With the fantasy play-offs just around the corner, The Fantasy Dudes have taken a look at the top 3 players in each category over the past 30 days. Something to keep in mind if your league can still accept trades, or to plan against if facing these players:
Field Goal % (min. 10 points per game): Dwight Howard (66.1%), Tyson Chandler (59.6%), Thaddeus Young (58.2%).
Free Throw % (min. 2 attempts per game): Jodie Meeks (94.6%), George Hill (94.3%), Grant Hill (93.9%).
Three Pointers Made: Channing Fyre (3.0)* note, out 2-3 weeks, Ray Allen (2.5), Nick Young (2.4).
Points Scored: Carmelo Anthony (28.6), Amare Stoudemire (27.1), LaMarcus Aldridge (26.8).
Rebounds Per Game: Kevin Love (16.5), Dwight Howard (14.7), Zach Randolph (12.2).
Assists Per Game: Deron Williams (13.1), Steve Nash (12.7), Jose Calderon (11.1).
Steals Per Game: Rajon Rondo (2.3), Monta Ellis (2.3), Brandon Jennings (2.1).
Blocks Per Game: Dwight Howard (3.0), Andrew Bogut (2.9), Al Jefferson (2.3).
Turnovers Per Game: Deron Williams (4.3), Derrick Rose (4.1), DeMarcus Cousins (4.0).
Minutes Per Game: LaMarcus Aldridge, Wesley Matthews, Dwight Howard.
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Rudy Gay, Tyreke Evans, Caron Butler, Antawn Jamison... these are just a few players who have been hit by injuries, no doubt throwing the hopes and ambitions of many a fantasy owner out the window.
With the fantasy basketball play-offs on the horizon, now is not the time to bother with any injured players. Whilst they may look appealing if and when they return from injury, they still need time to work their way back into form.
If you are fighting for a play-off spot, then you have no time to waste. If a player is to miss 3-4 games, then it may be time to cut ties with them (you are better off with a waiver wire selection that is playing than a start that isn't). If on the other hand you have the luxury of an upcoming bye or a play-off spot secured, you may be able to wear the costs in the short-term, but beward when it comes to money time (such as Tyrus Thomas).
Such players that are red flagged include:
Channing Frye (dislocated shoulder), Trevor Ariza (groin), Eric Gordon (wrist), Antawn Jamison (finger), Kendrick Perkins (strained MCL), Memhet Okur (back), Drew Gooden (plantar fasciitis), Shaq (achillies), Caron Butler (knee), Reggie Evans (broken foot), Glen Davis (patellar tendinitis) and Tyrus Thomas (knee). If you own any of these players, we would highly re-consider their position on your team.
As for Chris Paul. He will miss Monday's game against Chicago. Check back for his status throughout the week. Jarrett Jack makes for a great short-term addition.
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In a new segment, The Fantasy Dudes look at random fantasy football performances in recent years. It may be the off-season, but Fantasy Football is always on our mind. If you have a question, feel free to shoot it through to us to answer.
In week 1 of the 2010-11 NFL season, Arian Foster shocked many by putting up a stellar fantasy performance, in doing so, cementing the feet of Steve Slaton firmly on the bench for the rest of the season. Arian will likely be selected in the top picks next fantasy season... not bad for an undrafted player in real life.
231 yards rushing (33 carries)
7 yards receiving (1 catch)
In this article, The Fantasy Dudes take a look at those players that performed strongly for the month of February, but may have flown under the radar in fantasy leagues, hence 'the underrated':
PG: Kyle Lowry - Aaron who??? Kyle is now the man in Houston, and over the past month he has shown why. He averaged 15.6 points, 6.6 assists, 3.5 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 2.3 three's a game. Fantasy owners shoot note that he does shoot poorly from the FT line at 68%, but thankfully he doesn't shoot many (under 3 pg).
SG: Ray Allen - The three point record holder does do more than just shoot three's. Over the past month he averaged 18.8 points, 3 rebounds, 1.3 steals and shot extremely well... but yes, those 2.6 three's per game do help.
SF: Luol Deng - One of the top players in minutes per game played, he is a vital part of the Bulls team. Over February Luol produced 17.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.2 steals, 0.7 blocks and 1.3 three's a game.
PF: Amir Johnson - With Reggie Evans out, Amir was asked to step up his production. He was likely on many fantasy free agency lists, but for those owners that picked him up, they certainly found the pot at the end of the rainbow. Over the past month he put up 10.5 points and 7.6 rebounds, but more importantly, he also produced a steal and 2.2 blocks a game. Check out how pumped his teammates are below... DeRozan must have him in his fantasy team!!!
C: Elton Brand - It was not long ago that Elton was a fantasy beast, but injuries took its toll. He is healthy again this season and playing well. Over February he averaged 16.7 points, 9.1 rebounds, 1 steal and 1.2 blocks. The fact that he shot over 54% from the field also helps.
Utility: Channing Frye - Another likely waiver wire pick-up, Channing has benefitted greatly from the Suns/Magic trade. Over the past month he produced 15.8 points, 7.6 rebounds and 3 three's per game.
