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As many of you already know (or as my avatar may suggest), I’m a Canadian so I don’t really have a dog in the 2016 United States Presidential fight. I do, however, live close to the border and have enjoyed traveling throughout the United States (including the entire northeast, Florida, California, Colorado, Hawaii and the U.S. Virgin Islands) with my wife over the better part of the last ten years. So I have a keen interest in American politics as it indirectly impacts “my world.”

That leads me to my admission – I watched President Barack Obama’s eighth and final State of the Union address last night (and the subsequent analysis & reaction) instead of basketball. There was basketball to be watched up here, I just chose not to. But it gave me some perspective – it reminded me that a common sense approach to the big picture issues is never as simple as it should be, and that holds true in the NBA as well. Examples from some of the 16 teams in action on Tuesday alone:

  • The Timberwolves have a wealth of young talent to cultivate and yet they start Kevin Garnett & Tayshaun Prince?
  • The Suns have a cancerous presence in their locker room (Markieff Morris) and they can’t decide what to do about it – they give him multiple healthy DNPs in a row, and then they unleash him for 27 minutes, taking opportunity from someone like Jon Leuer (17 minutes) who could actually be a part of their future plans.
  • The Celtics and Knicks – both of whom are in the Eastern Conference playoff hunt – continue to run heavier-than-necessary rotations rather than identifying the best court combinations and maximizing their efficiency and output.
  • The Rockets have an extremely fragile, high-salaried starting center (Dwight Howard) who is prone to usage-related injuries and they run him for 38 minutes when they have a number of other very capable young frontcourt players to ease the burden.
  • The Bulls appear to embrace their future for a moment by giving a solid rotation spot to Bobby Portis, only to yank it out from under him (he played 4 minutes on Tuesday) once they’re back to full health.
  • The Pelicans offer center Omer Asik a massive contract in the offseason and even when he’s playing well (13 rebounds, a steal and a block, team-high +7 net rating), and they’re absent their best frontcourt player, he can’t get minutes (18).

Essentially what I’m saying is that there are a lot of things we, as fantasy owners, think should happen by any measure of common sense, but just don’t because of a number of factors beyond our control. We can go data mining until the cows come home and have an open & shut case to make why Player X deserves more minutes/opportunity, but it doesn’t matter. We can only do so much. There will always be someone on the other side who impacts that situation and we just have to make the best of it. Thankfully, the NBA has a long season and, unlike football, one or two bad weeks won’t spell doom for your campaign. I love that we get 82 games to try and figure out what the heck is going on. We’ll never be right 100% of the time, no matter that the stats or common sense says we maybe could be, but it sure doesn’t stop us from trying…

 

THE GOOD

Mirza Teletovic – 19/5/2 with five triples off the bench helped keep the injury-depleted Suns competitive for three quarters. Mirza remains a reasonable streaming option – especially for those hunting treys – and has now scored in the teens in six straight.

C.J. Miles – 19/8/2/1/1 in 31 minutes off the Pacers bench. Miles connected on 4-7 from beyond the arc and only had one turnover for a really nice line. He’s been quiet lately (only one double-digit scoring game in his previous five going into Tuesday) but as he’s shown many times in the past, has the ability to catch fire and post top-50 value for stretches.

Isaiah Thomas – Taking advantage of Jose Calderon‘s matador defense, IT2/3 went off for 34/3/7/1/1 with only one TO. The only blemish in his line was the 1-9 mark from deep, but 11-12 from the stripe helps to offset that. He is every bit the third round value he has posted season-to-date and I see no reason why he shouldn’t keep it up for the rest of the year.

Kristaps Porzingis – 26/6/2/2/2, no turnovers and three treys. Knicks fans who booed the pick on draft night are lookin’ pretty darn silly.

Tony Parker – After missing a couple games last week, Parker was the best Spur on the court Tuesday with a 34/4/3/1/0 line. He hit 13-19 from the field, made his only three ball, and saw 32 minutes of action in a game that was closer than most might have expected.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope – 25/3/2/3/0 (with four treys) for KCP, who almost single-handedly kept the Pistons in this one. On a night when Reggie Jackson, Marcus Morris, and Ersan Ilyasova combined to shoot 7-28 (25%), Caldwell-Pope’s 9-14 mark looks all the more impressive.

Terrence Jones – Big night off the bench for Jones: 20/4/3/3/1 with three triples. He needs to string together a bunch of these lines to get within shouting distance of the top-100 though.

