Sun Dec 05 08:14pm EST
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
• Mike Miller(notes), GF, MIA (24% owned)
If you were contemplating a Miller pickup at some point, now would be the perfect time to add the Ringo Starr of this Heat(les) group. He’s still a week or two away from returning, maybe three, but should pay immediate dividends for those willing to wait it out. His resume over the past four seasons is incredibly impressive: first amongst all wing players in true shooting percentage (60.4%), second in three-point percentage (41.8%), and fourth in field-goal percentage (48.3%). Unlike his counterpart James Jones(notes), who has only taken seven shots at the rim over the past two years (out of 268 attempts), Miller has no problem taking it to the rim where he finishes at a very high percentage. He is also a very able passer, leading all swingmen in assist ratio (26.7%) last season. The only downside is that he’s a liability on defense, which shouldn’t be a big problem given that the Heat lead the league in defensive efficiency. It may take him a few games to find his legs and rhythm, but the transition should be seamless with Miller being a perfect role/glue guy alongside three marquee talents in LeBron James(notes), Dwyane Wade(notes), and Chris Bosh(notes).
• Marvin Williams(notes), F, ATL (37% owned)
With Joe Johnson(notes) sidelined for four-to-six weeks after arthroscopic surgery on his elbow, each of his teammates (Williams included) will have to pick up some of the offensive slack in his absence. In the three games that Johnson has missed, Williams has seen a marked increase in minutes (35.5 MPG), and has posted averages of 14 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 2 steals while getting to the line at a high rate (11-for-12 FT). Those averages have earned him a per-game rank of 69 over the last week, value he can certainly maintain for the foreseeable future until Johnson returns.
• Josh McRoberts, FC, IND (15% owned)
It may not seem like it from his meager scoring average, but McBob has posted top-40 value over the past two weeks. The reason? He manages to contribute everywhere else. 1.1 threes, 5.7 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and 0.9 steals are all around each categorical mean, and he’s shooting the ball at a plus rate (52.8% FG, 84.6% FT) to boot. His blocks more than make up for his scoring deficiencies, and with Tyler Hansbrough(notes) continuing to underwhelm, his foul rate (5.5 per 40 minutes) is really the only thing standing in his way to consistent minutes.
• Thabo Sefolosha(notes), GF, OKC (15% owned)
Take what I said about McRoberts above, rinse, lather, and repeat (this time, substituting steals for blocks). And no, I’m not too worried about the recent emergence of James Harden(notes) significantly affecting Sefolosha’s minutes or value. Scott Brooks has consistently valued what Thabo does on the defensive end more than what Harden provides offensively. Not to mention it makes sense for Brooks to have a spark plug off the bench who can provide instant offense (i.e. Jason Terry(notes), J.R. Smith(notes)).
Cut List - players who should not be rostered in standard formats
• Terrence Williams(notes), GF, NJ (24% owned)
T-Will has posted back-to-back triple-doubles in each of his past two games… in the D-League. For all you piling on Avery Johnson about holding back his potential to put up big numbers, just stop it. Williams’ per-minute value is abominable – 388th this season and 357th last year. His inefficiency is highly unwarranted for a player with one of the higher usage rates in the league. I’ll campaign to free Tyrus Thomas(notes) any day of the week, but you’re not going to find any kind of sympathy here on T-Will’s behalf.
• Anthony Randolph(notes), FC, NYK (44% owned)
Anyone longing for the days of Nellie yet? Randolph has gotten a grand total of 10 minutes of playing time in his last nine games. I’ve been calling him overrated within the fantasy realm for some time now – the guy is just a much bigger headache within a team context (and for a coach) than people think. At some point you have to stop blaming the coach and shine the spotlight right on the player where it belongs.
• Evan Turner(notes), GF, PHI (57% owned)
Doug Collins gave the kid a chance with 12 straight starts, but Turner has obviously got a long ways to go before he could hold down a starting spot (even for a struggling team like the 76ers). Don’t look, but Turner is shooting just nine percent from three this year.
• James Jones, SF, MIA (24% owned)
After averaging 26 minutes over the first dozen games, Jones has averaged just 18 minutes since with most of his minutes going to Mario Chalmers(notes). With Mike Miller returning in the near future, expect his minutes to be cut even further.
