My Charlotte Bobcats fandom reached it’s peak during the 2006-2007 NBA season. My Bulls had been one of the worst teams in the NBA for nearly a decade and I liked cheering for the recent expansion team. I had NBA League Pass back then, since I was providing live box scores for a website more nights than not. The Bobcats weren’t one of the in-demand teams to cover, so I got to do a lot of their games. While the Bulls had just drafted LaMarcus Aldridge at #2 and traded him for #4 Tyrus Thomas and Victor Khryapa (yes, that happened), the Bobcats selected one of my favorite players right between those picks to join forces with other favorites Gerald Wallace and Emeka Okafor. That’s right, Adam Morrison was going to light up my tiny 19-inch box TV that sat beside my giant desktop computer as he turned (yes, people thought this) into Larry Bird 2.0! It was going to be fun watching this franchise, in just it’s third year, develop into a contender with those pieces.

Check it out! That weird, slippery ball they used briefly!

Okay, so the ‘Cats never really went anywhere, though Morrison did have some fun 3-point shooting streaks. I still love the snubbed and rightful 2012 Las Vegas NBA Summer League MVP and two-time NBA Champ (true). And, I still wear my Bobcats hat proudly (also true). Why am I going on and on about a player who only played in 161 career games and was out of the NBA four years after he was drafted? Because, he’s the theme of today’s strategy: The ‘Stache! I guess it’s The Stash, but at least I got to talk about Adam Morrison and Victor Khryapa.

This is a good time to stock up on and stash the players that might take off toward the end of the season and lead you to a championship. Since, we can’t predict injuries very well, we don’t know when, exactly, to stash backups-turned-reliable-fantasy-stars-whenever-they-get-starters-minutes like Bismack Biyombo and Ish Smith. But we can, with some reliability, predict who might have a path to extended minutes and volume opened to them by a deadline deal or through extreme tanking in March or April. I’m going to give you a list of players I think might be worth a stash. But, you can also come up with your own based on this criteria, too. Some leagues wrap up by the end of March, and some leagues don’t have a big enough bench to stash guys you aren’t going to use for another month, so keep your specific league(s) in mind.

First, we have the moved-up trade deadline of February 8. Seems like the rumor mill isn’t churning them out as much as in years past, but we’re sure to see at least a handful of trades that affect fantasy starters. Here are some of the likelier players to be dealt from what I’ve gathered, along with their potentially resulting benefactors that might increase in fantasy relevance:

DeAndre Jordan –> Montrezl Harrell had a good run last year with center starts. maybe Willie Reed.

Greg Monroe/Tyson Chandler –> Alex Len should get more consistent minutes.

 Nikola Mirotic –> Lauri Markkanen should get back a little more consistency. Bobby Portis, too, if a PF doesn’t come back in the deal.

Derrick Favors –> Ekpe Udoh? Mirotic?

Julius Randle –> More consistent minutes for Kyle Kuzma and Larry Nance Jr.

Dewayne Dedmon –> John Collins, but he’s getting more action either way (see below).

Evan Fournier/Elfrid Payton/Mario Hezonja –> Jonathon Simmons, Terrence Ross, and… D.J. Augustin time again? See one more name below, as well.

You get it. Follow the rumors and news and see which understudies are looking at a starting gig or at least some shoes to fill. Also, think about who might be coming back in these deals, as it’s sometimes those players that fill the void.

The second type of stashy goodness is a little more predictable. Who are the worst teams with a reason to lose as many games as possible while getting extended looks at their young players? If you owned guys like Skal Labissiere or Georgios Papagiannis last April, you know how big the extra minutes and volume can be, especially if you’re the owner of the veterans getting shut down. Tyler Ulis started the final 15 games of the season for the Suns, and it’s hard to remember how great he was after seeing the results of his starts this season. He had much more success in those games… well, fantasy-wise at least (they lost the first 12 of those games). 16.1 ppg/3.6 rpg/8.5 apg!

