Up until this year, Jimmy Butler looked like he was always going to be a Wesley JohnsonIman Shumpert type of wing. Can get you 13-15 points on a good night, hits a few three balls, shoots crappy from the field and nabs a few steals here and there.

His improvement was steady over his first three seasons, but heading into this year’s fantasy drafts, the thought going through most people’s minds was: This guy’s a sleeper, sure, but Derrick Rose is coming back. If Rose is finally healthy, Butler is a non-factor, and even if he isn’t, we’re not missing out on much.

Right here I instruct you to crank up the volume on your device/computer as loud as you can and click on this link.

Butler came into Friday’s tilt against the Blazers with a string of four straight games where he topped 20, including a 32-point explosion against the Pacers. I’m singling out that Blazers game as a caveat, as Da Bulls entered Portland with no Rose, no Pau Gasol, no Kirk Hinrich and no chance of winning. Butler, who had nine points on 3-13 shooting, joined his teammates in chucking up prayers to try and stay in the game, and almost none of those prayers were answered.

I will say this. The Portland game does expose Butler as a guy who cannot carry a real NBA team. In other words, he is not a healthy Derrick Rose in Derrick Rose’s prime. I think Butler’s value is intrinsically tied to the health of this squad. If, for example, Gasol is healthy, but Rose isn’t, Butler is very valuable. If both are healthy, still valuable, but not as much. If neither is healthy, he will be up and down, struggling against good teams, dominating bad ones.

Long-term, I see a sell-high wing. Yeah, it’ll taste good right now, but later tonight, your significant other will be relegating you to sleeping on the couch. And it won’t be because you snore.

Still hungry? Order up one of these flavors:

Andrew Wiggins – The Wiggins Wing Watch continues. Thaddeus Young’s extended absence has set some things in motion in Minny: Anthony Bennett has been playing well in Young’s starting PF slot, and Wiggins has begun to blossom as the go-to guy in the starting SF spot. But what about when Young comes back? Is Flip Saunders that dumb to start Mo Williams and Corey Brewer and push two of those three guys to the bench? Is it true that Cherokee Parks is hiding under Flip Saunders’ toupee? Most importantly, and relevantly, if Flip does the right thing, and goes with a lineup where Bennett is the starting PF, Young is the SF, and Wiggins is the SG, will Yahoo and ESPN then give Wiggins the coveted G-F designation, thereby anointing him a wing? Still just a drumstick.

Danny Green – It was only a matter of time before Green finally ate up all of Marco Belinellis minutes. The dude has been making everything in sight lately, including a sploogefest against Brooklyn where he shot 8-10 from the field and 5-7 from three-point land, good for 21 points to go along with seven boards and three blocks. Ass-kickin’ Wing.

DeAndre Liggins – Each year, the NBA Developmental League becomes more and more relevant to fantasy, as teams are calling up players from their affiliates and acquiring players from teams in other cities. This year, for example, you should be keeping an eye on the Delaware 87ers, the Sixers’ D-League affiliate, because it’s likely every player on the team will see time at the NBA level. Not sure if the Sixers will be able to land Liggins, a 6-6 wing on the Sioux Falls Skyforce (a Miami Heat affiliate), but I’m sure he’s on Sam Hinkie’s radar. The scouting report says that Liggins is definitely an NBA talent, but is not putting it all together mentally just yet. Yep, perfect for the Sixers. Wing that’s still on the live chicken.

Giannis Antetokounmpo – Big fantasy doings in Brew Town. Owners have been salivating over this guy – and drooling and stuttering in an attempt to say his same – ever since he was drafted with the 15th pick by the Bucks in the 2013 draft. The Alphabet is super-athletic, fast, has multi-cat ability and up until now has embodied Jay Bilas’ favorite term: Upside. No more. The upside appears to be here, as Giannis responded to his promotion to the starting lineup with two great games out of three. He put up 18 points, 12 rebounds, four assists and three steals in a 3OT win against Brooklyn; and 20 points, four boards, five assists and three blocks in a loss Saturday to the Wizards. Wing with Feta cheese on the side.

