Andy Behrens at Roto Arcade 6 days ago
We're in the middle of a week in which every NBA team plays at least three games, which should make this a relatively low-stress time for fantasy owners. Perhaps you're not desperate for a pickup. Maybe you briefly freaked about Kevin Durant's dinged elbow, but, thankfully, that sounds like a non-issue.
Still, many of you treat your league's free agent pool like an all-you-can-eat buffet, so for you we offer the following options...
Langston Galloway, NYK, PG (9 percent owned)
Marcus Smart, Bos, PG (39 percent)
Ersan Ilyasova, Mil, SF/PF (44 percent owned)
...which puts him back on the fantasy radar as a modest contributor across multiple categories.
Andy Behrens at Roto Arcade 21 days ago
On Monday, the Knicks, Thunder and Cavs managed to complete a three-team trade in which no player involved gained fantasy value. In a way, that's really a remarkable achievement. So kudos to those franchises. If you're still having trouble wrapping your head around the fact that J.R. Smith and Dion Waiters were both flipped in the same deal ... well, yeah. It all seems wonderfully insane.
In New York, a whole pile of (regrettable) minutes and (probably bad) field goal attempts are suddenly up for grabs, so let's review a few widely available options...
SG Tim Hardaway Jr., NYK (28 percent owned)
Yeah, this add might feel awful. It's not for everyone. Hardaway has been shooting poorly in recent weeks, and shooting frequently. That's generally a terrible combination. But I can't believe this sub-40-percent terror will continue indefinitely; he was better than this as a rookie (42.8 percent). He won't lack for opportunities in the near-term, with Smith and Shump shipped and Carmelo Anthony headed for a seemingly inevitable shutdown...
Andy Behrens at Roto Arcade 29 days ago
Someday, Zach Randolph, DeMar DeRozan and Ricky Rubio will return from injury, and there will no longer be any need for me to max out my weekly pick-ups. But that day has not yet arrived, so...
PG/SG Jarrett Jack, Bkn (38 percent owned)
Deron Williams has been kinda/sorta injured and mired in a deep malaise, plus he's on the trade block. Meanwhile, Jack has been starting for the Nets, and he's been terrific over his last four games (three of which were Brooklyn wins). Details here...
The minutes obviously won't hold steady at 35-plus, but we shouldn't expect a total collapse, either. Again, a Williams deal would be a big win. For now, Jack offers the usual PG stats, and you'll note he has a four-game week ahead. Do what needs doing.
SG/SF Jared Dudley, Mil (12 percent owned)
SF/PF Nikola Mirotic, Chc (23 percent owned)
C Alex Len, Phx (23 percent owned)
C Rudy Gobert, Uta (32 percent owned)
The running back position was a minefield of injuries, suspensions and disappointments in 2014. So, basically, it was a typical year. If you were one of the Zero RB zealots back in August, let's hope you drafted Jeremy Hill late and snagged C.J. Anderson off the wire. Otherwise, you were probably pummeled by Le'Veon, DeMarco or Marshawn at some point, just like the rest of us .
OK, expert, which running back is set to make the greatest value-leap from this year to next? That is, who's going to be the Mark Ingram of 2015?
Perhaps you, like me, now find yourself staring at a lineup mess like this ...
... and you're just hoping to limit the damage in the weeks ahead, waiting out injuries that have no timetables. If that's the case, then you're surely using all available weekly transactions, churning roster spots, working feverishly to prevent the 3-6 loss.
For those of you with multiple broken roster pieces, here are five dudes I've added in a league or three over the past few days:
SF/PF Donatas Montiejunas, HOU (32 percent owned) - In the month of December, D-Mo has been giving us the following stat line: 17.0 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 1.0 BPG, 55.6 FG%, 0.9 3PM. Can you use numbers like that? Well, I can. Montiejunas has been playing 30-plus minutes per night, starting and mostly thriving in the absence of Terrence Jones (leg/nerve). Houston plays three games next week, then the team has four straight four-gamers.