Now, we likely won’t see as much DNP-Tanking as we saw down the stretch last year with guys like Luol Deng and Eric Bledsoe, but the following teams should provide what we’re looking for once their veterans come up with minor injuries. And the young guys on these teams that should be in line for a decent increase in value at some point are:

Orlando – maybe Jonathan Issac, if he’s healthy soon enough.

Atlanta – definitely John Collins. maybe DeAndre Bembry in deep leagues.

SacramentoDe’Aaron Fox and Bogdan Bogdanovic. Maybe Buddy Hield, Skal, and Georgios like last year.

DallasDennis Smith Jr. should get even more action.

Memphis – maybe Deyonta Davis and JaMychal Green if Marc Gasol isn’t around due to trade or getting shut down.

PhoenixJosh Jackson, Marquese Chriss, and Dragan Bender. Maybe Davon Reed in deep leagues.

Other rookies that should see more minutes –  Frank Ntilikina, Jarrett Allen, and hopefully Malik Monk and Zach Collins.

For the rookies poised for larger workloads, you can find their per-36 numbers in my article from two weeks back about predicting the rookies’ futures.

On the flip side, you may want to think about dealing away the guys that may be going to contenders and/or the guys they’ll be sharing time with. It’s no sure thing any of these are happening, so don’t go crazy, but if a guy like Dedmon becomes a backup again, wouldn’t it be nice to have pulled in a top 100 guy for him? Also, don’t hesitate to cut the veterans on the terrible teams that suffer minor injuries and start sitting. That’s often the perfect excuse for their team to shut them down and increase the team’s number of ping pong balls.

Many of these players and those that didn’t make the list but will end up in a great situation will be free agents, so keep up on the news. Nothing like picking up a sure-fire fantasy starter for free because you were the quickest on the draw.

This week’s classic fantasy line:

Brooklyn Net, Thomas Robinson, in a 6-game stretch at the end of the 15-16 season: 52.6% FG/15.3 ppg/13.0 rpg

  1. Brent

    Brent says:

    Great info, this stuff can win fantasy leagues for people!

    A couple of things to add that I wanted your opinion on:

    First off, how about this nickname for John Collins “The Cocktail” his name sounds like the old person’s favorite cocktail a Tom Collins….

    Also, I think the Grizzlies have a quite a few interesting names that could light up the end of the season: Dillon Brooks and Jarell Martin being right up there with a Tyreke Evans trade. JaMychal Green also has a lot of potential if Gasol was to be traded or shut down.

    BogBog went off last night and I could see him being the main beneficiary of the Kings sitting/trading veterans. I worry about De’Aaron Fox because of George Hill (who probably isn’t going anywhere) and Frank Mason both cutting into his minutes.

    I’m not as high on The Frenchise as everyone else. I think even if Jack goes (which he won’t), Frank the Tank is just not there yet in his development to be consistent for fantasy teams this season down the stretch.

    Mario Hezonja could be the main add out of Orlando since it seems likely Fournier will be traded.

    Also, don’t forget Nwaba in Chicago once Mirotic goes. I agree that Markkanen (The Markksman) will continue to dominate, especially after a Mirotic trade, but I believe the Bulls are higher on Nwaba than they are on Portis and that could limit what Portis will do. It’s too bad though because Portis is such a fantasy friendly player…3’s, points, boards, blocks…shame *ding ding* shame

    Nice work as always!!

    • Tad

      Tad says:

      @Brent: Thanks, Brent!
      Collins definitely needs a good nickname. Maybe one will become apparent as he averages 17 and 11 after the all-star break.
      Good call on Dillon Brooks. I thought about him, but hadn’t thought about how he could get so much more if Evans is moved.
      The Kings have been so annoying with their nightly changes and starting Hill and Z-Bo even after saying they’d play the young guys. Bogdan looks great, and I’d feel best about him. The reason I’m thinking Fox has a shot at a good increase is that they’ve been playing him with Hill a decent amount from what I can tell, but I know Fox is raw.
      Speaking of raw, I don’t love Ntilikina yet. I just think his minutes will continue to rise.
      Definitely Hezonja if he’s around and Fournier is gone. That was exciting to see him fill it up a few times when he got the opportunity.
      Re: The Bulls, I’m hoping they get a first round pick, and it’ll just depend on if they, as their salary-matching return guy, get someone they want to play or someone to sit/waive. Also, I haven’t seen as much RoLo trade chatter as I expected. But if he goes, Portis would probably start at C… which is a little scary in real life, but great for fantasy, as you say!