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The Fantasy Dudes have reviewed the stats over the past 30 days and have come up with our March team of Hakeem High-tops, that is, those players that have performed strongly from a fantasy perspective. No doubt that your team would have done well if you feature some of them:
PG: Chauncey Billups - The veteran put aside trade talks and just continued to play ball. Whilst he did end up getting traded in the Melo deal, his production hasn't dropped (when many thought it would). Over the past month Chauncey has put up 19.1 points, 6 assists, 1.1 steals and 2.3 three's a game... don't forget, he is almost flawless (93%) from the stripe in almost 7 attempts a game.
SG: Kevin Martin - Kevin's name isn't mentioned much in fantasy leagues, and he often goes unnoticed in fantasy drafts. Fortunately for those owners that drafted him, he lifted his game immensely for the Rockets. Over the month of February he averaged 22.6 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.2 three's, 1.6 steals, and like Billups, can win you the FT stat on his own, with 90% shooting from the line (he averages 8 free throw shots a game).
SF: Andre Iguodala - Whilst he did not start the season well, he has been extremely effective of late as he has been given the opportunity to handle the ball more for the Sixers. Over the past month he averaged 14 points, 6.5 rebounds, 8 assists (yes, 8!!!), 1.5 steals and 1 three per game.
PF: LaMarcus Aldridge - Ok, Portland have been missing a number of players, but that shouldn't discount what LaMarcus has been doing. Despite missing out on an all-star selection to Kevin Love, he just keeps that smile on the face of his fantasy owners. Over the past 30 days he has put up 25.8 points, 8.7 rebounds, 1.4 blocks, 1.4 steals on 52% shooting from the field (and an impressive FT too!).
C: Al Jefferson - No Deron, no problems... Over the past month Big Al has put up 23.7 points, 9.8 rebounds, 2.3 blocks and has shot over 55%. Over this same time period, he would be classed as one of the top 3 performers period in fantasy leagues. He's not flashy, but he is extremely valuable, and worth trading for if you have the opportunity.
If you have a question for The Fantasy Dudes, feel free to contact us on twitter (follow us) or via email (thefantasydudes [at] gmail.com).
On Friday night (2/25/11) against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Dwight Howard put up a huge fantasy line. The Thunder, pre-Kendrick Perkins' arrival, watched as Superman 2.0 piled on 40 points (16/20 FG, 8/12 FT), 15 rebounds, 6 blocks and 2 steals. The only downside was his five turnovers.
Check out video of Dwight's big night:
The trades just keep coming. It was announced that the Houston Rockets shipped off disgruntled Aaron Brooks in exchange for the Phoenix Suns point guard Goran Dragic as well as a future draft pick.
Brooks has been a major disappointment this season, with his stats down across the board. This trade won't help his cause either, as he will now sit behind Steve Nash, making him droppable in most leagues. Surprisingly, he is still owned in 70% of leagues. Last year's most improved player will need to have a big improvement in his attitude in Phoenix.
As for Dragic, whilst he will still be a backup in Houston, he will likely see more minutes off the bench. Goran has shown signs of brilliance when given time on the court (strong play in the playoffs). From a fantasy perspective, he is best left on waivers, however if he were to surpass Kyle Lowry on the depth chart, he would certainly be worth a look.
Kyle Lowry's fantasy value takes a slight hit, and he had better look over his shoulder for the rest of the season.
This trade has no further fantasy impact on any other player as it was pretty much a straight swap.
What went down: The Charlotte Bobcats traded defensive star Gerald "Crash" Wallace to the Portland Trail Blazers for center Joel "Ghost Faced Killa" Przybilla, forward Dante Cunningham, Kiwi center Sean Marks and two future first round draft picks.
Let's take a look at the impact for both teams from a fantasy perspective.
Portland Trail Blazers: Przybilla and Cunningham both had attracted the lion's share of minutes in the middle for the Blazers, due to the vast number of injuries that the Blazers have had to big men such as Marcus Camby, Greg Oden and the now departed Fabricio Oberto. Suddenly, this means that the Blazers may be playing a lot of small ball -- with Wallace becoming a small power forward, as he was in Charlotte at many times.
LaMarcus Aldridge is likely to see a lot more time at center, particularly when Camby is still injured and the Blazers will often go with a starting lineup that looks like this:
PG Andre Miller
SG Wesley Matthews
SF Nicolas Batum
PF Gerald Wallace
C LaMarcus Aldridge
The bench rotation will consist of Brandon Roy (when healthy -- he has currently been put on a regime which consists of 15 minutes per game), Rudy Fernandez, Marcus Camby (when healthy), TJ Ford (rumored to be signing with the Blazers once he is bought out by the Pacers), Patty Mills (limited minutes with the addition of Ford) and Luke Babbitt (likely to get increased minutes at both forward spots due to the lack of depth up front).
So suddenly, the Blazers are very thin up front and as such, Wallace and Aldridge should put up very tasty numbers for their fantasy owners. Expect Wallace to continue to bring down double figure rebounds on most nights, get his 1+ steals and blocks per game and for Aldridge to maintain his stellar form of 2010-11.