Andy Behrens at Yahoo Sports Fantasy Minute 1 mth ago
Look, dud performances are gonna happen, even with the game's best players. You can't write off a proven fantasy asset just because he's coming off a quiet week. Here are three guys who struggled in the fantasy semis, poised to turn it around in title week...
Matthew Stafford – The last time Stafford faced the Bears defense, he passed for eleven zillion 390 yards and a pair of scores. The December version of Chicago's D is far less engaged than the group he already torched. Start Stafford with confidence.
Tre Mason – If you somehow squeaked into the championship matchup with Mason in your fantasy backfield, you cannot sit him now — not against a Giants defense that ranks 30th against the run. Let's remember that Mason had respectable weeks against a few of the league's best run Ds, including the Seahawks, Broncos and Niners.
And if you need a flex play for trophy week...
Then Fred Jackson
First, the frightening news: DeMarco Murray, the NFL's leading rusher, is undergoing surgery Monday to repair a broken bone in his left hand. His status for Dallas' Week 16 home matchup with Indianapolis is not yet known. The injury occurred late in Sunday night's win at Philly, and postgame X-rays revealed a broken fourth metacarpal.
Now, the less frightening news: Recovery time for this surgery is not long at all — days, potentially, not weeks. So when we say that Murray's status for Sunday is not yet known, that's another way of saying he might play . The injury is to his non-dominant hand, which has to help. (Of course he still has to use the left hand in the normal course of business, catching passes and holding off defenders. But the right hand would presumably be worse.)
Only one man in a Cleveland jersey had any success stopping Jeremy Hill on Sunday, and he wasn't actually an employee of the Browns.
Hill seized the lead role in the Cincinnati backfield this week, then feasted on the road, in a division matchup. The rookie rushed for 148 yards and two scores on 25 carries, adding four receiving yards on one reception. Giovani Bernard was invited to the party, too, gaining 103 scrimmage yards on 18 touches. But Hill absolutely dominated the rushing workload in the first-half, when the game was still competitive. He needed only two quarters of play to reach the 100-yard plateau.
(If you need more details on Rodgers' no-good fantasy day, Scott Pianowski has you covered.)
Michael Bennett said of San Francisco losing top two running backs: "I don't even know who No. 38 is.'' For the record, Alfonso Smith.
EARLY ADDS FOR CHAMPIONSHIP WEEK
Please remember, friends, that the players we discuss in this feature are FLIERS. Hail Marys. Emergency options for desperate owners. No one is claiming these guys are must-add, must-start fantasy assets. They don't get the green light in 8 and 10-team leagues. Here, we try to assist deep league managers with dire needs.
For fantasy purposes, Thursday's game between the Cardinals and Rams could be a deep well of sadness. It certainly doesn't have a shootout vibe.
Arizona has allowed just 18.3 points per game on the season, the third lowest number in the league. St. Louis stopped giving up points two weeks ago, pitching back-to-back shutouts against Oakland and Washington (winning by a combined score of 76-0). These defenses have each forced 23 takeaways on the year, tied for seventh-most in the NFL. The Cards rank sixth at defending the run, the Rams tenth. Both Ds have had success hunting quarterbacks, combining for 66 sacks on the season (31 for Arizona, 35 for the Rams).
TE Jared Cook, STL (30 percent owned, 13 percent started)
Only a small number of people within the Cleveland Browns organization have a good read on Johnny Manziel's readiness to start, his practice habits, and his viability as an NFL passer. And an even smaller number of people within the organization actually have a say regarding the team's Week 15 starter.
But you certainly don't need to be a team or league insider to know that Sunday's quarterback, Brian Hoyer, was kind of a mess. He was brutally inaccurate against the Colts, going 14-for-31 with just 140 passing yards, zero TDs and two picks. Hoyer has thrown one touchdown pass and eight interceptions over his past four games, losing three times.
If Cleveland won't turn to Manziel now , with the quality of the team's quarterback play at a ruinous level, then it's tough to imagine it happening this season.
According to at least one national reporter, the Browns are in fact prepared to make a switch:
Had a source connected to the Browns QB decision estimate there is a 99% chance Manziel starts Sun. Maybe even 99.5%