• Louis Williams(notes), G, PHI (44% owned)
Lou is shooting 35.1 percent from the field … need I say more? Williams has also seen a substantial cut in his minutes this year with Turner in the mix and the recent emergence of Jodie Meeks(notes), who will be covered shortly. He's essentially a backup point guard and third/fourth shooting guard at this point (Andre Iguodala(notes) slides over to the 2 quite often to make room for Thaddeus Young(notes) and Andres Nocioni(notes)).
• J.J. Hickson(notes), FC, CLE (67% owned)
He’s a one-category contributor (rebounds) at this point. His averages over the past two weeks: 6.8 points, 6 rebounds, 0.5 assists, 0.3 steals, 0.2 blocks, 40.5% FG, 2.3 turnovers. Those numbers are repulsively bad, good for just 328th in per-game value over that span.
• Eric Bledsoe(notes), G, LAC (29% owned)
Even before Baron Davis(notes) returned, Bledsoe was posting some painfully mediocre lines in the two weeks prior. Give him a look if you’re desperate for assists and some steals, but there’s not a whole lot to be had here in general in what looks to be an ugly timeshare the rest of the way.
Watch List - players to monitor closely in standard formats
• Brandon Bass(notes), PF, ORL (9% owned)
Dwight Howard(notes) or not, what Bass managed to do against the Pistons on Friday was incredible. The short and skinny version: he used 15 shooting possessions and scored on 14 of them. More on his performance here. Bass is enjoying the best season of his six-year career, doing so with an absurd offensive rating of 122 while posting a career-best defensive rating of 101. He has clearly emerged as Stan Van Gundy’s backup 4 of choice ahead of Ryan Anderson(notes), who has played just 13 minutes over the past 13 games.
• Brandon Rush(notes), GF, IND (18% owned)
It’s been a game of musical chairs between Rush and Mike Dunleavy at shooting guard, but Rush has been money in the five games he has started, averaging 16.2 points, 2 threes, and 1.2 blocks. Ride the hot hand for as long as you can, but be aware that he is shooting well above his career mark of 42.9 percent.
• Jodie Meeks, SG, PHI (4% owned)
In his second career start, Meeks erupted for 20 first-quarter points en route to a 26-point, seven-trey performance (both career-highs). The reason I am willing to give Meeks a legitimate look and not write this off as a fluke performance is two-fold: 1) there is no immediate threat to his starting job with Turner and Lou Williams playing so poorly, and 2) he’s a second-year player with a lot of room for improvement. As long as Collins is willing to deal with his sub-par defensive abilities (not very aware on that end), there is something to had here.
• Leandro Barbosa(notes), G, TOR (38% owned)
I kind of feel obligated to mention Barbosa here since he totaled 28 points over the past two games. In deeper leagues I would go ahead and pick him up since I can’t imagine there are many better options on the wire, but I would be hard pressed to attribute this outburst to anything more than a short-lived hot streak. He should improve upon his current per-game averages moving forward, but not by much.
• Brad Miller(notes), C, HOU (26% owned)
Through all these peaks and valleys you’ll see as you peruse his game log, Miller has been the Rockets’ best big man from a fantasy perspective with Yao sidelined. He has posted top-50 value during that span while Scola comes in at 119th. Surprising, I know. Two of his four 20+ point games have come against the Bulls (this might at least help to explain it) while the others have come against Memphis and Indiana, two rather forgiving defenses for opposing big men. The majority of Miller’s value has come in two areas: shooting percentages and threes made. Considering he’s 6.5 percent above his career field-goal percentage, 7.4 percent above his career free-throw percentage, and 17.3 percent above his career three-point percentage, there is good reason for skepticism. Like Barbosa, I would add him in deeper leagues but would exercise caution otherwise unless you have an expendable roster spot.
