Fantasy Basketball: Music of the Traffic – Week 18

A tale of two players ….

One earns $11.4million this season; the other $24.9 million.

One scored 51 points on Friday on 20-27 FGs (10-15 3FGs) adding 8 assists and 7 rebounds; the other was waived.

I’m talking of course of Stephen Curry and Joe Johnson.

Sometimes you get lucky with a player and other times it just doesn’t work out. But as the great Kenny Rogers told us, knowing when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em is the secret to surviving.

The Warriors kept faith in Steph Curry despite his spaghetti ankles and he’s now being talked about as one of the all-time greats.

The Nets new GM, Sean Marks, knows there’s no better place to start your re-build than by shedding your most expensive resource. Joe Johnson will now sign with Miami and will add to that salary this season.

In fantasy hoops, the same principles apply. Having faith in those you know can produce is great, but sometimes it’s harder to cut ties with those you’ve invested in more heavily; for example a high draft pick. However, if they’re either not getting it done or not a good fit for what you’re trying to build, then set them free.

There’s always help available on the waiver wire and Downtown is here listening to the Music of the NBA Traffic, so you can survive these last few weeks ahead of the fantasy playoffs.

Week 18 – (Feb 29 – Mar 6)



It’s another healthy schedule this week with every team playing either 3 or 4 games. Given that, there’s no one in particular to avoid for Week 18, but looking ahead to Week 19, Memphis, Milwaukee, Sacramento and Utah have the most favourable schedules with back-to-back 4 game week, while Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Minnesota and Toronto lace up just 6 times in that two-week period.

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

Dennis Schroder (PG, ATL): There was no deadline deal to ship Jeff Teague out of town and open up minutes for the talented German quarterback. So Schroder will have to bide his time until next season for a lead role. However, it hasn’t stopped him from being productive, averaging 16.8pts, 5.8ast, 3.8reb, 0.8stl and 2 triples per game over his past 5. That’s good for mid-round value and while his minutes will be up and down the rest of the way, there’s enough value there to grab him. Schroder is available in around 60% of leagues.

E’Twuan Moore (G, CHI): Yes, he’s just a short-term asset while Jimmy Butler is out. Yes, he’s inconsistent from game to game. But Moore has the ability to score, hit 3s, get some dimes and swipe some steals. If you’re in need of those guard stats in 12-team leagues, give this man a look while he’s widely available.

Doug McDermott (SF, CHI): Has McDermott finally gotten his chance to shine? It sure seems that way right now, and while his teammate E’Twaun is biding his time until Jimmy Buckets comes back, Dougie McBuckets may be carving out a stranglehold on the three spot for Fred Hoiberg. I know Mirotic will be back at some point, but he hasn’t really worked that well as a SF this season, while Mike Dunleavy continues to start but his best days are long gone. McDermott caught fire last weekend in the second half of a game against Toronto, setting a career high with 30 points and he’s been pretty hot since. Over his past 4, he’s shot his way to exactly 20pts, 3.5reb, 2 3ptm and some red-hot percentages. He’s playing close to 30mpg and can be counted on in deeper formats as a source of points and threes.

Patrick Beverley (G, HOU): It’s been a strange season for Beverley, with Ty Lawson coming in, Beverley keeping his starting gig, missing some time with injury; then coming back, right as Lawson seemed to be finding some form. But throughout it all, Patty Bevs has continued to do what he does best – play defense, stay within his role, and hit open 3s. Lawson may be on the way out if the buy-out rumours are true, but that won’t affect Beverley. He’s hot lately anyway, averaging 15.3pts over his past 3 games, to go along with 2 3ptm, 2.3stl and 2.3ast. He’s available in over 50% of Yahoo leagues and over 80% of ESPN leagues, but makes sense right now in 12-teamers.

Vince Carter (G/F, MEM): There was a lot of nostalgia about Vinsanity at All-Star weekend given it was held in Toronto where he became half-man, half-amazing. But if you want to get even more nostalgic, think about adding the veteran wing for Week 18. Over his past 5 games, he’s turned back the clock to average 17.2pts, 3.6reb and 2.4 3ptm; good for top-40 value. He went 5-7 from Downtown yesterday on his way to 19 points in 19 minutes, and while his minutes are rarely north of 25, he has been playing a few extra clicks lately. Carter is available in nearly all leagues, but makes for a nice short-term add while he’s hot.

Mirza Teletovic (F, PHO): Let’s keep this simple. Markieff is gone and while Kris Humphries can rebound and stick an occasional jumper, he cannot be relied upon to score consistently. Mirza though….? Hell yeah! I know they don’t speak Spanish in Bosnia, but Teletovic has been en fuego lately. 20.5pts, 3.5 3ptm, 7.3reb, and .519 FG% over his past 4 games, capped by a 30 point, 11 rebound, 5 3-pointer outburst two days ago. He’s playing just under 30mpg and is available in 55% of Yahoo and 73% of ESPN leagues. (By the way, I think they say “zapaljeno” instead of en fuego in Bosnia.)

Evan Fournier (G/F, ORL): After a little slump, things couldn’t be working out better for Evan Fournier right now. With Tobias Harris now in Motown and replacements Aaron Gordon and Ersan Ilyasova playing minutes primarily at the four spot, Fournier has a firm grasp on Scott Skiles’ small forward minutes and has been rewarding his Coach’s faith with his recent play. Before struggling with foul trouble yesterday, ‘No Google’ had scored more than 20 points in 4 of 5 games and has averaged 16.2pts, 3.8ast, 2.6reb, 1.6stl and 2.4 3ptm since the All-Star Break. He’s available in 28% of Yahoo and 24% of ESPN leagues, but should be owned in all formats right now.

Ones to Watch:

Bojan Bogdanovic (G/F, BKN): With Joe Johnson taking his talents to South Beach, someone has to step up in his absence and it was Bogdanovic who got the start on Thursday. He didn’t disappoint with 24pts and 3 triples, but I’d like to see him do it again and add some peripheral counting stats before recommending him.

P.J. Hairston (G/F, MEM): Fortunately for Hairston, the Grizz have played the Lakers and they’re sieve-like defense the past two games. Hairston took advantage scoring 17pts on Thursday and then a career-high 21pts yesterday. He hit 9 triples over those two games. Unfortunately for us, we need to see him do this against a real NBA defense before wasting a roster spot on him in 12-team leagues.

Shabazz Muhammad (G/F, MIN): He had some value earlier in the season in 12-14 team leagues, before falling away. He’s now scored double-digits in 4 straight games and 5 of his last 6 games, so watch him to see if he can keep this up as he’s a good source of points, rebounds and 3s when in a groove.


Sometimes having too much faith can be dangerous. Knowing when to let go is important, so don’t be afraid to change things up as you look for that perfect balance down the stretch.


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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