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Week 13 Roto Fact Sheet

by | Fantasy Writer
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We're halfway through the season -- boy, how time flies. Still, stats are never set in stone, so it's smart to be on the lookout for trade rumors, as we're less than a month away from the trade deadline. This feels like a season that could have an abundance of player movement, with teams either going all-in for the present or selling out for the future. 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.

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(All stats up to date through Jan. 22 games. Info provided by NBA.com and Teamrankings.com)

Scoring

If what you seek is points, then Nick Young is the free agent for you. He's still available in 22 percent of CBSSports.com leagues, so make room for him if you need a scorer. He's combined for 60 points in his last two outings. ... Randy Foye (58 percent) is still scoring the ball with ease. He missed Monday's game because of illness, but he's still worth an add for his 18.7 points per game over the last two weeks. ... Rajon Rondo returned Friday, but Avery Bradley still scored 18 points. The problem is it took him 21 field goal attempts to do so. ... Patrick Beverley made his return from a hand injury Monday to the tune of 17 points in 29 minutes. Leave Beverley out on the wire for now -- until he proves he can consistently contribute. ... Rodney Stuckey has been doing Stuckey-like things the last three games, eclipsing the 20-point mark in all three, including a season-high 29 Monday. ... Seems Darren Collison has been taken down a notch since J.J. Redick returned from injury. He averaged 16.7 points per game in his three starts without Redick, but has since dropped to 11.8 per game with him back. ... After scoring a season-high 29 on Jan. 13, Ersan Ilyasova has since combined for 11 points in three games. The Bucks continue to baffle and annoy Fantasy owners. ... Another way to play matchups is to look at home/road splits. The Hawks give up almost 10 more points per game on the road than they do at home. Indiana is also about 10 points tougher at home, but their road average is 93.3 -- still good for best in the league away from home.

Field-goal percentage

Kawhi Leonard has been a boring Fantasy option, but in Roto his efficiency has more value. He's shooting 63.3 percent from the field over the last two weeks. Consider him a nice buy-low candidate, as the Spurs might be inclined to rest their stars down the stretch and trust their young legs to finish out the season. ... Three out of Shawn Marion's last four games have included ultra efficient shooting. Marion's made 20 of his 32 field goal attempts since returning from injury. ... Pero Antic has been shooting well as a starter, hitting 57.6 percent of his shots from the field over the last two weeks. ... Kevin Seraphin is a name to keep an eye on going forward. We had high hopes for him in the preseason, but Marcin Gortat's arrival sort of put an end to his sleeper potential. Still, Seraphin scored 16 points and grabbed seven rebounds on 60 percent shooting Monday night. He'll warrant some attention if he can get 20-plus minutes per game. ... Jeremy Evans is another player with Roto potential, as he's received 20-plus minutes in three straight for the Jazz. he's shooting 56.8 percent from the field over the last two weeks and has leaping ability to help out in rebounds, blocks and steals.

Rebounds

Coming off the bench hasn't slowed John Henson down, as he's recorded back-to-back double-doubles while getting less than 30 minutes per game. He's the only member of the Bucks who Fantasy owners have been able to count on this year, so it's nice to see that even losing his starting job won't keep him from producing. Hopefully Larry Drew won't pull the same nonsense with Henson and keep his minutes up above 20 going forward. ... Tyson Chandler looks like he's back to his usual rebounding self. He's posted back-to-back double-digit rebound games and should stay around 10 from here on out. ... Tobias Harris has played well lately. He's averaging 8.0 rebounds to go along with his 15.5 points per game over the last two weeks. ... Pero Antic has proven to be an adequate Roto option, but if you need rebounds, look elsewhere. Antic has grabbed just 21 boards in his last five games combined. ... Roy Hibbert recorded a double-digit rebound night for the first time in almost a month Saturday. He did again Monday, so hopefully Roy has gotten the hint that his Roto owners need him. ... Omer Asik ... hasn't done anything in a while, but with a month left until the trade deadline, talks will start heating up, so he's another one to track and add just in case.

