What would it take a sane person to grab Tracy McGrady off waivers in a standard-size fantasy league? A month ago, the thought was unthinkable. I’m not sure what a thought is if one cannot think it. When you’re drunk and rambling to your friends at about 2:30 in the morning on New Years Day, discuss it and get back to me. Say you what you will about ol’ T-Mac, the guy has made the most of his scant minutes this season. He’s averaging 11.5/5.5/4.5 with 1.5 steals every 36 minutes and shooting a career-best .481 from the field. The sample-size is small, you say? Well, don’t tell my girlfriend. It’s the only size she’s ever seen. Ultimately, it is a small sample size. But much of fantasy managing is taking calculated risks. So try this on for size: five of T-Mac’s six best games this season have all come when he plays at least 24 minutes and he’s played that much in five of his last seven games. He’s started the season averaging 12.2 mpg, expanded to 17.8 in November and continued the upward trend in December with 19.5 mpg. He played over 30 minutes for the first time all season last night and responded with a 21/4/8 line with a trio of steals. Should we expect this every night? Should we even expect McGrady healthy from here on out. No. Never again. But this is the Pistons we’re talking about. As long as he’s healthy and producing anywhere near this, why wouldn’t he tap into Tayshaun Prince‘s minutes a bit, or outright take over if Prince is shipped elsewhere? Think about, throw up in your mouth a little from thinking about it, then think about it again. He’s a deep league option right now with the potential to drive sane standard leaguers crazy in the near future.

Here’s what else went down in a busy night in fantasy basketball:

Kevin Garnett – Cagey went down with what is now being called a simple muscle ailment. Soon after he went down, Garnett yelled at his leg, frightening it into only being a slight ailment. This is what Garnett also plans on doing every time he has a heart attack, thus ensuring he lives to be 320 year old. In the meantime, Glen Davis, Jermaine O’Neal and Semih Erden are your adds if Garnett misses a game or two.

Dorell Wright – Dropped 32/11 in all 48 minutes of last night’s game. Or as Zach Randolph would say, the whole game plus a six minute overtime.

Stephen Curry – 14.1/3.3/7.3 and shooting .416 in seven December games. And this is why you don’t pick sophomores in the first round of your draft.

Marvin Williams – Left last night’s game with a bruised back. Good thing it wasn’t a braised back. Right, Smoove? *wink, wink* #JoshSmithbehungry!

Roy Hibbert – Foul trouble, which begat fantasy trouble. If it feels like I’m writing about Hibbert every night, it’s because I am. And every night it’s usually bad news. Bench him until he produces well in consecutive games.

John Wall – 10/7/12 against the Pacers as he played almost 35 minutes. Kirk Hinrich exited the game early with a left thigh contusion. Last night will probably be the last time Wall comes off the bench from here on out.

JaVale McGee – 16/10 with four blocks as the kicker. It was his first double-double in 19 days. Inconceivable!

Mo Williams – Missed Wednesday’s game with a hip flexor, but said he hopes he can play against the Bulls on Saturday anyway. Also hopeful of this? The Bulls. If Mo Whoa is a no-go, grab Ramon Sessions (22/5/4 in 31 minutes last night) and Manny Harris in that order.

Gerald Wallace – Returned after missing the last five games and shot the ball like someone who had played five fewer basketball games than everyone else (4-of-11). Still, the rest of his game looked fine.

Stephen Jackson – He’s averaging 3.5 threes along with 30.5/7.5/4 and two steals in the first two games of the Paul Silas era. He’d been averaging two treys along with 17.2/4.3/4.2 and 1.4 steals in the previous 27 games under Larry Brown. Jrue story.

D.J. Augustin – First game under Paul Silas, he scored a season-high 27 points. Two days later, he scored 28. If you own D.J.A., this will be your favorite blurb of the day.

Pau Gasol – Boom, Boom, Pau took just five shots last night. The game before, he only took eight. Thirteen combined shots for the team’s best player? In his previous 10 games, he took at least 13 shots in all but two of them.

Andrew Bynum – 18/6 in 30 starter’s minutes, as Lamar Odom was bumped to the bench. In other news, I’ve received – literally – seven trade requests offering my Lamar Odom for my best bigs.

David West – Rolled his ankle, but returned after halftime and saw that his ankle wasn’t the only part of the Hornets getting rolled last night.

Tyreke Evans – 21/4/4 with a couple steals. Um, yeah. He seems to be fine. Laser surgery on hold until at least after the All-Star Break when the kings should really look awful. Also, pausing fake basketball talk for a second to discuss real basketball … the end of that Memphis-Sacramento game last night: Was that shizz bananas or what?

DeMarcus Cousins – Played almost 37 minutes and ended with a 20/16/3 line. Paul Westphal’s doghouse is the nicest doghouse ever.

Nenad Krstic – He’s averaging 20 mpg since returning on Christmas Day. So is Serge Ibaka. If you hadn’t dropped Ibaka yet, might I introduce you to “right now?”

Kris Humphries – Speaking of timeshares, Murphy Brown is also in one with Derrick Favors. Deep leaguers hang on to both of them, but the rest of you stand down until something gives.

Chauncey Billups – Season-high 36 points. No ‘Melo, No Nene, No Martin, No Harrington. I’m pretty sure if I played the Wolves all by myself, I’d score a season-high too. Caveat: As I’ve not played in any official NBA capacity yet, scoring even one point would ensure the truth of my previous statement. I’m a genius! … Assuming, of course, that I could actually score in an NBA game, which I’d place only at about 5:1 odds.

