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Phil Londen

Court Report: Week 3 Dashboard, Part II

Roto Arcade

Each Sunday, the Dashboard centralizes all the crucial information fantasy managers need to dominate their weekly head-to-head matchups or climb the standings in their rotisserie leagues. The Dashboard covers schedule analysis, status updates, adds, drops, watch list candidates, and deep league targets for managers of all skill levels. Quite simply, it is a comprehensive weekly cheat sheet that is packed with so much information that we’ve devoted two writers to producing it.

Add List - players currently owned in less than 40% of Yahoo! leagues

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Eric Bledsoe(notes), G, LAC (23% owned)
The rookie guard from Kentucky is an automatic pickup in virtually all formats for a variety of reasons. He is playing behind the oft-injured Baron Davis(notes), who is currently sidelined with a cyst in his knee, and is out of shape. The other backup point guard, Randy Foye(notes), is also injured and dealing with his own unknown return date. So the minutes are definitely there in the near-term. There is also a somewhat unlikely chance that another team would be willing to trade for Baron Davis (the Bobcats come to mind as a possible suitor despite his exorbitant salary), boosting Bledsoe’s long-term value. In his four career starts, Bledsoe has averaged 13 points, 4 rebounds, 7 assists, 1.8 blocks and 1 steal with the only drawbacks to his line being 57 percent free throw shooting and 3.5 turnovers.

Al Thornton(notes), F, WAS (28% owned)
Although primarily known as a hollow scorer in fantasy circles, Thornton is beginning to attract attention for his more well-rounded stat lines. Saturday night’s contest against the Cleveland Cavaliers illustrated a bit more statistical diversity when Thornton tallied 23 points (10-16 FG, 1-2 3PTM, 2-2 FT), six rebounds, two assists, one steal and one turnover. Interestingly, Thornton did all this damage in the first three quarters of the game, as Flip Saunders left Al on the bench for the entire fourth quarter of the game. In 33 minutes per game this season, Thornton has posted seventh round value and is firmly entrenched in Washington’s rotation, making him a solid addition off the wire.

Corey Brewer(notes), GF, MIN (19% owned)
Since entering the league, Brewer is a player that has never quite lived up to his potential. Picked seventh overall in the 2007 NBA draft after an outstanding college career at Florida, Brewer has dealt with injuries and a dysfunctional team situation. Recent indicators are hinting at Brewer finally putting it together and coming up with solid fantasy value. First, his minutes over the past three games have stabilized at about 25 minutes per game. Second, with the minutes, the production has followed. In Minnesota’s last two games, Brewer has averaged 15 points, 44% FG, 100% FT, 1 three, 3.5 rebounds, 2 assists, 3.5 steals, 0.5 blocks and 0.5 turnovers. The steals alone make him rosterable in most formats, with any other production a bonus.

Ronny Turiaf(notes), FC, NYK (23% owned)
The Frenchman is quickly becoming a fan favorite in Madison Square Garden and is helping replace the void in the middle created by David Lee’s(notes) departure. As a result, Turiaf’s minutes are creeping upwards, approaching nearly 30 minutes per game in the last couple of games. In addition, Turiaf’s bench status is actually misleading, as the starting center, Timofey Mozgov(notes), only plays about 13 minutes per game and is generally ineffective. The Knicks also have a very favorable schedule in Week Three, playing four games against some fantasy friendly defenses (@MIL, GSW, @MIN, HOU), making Turiaf a decent pickup off the wire.

C.J. Miles(notes), GF, UTH (11% owned)
Granted, Miles’ last game was a complete throw-away (2 points on 1-13 FG shooting, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal) where he simply could not find any sort of offensive rhythm. At the very least, the number of shot attempts is encouraging. Notwithstanding the dud, Miles has been improving enough that head coach Jerry Sloan was considering moving him into the starting unit. Over the past four games, Miles has averaged 13.5 points, 39% FG, 71% FT, 2.3 threes, 3.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.3 steals, 0.8 blocks and 0.5 turnovers in 27 minutes per game. If Miles can bring his field goal percentage back towards his career average of 43.5 percent, he would merit higher ownership levels.

Cut List - players owned in over 10 percent of Yahoo! leagues who should not be rostered in standard formats

Wesley Matthews(notes), GF, POR (11% owned)
Matthews would be a fantasy staple if he was guaranteed consistent minutes. However, he is playing on a stacked Portland team that features lots of options on the wing (in the middle, not so much). Nicolas Batum(notes) and Brandon Roy(notes) are both ahead of Matthews on the depth chart, which puts a serious damper on his fantasy value. Matthews is one of those players that is simply much better in real life than they are in fantasy (similar to Shane Battier(notes), Derrick Rose(notes) and others).

