Sunday, January 29, 2012

Week 7 (Yahoo! Week 13) Primer

Here's how the schedule breaks down for next week.

Teams with Five Games
Detroit, Memphis

Teams with Four Games
Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Indiana, L.A. Clippers, Miami, Milwaukee, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Orleans, New York, Oklahoma, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland, San Antonio, Toronto, Utah, Washington

Teams with Three Games
Atlanta, Charlotte, Cleveland, Golden State, L.A., Lakers, Sacramento

ANALYSIS
  • Be sure to start Tony Allen, Brandon Knight, OJ Mayo, Rodney Stuckey, and Austin Daye.
  • Tayshaun Prince is a good play this week.
  • Dante Cunningham, Marreese Speights, and Jonas Jerebko are usable.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Overrated and Underrated Players in Yahoo!

One great way to gain advantage in your Yahoo! league is to use the sometimes wacky Yahoo! rankings to your advantage, trading overrated players for underrated ones.  To identify overrated and underrated players, you can use Basketball Monster's rankings set to your specific league settings and compare them to the Yahoo! rankings.  Of course, that can be time consuming, which is why I have compiled a list of overrated and underrated players in standard eight-category leagues for your convenience.  (I used season averages.)  I'll update this periodically.

Underrated Players in Yahoo!
  • John Wall - Ranked 118 in Yahoo! but 61 by Basketball Monster
  • Kyrie Irving - Ranked 60 in Yahoo! but 34 by BM
  • Blake Griffin - Ranked 138 in Yahoo! but 77 by BM
  • Andrew Bynum - Ranked 67 in Yahoo! but 43 by BM
  • DeMarcus Cousins - Ranked 79 in Yahoo! but 55 by BM
  • DJ Augustin - Ranked 73 in Yahoo! but 57 by BM
  • Rudy Gay - Ranked 85 in Yahoo! but 65 by BM
  • Nene Hilario - Ranked 107 in Yahoo! but 74 by BM
  • Tyreke Evans - Ranked 117 in Yahoo! but 82 by BM
  • Stephen Jackson - Ranked 131 in Yahoo! but 87 by BM
  • Paul Pierce - Ranked 92 in Yahoo! but 75 by BM
  • Amare Stoudemire - Ranked 109 in Yahoo! but 86 by BM
  • Brandon Knight - Ranked 155 in Yahoo! but 96 by BM
  • Ben Gordon - Ranked 161 in Yahoo! but 108 by BM
  • Raymond Felton - Ranked 185 in Yahoo! but 114 by BM
  • Chris Kaman - Ranked 147 in Yahoo! but 116 by BM
  • Zach Randolph - Ranked 150 in Yahoo! but 118 by BM
Overrated Players in Yahoo!
  • Samuel Dalembert - Ranked 31 in Yahoo! but 64 in BM
  • James Harden - Ranked 29 in Yahoo! but 51 by BM
  • Kris Humphries - Ranked 38 in Yahoo! but 60 by BM
  • Elton Brand - Ranked 56 in Yahoo! but 80 by BM
  • Kevin Martin - Ranked 41 in Yahoo! but 68 by BM
  • Dirk Nowitzki - Ranked 42 in Yahoo! but 59 by BM
  • Luol Deng - Ranked 48 in Yahoo! but 62 by BM
  • Carlos Boozer - Ranked 53 in Yahoo! but 67 by BM
  • MarShon Brooks - Ranked 65 in Yahoo! but 78 by BM
  • George Hill - Ranked 57 in Yahoo! but 83 by BM
  • Wesley Matthews - Ranked 64 in Yahoo! but 84 by BM
  • Carlos Delfino - Ranked 72 in Yahoo! but 94 by BM 
  • Serge Ibaka - Ranked 75 in Yahoo! but 97 by BM
  • Nicolas Batum - Ranked 80 in Yahoo! but 105 by BM
  • Shawn Marion - Ranked 87 in Yahoo! but 107 by BM 
  • Richard Jefferson - Ranked 91 in Yahoo! but 112 by BM
  • JJ Redick - Ranked 81 in Yahoo! but 113 by BM
  • Dorell Wright - Ranked 88 in Yahoo! but 117 by BM

Week 6 (Yahoo! Week 12) Primer

Here's how the schedule breaks down for next week.