Tony Allen – As Slim alluded to in Tuesday morning’s pod, Allen had been getting a lot of run coming into the game against the Rockets. He saw 32 minutes of action and parlayed that into 17/7/4/2/0 with a pair of makes from beyond the arc. He’s a third round value through the first 12 days of 2016.

Jimmy Butler – 30/8/6/0/1. Yep, the “0” was in the most unlikely of categories for Jimmy – steals. It’s the first time since middle school he hasn’t recorded a steal (that’s almost certainly not true, but it has been a long time), but he made up for it with a pair of threes and 10-12 from the FT line. He was terrific in 2015, but his increased output in assists so far in 2016 launches him into the top-10 through 12 days this year.

Giannis Antetokounmpo – 29/10/5/1/1 for the Greek Freak. Somehow he shot it better from the floor (10-14 FGs) than he did from the line (9-14 FTs), but it was an otherwise stellar game from the man they call Alphabet.

Russell Westbrook – 22/7/11/3/0 with a pair of threes – that’s the good stuff. Seven TOs and 4-6 from the FT line hurts a bit, but as is always the case with Russdiculous, there’s far more good than bad which leaves owners with a net positive.

Zach Lavine – Got hot off the bench against the Thunder, shooting 7-12 from the field (3-4 from 3-point range) and finishing with a line of 21/9/4. He’s been nothing short of terrible lately, so this was a welcome sight for any owners patient enough to have held him through his prolonged slump.

LeBron James – 27/10/7/2/0 in an overtime win against the Mavs. He found the range from distance, connecting on three of his six attempts. LBJ trails only Al Horford for value so far in 2016, thanks in large part to improved shooting outside the paint.

Chandler Parsons – 25/8/1/2/0 with three treys and 10-14 from the field overall. Parsons has been a major avoid for me all year as he just hasn’t looked right, so he’ll have to do this a couple more times before I soften my stance on him for the remainder of this season. Make no mistake though, he was very good on Tuesday.

Tyreke Evans – 21/5/4/1/0 is a nice enough line, but it’s the three triples that make Tuesday’s performance a win for owners. For his career, ‘Reke is a sub-.300 shooter from long range, but during the 2015-2016 season has been dialed in, connecting at a .391 clip. If he can keep that up (or only suffer a small regression) it will really help to prop up his value and offset some of his deficiencies – most notably, a career-worst 3.2 TO per game.

Lou Williams – Sweet Lou didn’t shoot it well (again), going only 4-14 from the field, but he more than made up for it with a perfect 10-10 on his freebies, he canned a three, and finished with a line of 19/4/8/0/1. He is safely inside the top-100 on the year, and is a top-60 play over the past month while starting.

 

THE BAD

Tyson Chandler – 1/6/3/1/0 with no Alex Len is about all the encouragement you need to drop Chandler. He had a couple double-doubles late in December, but since the calendar turned to 2016, Tyson has a total of one blocked shot and no double-digit scoring games.

Kelly Olynyk – The big Canuck with the flowing locks got another start for the Celtics but did very little with the opportunity. 5/4/2/0/0 with two turnovers. Just a bad night against a tough and – on this night at least – superior Knicks frontcourt.

Jose Calderon – The Spaniard failed to score in 30 minutes against the Celtics. He had five dimes and a steal, but even with the heavy run, he’s struggling to be fantasy-worthy. Calderon hasn’t scored in double-digits since New Years Day and could be in for a reduced role if the Knicks make moves at the trade deadline.

Kawhi Leonard – In a very un-Kawhi like game, Leonard could only muster 7/5/1/1/1 in 34 minutes against the Pistons. He made only one of his seven shots from the field, missed both triples he attempted, and turned the ball over three times. Owners just have to write this one off – he’s almost guaranteed to be better next time out.

Stanley Johnson – The rook didn’t get the start as incumbent, Marcus Morris, was back after only one missed game. Returning to his familiar bench role didn’t help Johnson as he missed all seven shots from the field and had no defensive statistics. A very forgettable evening for the young gun and his production continues to be extremely hit & miss.

Clint Capela – As Terrence Jones was beasting off the bench, Capela was struggling with the first unit. Double-C missed all four shots he took and ended with a 1/7/1/1/1 line. It’s entirely possible that he and Jones alternate productive outings, making both frustrating players to own.

