Fantasy Basketball: Music of the Traffic – Week 17

Let’s make a deal!

The trade deadline passed this week and after a lot of hot air, nothing much happened. Maybe it’s because expiring contracts have little value with the impending salary cap rise or maybe it’s because any team holding a potential lottery pick and a chance at Simmons or Ingram is holding onto to it tighter than the Lakers are guarding courtside seats to Kobe’s final game.

Just tried to get courtside seats to #Kobes Last home game #smdh #SOLDOUT…..But yall know I keeps a backup plan… I look at the end of the lakers bench AND realize what #hibbert #metta @swaggyp1 been doing all season #WatchingKobesLastSeason in those NICE #CourtsideSeats….Buss you gotta let me be down..give ya boy a #10day from (april 3rd-13th) ill pay for the seat…I dont want the seat #metta sits in…that shit so far in the corner,I thought that nigga was security last time he wore all blk #NOTHX…..dont sit me next to #nick or #hibbert they #downsyndrome looks like its catchable,NOT paying top dolla to catch what them two #nighas look like they got #NOTHX hahahaha Just as long as im on the left side of that bighead nigha #sacre NO offence bra I wanna see the #Mamba not a life size #bobblehead version of #Mrclean AND far away from #byronscott as possible…the way he coaches,hes liable put anyone in whos sitting next to him (jack nickelson #batman go get #russell and u guard #cousin’s #playhard) hahahaha ..can somebody let me know who I can contact for My request demands hahahahaha

A photo posted by @gilbertarenasrealrealitytv on

The only trades with any kind of fantasy relevance saw Markieff Morris sent to Washington (where he’s apparently requested Gilbert Arenas’ old locker), Courtney Lee went to Charlotte to help replace what they lost from MKG, Tobias Harris is now the stretch four in Detroit (with Donatas Motiejunas backing him up), Brandon Jennings and Ersan Ilyasova will try to revive their careers in Orlando, while Jeff Green will help to fill the void of Blake Griffin at the Clips, sending Lance Stephenson to his fourth team in three years.

You’ll want to understand the impact of those moves if you own any of those guys in your fantasy team. The biggest loser of that bunch is probably Ilyasova who’ll likely be backing up Aaron Gordon, while Kieff’s role in DC is a little unclear with Nene healthy (right now). The others have all gone to good situations for their value so no need to be concerned.

If your team is in need of a change, best be quick as trade deadlines in standard leagues are in early to mid-March. Remember to try and find value for both teams when negotiating, as that’s the easiest way to get a deal done.

But if a more subtle change is what you’re after, then you’ve come to the right place as Downtown is listening to the Music of the NBA Traffic, so you can avoid that hot air feeling down the stretch.

Week 17 – (Feb 22 – Feb 28)



With the All-Star break in the rear-view mirror, schedules return back to normal and there are no outliers this week. Every team plays either 3 or 4 games to kick start their post-break run, so there are no teams to avoid for Week 17 match ups.

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

Cody Zeller (F/C, CHA): If you were worried about Zeller’s role down the stretch with Al Jefferson returning, you needn’t be. Zeller still started yesterday with Jefferson back, still played over 30 minutes and had one of his best games of the season with 23pts, 9reb and 2ast. Even if Jefferson regains the starting Centre spot, Zeller will either slide over to PF or play major minutes off the bench. He’s available in over 80% of leagues though but the value is still there, so he’s an add (or hold) in all formats right now.

Myles Turner (F/C, IND): I’m not really sure what people are waiting for? His rookie wall? He hasn’t played enough this year due to his early-season injury so it’s unlikely to come. He’s also being force-fed minutes right now and responding with some veteran savvy. The former Texas Longhorn blocked his idol Kevin Durant yesterday on his way to 6 blocks in what was probably Indiana’s biggest road win of the season.

Turner also had 16pts, 5reb and a triple in that one and has now scored in double-digits in 6 of his last 7 games. He’s playing over 30mpg over his past 4 and his only weakness right now is his FT%, which is just over 60% on the year. Turner is available in 38% of Yahoo and 30% of ESPN leagues but that will continue decreasing so get on board now.

Luol Deng (F, MIA): If you’d have watched the game against Atlanta yesterday, you’d be excused for thinking it was 2012 again the way Luol Deng was running around. The former All-Star had his best game of the season in that road win with 30pts, 11reb and 4stl, proving his nice run before the break was no fluke. He’ll carry a bigger load with Bosh out and is available in 75% of ESPN leagues but just 38% of Yahoo leagues, so now’s the time to add Luol to your squad.

Josh McRoberts (F/C, MIA): A guy who had top 100 value before his injury, it looks like McBob may finally be ready to contribute for Erik Spoelstra’s Heat. With Bosh sidelined and Birdman flown the coop to Memphis, McRoberts should get a lot of playing time down the stretch as evidenced by the 30 minutes he played yesterday in that big road win it Atlanta. He contributed 19pts, 6reb, 10ast and 3 triples and looked very much a part of the team for really the first time all season. He’s available in nearly all leagues but that won’t last long. Grab him now.

Aaron Gordon (F, ORL): Yes, his showing in the dunk contest was incredible and yes, Tobias Harris was traded away to open up a starting spot for him, but those aren’t the reasons to consider adding Gordon. His FG% still needs a lot of work and he’s scored in double-digits just twice in his last 6 games. But he is playing 30mpg over his past 4 and grabbing 12reb per game over that span. In addition, he’s giving you some tasty counting stats on the defensive end with 2.5sl and 1.8blk including 6 steals yesterday. If the offense follows, he should be owned in all formats.

Krish Humphries (F/C, PHO): A pure roll of the dice based on circumstance, Humphries, recently acquired from Washington in the Markieff Morris deal, could be in line for a major frontcourt role right away for the Suns with Chandler and Len both hurt. He had 18pts, 12reb, 2ast, 2 3ptm, 2blk and 1stl in 27 minutes in his debut so is worth a roll of the dice based on his potential production alone.

Maurice Harkless (SF, POR): Just quietly, Harkless has averaged 13.8pts, 7.3reb, 1.3stl, 0.5blk and 1.3 3ptm with a .649 FG% in 26.5mpg over his past 4 games. He’s no longer starting, but as long as the minutes and production remain, he makes for a nice speculative add and is widely available.

Ones to Watch:

JaMychal Green (PF, MEM): He’s been inconsistent when he’s played this season but the other J. Green, the one who’s still there, is starting with Marc Gasol out and Brandan Wright still building up his strength. JaMychal had 9pts and 11reb to go with 2ast, 3stl and 3blk on Friday, played 30 minutes and could be a solid source of rebounds and defensive stats down the stretch if he keeps getting solid playing time.

Patty Mills (PG, SAS): He’s been playing a bigger role with Manu Ginobili out and Tony Parker ailing a little before the break and carved out some solid production with 12.4pts, 2.8reb, 4.2ast, 1stl and 2.4 3ptm in 24mpg. Parker looks healthy again, but if Mills can continue this productivity, he deserves a short-term look until Manu returns.

Gerald Henderson (G/F, POR): After missing the start of the season and taking some time to find his way in Rip City, Henderson has been having a nice run lately. He’s splitting reserve wing minutes with Allen Crabbe and Harkless right now, both getting around 25mpg recently, but he’s contributing 13.5pts, 4.8reb and over a steal per game so far in February, so if that continues, he’s worth owning in 12-team formats.


Changing up your roster is never easy, whether by trade or via free agency, but as long as each move addresses a weakness or builds on existing strengths, then over the long haul you’ll be just fine. Fantasy is no different to real hoops in that regard.


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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