Darko Milicic – Injured his hip, left early, came back, struggled. <– I’m gonna go ahead and copy/paste this into most of the future Darko blurbs.

Chuck Hayes – 13/8/3 in 25 minutes. He’s the de facto center to own on the Rockets. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that “de facto” and “center” are never terms that fantasy owners should get too excited about.

Aaron Brooks – 20/9 as he played 30 minutes off the bench. Starter Kyle Lowry ended with 11/7 in 24 minutes. If Lowry is still starting two games from now, I’ll sleep in my car for the entire month of January.

Evan Turner – Scored a career-best 23 points. Now just do that every game for the rest of the season and you won’t be considered a bust come the summer.

Andres Nocioni – 22/12/2. Be honest. You completely forgot which team Nocioni even played for, didn’t you?

Jodie Meeks – Two points in 17 minutes and it’s still weird that Meeks has started every game this month. Hell, he’s averaging almost 31 mpg. Yeah. The Sixers are a long way away from being a successful basketball team.

Vince Carter – Vincanity’s sunbelt era started last night with an 8-for-20, 18 point performance in the loss. So, you know, he’s back. but he’s not really “back.”

Marcin Gortat – Since coming over from Orlando, Gortat has averaged almost 10 more mpg than starter Robin Lopez, while outperforming him in every relevant stat category except for free throw percentage. If you deep leaguers were on the fence about either of them before, you shouldn’t be now.

Gordon Hayward – 17/6/3 as he played 42 minutes in place of the injured Andrei Kirilenko. don’t get too excited. A) 17/6/3 in 42 minutes ain’t all that great and B) Kirilenko is targeting Utah’s next game to return.

Paul Millsap – As Al Jefferson goes, so goes Millsap. P.M. dawned this season averaging 22/9. Since then he’s trickled down to 17.5/8, while Jefferson has improved with each month.

Al-Farouq Aminu – Sank thre treys on his way to a 13/8 line. He’s played 30 minutes, grabbed eight boards and scored in double-digits in each of his last two games.

  1. brad says:

    anyone watch the suns game and have insight about Frye’s 19 minutes? Did Pietrus get them? What was going on? I thought the Hedo trade made Channing more stable. Someone get me a paper bag to breathe into.

  2. Adam

    Adam says:

    @brad: I’m not sure either. His lack of rebounds last night sure ain’t endearing him to Gentry though.

  3. Phil says:

    If Chuck Hayes is out for a while (ankle, going for MRI and X rays today), is Hill the better pick up over Miller?

  4. Larry says:

    Rudy fernandez or James Harden? Need FT%, Steals and 3’s.
    Thinking Harden has more upside but will Rudy continue to see mins with Roy out.

  5. Cary says:

    With news that Brandon Roy may be shut down if not uncertain to play every game for the remainder of the year, does this make Rudy Fernandez a must-grab? I was thinking of dropping Brandon Bass for him, or Brad Miller in light of the Chuck Hayes news.

  6. Adam

    Adam says:

    @Phil: Potato/potahto. My guess is Miller will get slightly more run. At least that’s how it’ll start.

    @Larry: RuFer. He’s outperformed Harden almost across the board.

    @Cary: Man, you guys are on top of shizz! Impressive. Fernandez will at the very least maintain his 31 mpg/ 15/3.5/4.5 output with threes and steal galore if Roy gets shelved. He was probably a must-grab before the news and he almost certainly is now too. See my comment above to Phil re: the Rocket bigs.

  7. Larry says:

    Varejao or Bynum ROS?
    Thanks again for your efforts.

  8. Peter says:

    Hey Adam,

    I’m in 2nd place in a 12 team H2H league. Should I be trying to sell high on Tyreke now? What are some PG/SG’s I should be targeting for good value? I tried prying Kidd away, but owner didn’t bite.

    I’m pretty solid in most cateogires, but not dominant in any.

    Lebron, Rose, Eric Gordon, J-Rich, Beasely, Horford, Millsap, Ibaka, George Hill…are my core players.

    Appreciate it.

  9. brad says:

    Trade my Frye for his Tyrus+Morrow? I’d drop either Pietrus, Webster or Okur.

  10. Dann says:

    Do you like Batum or Rudy better ROS in roto?

  11. Larry says:

    Staying on the Rudy theme – Rudy or Kleiza h2h?

  12. Adam

    Adam says:

    @Larry: Bynum.

    @Peter: I’m not against selling Evans. I just don’t think you’d be selling high on him at this point. The best time to do it would be a week or two from now when the plantar fasciitis talk dies down a bit and he has a few more games like his last two.

    @brad: Nah. Too much risk. I wouldn’t do it unless you personally like either Tyrus or Morrow.

    @Dann: Rudy. Sadly.

    @Larry: Rudy.

  13. Tony says:

    Adam- whats up man, you are right i need to stop boozing…. after tonight i’ll think about it. QUICK Q.

    Trade my $44 MAYO for a guy offering me his $16 Darren Collinson? seems like a no brainer to accept? I’m not keeping mayo, it cuts alot of cap for future trades this year, and I might be able to move Collinson to someone else a hell of alot easier than moving a $44 mayo….


  14. Adam

    Adam says:

    @Tony: Fair enough. You can’t stop boozing on New Years Eve. That’s just crazy talk. Yeah. I like this deal for you. At this point, you’re the 2009 Knicks. You have 3-4 players you’re hanging on to and everyone else must go at cheaper prices. There’s also always the chance that DarCo turns it around and $14 for him may be a steal.

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