Teams with five games
Orlando

Teams with four games
Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Indiana, Memphis, Miami, Milwaukee, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland, San Antonio, Toronto, Washington

Teams with three games
Denver, Golden State, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Oklahoma City, Sacramento, Utah

ANALYSIS
  • JJ Redick is a good play this week.
  • Jason Richardson and Jameer Nelson should be in your lineup.
  • Glen Davis is usable at center.
  • Don't bench Ty Lawson, Monta Ellis, Russell Westbrook, Kobe, Pau, or Andrew Bynum.
  • Danilo Gallinari, Nene, James Harden, Al Jefferson, and Paul Millsap should probably remain in your lineup.
  • David Lee, Blake Griffin, and DeMarcus Cousins are still usable in average to deep leagues. 
  • Andre Miller, Tyreke Evans, and Marcus Thornton are borderline plays.
  • Rudy Fernandez, Dorell Wright, Caron Butler, DeAndre Jordan, Matt Barnes, and Serge Ibaka should probably be on your bench.
  • Al Harrington, Arron Afflalo, Mo Williams, Devin Harris, and Derek Fisher should definitely be on your bench.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Top Per-Minute Performers

In addition to shedding light on the most potent fantasy performers, per-minute numbers can reveal unheralded players poised to provide fantasy value should their playing time increase. So with that in mind, I provide a list of the top per-minute performers each week using rankings from Basketball Monster calculated with the standard eight categories and omitting players who don't meet a minimum number of minutes.  This week, used a minimum of 50 minutes played. Go to Basketball Monster for a full list with stats.  Comments in line.
  1. Manu Ginobili - Impressive for the 34 year old veteran
  2. LeBron James
  3. Kyle Lowry - I drafted him in the fourth round :)
  4. Kobe Bryant - Guess he's not on the decline after all!
  5. Corey Brewer - Now this is surprising.  He's always been a steals machine, but he's also providing a good amount of points and blocks this year, averaging 7.2 points, 0.7 threes, 0.4 blocks, and a steal in just 12 minutes per contest.  To put that into perspective, that extrapolates to 22 points, 2.1 threes, three steals, and 1.2 blocks if he were getting 36 minutes a game.  So be sure to keep tabs on the Denver SG/SF situation.  Coach George Karl said he plans to play him more. 
  6. Kevin Durant
  7. CJ Watson - Wow.  Watson is averaging 1.2 threes, 3.4 assists, and 1.2 steals a game in under 14 minutes per game.  I don't expect this to continue, though.
  8. Carmelo Anthony
  9. Stephen Curry
  10. Kyrie Irving - More than justifying the first overall pick
  11. Danny Green - Contributes in every category but currently stuck in a timeshare with Gary Neal
  12. Ryan Anderson
  13. Jordan Farmar - Would have nice value if Deron were to miss time
  14. Kevin Love
  15. Spencer Hawes - Still looking like the steal of fantasy drafts
  16. Derrick Rose
  17. Chris Paul
  18. Mario Chalmers - Averaging 1.9 threes, 1.8 steals in 29 minutes.  Interesting to note that he is much higher than Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
  19. James Harden
  20. DeMarcus Cousins
  21. Al Harrington
  22. Rodrigue Beaubois - Averaging 5.3 points, 0.6 threes, 2.5, 1.6 assists, 1.2 steals, and 0.4 blocks in just 13 minutes.  Note that, in 2009-10, Beaubois finished as the 10th highest per-minute value of players who played in more than 20 games.  He just needs minutes to be a stud!
  23. Ty Lawson
  24. Samuel Dalembert - Dalembert ranked in the top 50 in per-minute value in 2009-10, so this is no fluke for the elite shot blocker.  His minutes appear to be on the rise, so this would be a good time to buy low.
  25. Steve Nash
  26. Danilo Gallinari
  27. Andris Biedrins - See my earlier post on Biedrins.
  28. Deron Williams
  29. Paul Millsap
  30. Greg Monroe
  31. Markieff Morris - Surprising number of threes from a big guy
  32. Nikola Vucevic - Could be huge if Spencer Hawes misses time
  33. Jason Terry
  34. Ray Allen
  35. Ricky Rubio - His production should only go up as he gets more minutes and comfort
  36. Marcin Gortat
  37. Monta Ellis
  38. Dirk Nowitzki
  39. Greg Stiemsma - Blocking an absurd 1.8 blocks per game in less than 12 minutes.  Maybe Tommy Heinsohn's comparison to Bill Russell wasn't so crazy.
  40. LaMarcus Aldridge
  41. Ronny Turiaf - Won't hold up
  42. Louis Williams
  43. Dwyane Wade
  44. Matt Barnes - Has provided very good value at times in the past, so this is not a shock
  45. Hedo Turkoglu
  46. Jeff Foster - Won't hold up
  47. Isaiah Thomas - Is this 1985?  The backcourt is crowded in Sacramento, but Thomas could provide value if Marcus Thornton or Tyreke Evans miss time.
  48. Jose Calderon
  49. John Lucas - Again, 1985?  Lucas has clearly played well, but there's a little problem of Derrick Rose standing in the way of PT.
  50. Andre Iguodala
  51. Brandon Jennings
  52. Andrea Bargnani
  53. Marc Gasol
  54. Rajon Rondo
  55. Roy Hibbert
  56. Delonte West - Won't hold up
  57. Russell Westbrook
  58. Ramon Sessions - Problem is Kyrie Irving! 
  59. Channing Frye
  60. Iman Shumpert - Dropped since last time but still producing...especially in steals
  61. Anthony Randolph - Definitely worth a stash in hopes he soon takes over for Darko. Was in the top 25 in per-minute value in 2009-10.
  62. Al Jefferson
  63. Andrew Bynum
  64. Mike Conley
  65. Jerryd Bayless
  66. Jamal Crawford
  67. Gerald Wallace
  68. Anthony Morrow - Was in the top 80 in per-minute value two seasons ago
  69. Chauncey Billups
  70. Pau Gasol
  71. Von Wafer - Don't expect him to sustain this
  72. Kevin Seraphin - Premier shot blocker 
  73. Nate Robinson - Nate has provided value before when given minutes
  74. JaVale McGee
  75. Vladimir Radmanovic - Was actually a top-60 per-minute performer last year
  76. DJ Augustin
  77. George Hill
  78. Kyle Korver - Too streaky
  79. MarShon Brooks
  80. Jrue Holiday
  81. Rudy Fernandez
  82. Sundiata Gaines - Won't hold up
  83. Nene Hilario
  84. Chris Bosh - Overrated.  Checkout the Boshtrich video.  Hilarious
  85. Chris Kaman
  86. Terrel Harris - Skewed by one game in which he pulled down 14 boards.  He has five other rebounds on the season.
  87. Marcus Thornton
  88. Stephen Jackson
  89. Josh Smith - Very disappointing
  90. Kosta Koufos - Not a top-200 per-minute performer in either of the last two seasons
  91. Wesley Matthews
  92. Paul George
  93. Juan Jose Barea
  94. Tyson Chandler
  95. JJ Redick
  96. Greivis Vasquez
  97. Byron Mullens
  98. Al Horford
  99. Tim Duncan
  100. Blake Griffin - Just more evidence that he's better in reality than fantasy.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Week 5 (Yahoo! Week 11) Primer

