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Week 16 Roto Fact Sheet

by | Fantasy Writer
  •  

If you've been keeping up with our Fantasy Basketball content, you might have noticed a few reoccurring themes. Or should I say teams? The Lakers, Bucks and Jazz are a few of the worst squads in the league, and as a result, their lineups and contributors have been in constant flux. Guys like Alec Burks, John Henson and Kendall Marshall have bounced between brilliant and utterly useless, with factors beyond their control (injuries, organizational politics, indecisive coaches) dictating their Fantasy output. Many Fantasy owners might be inclined to avoid these frustrating teams altogether, but sometimes that brief stint of garbage time stats and inflated numbers means more than the consistency other teams offer. I'm no fan of microwave food, but when there's not enough time to preheat the oven, and all the skillets are dirty, you've got to opt for the quick fix to eat a hot meal.

(All stats up to date through Feb. 11 games. Info provided by NBA.com and Teamrankings.com)

Scoring

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Roto teams took a hit Friday when it was announced that scoring specialist Kevin Martin would be out indefinitely with a fractured thumb. So far, Chase Budinger and Corey Brewer have filled in nicely from a Fantasy perspective. If I had to bet on one to continue scoring, I'd have to go with Budinger, the steadier shooter and all-around more dependable player. Brewer will be prone for outbursts like the 26 points and seven rebounds he had last week against Portland, but he'll also have 5-point duds like Monday against Houston. Budinger, on the other hand, is working his way back from injury but looks to be establishing his role as a true small forward for the Wolves. In the end they have similar fringe value, but you can consider Budinger the safer bet for steady threes and Brewer the riskier play for steals. ... Your high-scoring outliers of the week are Chris Kaman, who woke up from his bench nap to drop 27 on the Bulls, and Marreese Speights, who exploded for 32 against the lowly 76ers. I really can't see Kaman attempting 20-plus field goals very often going forward, and Speights' outburst was a perfect storm of Golden State frontcourt injuries and a 40-point blowout to the worst defense in the league. If you had to pick one, go with Kaman, who started again Tuesday and put up another double-double with 25 points. ... Anthony Bennett had just his second good game of the season Tuesday night, putting up a solid 19 and 10 in a win over the Kings. He might be worth a flier while Anderson Varejao is out, but know that he'll only be good for points and moderate rebounds. ... Dion Waiters has been scoring with ease the last three games, combining for 62 points with an added bonus of 15 assists. His schedule looks great coming up too, with Detroit, Philadelphia and Orlando on the horizon.

Field-goal percentage

In deep Roto leagues, Chris Andersen makes a compelling case for the last center on your bench. He's extremely productive in the little time that he's afforded and is one of the most efficient bigs in the league. He's only missed 9 of his last 36 field goal attempts, good for a 75.0 percent field-goal rate over the last 30 days. His 1.1 blocks per game and 74.1 percent free-throw shooting don't hurt either. ... If Mason Plumlee gets enough minutes to be Fantasy relevant, which he has the last two games, he's going to be great for your field-goal percentage because, like his brother, pretty much all he does is dunk. He uses his springy athleticism on defense for blocks, steals and rebounds, so points will be the only thing keeping you from picking him up. He's totaled 35 points over the last two, so keep an eye on his minutes going forward. ... Enes Kanters' minutes have been plummeting lately, which may have owners jumping ship for steadier options. Use this opportunity to scoop up a quality offensive-minded center with plenty of upside. He hasn't received more than 21 minutes in his last four games, but hopefully the Jazz wise up and start playing for the future rather than the present. He's shooting 50 percent from the field this season, so stash Kanter if you can with the hopes that Utah stops this silly small-ball song and dance at some point this season. ... Mario Chalmers has been one of the most efficient point guards in Fantasy. Goran Dragic, Tony Parker and Chris Paul are the only active starting point guards shooting a better percentage from the field than Chalmers, who has hit 46.4 percent on the season.

Assists

You were adding DeMarre Carroll before because of his three -pointers and rebounds, but Carroll's also been a sneaky source of assists lately. He's totaled 19 over his last six games, not bad for the run-of-the-mill three and D player. ... The Bucks frontcourt is an injured mess, so consider Zaza Pachulia a quality short-term pickup. He's tallied nine total assists in two games and sports one of the best free-throw percentages in the league. ... I've waxed poetic on the passing skills of one Josh McRoberts many a time in this column, but his career-high 13 assists Tuesday against Dallas deserves praise. Kemba Walker had to leave that game early, so look for McBob to be extra pass-happy while Charlotte's central facilitator is on the mend. ... It seems like Kendall Marshall will have to deal with an ever-changing role for the rest of the year, but so far he's taken it in stride. He's averaging 9.3 points, 2.3 made three pointers and, most importantly, 7.8 assists since being forced to the bench. I'm hanging on to Marshall if I've got him just to see how this thing plays out. ... If Randy Foye is still available in your league for some reason, go get him right now. Doesn't matter how shallow the league, just do it. He dished out 10 assists last game against the league's best defense, and the Nuggets will be relying heavily on his ball skills as the only healthy point guard-ish player on the roster. Ty Lawson is dealing with a broken rib, so who knows how long the Nuggets will be depending on Foye.

