Fantasy Basketball: Music of the Traffic – Week 13

Hollins and KingThe Brooklyn Nets made a major change in the direction of their franchise last week as they fired Head Coach Lionel Hollins and “re-assigned” GM Billy King, vacating that position. It was a clear signal that ownership, led by Russian Mikhail Prokohrov, is far from content with where they’re at and where they were headed.

Having little talent and no draft prospects is an unenviable position to be in for any franchise, let alone one that has invested heavily in relocating to a major metropolis where they’re competing for fans and revenue with a suddenly rejuvenated Knicks organisation.

While King was often the brunt of many people’s jokes when it came to GMs, Hollins had a strong run in Memphis before inheriting a team with limited cattle to compete. It’s no surprise the Nets have failed to remain competitive given some of the questionable deals King has made in recent years.

If your fantasy team is also “lacking direction” and in need of an overhaul, given you can’t really fire yourself (although I’ve seen it happen before in some leagues), your best bet is to make some wholesale changes to those elements on your roster causing you to struggle most.

That’s where Downtown can help as we listen to the Music of the Traffic, so you can be a little more content with your cattle.

Week 13 (Jan 18 – Jan 24)



2 Games: SAS

With Toronto and Orlando back from London, a healthy schedule is in store for Week 13. Exactly half of the league’s teams will lace up their sneakers for four billings this week, 14 teams go at it three times, while the Spurs get a chance to rest their veterans for free with just two games on tap. So as attractive as Boban’s game is on a per-36 minute basis (and it’s a lot more attractive than those Dumbo ears of his), there’s not enough value there this week to add him in standard leagues.

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

Darrell Arthur (F/C, DEN): When Kenneth Faried had his injury scare recently, I tweeted that Arthur should be grabbed in most formats, but then Faried was back right away. You think Darrell minds? He’s playing his best ball of the season right now and his minutes recently (28mpg over past five games) reflect that.

The former Kansas Jayhawk has started 3 of the past 4 games and averaged 14.3pts, 6.8reb and .625 FG% over that stretch. He even hits the odd 3-ball as a nice bonus for owners. Arthur can be had in most leagues and is worth a look in 12-14 team formats.

Ian Mahinmi (C, IND): The career back-up who took over the starting reigns for Frank Vogel this season following Roy Hibbert’s departure, has had a productive season. He’s been a little inconsistent, including yesterday versus Washington, but has been reliable enough lately to be rostered in 12-team leagues. In the 6 games before yesterday, Mahinmi averaged 11.8pts, 8.8reb, 1.2blk, 1stl and a whopping .692 FG%, which is good for top-30 value. That’s not sustainable, but he’s been a top-100 guy all season and can be had in around 60% leagues, so is a solid value-add.

Matt Barnes (G/F, MEM): I’ve looked at Barnes a few times this season, but he’s only provided borderline value for the most part, until now. Over his past 4 games, Barnes (obviously in preparation for his meeting with Derek Fisher’s Knicks) has been great with 14.5pts, 5.3reb, 1.3ast, 0.8stl, 0.8blk, 2.5 3ptm and a healthy .541 FG%. Barnes is available in 60% of Yahoo and over 80% of ESPN leagues, so get to him before Fisher does.

Mario Chalmers (G, MEM): Barnes’ teammate, Super-Mario may be one of the hottest pickups out there right now and with serious doubts over Mike Conley’s status the rest of the season (Achilles), Chalmers may keep on starting for the Grizz. Over his past five games (last four as the starter), he’s averaging 17.6pts, 6.8ast, 5reb, 2.2stl and 2 3ptm, which is good for top-40 value. He’s available in 65% of leagues and should be owned in all formats for as long as he’s starting.

Evan Fournier (G/F, ORL): Fresh off a visit to London, Fournier’s gotta be feeling pretty good about his play of late. He struggled earlier this month and was dropped by some impatient owners, but has picked it up again and his minutes and production are back where those who still own him expect them to be. Over his past 3 games, he’s averaged 15pts, 3.3ast, 1stl, 2 3ptm and .621 FG%. He should be owned in all formats again.

Ish Smith (PG, PHI): This is the third time I’ve recommended Smith since he landed back in the City of Brotherly Love, but yet he’s still available in over 30% of Yahoo and 23% of ESPN leagues. If his play over the past week (23.3pts, 7.3ast, 5.3reb, 2stl, 1.7 3ptm) doesn’t convince you, I’m not sure what will. But I’ll be the King of W(Ish)ful Thinking and trust in you.

Mirza Teletovic (F, PHO): After recommending you watch and wait for Mirza’s minutes to increase, his play of late makes him pretty difficult to ignore any longer. He went off for 22 points in 21 minutes yesterday, which follows 6 straight games scoring in the teens. In all over his last 7, Teletovic – who has been playing a little stretch five as well as the forward spots – has averaged 16.7pts, 4.3reb, 1.7ast and 3.4 triples per contest. He’s still only playing 23-24 minutes per game, but while he’s producing like this, he’s worth owning in 12-team formats.

Ones to Watch:

Jeremy Lamb (G/F, CHA): Before missing the past two games with a sprained toe, Lamb was playing some of the best – and most consistent – ball of his young career. He averaged 14.3pts, 6.3reb, 2stl and 0.8 3ptm over his past 4 games and is worth keeping an eye on when he returns.

Robert Covington (G/F, PHI): Around and round goes the Bobby Covington fantasy value merry-go-round. Just when he had seemingly lost all value, he goes off for 6 threes and 25 points, while adding 6 boards and 2 steals. If this is the start of a hot streak, then jump on board for the ride.

Allen Crabbe (G, POR): I added Crabbe a few weeks ago (when Lillard was out) in one league where I punt FG% and he was a really nice value add. However, the fear was that once Damo came back, Crabbe’s value would take a massive hit. That’s not been the case and he’s giving Terry Stotts some really nice production in a sixth man role. He’s worth adding in 14-team leagues and possibly 12-teamers depending on your strategy, but if he can get back to consistent minutes in the high 20s to 30mpg, then he’s worth a look in all 12-team formats.

Cutting the cord can be tough, but sometimes it’s the only way to move forward onto a better path. Making some changes to your squad is a great place to start.


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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