The Blazers know only too well what Wallace can do. Watch this alley-oop dunk by Crash on Greg Oden.
Charlotte Bobcats:This was a particularly hard trade to sell to Bobcats fans. Crash Wallace was the face of this franchise for seven seasons and a fan favorite. His departure leaves a particularly large gap in the roster that many would find hard to swallow. Take a look at the lack of mention of names in this letter from Chairman Michael Jordan and you realize how hard a sell this is.
On the other hand, the Bobcats did this with the future in mind -- as much as they half-heartedly claimed that it was part of their push for the playoffs this season. (Yeah, Sean Marks will help you with that much more than Crash would.) They've acquired some draft picks that certainly will come in handy for a franchise that is young and rebuilding, a young forward who has shown great potential as a role player in Cunningham and the expiring contract of Przybilla who has indicated previously that he will likely retire, rather than move teams.
Given that the incoming players make little impact on the Bobcats roster in 2010/11, what does this mean for the existing Bobcats? Wallace led the team in rebounds and was second in scoring, steals and blocks. That means that suddenly a lot more shots are available to the likes of DJ Augustin, Boris Diaw, Tyrus Thomas (once returned from injury) and probably Captain Jack, Stephen Jackson.
Look for the rebounding load to be picked up significantly by Diaw and Thomas, with Kwame Brown (yes, Kwame!!!) and Nazr Mohammed also likely to benefit through the additional minutes down low. Dante Cunningham, as he did in Portland, will do his share of the work too -- always a great hustle player.
Overall: The Blazers got the better of this trade in the short term, as they surprisingly push for the playoffs in fifth seed in the West, despite all of their injuries. They have brought in another player who has had his fair share of injuries and put themselves on the hook for $10m this year and next, with Crash having the player option in 2012-13 at the same rate. From a fantasy perspective, Wallace's production should continue at a similar rate, as should most of the Blazers. In Charlotte, look for Jackson and Augustin to increase their scoring, with Diaw and Thomas to pick up their rebounding and blocks.
The Oklahoma City Thunder have just agreed to deal Jeff Green and Nenad Kristic to the Boston Celtics for Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson.
This is a very strange move in our books for the Celtics. Perkins makes a big difference inside, and is an upgrade on both the O'neal's. As a result, whilst Green adds depth to the team, this is indeed a big loss, and will be felt come playoff time. On the flip side, the Thunder have secured the services of a big man they desperately needed. Perkings has playoff experience, and that will come into play against the likes of the Lakers, Spurs and Mavericks to name a few.
Here are our fantasy impacts:
Celtics: Green owners can't be happy with this trade. He goes from being a starter to a bench role. He will likely see his production drop across the board, perhaps with the exception of 3's. Erdan was also traded away from the Celtics, meaning that Kristic will see some time in the short-term with the O'neal's out. Probably the person that benefits the most is Big Baby, as his minutes should increase quite a lot down the stretch for fantasy as Shaq is rested to prepare for the NBA playoffs.
Thunder: Perkins value should see a slight increase, especially as he continues to return from injury... he will continue to be a good source of rebounds, blocks and good FG %, and should be picked up in deep leagues. As for the other players? It all depends on who they start... its likely that Ibaka moves into starting lineup at PF, Perkins mans the middle and the other positions remain. In this case, we see now real change to any one's value. However, if they go small and move Harden into starting lineup and Ibaka to bench, then Serge's stats will dwindle a little, especially as they have also acquire Nazr Mohammed in a separate deal. Nate Robinson will continue his role as backup, and his stats should remain on par with what he did in Boston.
I'll see your Melo and raise you D-Will! Huge trade today between Utah and New Jersey - let's assess the fantasy impact of this trade.
Utah Jazz gets Devin Harris, Derrick Favors, two future 1st round draft picks, and cash considerations from New Jersey.
New Jersey gets Deron Williams, Dan Gadzuric and Brandon Wright
Deron Williams, PG: D-Will will be asked to carry NJ's scoring and play-making load, so expect his points tallies to increase slightly (already at a career high 21.3 pts p/g). He will no longer have a rich list of bigs to hit, but he still will target a strong scorer in the paint in Brooke Lopez - his assists will probably take a small hit, but his rebounds will go up. Either way, don't lose any sleep over this trade if you are a Williams owner.
Brook Lopez, C: This is good news for BroLo owners - playing with an elite PG should do wonders for Lopez' game.
Anthony Morrow, Sasha Vujacic, SG: Likewise, expect Morrow and Sasha to receive better open looks playing alongside D-Will.
Kris Humphries, PF/C: Perhaps the biggest winner in this trade is Humphries, as he will slot straight back into the starting PF role. Grab him immediately if he's available.
Devin Harris, PG: In a reversal of Williams' fortunes, expect Harris' scoring to decrease, as he will take a back seat to Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson. However, look for his assists to spike upwards.
Derrick Favors, PF/C: Favors will go straight to the bench on the Jazz, and don't expect him to start again this year. Favors is now droppable in most leagues.