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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
Pacers recall Shayne Whittington from D-League affiliate
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(2:54 pm ET) The Pacers have recalled center Shayne Whittington from their D-League affiliate, the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, coach Frank Vogel announced Friday.

Vogel said Whittington's return is due to an injury to Lavoy Allen.

"He'll be our fifth big if Lavoy is out," Vogel said.

Whittington is averaging 2.0 points and 1.2 rebounds in 13 games for Indiana this year.


Bulls list Butler, Gibson as probable, Dunleavy questionable for Friday
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(2:42 pm ET) Bulls guard Jimmy Butler (knee) and Taj Gibson (knee) are both listed as probable for Friday’s game against the Suns, the team announced.

Butler banged knees during Thursday’s game against the Lakers and was unsure of his status for Friday. Gibson played through a knee injury he suffered Tuesday in Thursday’s contest.

Mike Dunleavy is considered questionable after missing the last 15 games for Chicago with a foot injury.

The Bulls are currently 6 1/2-point underdogs against the Suns.


Pacers guard George Hill expected to come off the bench Saturday
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(2:41 pm ET) Pacers coach Frank Vogel said Friday guard George Hill was able to participate fully in practice Friday, even though it was a light practice. Vogel will bring Hill in from off the bench in Saturday’s game against the Kings.

Hill has played 72 minutes over his last four games since coming back from injury and is averaging 12.8 points and 2.8 assists per contest.


Grizzlies coach Joerger still unsure of Mike Conley's status for Saturday
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(2:40 pm ET) Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger told reporters Friday Mike Conley’s status for Saturday against the Thunder remains undetermined. Conley has missed the last two games for Memphis while dealing with a wrist injury he suffered Monday.

He is averaging 17.4 points and 5.6 assists in 42 games this season.


Marco Belinelli participates in practice, questionable for Saturday
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(2:39 pm ET) Spurs guard Marco Belinelli was able to participate in 80 percent of practice Friday and is considered questionable for Saturday’s game against the Clippers, coach Gregg Popovich said Friday.

Belinelli, who is averaging 9.7 points and 2.8 rebounds in 29 games, has missed the last 10 games for San Antonio while dealing with a left groin strain.


Rockets' McHale expecting to be without Dwight Howard for awhile
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(2:38 pm ET) Rockets coach Kevin McHale doesn’t sound optimistic about the short-term future of center Dwight Howard.

"I don't anticipate him being here for a while, how long I don't know. We'll make do until he gets back," McHale said Friday.

Howard has been diagnosed with edema in his right knee and could miss an extended period of time with the injury. Howard is averaging 16.3 points and 11.0 rebounds per game.


Jonas Jerebko not looking to go back overseas to play next year
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(2:38 pm ET) Pistons forward Jonas Jerebko is set to become a free agent during the upcoming offseason, but he is not looking to head back across the Atlantic to play in 2015.

"No I’m in the NBA,” Jerebko told Basketball Insiders. "That’s it. I’m not even considering going overseas right now. The NBA is where I want to be. I want to stay in this league."

Jerebko is averaging 5.6 points and 3.2 rebounds in 42 games this season.

"Every year in the league has been up and down for me," Jerebko said. "But I’m trying to approach it the same way. I’m just trying to work hard and give it 100 percent every time I have a chance to get on the court. Now, it’s starting to pay off."


Pelicans' Anthony Davis unsure of status for Friday
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(2:36 pm ET) Pelicans forward Anthony Davis is not sure if he will be able to play in Friday’s game against the Clippers. Davis said he will get more treatment before going on the floor to see how his injured groin feels.

Davis, who is averaging 24.5 points and 10.4 rebounds per game, strained his groin Wednesday and it is considered a "grade 1" strain.

The Pelicans are currently 6-point underdogs against the Clippers.


Blazers forward Nicolas Batum says he's playing Friday
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(12:27 pm ET) Trail Blazers forward Nicolas Batum told reporters Friday during shootaround he is planning to play Friday against the Hawks.

Batum is dealing with a wrist injury, though he has played through it for the past few games. He is averaging 9.1 points and 5.2 rebounds per game.


Raptors' Casey: James Johnson 'understands' playing time situation
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12:25 pm ET) Raptors forward James Johnson has seen his playing time rapidly decline since mid-January, as coach Dwane Casey has opted to start Greivis Vasquez alongside DeMar DeRozan and work to keep Terrence Ross' confidence up, according to the Toronto Sun.

Johnson hasn't played more than 9 minutes in the last six games and logged zero minutes in two of those contests. Still, the Raptors have won five of the last six games, and Casey said Johnson will eventually see his minutes increase again.

“He’s been great. He understands. I spoke to him briefly earlier, he understands that when DeMar came back, somebody’s minutes was going to decrease,” Casey said. “And it wouldn’t be fair to throw him out there for a few minutes just to say: ‘Hey, we got him in the game.’ His time is going to come. I don’t know when it’s going to come, but it’s going to come because we need his physicality on both ends of the floor. He gives teams matchup problems offensively. Defensively, he gives us that size and toughness that we need in the paint, rebounding that we need.”


 
 
 
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