hawks guard Jeff Teague scores 30 points in losing effort
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(5/24/2015) Hawks guard Jeff Teague scored 30 points on 9 of 23 shooting from the field, including 3 of 8 from 3-point range, in Atlanta's 114-111 loss to the Cavaliers in overtime in Game 3.

Teague also dished out seven assists and pulled down six rebounds in the contest. His 30 points was a playoff career-high for Teague, who was a perfect 9 for 9 from the free throw line. He and the Hawks will look to stave off elimination on Tuesday against the Cavaliers.


Cavaliers' LeBron James posts highest triple-double in playoff history
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(5/24/2015) Cavaliers forward LeBron James scored 37 points on 14 of 37 shooting from the field, including 1 of 6 from 3-point range in Cleveland's 114-111 win over the Hawks in overtime in Game 3.

James also pulled down 18 rebounds and dished out 13 assists, recording his first triple-double in the playoffs since the 2012-2013 season. James is also recorded the highest totals for a triple-double in NBA playoff history with his performance. It was his 12th career triple-double.

James, who was noticeably banged up throughout the game, said after there was no chance at all of him missing Game 4. He and the Cavaliers will look to advance to the NBA Finals in Game 4 on Tuesday. 


Hawks F Al Horford ejected after Flagrant 2 foul
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(5/24/2015) Hawks forward Al Horford was ejected in the second quarter of Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Sunday after committing a Flagrant 2 foul against the Cavaliers' Matthew Dellavedova

Horford, who was leading the Hawks with 14 points and four rebounds, was entangled with Dellavedova when he delivered an elbow to the Cleveland guard's head with 34.3 seconds remaining in the half. 

After the officials reviewed the foul, with Cleveland fans chanting Dellavedova's name, they decided to assess a Flagrant 2 to Horford, which results in an automatic ejection, and a technical foul to Dellavedova. 

A Flagrant 2 foul also warrants a one-game suspension, which could be huge for a Hawks team on the ropes and without guard Kyle Korver. 


Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving officially out for Game 3
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(5/24/2015) Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving will not play in Game 3 against the Hawks on Sunday, the team announced.

Irving was considered a game-time decision for the contest while battling a foot injury. He was able to go through a pregame warm up and was hoping to give it a go. Irving also missed Game 2 because of the injury and is averaging 18.9 points and 3.6 assists per game in the playoffs this season.

The Cavaliers are currently 9-point favorites against Atlanta on Sunday.


Report: Cavs G Kyrie Irving not expected to play in Game 3
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(5/24/2015) Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving is unlikely to suit up for Sunday night's Game 3 matchup against the Hawks. 

According to a report from Yahoo! Sports, Irving has been working out prior to the game but is not expected to play. Irving has a knee injury that has sidelined him. 

With the Cavaliers up 2-0 over the Hawks, Irving could very well sit as a precaution. Matthew Delavedova has played well of late in Irving's absence, which gives the Cavs the option of being careful with their star point guard. 


Hawks F DeMarre Carroll: Basketball is 'bigger than money'
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(5/24/2015) Hawks forward DeMarre Carroll is expected to play again in Game 3 against the Cavs despite having a severely sprained knee that isn't close to 100 percent. 

Carroll is hitting the free-agent market after this season and could be in line for a big contract. However, if he re-injures the knee, Carroll could see his pricetag drop this offseason. 

However, given that the Hawks are in the Eastern Conference finals, Carroll would rather fight the pain and go for a championship than worry about his contract championship. 

“I’ve been getting a million calls and emails about me, why am I there, this might be the biggest contract of my life," Carroll said, via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Jeff Schultz. "But at the end of the day this game isn’t promised to you. So whenever you’ve got an opportunity to play basketball, a lot of people say it’s bigger than money and it feels like that to me. I cherish this game and I want to be out there fighting, and if I have to fight on one leg, I’m gonna fight on one leg. I can’t let this opportunity pass me by. Eastern Conference finals, playing against LeBron James. I don’t care if I have to do it on one leg, I’ll hobble out there.”

The Hawks trail the Cavs in the series 0-2. 


Warriors PF Marreese Speights (calf) out for Game 4
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(5/24/2015) Warriors power forward Marreese Speights will not play in Game 4 against the Rockets. 

Speights has been dealing with a moderate right calf strain, which has affected the rotation some. But it hasn't been too big of a deal because the Warriors lead the Rockets 3-0 in the series. 

Speights hasn't played since Game 3 of the Western Conference Semifinals. 


Rockets center Dwight Howard doubles up Warriors in losing effort
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(5/23/2015) Rockets center Dwight Howard scored 14 points on 6 of 10 shooting from the field and pulled down 14 rebounds in Houston's 115-80 loss to the Warriors on Saturday.

It was Howard's 11th double-double in the playoffs this season and fifth in his last six games. Howard is averaging 16.4 points and 14 rebounds per game in the postseason. He and the Rockets will look to stave off elimination on Monday in Houston.


Warriors point guard Stephen Curry scores 40 points in blowout win
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(5/23/2015) Warriors point guard Stephen Curry scored 40 points on 12 of 19 shooting from the field, including a blistering 7 of 9 from 3-point range, in Golden State's 115-80 win over the Rockets in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals.

It was the second time this postseason Curry has scored at least 40 points and is averaging 29.9 points per game. Curry also dished out seven assists and grabbed five rebounds in the game. Curry and the Warriors will look to close out the series and advance to the NBA Finals on Monday in Houston.


Rockets C Dwight Howard (knee) starting in Game 3
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(5/23/2015) Rockets forward Dwight Howard is listed as a starter for Saturday's Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals. Howard was able to play in Game 2 on Thursday, but was listed as probable due to a nagging knee injury heading into action on Saturday.


 
 
 
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