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Darrell Arthur(notes), F, MEM (34% owned)
Arthur had a few solid games of production recently, but it is clear that his current run has come to an end. First, he experienced a minor injury when he knocked knees with the rookie big man out of Kentucky, DeMarcus Cousins(notes). Second, Zach Randolph(notes) has made his way back onto the active roster after he bruised his tailbone in the season opener. While he may be relevant again if another injury occurs to the Grizzlies’ frontline, he should be sent back to the waiver wire until further notice.

James Harden(notes), G, OKC (24% owned)
Another hyped sleeper that hasn’t panned out so far this season is Oklahoma City’s James Harden. While he will certainly have fantasy value at some point, he belongs on the waiver wire because of his poor shooting through the first two weeks of the season (25% FG). Thabo Sefolosha(notes) is still the starting shooting guard for the Thunder, and outpaces Harden in terms of minutes (22.8 MPG for Harden versus 24.4 MPG for Thabo). With Harden’s offense sputtering, there is no reason for him to start or get more minutes than the defensive-minded Sefolosha.

Jason Thompson(notes), FC, SAC (23% owned)
In Sacramento’s crowded frontcourt, someone had to have his minutes pinched this season. So far, that guy has been Jason Thompson, with his minutes hovering around 15 minutes per game. The minute crunch has been so bad that head coach Paul Westphal has resorted to playing Thompson at the three. The problem is that the Kings already have a variety of players competing for minutes at small forward, meaning JT’s minutes will be limited barring an injury or trade.

Drew Gooden(notes), FC, MIL (56% owned)
Journeyman Drew Gooden was signed by the Bucks as Andrew Bogut(notes) insurance, and will become a must-add if Bogut experiences any setbacks or new injuries. However, absent that scenario (also known as the worst-case scenario to Bucks fans), Gooden has seen his minutes limited this season, partially by foul trouble. In fact, Gooden has only played more than 20 minutes in two of Milwaukee’s seven games this season. Until he can figure out a way to foul less or until Bogut does down again, Gooden will not get enough minutes to be productive.

Watch List - players to monitor closely in standard leagues

Courtney Lee(notes), GF, HOU (8% owned)
With Kevin Martin’s (notes)ankle questionable heading into Sunday’s game against the Timberwolves, Lee could be a decent play for the injury-depleted and winless Rockets. If Martin is a scratch for Houston, Lee would see a big jump in minutes. Even if Martin is a go, his minutes will be limited until he is fully healthy, with Lee being the primary beneficiary. Keep an eye on the situation and scoop up Lee in the event that Martin misses time or is limited.

Jeff Teague(notes), G, ATL (8% owned)
Widely regarded as an offseason sleeper, Teague is poised to become the point guard to own for the Hawks. While those who put stock in him during the offseason may be dealing with a post-hype hangover and probably don’t want anything to do with him, Teague’s minutes are on the uptick, which is a harbinger of future fantasy value. Continue to monitor this situation.

Grant Hill(notes), GF, PHO (31% owned)
Without much fanfare, 38 year old Grant Hill has been quietly putting together a decent season. Over the past week, Hill has posted top-100 value, which is what you aim for when grabbing guys off the wire. Although Phoenix has a glut of wings, Hill has been effective in under 30 minutes per game. In Sunday’s matchup against the Hawks, Hill dropped 15 points (5-10 FG, 4-4 FT), six rebounds, two assists, one steal and three turnovers.

Ryan Gomes(notes), F, LAC (5% owned)
Off-season acquisition Ryan Gomes has had a tough time figuring out exactly what his role is with the Clippers. Gomes has done a little bit of everything recently, posting a useful fantasy line despite poor shooting from the field. Over the past week, Gomes has averaged 9.2 points, 32 FG%, 86% FT, 1.2 threes, 4.8 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.2 steals, 0.6 blocks and 1 turnover in 38 minutes per game. The minutes are encouraging and if his shot starts falling, Gomes could make a run at top-100 value and a solid pickup.

Deep League Specials - players owned in five percent or less of Yahoo! leagues

Ishmael Smith(notes), G, HOU (1% owned)
With Aaron Brooks(notes) out for at least two weeks, Smith becomes an automatic add in deep leagues and is even worth consideration in standard leagues. The Rockets are thin at the point, with Kyle Lowry(notes) sidelined with back spasms. Smith performed admirably in Brooks’ partial absence Saturday night (11 points, 1 three, 4 rebounds, 7 assists, 1 steal, 1 turnover) and is line for major minutes until Brooks returns.

Brandon Rush(notes), GF, IND (3% owned)
Adding Rush in deep leagues is a forward-looking gamble. He hasn’t seen a minute of action in the regular season so far, and played relatively poorly last season. However, in deep leagues calculated gambles like this one can often be very rewarding. Coach Jim O’Brien’s comments about Rush moving into the starting lineup are enough to warrant a speculative add.

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