Jeff Green – Got the start but only saw 15 minutes. Three points from the foul line and a pair of assists is all he could produce in this one and Zach Randolph started the second half. Green had only four points in his last outing, so his arrow is pointing straight down.

Bobby Portis – Only four minutes of action as Joakim Noah‘s return has (somewhat predictably) crushed the rook’s value. I still think the Bulls make a move in the next month to free up some minutes for Bobby P. If you can afford to hold him through what could be several weeks of sub-par production, do it. But if roster space is at a premium, you might have to cut him for someone providing more immediate returns.

O.J. Mayo – Despite the injury issues plaguing the Bucks’ backcourt, Mayo struggled with 5/1/4/1/0 in 26 bench minutes. Once guys like Jerryd Bayless and Greivis Vasquez return, Mayo may start seeing some DNPs.

Ricky Rubio – With Lavine getting hot off the bench and Russell Westbrook far too much for him to handle on the defensive end, Rubio only played 21 minutes. He shot 1-5 and posted a lackluster 3/2/6/1/0 line with three TOs.

Tristan Thompson – 2/6/1/0/0 in a start against a Dallas frontcourt he should have had his way with (on the boards at least) just isn’t going to cut it. He simply needs to be better if he wants to avoid being bumped from the first unit in favor of Timofey Mozgov…or even Anderson Varejao.

Wesley Matthews – Suffered the JB 30-Point Challenge curse. Wes only put up 11 points in 42 minutes on 3-11 shooting. Thankfully for his fantasy owners his three makes were all from beyond the arc. But unfortunately he couldn’t provide any steals or blocks and he took a back seat to Chandler Parsons and the rest of the starting unit (all of whom scored more than Matthews on Tuesday).

Jrue Holiday – Coming off the bench and playing 26 minutes, Jrue only provided the popcorn stats: 14 points, five rebounds, four assists. He shot poorly (7-18 FGs), missed all four attempts from deep, and had no defensive contributions. Holiday simply needs to do more, but seeing as how this was his first game in 2016 without both a three and a steal/block, it looks like an anomaly.

 

THE NOTEWORTHY

Devin Booker – If not for foul trouble, Booker’s 19/2/2/0/1 line may have looked even better. The youngster got hot in the second half and finished 8-12 from the field, including a three pointer. Even when Brandon Knight returns (which should be in very short order), Booker stands to see heavy minutes and a high ranking in the Suns’ offensive pecking order. His rest-of-season arrow is pointing up.

Paul George – Much like Booker, PG13 was held in check early due to foul trouble in the first half. George came out with good energy and a smarter game plan (on both ends of the floor) in the second half and finished the night 21/7/1/2/2. He connected once from deep, shot 50% from the field and made all eight attempts from the charity stripe. For those of you out there thinking PG13 might be turning a corner from an efficiency standpoint, please consider the opposition he was facing on Tuesday.

Marcus Smart – I know there are members of Razzball Nation that really like this kid’s potential, but I just don’t think he’s going to be a reliable fantasy asset at any point this season. Between the injuries, the depth/rotation, and his own deficiencies as a player, Smart is going to have more nights like Tuesday (6/6/3 on 2-7 shooting) than he will nights that make him worthy of a permanent spot on your roster.

Carmelo Anthony – ‘Melo left the game just before halftime after stepping on a referee’s foot and rolling his ankle. He got re-taped during the break and tried to play in the 3rd quarter, only to leave after about 20 seconds. X-Rays were negative, but there’s a chance he’ll miss some time if the ankle swells up on him. He had a nice game going with 17/4/3 in 17 first-half minutes and looked to be on his way to a big night.

Tim Duncan – Timmy brought the D on Tuesday with four swipes and two swats. His final line ended up looking pretty sweet – 14/9/3/4/2 in 30 minutes.

Dwight Howard – Made all five free throws. Whoda thunk it?

Mario Chalmers – With Mike Conley out again, Rio got another start and went 10/3/9/3/0 with a triple. His turnovers and FG% really hurt his overall value, but if you’re hunting for dimes, steals and treys, he is a great streaming option as long as Conley is out.

Derrick Rose – Left with a sore knee. What else is new?

Michael Carter-Williams – Had no turnovers in 37 minutes and the Bucks as a team had only five. In addition to taking care of the ball, MCW had 11 points, four boards, six assists and three steals. Unfortunately his shot was off (4-13 FGs, 3-5 FTs) which has been a bugaboo his entire career and likely always will be.

