December 19, 2010
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
Young(notes), GF, WAS (32% owned)
The Gilbert Arenas(notes) trade hit Nick Young harder than we all expected, but it hardly affected his play on the court in Saturday’s last-minute collapse to the Heat, where he tied a season-high with 30 points on an efficient 13-of-23 shooting. Young has been one of the team’s most pleasant surprises this season and has shown remarkable consistency over the past two weeks, where he has scored 17 or more points in six of his last seven games. He has posted top-40 value over that span, buoyed by big contributions in points, threes, and free-throw percentage impact. With Arenas now out of the picture and the Wizards’ backcourt reduced to a tight three-man rotation (John Wall(notes) and Kirk Hinrich(notes) included), Young should continue to be, at worst, a steady utility option in standard leagues. He should go back to the bench once Wall returns, but has the upshot for increased production with Wall’s right knee tendinitis expected to linger on for the rest of the year.
• Marcus Thornton(notes), SG, NO (32% owned)
The rationale given by first-year coach Monty Williams for keeping Thornton buried in the depth chart and glued to the bench just won’t fly anymore. Unless he has some sort of vendetta and grudge against him that we don’t know about, there isn’t a single (good) reason not to give Thornton the lion’s share of the minutes at the 2. Not only is he unquestionably the greater talent and more important to the team’s long term plans, but he has outperformed Belinelli by a comfortable margin this season. You can talk all you want about Thornton’s defensive shortcomings, but he leads the team in unadjusted defensive rating (-8.19 net) amongst players with at least 200 minutes. The Hornets allow 0.94 points per possession (PPP) when he’s on the court and 1.02 PPP when he’s off. Belinelli on the other hand comes in dead last with an adjusted defensive rating of +9.37 net. The Hornets allow 1.05 PPP with him on the court, and just 0.95 PPP when he's off. Add on Thornton’s well-known offensive exploits (only player on this roster who has the potential to score 20 points in a given quarter), and you get the picture. Thornton dropped 19 points off the bench in 24 minutes of action in two of his last three games, and although there are no real guarantees given Williams’ erratic usage of Thornton (just 12 minutes in Sunday’s overtime loss), he is well worth the shot. Consider him both a must- and speculative add at this point … a musculative add, if you will.
Miller(notes), GF, MIA (38% owned)
The Ringo Starr of this Heat(les) group was featured in the Add List as part of the Week 7 Dashboard, and gets a shout out once again as he could make his debut as early as Monday against Dallas. If not Monday, then he should definitely be ready to go for Thursday’s matchup against the new-look Suns. The Heat have struggled to find a consistent fourth option between Mario Chalmers(notes), Carlos Arroyo(notes), James Jones(notes), and Zydrunas Ilgauskas(notes), and haven’t been particularly threatening from three-point range (12th in makes, 16th in attempts). Miller will step right in and address both of those concerns. He won’t be throwing up 14-15 shots like he did a few seasons ago in Memphis, but his exceptional efficiency – over the past four seasons: 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%) – will more than make up for the lack of volume.
Gortat(notes), C, PHO (12% owned)
Stuck behind the immovable shadow of Dwight Howard(notes) for the first four years of his career, Gortat finally gets his shot at major minutes for a team that desperately needs his size and rebounding – the Suns are 29th in rebound rate. Though I’m still of the mindset that Channing Frye(notes) and Robin Lopez(notes) remain the starters for the foreseeable future, I could see Gortat eventually making his case and pushing for the job. Playing alongside two-time MVP Steve Nash(notes) will make things much easier on the offensive end, adding to his two existing strengths: rebounding and blocking shots. Before everyone gets too carried away with their expectations, let me point out that his rebound rate has been in steady decline since his rookie season – 23.1, 20.3, 18.1, 17.8. Still one of the better marks out there (tied-10th amongst centers), but not what he once was. I’d still take Frye and Lopez over him, but he’s a much closer third than Hakim Warrick(notes).
Cut List - players who should not be rostered in standard formats
• Corey Maggette(notes) (54% owned), Evan Turner(notes) (44% owned), Yao Ming(notes) (39% owned), Anthony Randolph(notes) (39% owned), Brendan Haywood(notes) (Andy Behrens, about 5 times this season), Jarrett Jack(notes) (28% owned), Francisco Garcia(notes) (what gives, Paul Westphal?!?), James Jones (22% owned), Tiago Splitter(notes) (21% owned)
Watch List - players currently owned in less than 40% of Yahoo! leagues to monitor closely in standard leagues
Hawes(notes), C, PHI (33% owned)
Just as I started to give in a bit and throw him a bone, Hawes goes on to foul out in 25 minutes while posting a complete dud (2 points, 2 rebounds, 2 blocks, 1-of-7 FG). I’m not going to totally ignore what he was able to do prior to that (top-40 value in the two weeks prior), but my long-term skepticism continues. My main problem with him, aside from his track record of continual disappointment, is that his game is deeply flawed. He relies way too much on long twos and threes (shots he doesn’t even hit at a high percentage), draws fouls at a very low rate (not that he hits his foul shots anyways), and is a poor rebounder for a player of his size. You could do a lot worse if you’re desperate for a center in a 12-teamer, but in reality Hawes is better suited for those in deeper leagues.