Rebounds

Taj Gibson's Fantasy stock relies entirely on Carlos Boozer's healthy. As a starter this season, Gibson has averaged 19.3 points and 9.8 rebounds in eight games. There's still a chance Boozer gets moved before the Feb. 20 deadline, in which case Gibson will be picked up in just about every league. ... Perhaps one of the steadiest producers on the Suns has been P.J. Tucker. At 44 percent, Tucker seems criminally underowned, especially in Roto. Tuesday night against the Heat, he grabbed eight boards to go along with 14 points and five assists. The game before that he grabbed 15, contributing to his 7.5 rebounds per game average over the last 30 days. ... Tristan Thompson snapped a seven-game skid of single-digit rebound games with a 13-board performance Tuesday. He's a must-start while fellow rebound hog Varejao is sidelined. ... Tobias Harris was a rebounding machine when he had the paint all to himself. Now the Magic have a healthy frontcourt, and as a result Harris has been held under seven rebounds in six straight games.

Three pointers

Martell Webster hasn't been great lately, but he's still hitting threes, including 2.3 per game over the last 30 days. ... J.R. Smith's mid-season renaissance has a lot to do with the long ball. He's made 2.7 per game over the last two weeks, including 10 in a two-game stretch earlier in the month. ... Patrick Beverley has gotten hot from beyond the arc, totaling nine made threes in a three-game stretch. ... Go ahead and call him Gerald Green light, because the guy fires away with reckless abandon and shockingly has been great from distance. He's currently tied with three-point ace Kyle Korver at 121 made threes on the season. That's good for eighth in the NBA, ahead of Kevin Durant, Kevin Love and James Harden. ... Terrence Ross is being dumped in a lot of leagues, which is expected for a guy who exploded for 51 points and went on to score just 81 in his next eight games combined. Still, Ross has been a steady source of three pointers this season, having hit 96 in total, more than Joe Johnson, Arron Afflalo and Kevin Martin. So don't let the masses sway you if you're desperate for three pointers.

Free-throw percentage

More love for Zaza: He's hit almost 94 percent of his free throws on the season. He's missed a lot of it, but that's still a very impressive rate for a center. Just another reason to pick him up while the Bucks frontcourt is hobbled. ... Trey Burke received lectures from Ray Allen before their two teams faced off Saturday, and (gasp) Burke is shooting better from the line than Allen on the season. It's only a 0.8 percent difference, but 90.8 percent from the stripe is an uncommon occurrence, especially for rookies. ... Along with being a steady-double figure scorer, Courtney Lee has also hit 88.2 percent of his free throws on the year. He's a few peripheral stats away from warranting a roster spot in a 12-team league.

Blocks

We haven't seen much from Luke Babbitt this year, but since the Pelicans added him he's tallied five blocks in a three-game stretch. Keep an eye on Babbit in case his minutes start breaching 20 on a consistent basis. ... Ronny Turiaf is no replacement for Nikola Pekovic, but he'll at least block some shots while he fills in for Minnesota. He's averaging 2.4 a game over the last two weeks, good for fourth in the NBA during that span. ... Randy Foye has even been blocking some shots with his expanded role. He's averaging one swat per game over the last two weeks, which includes an improbable four-block night against the Bucks. ... Mason Plumlee can help you out in the rejection department as well. He's blocking 1.3 shots per game over the last two weeks.

Steals/Turnovers

The Lakers and the 76ers are your best bets for snagging steals with streaming options. They're the only two teams getting robbed more than nine times a game on average. Then again, they're two of the worst teams in the league who happen to play at the fastest pace, so they're pretty much Fantasy gold for every category. ... Patrick Beverley has also been a useful steals guy, recording 2.2 per game over the last two weeks. ... Nick Calathes has also been a sneaky streaming option with 1.8 steals per game over that span. He's also helping in other areas, evidenced by his 18, seven and six line Tuesday against the Wizards. ... More ball handling responsibility has led Kevin Durant to leading the league in turnovers per game over the last 30 days at 4.9 per game. Turnovers might be the hardest category to win considering the best players get heaps of them while winning you the rest of your Roto columns, so consider punting if you're too far gone to care. ... However, if you're part of the contingent who need to win the turnover battle to stay competitive, consider adding guys like Marvin Williams, DeMarre Carroll or Courtney Lee -- who average less than one giveaway per game on the season.

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Player News
Report: Rockets C Dwight Howard out Friday with laceration
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(2:37 pm ET) A laceration on his forearm that required stitches will keep Rockets center Dwight Howard sidelined in the team's preseason finale Friday against San Antonio, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Howard has also been dealing with knee issues in training camp. The team opens its regular season Tuesday night on the road against the Lakers, his former team.


