Although kinda late due to the fact it’s a Wednesday column, I wish to all you Razzball readers a Happy New Year! May all your wishes come true and your fantasy teams win it all this year. Except if you play in one of the leagues I also play…. If you do, I wish a happy Second Place and a great drafting position for next year’s draft.

Imagine an extra circle above the last zero in Chuck’s glasses because I lack the Photoshop skills to put it there myself and let’s review last week’s calls. Both Ish Smith and Bismack Biyombo have been on fire since getting the starting job, with Biyombo especially returning top 25 value during these games making me very happy for the calls. They were in fact so much on fire as Vangelis Ioannou, a Greek sportcaster, suggests in the video.

Jaycee Carroll’s face says it all…I admit we Greeks are not world-renowned for our English pronunciation skills. Moving on, Jordan Bell and Willie Cauley-Stein were also productive and look to maintain their value going forward. Finally on the sell front, Jonathon Simmons has seen his usage decline and has taken a backseat to Aaron Gordon and Evan Fournier, while Dirk Nowitzki was solid but I still stand by my advice to sell. Let’s take a look at this week’s candidates now…

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Buy

Tyus Jones: The news about Jeff Teague’s injury broke mere hours after I uploaded the previous article so I couldn’t include Tyus Jones but he is still available in a surprising amount of Yahoo leagues (only 27% owned). While his stats during his recent three starts don’t jump out of the page (except for his otherworldly 3.3 steals) he can be a valuable contributor with his assists and elite steals. Don’t forget that earlier in the year, with Teague again sidelined, Tyus averaged 11.3/1.8/4.5/6.5/4.0/0.5/1.0 on 53.3%/60% shooting, good for number 13 on the player rater during that span. To conclude, go get him from your wire and start him for the next 2-4 weeks until Teague returns to full speed.

Trey Lyles: I was skeptical at first with Trey Lyles as I connected the increase to his production with the recent injury to Nikola Jokic. Nevertheless, he proved that he grew as a player and has solidified a sixth man role with the Nuggets playing around 31 minutes per game. During this month, he is the 68th ranked player in per game value with averages of 14.5/2.1/6.8/1.4/0.6/0.4/1.0 on 53.2%/67.6% shooting. Great out of position triples and steals and minimal turnovers make him a valuable add especially in roto and is still available in 60% of Yahoo leagues. I think he has a good chance to keep his production at those last month levels at least until Paul Millsap returns after the All-Star break, so give him a look if you need the stats he provides.

Marquese Chriss: If you consider yourself a patient owner this is your chance to test your limits. Marquess Chriss is as inconsistent as they come and that is the reason he was dropped in half of Yahoo Leagues. His potential however is undeniable and he showed flashes of it during the past week with three good games. If he can avoid foul trouble and if he can keep his head in the game he can be a great fantasy weapon for the fantasy playoffs. Although those are two big “If”s, I think he is worth the risk and the occasional headache of the off game.

Nicolas Batum: After returning from his injury Nicolas Batum was more than rusty with his shot, even admitting at some point that his elbow is still not 100% and is bothering him. This is the perfect buy-low opportunity as time is on his side and will only play better from now on as he gets his body up to speed. Plus I can’t imagine him finishing the year averaging just 10.7 points, 1.2 triples and 4.2 rebounds, all close to career lows. You can do worse than check if his owner is growing impatient with him and get him now on a discount.

Sell

Caris LeVert: Spencer Dinwiddie is not the only player that capitalized on the opportunities created from D’Angelo Russell’s injury. Caris LeVert saw his minutes rise as well and he has responded with some great games during this month but D’Angelo is expected back this week or the next. That spells trouble for LeVert’s usage and proactive owners may want to explore his trade value as this seems a good time to trade him for a steadier top 100 player moving forward. I was tempted to include Dinwiddie in the sell column as well but per Coach Atkinson there is a chance he starts alongside Russell so a wait-and-see approach seems better in his case.

 

As always let me know in the comments your thoughts and your suggestions about players I have not included and of course all your fantasy related questions!

  1. lisandro9 says:
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    Your thoughts about Rubio? I think the last two performances scream sell as he is still used the same way, no role change. Maybe he has adapted a bit more to the Jazz style of play, but still I cannot see him becoming a top100 player again. That shot is still broken.

    Also thoughts about Young? Is he a buy low? Since the Pacers are not tanking his role should be secure ROS.

    • Kostas

      Kostas says:
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      @lisandro9: I think Rubio’s production is very dependant on Gobert’s presence. He really need a great P&R man to be effective and he might crawl back to top100 when he returns. Still, if you can get an underrated top70-90 player for him definitely go for it.

      The Pacers look like a mess without Oladipo and all their starters have suffered in his absence so i expect them to improve when he returns. I think Young is a buy low as Turner and Sabonis can’t coexits so his minutes will be there ROS. He is still top60 for the year, even taking into account his recent slump.

      • lisandro9 says:
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        @Kostas: What about Caldwell-Pope? Would you get him for Rubio in a 9 cat roto league?

        • Kostas

          Kostas says:
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          @lisandro9: I’m not so high on Pope’s ROS outlook either because i can’t see him improving much but if you want to reduce your team’s turnovers and get some triples then go for it. Right now he is definitely better than Rubio.

  2. Chilly says:
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    How about Green, specifically after Harden returns? Or for a too deep/dynasty league, James Young?

    Thx man

    • Kostas

      Kostas says:
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      @Chilly: When Harden returns i expect Green to have a bench role with around 15 minutes as right now not only is Harden injured but also Mbah a Moute, who was averaging 25 minutes per. So with Houston healthy i think he is just a Points/3pt specialist.

      I’ve not watched a whole lot of Sixers games this year so i don’t have an opinion on James Young.

  3. Brent

    Brent says:
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    Do you Levert can still get the same minutes he is getting now considering he comes off the bench anyway and they will probably go easy on Russell to save his knees for next season? Or is Levert going to see a drop in minutes/usage?

    • Kostas

      Kostas says:
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      @Brent: I think his minutes will only see a slight drop but the major difference will be in usage. When Russell was playing Levert had a 20 usage with 2.8 assist compared to 22.5 usage and 5 assists since Russell went down.His points were also 9.6 and 13.4 with and without D’Angelo respectively.

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