Fantasy Basketball: Music of the Traffic – Week 13

1-65Did the New York Knicks handle the Derrick Rose situation appropriately?

After failing to turn up for the Knicks’ home game versus New Orleans on Monday and not answering calls when team officials tried to contact him, Rose was given the opportunity to explain himself.

“When I was in the room I felt like they understood where I was coming from,” Rose said of Knicks management.

“Right when I came back, I felt nothing but love,” Rose said. “I apologised to them and like I said, it eases everything when they understand.”

Instead of suspending him, he was fined. Instead of him being benched, he started the very next game.

The Knicks lost in Philadelphia, but Rose was not the reason why. He made 11-of-16 field goals on his way to 25 points.

Knicks fans seem to have forgiven Rose quickly. When introduced Thursday against Chicago (his first home game since his absence), he received a regular cheer from the crowd, almost as if nothing had happened.

He then helped the Knicks to a win over his old Bulls team, scoring 17 points in the process and making some nice plays when attacking the basket.

However, the incident has left many wondering what the Knicks will do with Rose come the end of the season when he’s a free agent. Is he worth the trouble? Is there still enough talent there to put up with the drama? Only time will tell.

If you’ve also got some players on your squad that are causing you headaches and you’re not sure whether you should hold onto them, you’re not alone. We all have those guys, but luckily Downtown is here to help you replace those worrisome players as we listen to the Music of the Traffic, so you can cure your headache and move on.

Week 13 (Jan. 16 – Jan. 22)

5 games: DEN

4 games: ATL, CHA, DAL, GSW, HOU, IND, MIL, NYK, ORL, PHI, PHO, POR, TOR, WAS

3 games: BOS, BKN, CHI, CLE, LAC, LAL, MEM, MIA, MIN, NOR, SAC, SAS, UTA

2 games: DET, OKC

A fairly standard schedule awaits fantasy managers this week, with no more NBA Global Games creating scheduling chaos. Denver makes up for its single game in Week 12 with five games on tap, while the Pacers catch up with four games. Thirteen other teams also play four times, 13 teams have three fixtures, while Detroit and OKC only lace them up twice. If you were thinking of grabbing Stanley Johnson or Ish Smith in case Kentavious Caldwell-Pope misses extended time, then think again. They won’t help.

The following players could however, and may be available in standard 10- or 12-team leagues.

Gary Harris (SG/SF, DEN): The short week in London has probably done wonders for Harris’ groin injury and he looked great in that game against Indiana with 16 points, five rebounds, six assists, one steal and one three. He has five games on tap for Week 13 and is available in over 40 percent of leagues, meaning he has to be one of the hottest pick-ups right now.

Montrezl Harrell (PF/C, HOU): Refer to my Week 12 column and then dial-up the offensive efficiency a notch. Harrell has hit a staggering 77.4 percent of his field goals over the past four games, adding one block and 1.3 steals to go with his solid scoring and rebounding. He’s still available in 58 percent of Yahoo and 71 percent of ESPN leagues, plus the Rockets have another four-game week ahead.

C.J. Miles (SG/SF, IND): An injury-plagued season has held Miles back, but he may be finally turning the corner. He’s hit over 50 percent of his shots in the past three games including 11-of-18 from downtown and we all know you’ve got to ride streaky Miles when he’s hot. The Pacers have four games scheduled so now’s the right time to grab him.

Malcolm Brogdon (PG/SG, MIL): When you play with a chip on your shoulder, it can go one of two ways. You can try too hard and bomb, or you can take the Malcolm Brogdon approach and prove you belong. “My whole career, I’ve been an underdog, I’ve been underestimated,” Brogdon said. “Therefore I’ve had a chip on my shoulder my entire career. Being drafted in the second round when you think you’re supposed to be in the first round, a lottery pick, the chip grows bigger. And you have more to prove.” Still, he was drafted higher than Delly, who went undrafted back in 2013. Perhaps that’s why he’s still starting over our boy, or maybe it’s the 14.8 points, five rebounds, 5.8 assists, one steal and 1.2 triples he’s averaged over his past five games, top-70 value no less. You decide.

Tyreke Evans (PG/SG/SF, NOR): It’s taken a while, but it appears to be Tyreke time finally. Granted, he’s still a bit inconsistent and his big game (29 points, four rebounds, three assists, four steals, one block, two triples) came when Anthony Davis was sitting out, so I can understand the hesitation. However, don’t you think he’s due? Evans is available in 58 percent of ESPN and 38 percent of Yahoo leagues and should be added in all 12-team formats right now.

Al-Farouq Aminu (SF/PF, POR): It’s been a slow start to the season for Aminu, but since the year ticked over to 2017, he’s shifted a gear or two in the right direction. Aminu averaged 9.3 points, 9.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists, one block, one steal and improved percentages through the first six games in January, and he backed that up with another eight points, seven rebounds, two assists and one block yesterday versus Orlando. He’s available in 48 percent of Yahoo and 67 percent of ESPN leagues and is worth owning in most formats right now.

Allen Crabbe (SG/SF, POR): When someone hits a collective 25-of-34 from the field over a three-game span, hitting three triples per contest with a steal in each for good measure, you tend to take notice. When they have four games coming up, you tend to add them to your roster.

Ones to Watch:

Marcus Smart (PG, BOS): With Avery Bradley out, Smart has stepped up and played some of the best basketball of his career lately. However, Bradley is likely to return on Monday, making Smart a risky pick-up right now. If Bradley’s absence gets extended, then Smart is a viable option in 12-team leagues for the coming week.

T.J. McConnell (PG, PHI): Despite his heroics in their win over New York and his starting role seemingly secure for now, I struggle a little to recommend McConnell outside of deeper leagues. He’s inconsistent shooting the ball from game to game, he doesn’t hit many threes, and while his dimes and steals are great, if he hurts you in as many cats as he helps, is he really worth owning? I’m reserving judgment a while longer.

Marquese Chriss (PF, PHO): The rookie power forward is going to be a good player, it’s just a matter of when. For fantasy purposes, he’s still tough to trust, but he’s started trending up of late and is worth considering in 14- to 16-team leagues right now. Scoring in double digits in three of his past four games, and averaging 11.3 points over that span, he’s playing 20 to 30 minutes most nights and is definitely worth keeping an eye on.

If you’re trying to rid yourself of potential problems down the track, let them go for one of these guys. You’ll feel nothing but love—for your team.


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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