  2. Relaxntakeitez says:

    My team struggles with 3’s in a 9 cat 12 team H2H.

    Have Drummond,Boogie,Draymond along with Valanciunas,Ryan Anderson as bigs, as well as Beasley n Okafor as stashes and Giannis chipping in big man stats as well.

    Buddy Heild is available from another owner who needs a big. Think he’s worth giving up the inconsistent Valanciunas or should I stand pat and look to adding someone like Danny Green from the waiver wire?

    • Tad

      Tad says:

      @Relaxntakeitez: Owning Valanciunas is kinda maddening. His %s are so helpful, and he’s a stud when he actually gets minutes, but… well, you know he doesn’t often. Seems like you’ve got some great Cs and can afford to take a shot with Hield. I’d do that and I’d also drop Okafor for Danny G, especially with Kawhi out even longer. Good Question.

  3. Puddle Stomp says:

    Punted assists+FT%. I currently have Wallace+Richardson+JaMychal+Markieff+Aminu+Crabbe+Collins.

    Are any of them worth dropping for one of:
    – Kidd-Gilchrist
    – Dedmon
    – Nance
    – Hield
    – Teosidic
    – Chriss
    – BogBog
    (all of the others, except Smith, listed in your article are also available)

    I’m high on bigs with this team in 10-team, 9-cat: Giannis, KAT, Turner, G.Harris, Covington, Gallinari, Jordan, Ariza.

    Looking for advice on how best to complement that core!

    • Tad

      Tad says:

      @Puddle Stomp: Thanks for the question. I was going to say “TRADE KAT!” when you said you have him and you’re punting FT, but he actually more valuable than usual once you punt assists, too, as he’s #3 on the season with both punted. If Gallo and Turner come back and look good, those might be some good guys to trade, since a decent amount of their value is tied up in FT, too.
      I’d drop Wallace and JaMychal for most of those guys you list.
      Basketball Monster projections without those categories have the best in this order:
      That’s a good variety of positions, so see who you like that would fit what you need well.
      Good luck, Sir.

  4. Katsuyuki says:

    Hi Tad,

    H2H, Punt Assist team, no IR:
    Towns, Turner, Whiteside, Kanter, Ibaka
    Gary Harris, Middleton, Porter Jr., Ariza
    Mitchell, Conley

    Would you drop Ibaka or Conley for BogBog?
    Ibaka has been invisible often, and Conley is still out indefinitely.
    Or, stick with what I have?

    Thanks in advance.

    • Tad

      Tad says:

      @Katsuyuki: As a fellow frustrated Conley holder, I think you’ll come out ahead dropping him for Bodgan, especially since you’re punting assists. Basketball Monster rest of season per-game projections have them almost identical, except that Bogdan is superior at FG%. Plus, he’s playing right now. And, I don’t really trust the Griz to play Conley much with such a bad record. I’ve also had and traded Ibaka this year, and he’s been a pain to own, too. But, I think he’s still worthwhile because of those hard-to-find blocks. Best of luck.

  5. Wen says:

    Hi Tad, I have some tough decision to make and need your help.
    I am interested in FA Tyler Johnson and Danilo Gallinari (perfect playoff schedule).
    Would you replace any of the following with them?
    Taurean Prince, Ersan Ilyasova, DeMarre Carroll, Dewayne Dedmon, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson

    Thank you for your advice!

    • Tad

      Tad says:

      @Wen: Thanks for the question. I’d feel pretty good ditching Ilyasova for either guy. I prefer Tyler Johnson of those two. But, I’d probably be ready to grab Gallo, too, especially if Caroll or Dedmon get dealt to better teams (and worse situations). Also, Dedmon’s minutes look like they may be dropping even if he stays put.

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