Assists

Ty Lawson has been dropping dimes left and right. He's reached double-digit assists in nine of his last 10 games. ... Kendall Marshall is also thriving in this category. He's gotten to double digits in seven of his last 10. ... Kemba Walker sprained his ankle during his best stretch of the season. He's been handing out 7.3 assists per game over the last two weeks. His replacement Ramon Sessions isn't exactly Mr. Assist. He's a viable scorer, but his career 4.6 per game average suggests he won't be able to make up for what you lost in Kemba. Instead, I'd pick up D.J. Augustin (74 percent), who looks like he's here to stay in Fantasy. He's averaging 6.5 assists per game over the last two weeks, and when he isn't able to help his teammates he'll help himself to a bevy of three-point shots like he did Monday, scoring 27 points on five threes. ... Just as we suspected, Blake Griffin has been using Chris Paul's absence to show off his passing prowess, handing out 5.2 assists per game over the last two weeks, as opposed to his 3.4 per game on the season. ... Rajon Rondo has gotten off to a slow start as one might expect. He's handed out only 13 assists in three games, but expect that number to climb once his minutes restriction is lifted. ... Greivis Vasquez has been playing well despite coming off the bench for the Raptors. He's combined for 17 assists in two games despite playing little more than 20 minutes in both.

Three pointers

Wilson Chandler has been doing most of his damage from the three-point line lately, tallying 13 made threes in his last four games. ... Patrick Beverley returned from injury and hit a trio of threes in his first start. That's double what he's averaged on the season, so chalk this outing up to first-game adrenaline and leave him out on the wire for now. ... Joe Johnson was on a tear serving as the focal point of the Nets offense while Deron Williams was out. Now Williams is back and Johnson will likely be taking fewer shots going forward. He hit 10 threes in a two-game stretch, and then hit just one Tuesday against Orlando. ... Jamal Crawford, on the other hand, will keep on firing without Chris Paul in the lineup. He's averaging more than 16 field goal attempts per game over the last two weeks, including 2.8 made three-pointers per game. ... Gerald Green has slowed down from beyond the arc, making nine threes combined in his last seven games.

Free-throw percentage

Brian Roberts, Courtney Lee and Kris Humphries are all available free agents shooting better than 88 percent from the free throw line this season. ... Fantasy owners are happy to have Marc Gasol back, especially for his 86 percent free throw rate -- the best among starting centers. ... Nikola Pekovic's hot streak has extended to the charity stripe, where he's making 92.6 percent of his attempts over the last two weeks, as opposed to 74.7 percent on the season. ... There seems to be a correlation between strong rebounding and poor free throw shooting. Of the league's top 15 rebounders, only Kevin Love and LaMarcus Aldridge shoot better than 80 percent from the free throw line and three (Andre Drummond, DeAndre Jordan and Andrew Bogut) shoot 40 percent or worse from the line.

Blocks

Elton Brand had a nice streak of shot-blocking games going until the Hawks played Miami, the team getting blocked the least in the NBA. Before Monday Brand had totaled 14 blocks over his last six games. ... James Johnson has had a lackluster previous two games, but one area where he doesn't falter is blocks, averaging a solid 1.8 per game off the bench for the Grizzlies. ... Taj Gibson has swatted 1.5 shots per game, and could be useful down the stretch with Carlos Boozer dealing with nagging injuries. ... Rudy Gobert used his 7-foot-1 frame to block three shots while filling in for the injured Derrick Favors. If this hip injury keeps Favors out for any period, consider Gobert a deep-league source for blocks. ... Amir Johnson has been struggling across the board as of late, and blocks are no exception. He's recorded just two in his last five games.

Steals/Turnovers

Jimmy Butler has been stealing in bunches lately. He's recorded four or more steals four times in his last eight games. ... Andre Iguodala has been abysmal since rejoining the team. He's only reached double digits in a category three times in the last 13 games. But steals have been steady, as he's snagged 2.0 per game over the last two weeks. ... It's pretty odd that a player many consider the favorite for defensive player of the year only gets a steal every four games. Roy Hibbert is averaging 0.5 per game despite also blocking 2.6 shots per game. ... Monta Ellis leads the league in total steals with 79. ... Stephen Curry is still more than 20 turnovers ahead of James Harden and LeBron James. ... DeMarcus Cousins and Dwight Howard are far and away the most turnover-prone centers, both totaling more than 130 on the season. ... Josh McRobert only turns the ball over 1.1 times per game, which is pretty impressive considering he's one of the best assisting power forwards in Fantasy. ... Mike Conley has done a good job taking care of the ball, as he's only turning the ball over twice a game while passing out 6.3 assists a night. They've been accused of coasting lately, but the Heat defense is still forcing the most turnovers per game at 17.7. Portland is on the other end of that spectrum, only forcing 12.0 turnovers per game on the year.

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Player News
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. 


Eric Gordon cleared for contact
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(9/17/2014) Pelicans guard Eric Gordon has been cleared to take part in full-contact offseason drills ahead of training camp, The Times-Picayune reports.

Gordon underwent season-ending knee surgery last April, but is expected to be ready for the start of the regular season. 


 
 
 
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