Steven Adams – Funaki made all of his FGs (3-3) for the second consecutive game and has now shot 50% or better from the field in eight straight. If you need a boost to your FG% and a smattering of boards and blocks, you could do a lot worse than the big Kiwi.

Gorgui Dieng – Continues to struggle offensively (scored only two points) but provided the defensive goodies with a steal and six blocks.

Kyrie Irving – Struggled during regulation, but turned up the heat in overtime and finished 8-20 from the field, canned three triples, and handed out nine assists. His final line read: 22/2/9/1/0 in 39 minutes. It’s safe to say his minutes are no longer under any sort of restriction and he should be back to peak Kyrie in no time.

J.J. Barea – The run of productivity looks to be officially over as JJB only saw 12 minutes of action in a game that featured an extra overtime period. There are just simply too many guys vying for minutes in the Dallas backcourt and none of Barea, Devin Harris or Raymond Felton will be worth owning if they’re all healthy (in addition to starting guards Deron Williams and Wesley Matthews).

Anthony Davis – Picked up a DNP due to soreness from diving for a loose ball in his last game and colliding with some less-than-friendly courtside chairs. At this point I think we just need to call him what he is: fragile. He has now missed five games this season and has left early due to injury in another four. He could average 30/12/5/1/3 post All-Star break and I still wouldn’t burn the top pick on him next year.

Kobe Bryant – Unfortunately it looks like we might be witnessing the beginning of the end for Kobe. After having missed four of his previous six games heading into Tuesday, Kobe lasted only 16 minutes before bowing out due to Achilles soreness. His body is breaking down and if he plays 25 more games, I’ll be shocked. The end is nigh for Bean.

 

OPPORTUNITY IS EVERYTHING

Players who saw over 36 minutes of floor time on Tuesday:

George Hill (37), LaMarcus Aldridge (36), Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (43), Avery Bradley (38), Arron Afflalo (41), Dwight Howard (38), Marc Gasol (40), Mario Chalmers (41), Courtney Lee (37), Pau Gasol (36), Jimmy Butler (41), Greg Monroe (37), Michael Carter-Williams (37), Khris Middleton (41), Serge Ibaka (37), Kevin Durant (36), Kevin Love (37), LeBron James (42), Kyrie Irving (39), J.R. Smith (40), Dirk Nowitzki (38), Chandler Parsons (41), Deron Williams (43), Wesley Matthews (42), Ryan Anderson (42), Jordan Clarkson (37).

 

That wraps up another Tuesday evening in the Association. As always, if you want to chat waiver pickups, DFS plays, or anything else fantasy hoops, drop me a line on Twitter @moneyballmatty. Cheers.

  1. hamtime says:
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    Hi Matty, good article! You actually touched on a few of my questions today.

    1. I dropped tyson to pick up…markieff in my 14m. Yuck, I know, but he did look good out there today. Tjones is on waivers, but he’s very frustrating to own. Would you rather him or markieff?

    2. Should I drop shane larkin for lavine, crabbe, or nance?

    3. drop leuer for asik in a 16m?

    • Matty

      Matty says:
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      @hamtime: Hey man, thanks!

      1) I’d rather TJones. I’m not high on either him or Morris ROS because I think they could both be wearing different uniforms in February and we have no idea what that means for their role or opportunity. But I’ll take the guy with injury issues (more related to bad luck) over the guy with major character issues.

      2) Crabbe isn’t nearly as attractive now that Dame is back. Nance is ok if you need a few points and boards, but not much else. I think Lavine has the biggest upside, but he has struggled for huge stretches of the season. I’d probably hold Larkin for another couple games to see if he can regain the starting job and start producing a bit better. The opportunity is there, he just needs to seize it. But if you’re dead set on dropping him, I think Lavine is your guy since the upside for the other two is capped.

      3) Nah, keep Leuer. I know the minutes are frustrating, but I’m hoping ‘Kieff getting traded (or benched again) will free up a more consistent role for Leuer over the last couple months of the season.

  2. Tyler says:
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    Pick 1 for 9cat h2h:
    AGordon or Larkin

    • Matty

      Matty says:
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      @Tyler: Assuming Gordon’s ankle injury isn’t significant (and it doesn’t sound like it is), he’s your man. Much higher upside IMO.