Here's how the schedule breaks down for next week.

Teams with Five Games
Los Angeles Clippers

Teams with Four Games
Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles Lakers, Memphis, Miami, Milwaukee, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Orleans, New York, Orlando, Philadelphia, Portland, Sacramento, San Antonio, Toronto, Washington

Teams with Three Games
Golden State, Indiana, Oklahoma City, Phoenix, Utah

ANALYSIS
  • Make sure DeAndre Jordan, Caron Butler, and obviously Chauncey Billups active.
  • Mo Williams is a safe play.
  • David Lee's value takes a hit, but he should still provide decent production if he plays like he has in his last two games.
  • Consider benching Dorell Wright given the low number of games, his lack of production, and the knee bruise that caused him to miss Thursday's game.
  • I know I advised picking up Andris Biedrins, but this is probably not the week to plug him in unless you are really hurting at that second center spot.
  • You should still start Danny Granger and Russell Westbrook.
  • You should probably still use James Harden and Al Jefferson, unless you're in a shallow league.
  • If you're league has two centers, you'll probably need to use Marcin Gortat, Roy Hibbert, and Serge Ibaka; if it has one, you can bench them.
  • Channing Frye is a borderline play at best, but keep in mind that he is trending upward...kind of.
  • Paul Millsap, Paul George, Darren Collison, and Jared Dudley aren't great plays this week.
  • If you're stacked at guard, Steve Nash might be the odd man out this week.
  • Bench Grant Hill, Markieff Morris, David West, Devin Harris, and George Hill.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Get Biedrins!

With news that Kwame Brown will be out at least three months due to a torn pectoral muscle, scooping up Andris Biedrins would be a smarter move than you might think.  First of all, fantasy veterans know that the big Latvian used to be a stud.  In the 2008-09 season, he averaged 11.9 points, 11.2 rebounds, 1.6 blocks, and a steal per game.  He shot a miserable 55 percent from the line but balanced that off with a 57.8 percent from the field.  And it's not like he was a one-hit wonder; he put up similar numbers the previous year...as a 22 year old at that.  Since then various injuries have contributed to a major dropoff.  There was hope that he would make a comeback this season--especially after a promising first game in which he went for 10-8-3 in just 20 minutes.  However, a timeshare with Kwame Brown and Ekpe Udoh and a sprained ankle have limited his court time.  But a look at Basketball Monster's per-minute rankings has Biedrins at 37 on the season so for the standard eight categories.  He may only be averaging 3.7 points, 5.0 boards, 1.5 blocks, and 0.7 steals, but then again he's only been logging 13 minutes a contest.  Double those minutes, and theoretically you are looking at 7.4 points, 10 boards, 3 blocks, and 1.4 steals.  Great numbers for a guy off the scrap heap! 

