Fantasy Basketball: Music of the Traffic – Week 12

1-56The first notable trade of the season went down on Friday as Atlanta started clearing cap space by sending Kyle Korver to Cleveland.

It’s hardly a headline-grabbing deal, however it could prove invaluable for the Cavs as they defend their championship come May and June.

For the Hawks, it signals the end of an era, and the only thing more likely than Paul Millsap being moved next is Barack Obama sitting courtside at a Bulls game as soon as he flees Washington later this month.

If the activity lately in my leagues is any indication, trading in fantasy leagues is in full swing too. By now most of you have a great handle on where your teams are at; whether you’re a contender as currently constructed, or what you need to get stronger.

As I wrote a few years ago, making a trade is all about value. As with the Cavs bringing in Korver, it’s not about grabbing headlines, but rather addressing potential weaknesses and giving up something your trade partner values—in the Hawks’ case, it’s future cap space and a potential first-round pick.

If it’s time for you to explore the trade market, that guide I wrote is still very relevant, so approach your negotiations in the right way to get the best possible outcome.

If you’re not in need of a trade, but just some short-term assistance, then we can help as Downtown listens to the Music of the Traffic, so you can build a headline-grabbing squad.

Week 12 (Jan. 9 – Jan. 15)

5 games: CHI

4 games: BKN, DET, HOU, LAL, MIN, NYK, OKC


2 games: CHA, GSW, LAC, MIA, PHO

1 game: DEN, IND

The schedule this week is, in a word, wacky. The disparity of games between teams is not something we see very often, so planning ahead for Week 12 is very important. Loading up on any Bulls players with five games is a solid option, as is dumping any fringe Pacers or Nuggets like Monta Ellis, Will Barton or the “Is he or isn’t he back again” Jusuf Nurkic. If you can maximise guys with four or even five games, then you’re putting yourself in a great position, but don’t cut anyone of value to do so.

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

Tim Hardaway Jr. (SG/SF, ATL): He’s averaging 18.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and four triples over his past three games, which is really nice production… Oh and Kyle Korver just got traded. THJ has a clear path to increased minutes and usage and needs to be owned in all 12-team leagues going forward.

Doug McDermott (SF, CHI): Purely a short-term add given the Bulls’ schedule and his solid play of late, Dougie McBuckets is a strong one to consider for Week 12. He’s been shooting the ball with confidence lately, playing consistent minutes into the low 30s most nights and starting when D-Wade has been out. With five games on tap, it’s likely Wade will sit at least one of those, making McDermott even more valuable this week. He’s widely available, so give him a look if you have someone you can cut.

Patrick Beverley (PG/SG, HOU): Healthy? Check. Strong schedule? Check. Top-20 value over the past week? Check. Available in 30 percent of Yahoo and 53 percent of ESPN leagues? Check. Added to your roster?…

Montrezl Harrell (PF, HOU): With Clint Capela on the shelf, there’s been opportunity for others to step up and Harrell has done exactly that. Averaging 14.6 points, 5.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 0.8 blocks and 64.4 percent shooting from the field over the past five games, he’s giving Mike D’Antoni every reason to keep playing him. With four games on the schedule, he makes for a great short-term play in 12-team leagues.

Nick Young (SG/SF, LAL): The Swaggy one has been playing some of the most consistent ball of his career lately. Before cooling off a little yesterday, he’d been so hot that some have wondered if Iggy Azalea might take him back. I’m not sure about that, but with four games on tap for Week 12, he’s worth taking back into your fantasy lineup.

Buddy Hield (SG, NOR): The rookie has finally found his pro mojo and has scored in double digits in his past five games. He’s playing over 27 minutes per game over that stretch, hitting three triples per contest and chipping in three assists and 4.4 rebounds to go along with his 15.6 points. He’s available in over 50 percent of leagues, but that number will decline and he’s worth a roster spot in 12- to 14-team leagues.

Nerlens Noel (PF/C, PHI): Despite being held back since returning from injury, Noel was let loose yesterday, alongside Joel Embiid it should be noted, and delivered with 13 points, eight rebounds, two assists, two steals and three blocks, showcasing why he’s such a valued fantasy asset. Going forward, he will either continue to play alongside Embiid, or will be dealt somewhere he’ll be more appreciated. Either way he will find value this season and should be stashed in all leagues.

Tony Parker (PG, SAS): Just when we thought his fantasy career was dead, the former Finals MVP plays like he’s 27 again. Over his past six games, he’s averaging 18.2 points, 6.3 assists, 2.3 rebounds and just under one three per game, with his usual stellar field goal percentage. Over the past week, he’s lifted a gear and is providing top-50 value. Ageless? It remains to be seen, but he’s sure giving reason to be owned right now.

Ones to Watch:

Devin Harris (PG/SG, DAL): In and out of the lineup with injury this year, Harris is starting to find some rhythm finally. Over his past two games he’s averaged 14.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists, one steal and three triples. If he has another good game, think about him in deeper leagues. Just be mindful that J.J. Barea is back now too.

Jusuf Nurkic (C, DEN): Is he in the doghouse? Is he out of it? It’s hard to tell in Denver sometimes, but Nurk has played around 20 minutes per game the past four and had a couple of really nice outings. The Nuggets only have one game coming up in Week 12, so adding him now isn’t going to help much, although as a stash hoping either Kenneth Faried gets dealt or just that Nurkic can keep this up, he’s worth considering if you can afford the spot.

Willie Reed (PF/C, MIA): After struggling early despite having opportunity for a meaningful reserve role, Reed has finally stepped up, this time in the absence of Hassan Whiteside. He’s topped 20 points in two of his past three games, grabbing double-digit boards in both of those and blocking 2.3 shots over his past three games. Whiteside is due back imminently, but Reed could carve out a larger role after this mini run.

If you’re working on some trade ideas but need some short-term help until you find the right deal, then adding one of these players in a wacky-schedule week is a great way to keep pace.

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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