  3. Tony C says:
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    Hey Matty great work today on this article. I like your analysis. I need roster management advice in a 10 team, H2H, 9-cat league:
    MY team:
    PG-Teague, Rubio, Dragic
    SG-Butler, Heyward, M.Ellis
    SF-Draymond, Parsons, Bazemore
    PF-Durant, R.Anderson
    C-Nurkic, Sullinger, Ro-Lo

    Overall this year I’ve been disappointed with the PGs I drafted and I search for big guys all the time on the wire. Would you pick up Deron Williams, Tony Allen or Zach Levine for any of my guards? Or pick up Terrence Jones, Mirza Teletovic or Matt Barnes for any of my bigs? Thanks for the advice!

    • Matty

      Matty says:
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      @Tony C: Thanks, Tony. Glad you liked the article!

      That’s a tough call on the guards. If you could guarantee me that Deron Williams would stay healthy for the rest of the year, I’d give some serious thought to swapping out Dragic for him. D-Will is actually better on a per-game basis than both Goran and Teague, believe it or not. I think JT has better days ahead of him, but I’m not sure Dragic is a top-80 guy in his current situation. Unfortunately there’s a really good chance that Williams will get rested, if not hurt, so you have to factor that in. I think I’d stand pat with the three you’ve got and hope they have better second halves than they did first.

      As far as the bigs go – RoLo has been playing better lately (double figures in four straight) but he was really hit & miss during the 2015 portion of the season. He doesn’t have much upside, so if you wanna take a homerun swing and swap him out for Terrence Jones (who was terrific last night), it’s not the worst idea and could turn out to be big for your team.

  4. miles proudfoot says:
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    Wow great article. You would’ve received a high grade in my class by making the connection between political life and that of a struggling fantasy owner haha.

    Would you drop any of Trey Burke; Rodney Hood, Danny green (I still have an irrational hold on him), or Portis for any of the fillowing:
    TJones, Schroeder, LaVine, Teletivoc, sully, Jabari or Markieff.

    Thanks!

    • Matty

      Matty says:
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      @miles proudfoot: Ha – thanks miles! JB is a tough teacher, so I’m not expecting anything more than a B- from him.

      Trey Burke is really starting to fall off after a nice little stretch there. He’s basically giving you 10/1/3 with a triple or two, but not much else. You can almost always stream that off the wire, so he’s not a must-hold. I like Hood’s upside much better, and though he has been super frustrating to own so far this year (I speak from experience), Danny Green has at least been hitting some threes and tossing in the defensive stats. He might only score 6 or 8 points a game, but if you can get a couple treys, a steal and a block, that’s where the money is. So if you’re going to drop Burke, I’d rank the options you listed as:

      Jones
      Jabari
      Sully
      Lavine
      Schroeder
      Teletovic
      ‘Kieff

      There’s a bunch of guys in there who could have major value fluctuations as prime trade candidates – Kieff, Schroeder and Jones are all looking for starting gigs elsewhere.

      • miles proudfoot says:
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        @Matty: awesome thanks man. Makes a lot of sense. If Schroeder were to be traded to a starting gig I’d have to pick him up everywhere.

        • Matty

          Matty says:
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          @miles proudfoot: He’d look awful good getting 32 minutes a night in a Nets or Knicks uniform. Maybe they move him out of conference to a guard-needy team like the Jazz?

  5. dom says:
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    good stuff as always

    so obviously the suns are a mess, in my deep 12er (17 player roster size) I own Warren and T Chandler. Markieff Morris is being added in a lot of leagues, would you guess that he has more long term value than one of those?

    and in the short term, considering picking up James Johnson to stream tomorrow. my drop candidates are Tyler Johnson (he played well last game), T Chandler, and Warren. Might wait and see how Tyler Johnson plays tonight. This is a 10 cat (OREB) league

    and in my 9 cat, if Whiteside (knee, @LAC) is active tonight should I play him over Porzingis (@BKY) or Gobert (@POR) ? thanks a lot

    • Matty

      Matty says:
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      @dom: Thanks, dom. Appreciate it, brother.

      Yep, Suns are a total fustercluck of a situation. I could see a speculative add of Morris while dropping Chandler, but you are banking on him being “featured” for trade purposes and then having him actually be traded to a decent situation where he can step in and get 25+ minutes consistently. If you think that will happen (and there’s a decent chance it will), go for it. ‘Kieff does have a skillset that provides fantasy upside, but he’s a petulant a-hole who could run himself out of any situation that doesn’t have his brother in the same locker room.