Gordon Hayward – Here we go again. He had games of 12, 13 and 12 points before busting out for 31 against the Pelicans Saturday on 9-16 from the field and 11-14 from the charity stripe. I’d like to hear from owners in the comments section: Are you frustrated with Hayward or happy? I’m just curious. Mystery Flavored Wing.

Kevin Martin – Gone for at least six weeks with a wrist fracture. Wasn’t there some a-hole fantasy writer who told you to flip Klay Thompson and go with the off-brand wing, aka Kevin Martin? Oh yeah – that was me. I’m sorry! It was a freak injury, OK? I’ll make it up to you. I sort of promise. Wing that fell on the floor.

Sick Grizzlies – Opportunity knocked in the form of puking and liquid turds last week in Memphis, as multiple guys went down with a contagious illness and made scrubs like Quincy Pondexter very fantasy relevant. But now, with everyone healthy, we’ve got a logjam, where you’ve got Tony Allen, Pondexter, Vince Carter and Courtney Lee clogging up the wing spot. Salmonella wing.

The Wings of OKCJeremy Lamb, Anthony Morrow, Andre Roberson, Lance Thomas. The Thunder have tried all kinds of combinations to fill the void of those two big injuries, and while the patchwork approach has worked in real life on a game-to-game basis, the overcrowding of the wing position (only matched by the above Griz and Doug Collins-era Sixers) is making it unsavory for fantasy purposes (at least in normal leagues; in deep leagues, dig in). Wing variety bucket, where all the sauces meld together and end up tasting funky.

Wesley Johnson – I ripped on Wesley Johnson last week, but did you see his stuff on poor Danilo Gallinari last night? Hey, no one’s ever questioned Wes’ athletic ability, or his ability to file numbers in various categories on the stat sheet. The 12 boards against Denver Sunday night were nice, but he hasn’t hit a three-ball, or scored in double digits, since Nov. 12. Ew! Wing from the supermarket deli.

Wilson Chandler – Speaking of Gallinari, Nuggets coach Brian Shaw seems to actually be doing something right: Using Danilo as a prop to get Chandler to play harder. The Mad Scientist of the Mile High City says the starting SF slot is up for grabs between the two of them. And, yeah, Gallinari has started to come on, but come on man. Over his last four games, Chandler is averaging 17.5 ppg and 7.8 rpg, and he bombed the Lakers on Sunday on 5-11 three-point bombs. Jalapeno-Cheddar Wing.

  1. Vidalchow says:
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    1Question – Fantasy Dinasty: Beal or Teague + Gallinari? Thanks

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Vidalchow: Teague side

  2. KD Owner says:
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    14 team 9 cat h2h daily.

    i’m doing really bad in last place given injuries to key players

    kyle o’quin worth a look for long/medium term value?

    alex len dropped, how about him?

    end of bench is Kaman, Papanikolaou, Sloan, Mahinmi, Middleton

    thanks man!

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @KD Owner: Maybe Len over Papa

  3. Hamtime says:
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    Ed Davis, James Johnson, elfrid, oquinn – please rank

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Hamtime: Payton, Johnson, O’Quinn

  4. Dirk's Digglers says:
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    happy with Hayward … those 3 games you mentioned he had indicated he was suffering from illness and only operating at 50-65% … before 31 point game he said he was 100% again … his percentages are up this year and turnovers down a little which points to improved value from last year … multi position eligibility allows you to target extra assists when playing him as forward or rebounds when a guard

      • Dirk's Digglers says:
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        @Pete Nice: not sure what we attribute tonight’s performance to though … although the 3 steals at least added something of value

        • Pete Nice

          Pete Nice says:
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          @Dirk’s Digglers: Seriously man, you just tried to extract a positive out of a 2-11, 6-point night. What is up with you Hayward lovers.