Deep League Specials - players owned in five percent or less of Yahoo! leagues
• Chuck Hayes(notes), FC, HOU (3% owned); Donte Greene(notes), GF, SAC (4% owned); Jerryd Bayless(notes), G, TOR (4% owned); Larry Sanders(notes), PF, MIL (5% owned); Joel Przybilla(notes), C, POR (4% owned)
Spark Plugs – players with a set of especially favorable matchups this week who make for excellent short-term plays
Knicks (MIN, TOR, @WAS, DEN)
Amare’ Stoudemire, Raymond Felton(notes), Wilson Chandler(notes), Landry Fields(notes), and Danilo Gallinari(notes) are all must starts and strong plays this week. You might even want to give Toney Douglas(notes) a look in deeper leagues, though he’s hit just four of his last 19 attempts. Even Shawne Williams(notes) could do some damage if he keeps getting minutes.
guards (OKC, @CLE, LAL, MIN)
Expect a massive week out of Derrick Rose(notes), who has already done his part to exceed preseason expectations (top-25 season, top-16 past two weeks). The Bulls’ foursome of opponents collectively allows the most assists, second-most threes, and third-most points. Luol Deng(notes) should also be in store for a highly productive week, even with Carlos Boozer(notes) back from injury. If you’re desperate for threes, you could do worse than Kyle Korver(notes).
Sefolosha / James Harden (@CHI, @MIN, @NOR, CLE)
Yes, Kevin Durant(notes) is set to return for Sunday’s game against Golden State and will be good to go this week, but the Thunder draw a schedule that caters to both Sefolosha’s and Harden’s strengths: threes and steals, respectively. The Thunder’s slate of opponents allows the second-most threes (tied with the Bulls) and third-most steals. There will be plenty of opportunities for these specialists to well, specialize.
big men (@IND, @NYK, DEN, @DET)
One thing that these four teams don’t collectively do is rebound the ball. Amir Johnson(notes) and, wait for it … Andrea Bargnani(notes), should both haul in at least eight boards a game this week which will serve to enhance their other categorical strengths. For Amir it is blocking shots and shooting at a high percentage; for Bargnani it is scoring in bunches and sending away shots.
Short Circuits – players with a set of unfavorable matchups who have a good chance of struggling this week
Warriors (@DAL, @SAS, MIA)
It’s going to be a bad week for Warriors owners in general – not only do they have a three-game schedule, but they draw the toughest one out there. You obviously start the duo of Stephen Curry(notes) and Monta Ellis(notes), but beyond that, there are no guarantees. Expect David Lee(notes), Dorell Wright(notes), and Andris Biedrins(notes) to struggle more than usual. Those in weekly leagues may want to consider alternative options if possible.
guards (DEN, @IND, BOS)
The Bobcats draw a short week and a set of opponents who, as a group, allow the lowest assist total, lowest field-goal percentage, and second-lowest threes made total. Tyrus Thomas and Gerald Wallace(notes) should be safe, but expect D.J. Augustin(notes) and Stephen Jackson(notes) to struggle more than usual. Jackson should be more matchup proof than Augustin, so like I suggested above with the Warriors trio, those in weekly leagues may want to look for an alternative to start in place of Augustin.
big men (MEM, MIA, ORL, @DAL)
Expect Paul Millsap(notes) and Al Jefferson(notes) to kick the week off right against the Grizzlies, who are seventh in rebounds allowed and ninth in blocks allowed. The road ends there though, as they face the Heat (first in defensive efficiency) along with a pair of defenses anchored by Dwight Howard and Tyson Chandler(notes). Points (29th), rebounds (25th) and blocks (29th) will be hard to come by.
Iguodala / Elton Brand(notes) / Jrue Holiday(notes) (CLE, BOS, NOR)
We’ll see a similar theme here – the trio should shine against the Cavs to kick things off, and then struggle mightily against to post big lines against the Celtics and Hornets. Collectively those two teams just don’t surrender many points, rebounds, and steals - three areas that Iguodala, Brand, and Holiday derive a good portion of their value from (Holiday less so).
Nash(notes) (@POR, MEM, POR)
Those in eight-category leagues need not worry, but otherwise, it’s going to be a week chalked full of turnovers for Nash as he faces two of the top three teams in turnovers forced. I’ll go ahead and set the over/under for his Week 7 turnover total at 13.5.
Follow Justin on Twitter @jphanned
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