      I’d wait to see what Tyler Johnson does before adding JJ. I’m not sure yet who will start and get minutes at the 3 between TRoss and Johnson – Casey said he’ll play the matchups and alternate those guys until Carroll gets back. Johnson can give you the defensive stats, but he can also throw up a total dud if he comes out flat – Casey loves to give him the quick hook.

      I think Zinger will be busy tonight with ‘Melo questionable at best. Gobert should play 30+ minutes as he’s on a couple days rest and I bet he’ll give you equal production to a less-than-100% Whiteside. Something in the 10/7/1/1/2 range should be Rudy’s floor tonight. I’d wait until Hassan gets right to plug him back in so you can avoid any “played 5 minutes and left due to soreness” issues.

  6. Hamtime says:
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    Drop Leuer for Myles turner or jerian grant?

    • Matty

      Matty says:
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      @Hamtime: If you think Leuer will continue to see inconsistent minutes, you could move him for either of those guys. But both Turner and Grant are speculative adds and need to show a lot more than they have so far to earn playing time that makes them fantasy-relevant. The good thing is, if Leuer continues to get yanked after 15, 17 minutes, you’re not dropping a usable asset anyways. Might be worth the low-risk gamble if you have a gut feeling on either of the rookies.

  7. Poisonous Stuff says:
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    I like the variety of article formats, awesome job!

    Who is a good PG to target for Tyreke in a dynasty league?

    • Matty

      Matty says:
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      @Poisonous Stuff: Thanks, PS. Appreciate you saying that.

      Hmmm…tough (see: good) question. I actually haven’t been a part of any dynasty basketball leagues before so I don’t have a good feeling on how guys who have suffered multiple leg injuries get devalued over the long-haul. I would imagine players like Tyreke, Jrue, Beal, Rose, etc. are – despite their youth – less valuable in dynasty formats than they are in redraft?

      ‘Reke has been a top-40 per game player so far this year, but I can’t imagine he’ll fetch a top-50 prospect in dynasty. Maybe just outside of that – someone in the 50-75 range. So for PGs, that probably brings in guys like: Conley, George Hill, maybe a Teague?

      Personally I’d try to get my hands on Jordan Clarkson + something else to sweeten the pot. I think JC will have a big second half to this year and one heckuva good career. He has been good (not great) so far this year so his value hasn’t peaked yet. But if he goes on a tear like he did late last year, he’ll become pretty pricey. I also think Darren Collison (plus extras) would be a good target. I doubt Rondo is long for Sacramento and Collison can ball. He’s 28, but should have at least two or three good years ahead of him if he finds himself in a starter’s role. He could probably be had for a song right now since he’s buried behind Rondo. Finally, I might look to Goran Dragic. He’s been struggling this year, but that’s due in large part to Wade amazingly being healthy to this point. If Wade (and all his usage) go down, you should see a big uptick in production. Obviously as time passes Wade gets less and less likely to stay on the floor and the Dragon should benefit. He’s locked in with the heat for 5 years and $85 mil so I don’t think he’s going anywhere. Now would be the time to buy low on him.

      Hope that helps. Drop us a line and let us know if you were able to swing a trade. I’m curious to see what Tyreke fetches in a dyno format.

      • Poisonous Stuff says:
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        @Matty: Wow I did not expect this long of a response, much appreciated! I personally rather stay away from Conley and Teague, both has seen drop off of production whether it’s through injuries, age, and/or having a really good backup (Schroder). Geroge Hill is certainly interesting. The owner of Jordan Clarkson also has Dragic, and he was interested in my Harden earlier in the season (not sure now). What do you think about trading harden + tyreke for his durant + JC or Dragic?
        As for the Collison owner, what do you think about Tyreke + Zbo/CJ Miles for his Collison + Tjones/Hood

        Thanks again!

        • Matty

          Matty says:
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          @Poisonous Stuff: Understood re/ Conley & Teague – there’s a large enough sample size now to understand what their ceiling is. I like both players more as real life players than fantasy assets.

          Oh man, if you could get KD & Clarkson for Harden & Reke, I’d do that. Durant is a top-2/3 option no matter where he’s playing and I like Clarkson to outperform Evans as early as next year (sans Kobe and hopefully Byron Scott). The Lakers could run a pretty awesome three-man rotation of Russell/Clarkson/Williams with each seeing 32 or so minutes in the backcourt.

