Fantasy Basketball: Music of the Traffic – Week 5

McHaleThe Houston Rockets just weren’t getting it done, so GM Daryl Morey made a change.

If you guessed Kevin McHale would be the first coach fired this season, you either had a 2015 version of Gray’s Sports Almanac, followed the George Costanza “do the opposite” strategy or you’re just lying. In any event, McHale, the coach with the highest winning percentage in Rockets Franchise History, is out.

When your team is not meeting their expectations, you need to address the reasons why and typically that involves making some changes. They don’t have to be drastic, but do need to alter the course of your squad.

Fantasy Hoops is no different in this respect, so cutting that dead weight – the guys who’ve not lived up to expectations – is the best way to start to move forward.

As always, Downtown is here, listening to the Music of the Traffic, so you can do the opposite of what you’ve been doing and start collecting W’s again.

Week 2 (Nov 23 – Nov 29)



2 Games: CHI, POR

It’s a pretty standard schedule this week with 16 teams playing 4 times, 12 teams going 3 times, while the Bulls and Blazers tip-off only twice. So, it could be a good opportunity to try to buy low on Nikola Mirotic, but adding a suddenly productive Taj Gibson is probably not the best move this week.

The following players may be available in standard 10 or 12 team leagues.

Avery Bradley (G, BOS): Bradley is a tough one to figure out. He varies between very productive and borderline roster-worthy in any season, so it’s a matter of picking those spots. Now is one of those spots where he belongs in most leagues given he’s averaged 18.5 pts (.554 FG%), 2.3 3ptm, 3reb, 2.3ast and 2stl over his past 4 games. Bradley is available in 39% of Yahoo and 58% of ESPN leagues.

Jae Crowder (F, BOS): An afterthought in the Rondo to Dallas trade (as was Dwight Powell), Crowder has taken control of that SF spot for Brad Stevens and won’t let it go. Like his teammate Mr. Bradley, Crowder has been especially good of late to the tune of 14.8pts, 5reb, 2stl 1.6 3ptm and a respectable .446FG% over his past 5. In Boston, he’s a Crowder-pleaser. For your fantasy squad, he’s sure to please too.

Will Barton (G/F, DEN): I’ll be honest – I don’t buy this production. I just don’t. I’m not sure why, but for some reason I feel like he’s a flash-in-the-pan and we’ll all have forgotten about him in a month or two. However, it’s not up to me to tell you not to own a guy who’s produced top-30 value on the season so far. We’ve had more than enough of a sample size to see he’s got value in 12-team leagues, if not all leagues while he’s playing like this and Wilson Chandler’s absence will only prolong that value. Over the past 5 games, Barton has dropped 17pts, 2.2 3ptm, 6.4reb, 2.8ast, 1.6stl, 0.8blk and .516 FG% in over 30mpg. That cannot be ignored, so I guess, ride it out folks – or just own him and tell me I’m wrong next month, or now …. whatever works.

C.J. Miles (G/F, IND): I’ll be brief. He’s back from injury, he’s starting again and he’s on fire. Shooting exactly .500 from the field over his last 4 games to the tune of 16pts, 2.3reb, 1.5ast, 1stl and 2.8 3ptm, Miles is out there for the taking in 72% of Yahoo and 85% of ESPN leagues and should be owned in all 12-team leagues right now.

Mario Chalmers (G, MEM): A change is as good as a holiday right? Right. Chalmers, since moving from South Beach to Beale Street, is loving life. In his first 3 games he played 20.3mpg and produced 18.7pts on .522 FG% (.583 3FG%), while adding 2.3 3ptm, 2.3ast and 1.7stl. That’s good for top-25 value over that span and he’s owned in just 27% of Yahoo and 18% of ESPN league. He struggled a little yesterday, but still scored 10pts with 4reb, 3ast and a steal. Make that change … and have yourself a holiday.Mario ChalmersJeff Green (G/F, MEM): Chalmers’ new teammate, Jeff Green, seemed to have turned things around for himself too before yesterday’s sub-par effort. In the previous 3 games, he busted out with top-30 value to the tune of 18.3pts, 4.7reb, 2ast, 1.3stl, and 1 3ptm in 33mpg. He’s available in 63% of Yahoo and 73% of ESPN leagues and should be grabbed in 12-14 team leagues while he’s performing like this.

Zach LaVine (G, MIN):  A popular late round pick in drafts this season, LaVine’s value took a hit when he was no longer starting on opening night. Instead he’s been playing mostly as a back-up point guard and made the most of it when Rubio missed some time earlier this month. Even since Ricky’s return, the UCLA product is utilising his time at both guard spots, showcasing the talent, speed and athleticism that made him a lottery pick the year before. Over the past 2 weeks LaVine has averaged 16.7pts, 3.7reb, 3.8ast, 0.9stl, 1.9 3ptm and a nice .467 FG%. That’s top-80 value and he belongs in all 12-team leagues.

Ones to Watch:

Nikola Jokic (C, DEN): He got his first start yesterday, coming off a 23 and 12 line two nights earlier. In his start, he stunk. I’m not going to sugar coat it. But he has talent and once he gets more comfortable in that role, he should produce. Keep an eye on him and be ready to pounce if he has another solid outing.

Ben McLemore (SG, SAC): It’s his 3rd season now and despite being benched for one game, McLemore has held onto his starting gig and is starting to produce. Over his past 4, he’s scored 12.8pts, 1.8reb, 1.8ast, 2.8 3ptm and 0.8stl. Watch this space and if he keeps it up, grab him.

Kris Humphries (F/C, WAS): I liked him during pre-season as a big-man who added value shooting 3s, rebounding and due to start over Nene this season at the 4 spot for the Wiz. All those things are still true, but it’s been an inconsistent start for Humphries. If he finds some more consistent minutes, he’s worth owning in 12-team leagues.

When things aren’t working, there’s no point hoping they’ll fix themselves. You need to be pro-active and address those issues before they become irreversible. Daryl Morey did it and won’t look back. Daryl Morey is a smart man. Follow his lead.


Follow me on twitter @tomhersz for updates


Author of the article

When you’re introduced to the NBA as a 6 year old in 1984, staying up late to watch Bird, Magic and Dr. J, it’s pretty hard not to fall in love with the game. I became consumed with the Association, and as my own game was developing, I tried to emulate as much as I could at an early age and learn how to play “the right way”. I have memories as a teenager of being glued to Saturday Basketball on TV and spending every spare cent I had on basketball cards and replica jerseys and so began my obsession with NBA knowledge and stats. I played my first season of Fantasy Hoops in 2002, as my serious playing days were slowing down. I now play in 5 or 6 leagues every year. To say I’m obsessed with Fantasy Hoops would be an understatement. To say I love nothing more than sharing my opinion on a player’s value would be entirely accurate, and I guess, the reason why I’m here. Follow me on twitter: @tomhersz @downtownball

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