Sure, injuries (and foul trouble) may continue to be an issue for Biedrins, but given his past success and the fact that he's still only 25 years old, those looking for a center ought to jump on this opportunity.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Iman Shumpert Looks Legit

After his big performance tonight, in which he started the second half at the point and finished with five steals, seven assists, ten points, and a three in 37 minutes, New York's Iman Shumpert has firmly grabbed the attention of the fantasy world.  But who is Iman Shumpert exactly?  Well, as you may know, he is a rookie who was drafted by the Knicks with the 17th overall pick in 2011.  He impressed right out of the gate in this season's opener against the Celtics on Christmas Day, looking explosive, versatile, confident, and composed in that game.  A genuine "Who is this guy???" moment.  Unfortunately, however, he suffered a sprained MCL in that game and missed two weeks before returning on Wednesday, when he once again impressed with an all-category buffet of 18 points, four threes, five rebounds, three assists, two steals, and a block.  So tonight's performance makes three eye-opening outings in three tries.  And judging by his resume, it appears the 6-5 "combo guard" indeed has the tools to not only succeed in the NBA but also to provide in many fantasy categories.  During his last season at Georgia Tech, he led the Yellow Jackets in scoring, assists, and rebounds--not to mention he ranked seventh in the nation in steals.  Then at the 2011 combine, he "stole the show" and looked "like clearly the most physically gifted player in this entire draft class" according to Draft Express.

Hats off to the Knicks for stealing him, and hats off to you as well if you grabbed him before anyone else could.  We may be looking at the next Kyle Lowry.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Week 4 (Yahoo! Week 10) Breakdown

Here's how the schedule breaks down for the coming week.

Teams with Five Games
Charlotte, Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia, and Toronto

Teams with Four Games
Atlanta, Dallas, Denver, Golden State, Houston, Indiana, Los Angeles Lakers, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Orleans, New York, Phoenix, Portland, Sacramento, San Antonio, Utah, and Washington

Teams with Three Games
Boston, Cleveland, Los Angeles Clippers, Memphis, Miami, Milwaukee, and Oklahoma City

Teams with Two Games
Orlando

Analysis

  • Make sure you get DJ Augustin, Joakim Noah, Ben Gordon, Rodney Stuckey, Boris Diaw, Thaddeus Young, DeMar DeRozan, and Gerald Henderson active.
  • You probably want to use Richard Hamilton, Lou Williams, Amir Johnson, and Corey Maggette (if healthy).
  • Strongly consider using Tyrus Thomas, if he's healthy.
  • You could do worse than Jonas Jerebko, Evan Turner, James Johnson, or Leandro Barbosa.
  • If there was ever a time to take a leap of faith on DJ White....But of course Tyrus Thomas is due back soon, so stay on top of the situation if you're thinking about using White.
  • Kemba Walker and Brandon Knight still don't belong in your starting lineup.
  • Shallow leaguers might want to bench Brandon Jennings, James Harden, Kevin Garnett, Rudy Gay, Ray Allen, and Blake Griffin.
  • Give Mike Conley, Serge Ibaka, Kyrie Irving, Carlos Delfino, Stephen Jackson,  DeAndre Jordan, Antawn Jamison, and Anderson Varejao the week off.  

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Evan Turner Turns it on

Evan Turner broke out for 21 points (on 8 of 12 shooting), six rebounds, and four assists.  Equally as encouraging, he logged 30 minutes for the first time this year.  Is this the start of something good for the talented sophomore who was taken with the 2nd pick in the 2010 draft?  Well it's possible.  That said, Lou Williams, Turner's competition for minutes, has certainly earned his playing time.  (In fact, he's the 58th ranked player in terms of per-minute value according to Basketball Monster's rankings.)  But Williams played a season low 21 minutes tonight.  While it's very possible Doug Collins was going with the hot hand, this should just reinforce that Turner deserves to be firmly planted on your radar if not stashed on your bench.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Waiver Alert: Greg Stiemsma

With Jermaine O'Neal out due to a hamstring injury, Greg Stiemsma got the start at center for the Celtics tonight.  With five minutes left in the game, he had 13 points, seven boards, two assists and two blocks.  Stiemsma is essentially an unknown, but if O'Neal misses significant time, he will almost certainly provide fantasy value.  The reigning NBDL Defensive Player of the Year, the big guy can swat shots with the best of them.  In fact, he averaged 3.6 rejections a game during his time in the NBDL.  With enough PT, he could also provide an acceptable amount of rebounds.  And, despite not being much of a scorer to this point, he has actually displayed a nice shot.  So there's a chance he won't hurt you too badly in the points column.  Being a Celtics fan, I've seen a lot of Stiemsma, and I definitely like what I see.  Chances of O'Neal missing time or disappointing are good, so Stiemsma makes a nice pick-up candidate.
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