          The Collison set is tougher because it’s a bit more speculative that DC will find his way back to a starting gig. As much as I like him and feel that he could start for at least 10 teams right now, it doesn’t mean he’s going to get that opportunity. And since he’s not a 22-year old kid, there is the chance that he’ll be type-cast as a backup PG/6th man role going forward.

          I’d go after Durant & Clarkson personally. Durant and Dragic would also be nice but I think Dragic tops out around a 40-50th ranked player whereas Clarkson has the potential to be a top-30 guy once everything clicks in a year or two.

          • Poisonous Stuff says:
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            @Matty: So the owner came back with my harden, porzingis, tyreke for his kd, jc, horford

            • Matty

              Matty says:
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              @Poisonous Stuff: Yeah, that’s tough to give up Zinger. He is a VERY valuable commodity over the long-term. I love me some Horford (more than most from what I’ve seen), but he’s right at the peak of his value currently. He will likely never be better/more valuable than he is right now. I think I’d have to pass on that one.

  8. Black Mamba says:
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    PJ Tucker, T Jones, or Aaron Gordon?
    rest of season h2h 9cat

    • Matty

      Matty says:
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      @Black Mamba: I’m an Aaron Gordon believer and think he has the highest ceiling of those three. Tucker kinda is what he is at this point and he’s going to be very inconsistent even in a 35 MPG role. Whereas, if you were to hand either of Jones or Gordon those same minutes on a nightly basis, they are top-50 players in short order.

      I’d rank ’em: Gordon, Jones, Tucker.

      Just keep in mind that I always give heavier weight to upside/potential for end-of-the-bench fantasy assets. Tucker is the safest and most likely to give you low-end production, but he’s never going to blow up like the other two could if an injury hits someone ahead of them on the depth chart.

  9. Sal says:
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    Good article like always. However have a question for today. Which set of three would you play in a daily league

    Curry, Gerald green and jabari Parker

    Or

    Lillard, Eric Gordon and faried?

    Thanks for the help.

    • Matty

      Matty says:
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      @Sal: Hey Sal. Thanks – glad you liked the piece.

      Well, seeing as Curry is playing tonight (sans an assist-stealing Draymond) against a lousy defensive team in the Nuggets, he’s the best play at the PG spot. Lillard is going up against a tough defensive Jazz team in a game that has an over/under more than 20 points less than the GSW/DEN game. Big advantage to Curry there.

      Eric Gordon is playing the second half of a B2B but gets a crappy Kings defense. Gerald Green should get a bit of extra run with no Dragic tonight for the Heat and the Clippers have a hard time guarding wings. Both guys are streaky shooters but if Green gets hot he can drop 20 in a hurry. Gordon is safer because he starts, but Green has a better chance to blow his salary out of the water.

      I’m not sure what to expect from Faried tonight. He gets a boost because he doesn’t have to go up against Draymond’s elite defense, but he also hasn’t played in a week (non-injury related). You really have to hope that Denver can keep the game close long enough for KF to get 30 minutes. Jabari has been a consistent double-digit scorer of late, but he needs to start hitting the boards a bit more. He only played 27 minutes last night so fatigue/B2B factor shouldn’t be too bad. He goes up against a smaller lineup in the Wizards so he could have a nice game. I think this is a good spot for him to post a 16/8/2/1/1 kinda line.

      All that said, I like the Curry lineup better. More upside which is key if this is a GPP lineup you’re building. Maybe a bit risky (Green anyways) if it’s a cash game play.

      Good luck, Sal!

  10. Hamtime says:
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    Being offered the following, both for my 16m league:

    1. My Teague for Middleton

    2. My Teague Knight porzi for kd nurk

    • Matty

      Matty says:
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      @Hamtime: 1) Middleton.

      2) I’d pass. If anything happens to KD, you’re screwed because you’ve given up a lot of depth (which you’ll feel even more in a 16 team league).

  11. TImothy Chao says:
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    Rank Avery Bradley, Brandon Jennings, Derrick Rose 12 team 10 cat

    • Matty

      Matty says:
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      @TImothy Chao: Bradley…then flip a coin. I wouldn’t want either Jennings (this year) or Rose (ever) on my roster.

