Fantasy Basketball: Music of the Traffic – Week 10

Former MVP and NBA Champion Dirk Nowitzki achieved another milestone in his illustrious career this week as he nailed a jump shot to pass Shaquille O’Neal for 6th place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. It was a trademark pick and pop for the Diggler and certainly something he’s proud of.

“That was a moment I’ll never forget the rest of my life,” said Nowitzki, who has now scored 28,609 points for his career.

“It’s surreal passing Shaq, all-time great, legend. I was able to compete against him for a long, long time. I was a fan of his in the ’90s. Arguably the most dominant big man ever seen in this game. It’s sort of weird that I’m up there now with all these legends, but like I always say, I’m really going to enjoy this once my career is over.”

It’s not often you find a player who has produced so consistently over such a prolonged period of time and he’s certainly been a fantasy favourite as much as he’s been a fan favourite.

If you’re in need of more consistent production on your squad, then you’ve come to the right place as we listen to the Music of the Traffic, so you can achieve your own milestone this fantasy season.

Week 10 (Dec 28 – Jan 3)

5 Games: PHO



2 Games: BOS, MEM

It’s a heavier schedule in Week 10 as most teams play catch up following the break for Christmas Eve and for most on Christmas Day. Phoenix has a super schedule with 5 billings this week. 16 teams tip-off 4 times, with 11 teams playing 3 times. The Celtics and Grizzlies have a light schedule with just 2 games on tap, meaning as enticing as Kelly Olynyk is right now, you should look elsewhere for help.

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

Taj Gibson (F/C, CHI): He seems to have solidified his spot in the starting unit as the 4-man ahead of Nikola Mirotic (who is actually starting at the 3 currently) and Joakim Noah’s shoulder injury (2-4 weeks out) will only provide more opportunity for Taj to continue doing what he’s been doing. He’s averaged nearly a double-double over his past 4 games (10.8pts, 8.3reb, 1blk) and is still available in over 70% of Yahoo and nearly 80% of ESPN leagues. He needs to be owned right now.

Robin Lopez (C, NYK): It’s been a strange year for the mascot lover. Since moving to Gotham, where he was expected to build on his Portland numbers, he’s gone the other way. Limited involvement in the offense, dwindling minutes and mediocre rebound and block totals have rendered this mid-round pick almost useless. But there are recent signs of improvement. Against Orlando earlier in the week he went for 12pts, 8reb and 2blk in 34 minutes, then backed it up with 8, 5 and another 3blk. Nothing to write home about, but if the minutes stay north of 20 and the block totals remain, the rest will follow. He’s available in less than 50% of Yahoo leagues, so now’s the time to take a leap of faith in RoLo.

Jordan Hill (F/C, IND): With a 4-game week on tap, it’s a good time to grab the former Laker and Knick. Jordan Hill has been pretty productive all season for Frank Vogel, but has been especially so recently, posting top-60 value the past week (13.3pts, 9.6reb, .632 FG%) so give him a look in 12-team leagues.

Ish Smith (PG, PHI): A stroke of luck has changed the fortunes once again for this talented PG. He’s back in the city of brotherly love, while Tony Wroten will be visiting PA’s equivalent to Centrelink.

It’s unknown exactly what Smith’s role will be at this stage with Kendall Marshall and T.J. McConnell still on the roster, but given what he was able to do earlier in the season for the Pelicans, one would assume Sam Hinkie brought him back to play a feature role for Brett Brown. He was flying off waiver wires when news of the trade broke, so even though he’s available in 70% of leagues, you’d best be quick if you want him in your league. He’s worth the gamble in all formats.

Terrence Ross (G/F, TOR): I know I’ve been preaching consistency this week and Ross is far from a poster boy for that, but he has been a lot better of late in that regard. Over his past 5 games, he’s scored in double-digits, hitting a total of 19 threes in that span and he’s been getting a steal per game and limiting his turnovers over that span too. With James Johnson ailing (ankle), Ross has stepped it up and is worth a look in 12-team leagues with a 4-game week on tap.

Jared Dudley (G/F, WAS): Since moving into the starting line-up for Randy Wittman, the former Suns and Bucks veteran has started to make his mark in the Nation’s Capital too. Dudley has been especially hot over the past week with Otto Porter out, going for 14.3pts, 6.4reb, 3.3ast, 1.3stl, 2.3 3ptm and a crazy .680FG%. He’ll slow down some but not enough to lose value in most leagues and he’s widely available right now. Another with 4 games on tap, so makes for a nice add right now.

Rodney Hood (G/F, UTA): Need threes? Need steals? But prefer a higher FG% than Ross can provide? Then look no further than Rodney Hood. Over the past week he’s delivered top-50 value with 14.5pts, 4reb, 2ast, 2stl and 2.5 3ptm along with a .474 clip from the field in 36mpg. With 4 games this week and 5 next week, now is the perfect time to add him.


Ones to Watch:

J.J. Barea (PG, DAL): It’s good to be named J.J. right now. If Messrs Abrams and Barea are any gauge, then if you share that name, you’re probably pretty hot in whatever your current vocation is. Barea started in place of Deron Williams on Wednesday and helped the Mavs to an overtime win in Brooklyn with 32pts, 11ast and 5 triples. Those numbers cannot be ignored, so keep an eye on him and get ready to pounce in 12-14 team leagues if he has another big game.

Jeff Green (G/F, MEM): A former fantasy favourite when in Boston, Green has lost nearly all of his value since moving to the Grizz, but has showed a little somethin’ somethin’ recently to the tune of 19pts, 12reb, 4ast, 3stl and a block against Washington on Thursday. This follows a 25-point effort at Miami 10 days prior. The Grizz go just twice this week, so watch Green for now, but if he does it again, give him a look.

Lance Thomas (G/F, NYK): Playing mostly small forward this season, Thomas recently had a streak of 6 straight games in double-digit scoring and hit that mark in 10 of 12 games. His December splits have seen him play 24.4mpg for 12.4pts, 2.8reb, 1.3 triples and a .536 clip. If he keeps this up, he’s roster worthy in 12-team leagues.

It’s always nice when your hard work pays off. It certainly has for Dirk Nowitzki as he’s universally recognised as one of the all-time greats and a future Hall of Famer. If you want your own accolades, then the hard work starts now by adding some more value to your squad.

Hope everyone has a very Happy New Year filled with health, happiness and prosperity … for your fantasy squad of course.


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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