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Eddie played at Virginia Tech.


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(2:30 pm ET) Steve Clifford has confirmed that power forward Jason Maxiell has secured a roster spot for the Hornets, the Charlotte Observer is reporting.

The 31-year-old Maxiell suffered through a poor 2013-14 season with Orlando, which waived him in July. But he had been a stalwart for Detroit in previous seasons.


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(2:24 pm ET) What was speculated has become official - Anderson Varejao is the starting center for the Cavaliers and Tristan Thompson is set to come off the bench, per Northeast Ohio Media Group.

Both players performed well in exhibition play, but Varejao provides more of an interior defensive presence and has improved his offensive game markedly. Thompson has also become a greater offensive threat, but is considered more of a power forward on defense.


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The former Pelican who is coming off knee surgery has performed well in the preseason. He is set to start the Friday exhibition finale against Toronto, then will likely maintain the spot when the team opens the regular season with back-to-back games against Eastern Conference studs Chicago and Cleveland.

The Knicks signed Smith for the mid-level exception of $3.2 million in the offseason.


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(11:48 am ET) Celtics guard Rajon Rondo could be cleared by the team's medical staff early next week, and coach Brad Stevens expressed optimism when discussing his point guard's potential availability Friday for the start of the season.

"Now it's just a matter of getting clearance, really," said Stevens. "Because everything else, from a skill standpoint, from an understanding standpoint -- he's been running our offense in 5-on-0, up and down the court, for 10 days now. And he picks it up pretty quickly anyways. And we spent some time watching film, whether it's of the team when he's not on the floor, or just simple stuff that he's been able to do in practice to just try to expedite being ready." 

Rondo is dealing with a fractured left metacarpal, and has already begun taking part in some contact activities, though not clear contact. He is wearing extra padding on the hand during practice, and there at least remains a chance Rondo will be in the lineup for the start of the regular season if he receives clearance.

"It's not my call, that's the way I look at it," Stevens said. "When [team trainer] Ed [Lacerte] tells me that someone is ready to play, that's the go-ahead to let them play."


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by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(11:27 am ET) The 76ers are probably going to keep veteran guard Jason Richardson and his $6.6 million contract for the upcoming season, but there is no guarantee he will see the floor.

"I think it's going to be a challenge," coach Brett Brown told the Philadelphia Inquirer Friday. "But I really don't know. I just feel like he's been out of it for a while, and it's going to be a really difficult task."

Richardson has not played since January 2013 due to a knee injury, but the team wants to keep him around to help with a young locker room, Brown said. 


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(11:18 am ET) The Nets exercised third-year options on center Mason Plumlee and forward Sergey Karasev Friday, the team announced. The decision will keep both players in Brooklyn through the 2015-16 season, and both players have team options for their fourth seasons in 2016-17.

Plumlee appeared in 70 games as a rookie and was surprisingly effective, averaging 7.4 points and 4.4 rebounds in just 18.2 minutes per game. He shot 65.9 percent from the field and road his success to an appearance on Team USA's gold medal-winning FIBA World Cup appearance.

Karasev appeared in just 22 games after the Cavaliers made him the 19th overall pick in last year's draft. Karasev was acquired by the Nets in a three-team deal in July. 


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by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(10:44 am ET) Magic guard Victor Oladipo has been making progress in his recovery from a knee sprain, but was already uncertain for the team's season opener Tuesday. Friday he received more bad news, as the team announced he is out indefinitely with a facial fracture and will almost certainly miss the start of the regular season.

The injury occurred during practice Thursday, when he took an elbow to the face. He will undergo surgery Saturday, the team announced, and at this point it is not clear how long the injury is expected to keep Oladipo out or who might step into the starting lineup for him. Evan Fournier and Maurice Harkless have both filled in at shooting guard in the preseason, and seem to be the top contenders.

Oladipo managed to avoid injury almost entirely last season, as he averaged 13.8 points, 4.1 rebounds and 4.1 assists in 80 games en route to a second place finish in Rookie of the Year. 


Fantasy Basketball Today: Ronnie Price could have a role
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(10:27 am ET) Lakers guard Ronnie Price has actually dominated playing time at the point guard spot for the Lakers this preseason, given Jeremy Lin and Steve Nash's injury issues. With Nash out for the season, Price may have a role that can push him towards the fringes of Fantasy relevance, as I discussed at the Fantasy Basketball Today blog Friday:

"Price appeared in six preseason games and averaged 29.5 minutes per game, with Lin dealing with some injury concerns. Price put up a couple of big assist games, and ultimately averaged 8.2 points and 5.3 assists per game in that time. He is certainly not someone you will want to pick up on Draft Day, but Price might have value as a waiver-wire pickup down the road."

Price is still probably not worth drafting, but if he can get 25 minutes per game as the point guard, he could have some utility, especially with how valuable assists are in Fantasy. 


 
 
 
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