  12. dan the man says:
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    great write up!

    just wondering what your thoughts are for the bottom of my roster? 9 cat H2H 10 team league.

    got nurkic, t. jones, a. gordon and amir johnson but i’m not sure if i should cut them for guys who are producing like mahinmi or upside guys like schroder and covington. just cut marcus morris and john leuer as well.

    team also includes:

    I. Thomas
    R. Jackson
    E. Fournier
    Ish Smith
    M. Barnes
    O. Casspi
    D. Lillard
    Gobert
    Draymond
    Pau
    T. Harris

    • Matty

      Matty says:
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      @dan the man: Thanks for reading, dtm.

      Well, you have a couple small injury concerns there with Nurkic & Gordon who have both recently sprained their ankles. Neither sounds like a long-term deal, but since they were already struggling to find consistent minutes, it’s a definite setback. I’m not as high as some here on Nurk but he does have upside later this season if he can stay healthy. If you think he’s due for a 26-28 MPG role, he’s a hold. Gordon has big upside and I’m holding him where I have him – he’s worth the wait IMO.

      Amir had a monster game last night and seems like the safest of all the Boston bigs, since guys like Lee, Sully & Olynyk are all getting jerked around from week to week.

      Jones is a wildcard, but he got the second half start last night over Capela and he’s now played two really nice games in a row. We could look back to this week and say “that was the turning point for his season” or he could get traded to a situation where he’s not in a great spot to produce. Lots of risk there, but he has upside so I’d hold him as well.

      I don’t think I’d move any of your bottom of roster guys for Mahinmi/Schroeder/Covington. Of those three, Covington has the highest ceiling (unless Schroeder gets sent to the Nets or Jazz where he can start right away)…but he is also completely unplayable right now. He saw 32 minutes in his last game and went 7/8/4/0/1, but I need to see him get the same run for a couple more games before I buy into him again.

      With a mostly healthy roster now (you’ve just gotten Casspi & Gobert back in the last week), you should be in a good spot.

  13. Lawson says:
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    Hi Matty!

    I have had a bit of a dissapointing year so far but I am still on a PO spot in my 14 team league. My team is Lillard, Mudiay, Beverley, Larkin, Smart, Danny Green, Joe Johnson, Devin Booker, T Jones, Aaron Gordon, Bobby Portis, Ibaka, Nurkic and Vucevic. Bledsoe’s injury hurt me a lot. Now I have Mudiay recovered and I would like to deactivate the IL roster spot. I am aware that he is having a terrible year, but I am still confident he can provide more than some of the players I have in my squad. Who would you drop? Smart seems like the candidate to me, however, I need his steals.

    Interesting free agents are: Myles Turner, Jordan Hill, Burks or Carroll(when healthy), Ginobili, Dudley, Nene, Henson, Jerian Grant.

    What are your thoughts on this team?

    Thanks a lot!

    • Matty

      Matty says:
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      @Lawson: Hey Lawson – what’s good, my friend?

      Yeah, you’ve fallen on some hard luck with that roster – Lillard missed a good chunk of time with his foot issue, Danny Green has inexplicably forgotten how to be good at basketball, Smart/Mudiay/Jones/Nurk have all missed time, and Gordon/Portis haven’t really broken out just yet.

      At least a few of those guys are starting to come around – Jones and Booker especially.

      I’m not a fan of Smart (others who swim in these waters are though) so I’d have no issue cutting him. Larkin is another one who could probably go. And even Joe Johnson, who is getting a crap-ton of minutes, isn’t within shouting distance of the top-150. He can go too.

      I wish I knew when Carroll would be back and 100%. If it’s the All-Star break, you’re still getting seven or eight weeks of him producing at what I hope to be a top-75 level. He struggled throughout the first part of the season more because of his constant nagging injuries than because of his role/opportunity. He’s your guy if he comes back anytime at or before the ASB.

      I’m not a fan of the Indiana bigs – that whole situation is an avoid for me.

      Burks is similar to Carroll, but I don’t like his upside quite as much once he’s back.

      Ginobili, Dudley, Nene and Grant are all passes for me. They might each post a decent game here or there, but none have the consistency or role to be relied upon.

      Henson has that tantalizing upside & potential, but Milwaukee just will not give him a big role. They are running their starting unit into the ground and Henson has only seen 20+ minutes 13 times in 36 games, with a high water mark of 25 (December 29th). You just can’t trust him, unfortunately.

      • Lawson says:
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        @Matty: Then you dont really think its a good idea to get any of the mentioned players?

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