  5. hamtime says:
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    was offered batum for noel+calderon in a 14 man. i accepted, but noel is playing well right now. was this the right move?

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @hamtime: eh I dunno. Noel has that hop in his step that he showed back in college. I think he gonna start blowing up.

  6. hamtime says:
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    rivers or cole ROS?

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @hamtime: Rivers

  7. I am the Walrus says:
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    Wroten or Teletovic?

    • I am the Walrus says:
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      Also Wroten or Korver?

  8. Wen says:
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    Hi Pete, should I hang onto Kelly Olynyk or drop him for Danilo Gallinari once he plays better? Who has better long term value? Thanks for advice.

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Wen: Oly definitely has better long-term (beyond this year) value, and maybe even for this year. Gallinari will probably end up scoring more but that’s about it.

      • Wen says:
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        @Pete Nice: Danilo Gallinari has been playing well enough 3 games in a row now and minutes are rising, so tempting… I don’t think I can drop anyone else in my team below. Maybe Redick, but I need Guard position.

        Stephen Curry, Nicolas Batum, Jamal Crawford, J.J. Redick, Courtney Lee
        Chris Bosh, Marc Gasol, Derrick Favors, Marcin Gortat, David West, Zach Randolph, Greg Monroe, Kelly Olynyk, Draymond Green

  9. Woo says:
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    McGee, or Mason Plum? (long term)

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Woo: Tough one. I’d say McGee this year, Plum long-term.

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Woo: …depending on extent of McGee injury, of course.

  10. Bishop says:
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    Thaddeus Young or Lou Williams?

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Bishop: I like Thad, personally, but it really depends on how the Wolves fit him back into the rotation. It looks like Flip wants him in there to help Wiggins while the others are injured, so he could play off that nicely.

  11. Jepperz says:
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    Lou Will or Swaggy P ROS? Thanks!

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Jepperz: Lou

  12. Real_Cigs says:
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    Pick 2 for ROS, 8 Team 9 Cat H2H: Sanders, Bogut, Dieng

    Also, I’d like to try a 2 for 1 in order to pick up the Alphabet, but not sure where I should be trying to upgrade with my team or punting. Six out of 8 teams make the playoffs, so I’m looking ahead to ROS value and avoiding Cavs/Magic for poor playoff schedules. Any ideas on where I should try to upgrade?

    PG: Dragic, Teague, Knight
    SG: Hayward, W. Matthews
    SF: Durant, Parsons
    PF: Ibaka, Millsap, Kieff Morris, T. Jones
    C: Sanders, Bogut

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Real_Cigs: Yeah you’re pretty banged up eh? Try Bogut for Alpha straight up. Or what about Keif and Jones for Alpha and someone else?

      • Real_Cigs says:
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        @Pete Nice:

        My mistake, I wasn’t clear enough. Alpha is a free agent. I was thinking about offering a 2 for 1 from my team in order to upgrade a position and free up a roster slot for Alpha, but I’m not sure whether I should be aiming to salvage assists or get better quality big guy.

        The other question was Dieng is a free agent, and whether you liked him better for the rest of the season than Sanders or Bogut. I like that Sanders has the 2+ blocks potential, but he hasn’t quite gotten any where close to his ceiling yet this year.

        • Pete Nice

          Pete Nice says:
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          @Real_Cigs: Only problem with the 2-for-1 trade thing is Alpha might not still be out there by the time you engineer a deal. I think Keif, Jones and Bogut are your easiest targets as chips.

          I like Dieng but I’m not sure he’ll hold a starting gig barring a trade.

          I’m holding Sanders in another league too and I feel like I should wait him out, since he’s not getting in trouble off the court. If he gets minutes, he’ll produce.

          • Real_Cigs says:
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            @Pete Nice:

            Thanks for the help. I’ll see what I can do. My league can be really slow to give up on players/pick up guys playing really well on free agency, so there’s a chance.

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