Fantasy Basketball

Fantasy Basketball Weekly Dime – Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

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By: Joe Bond

We are nearing the “unofficial” halfway point of the NBA season, and by that I mean the all-star break.  In reality we have passed the halfway point in terms of games played.  Out of the total 1230 games played, there are 553 left.  At this point, you have a good idea where your team stands in your fantasy league, good or bad.  Either way you can’t fall asleep from here on out, there is still a lot of basketball to be played, and NBA teams will be making a lot of changes.  Those changes will affect players currently owned and some floating on the waiver wire still.  Let’s discuss some of the changes that have already happened or about to happen shall we.

Trading Season is Already Here
As you know by now, a major trade took place this week, sending Rudy Gay from Memphis to Toronto, in return for Jose Calderon and Ed Davis, with Calderon then being sent to Detroit for Tayshaun Prince.  There were other players involved, but those are who you should be most worried about when it comes to fantasy basketball.  Out of all the players moved in this trade, Rudy Gay, is the only one who I think has their value increase.  He is most likely going to be the focus of the offense on this team, since you don’t trade for somebody like him without trying to make him the teams star.  on the other side, Davis and Calderon’s value take a slight hit.  Davis the most because he is now going to be sitting being Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol on the Grizzlies roster.  Calderon’s value takes a hit since now he will be at best in a timeshare with Brandon Knight.  I know he was in one in Toronto, but its a very good possibility that he will get less time, since Knight is entrenched as the starter in Detroit.  Tayshaun Prince is only a player to watch right now to see how this trade affects his value.  He likely won’t see real sizeable increase in value to make him ownable, but it of course all depends on how the Grizzlies will use him.  What this trade also does is increase the value of Kyle Lowry.  Lowry has been a good fantasy player, when healthy, and has the potential to put up great numbers there rest of the way now that Calderon is not splitting time with him and if he can just stay healthy.  Some

There will most likely be other trades, but one that fantasy owners will want to keep an eye on is the Atlanta Hawks potential trade of Josh Smith. Many think that Smith won’t return to the Hawks after this season, when he becomes a free agent.  So the only way for the Hawks to get anything in return for him is to trade him now.  If and when that happens owners will need to analyze all angles of the trade just like the one above.

Fantasy Studs Returning
Some other notable news is the return, or imminent return, of some star players in the NBA, who at this point should be owned in fantasy leagues at this point.  I will start with Andrew Bogut, who surprised us all with a return on Monday this week. He won’t play in back-to-backs and is on a minutes restriction, but is still a good source of points, rebounds and blocks.  

Derrick Rose is finally taking full-contact in practice and appears to be on track to returning just after the all-star break.  I expect he will be on a heavy minutes restriction when he returns, especially since the Bulls have played well enough without him, being able to be third in the conference right now.


Another player on track to return around the same time is Danny Granger.  Reports are the Pacers are still hoping to get him back a game or two before the break, but after is probably more likely to happen.  

Andrea Bargnani is another player returning soon, as early as this weekend, but it is more likely to be sometime next week.  His value in Toronto was helped out now that Ed Davis was traded, but it is no secret that Toronto is trying to trade him too, so his final value is still to be determined.  Either way, Bargnani should be owned at this point in all leagues.  

Last I want to bring up Andrew Bynum.  He is expected to start practicing next week, so that puts him on a schedule to return around February 20th.  If that is true then I would stash him now, but don’t be surprised if he has another setback and that date gets pushed back once again.  


Injuries Rearing Their Ugly Head
A major injury occurred this past weekend, with Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo tearing his ACL.  He will be gone for the rest of the season, and it is leaving the Celtics and his fantasy owners scrambling to find a way to replace his production.  The Celtics will look to Avery Bradley and Courtney Lee to lead the point guard duties, mostly Bradley, but you should not do the same in your league.  If you don’t have anybody on your waiver wire that can give you even half the production Rondo did, then you will most likely have to trade to make it up.  

Another player lost for the season is Glen Davis of the Orlando Magic.  He was averaging 15 points and 7 rebounds a game before breaking his foot that will require surgery.  Just like the Celtics and Rondo, I wouldn’t look to anybody on the Magic to replace the production you lost by Davis doing down.  Instead look to the waiver wire for a replacement.  You won’t get everything Davis gave you, but you can find good value.  If you can give up some points per game, players like Al-Farouq Aminu and Reggie Evans, and Kosta Koufos are available.  Aminu and Koufos can get you a decent amount of points, near 9 a game, so its not a total loss, but they won’t average 15.  Reggie Evans on the other hand is only going to get you rebounds, but a bit more than Aminu and Koufos so it really depends on your teams needs who you pick up.

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About Joe Bond

Not just another "Average Joe" when it comes to Fantasy Sports, he is the fantasy brain trust behind the FantasySixPack.net website. Joe is one of the Experts included in the FantasyPros Consensus Rankings for Football, Baseball and Basketball and finished well each year. You can find him on Twitter, @F6P_Joe, where he is waiting by the keyboard for your question.

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