Fernandez(notes), SG, POR (8% owned)
With the Blazers severely undermanned the past two games (enough to recently call up Luke Babbitt(notes)), Rudy has been a mini-revelation, averaging 20.5 points, six assists, three steals, and three treys during that span. Now it’s not likely that he will retain his value once Brandon Roy(notes) returns from his three-game absence, but with Roy’s status very much up in the air moving forward, Rudy is a very nice insurance policy to have around just in case. Consider him a must-have handcuff if you’re invested in Roy, and a nice speculative option in deeper leagues.
Robinson(notes), G, BOS (28% owned)
The only reason Nate is on the Watch List instead of the Add List is his long-term viability. He won’t be the answer to your problems come Week 12, but is a great short-term play with Rondo (ankle) sidelined for another week-to-10 days (maybe less). In five starts this season, Nate has averaged 16 points, 5.4 assists, and 2.6 threes. If you need a quick shot in the arm then look no further than this little engine that could (fail). Sure brings back memories of the Waltoncopter.
Bass(notes), PF, ORL (21% owned)
I get that he’s the unquestioned starter at the 4 in Orlando at the moment, but his shortage of assists, steals, and blocks are very J.J. Hickson(notes)-esque. Now Hickson is a whole new low that Bass won’t ever reach because he won’t kill your efficiency figures, but you get my drift here. Even with 26 minutes these past two weeks, Bass came in at just 265th in per-game value. He’ll still be a viable play in standard leagues with averages close to 14 points and seven rebounds, but clearly has his limitations as a five-category contributor.
Webster(notes), GF, MIN (14% owned)
I added Webster in my 16-team, 14-player league on Monday hoping he would go off against the Warriors, which he did, but he has maintained a high level of play in the three ensuing games as well. His value and rank are being severely depressed by his turnover average (3.0), but given that he’s averaged less than a turnover a game over his career, that’s almost certainly an outlier as he gets re-acclimated after missing extensive time due to hip surgery. Remember those stretches in Portland last year where he would go off for 20 points and five threes a night? Well, then why wouldn’t he have that same type of scoring potential in Minnesota, where there’s clearly a bigger scoring void than there was during his stint in Portland (Roy, LaMarcus Aldridge(notes), Andre Miller(notes), Nicolas Batum(notes)). Yes, he’s had his bouts with inconsistency, but anyone with the potential to put up those types of lines deserves to be rostered in deeper formats.
Kleiza(notes), GF, TOR (32% owned)
Kleiza has been silly in his last two starts in place of Sonny Weems(notes) (back spasms), going off for 18 points, 12 rebounds, and three treys on Friday then following it up with a 26-point, 10-rebound (4 threes) performance on Sunday. Weems shouldn’t be sidelined for much longer, but this raises the interesting question of whether Kleiza should return to the starting lineup. Kleiza started the team’s first eight games but was benched for the next 18 after shooting just 41 percent. I’d hold off on making any definitive judgments about some sort of resurgence until Weems gets back, but he’s at least worth a speculative add in deeper formats until we find out.
Deep League Specials – players currently owned in five percent or less of Yahoo! leagues who warrant a roster spot in deep leagues (14 teams+)
• Chuck Hayes(notes) (4% owned), Matt Bonner(notes) (4% owned), Jared Dudley(notes) (4% owned), Carlos Arroyo (3% owned), Ryan Anderson(notes) (2% owned), Jordan Hill(notes) (2% owned), Vladimir Radmanovic(notes) (this never gets old)
Spark Plugs – players with a set of especially favorable matchups this week who make for excellent short-term plays
• Your Spurs (PHO, DEN, @ORL, WAS)
Categorical breakdown: points (5th), assists (t-6th), FG% (5th)
• Your Clippers (MIN, HOU, PHO)
Categorical breakdown: points (1st), threes (6th), rebounds (4th), assists (3rd), steals (2nd), FG% (2nd)
• Your Jazz (@CLE, @MIN)
Categorical breakdown: points (2nd), threes (1st), rebounds (3rd), assists (1st), steals (3rd), blocks (1st), FG% (3rd), turnovers (7th)
• Rockets guards (@GSW, @LAC)
Categorical breakdown: points (3rd), threes (3rd), assists (2nd), steals (1st)
• T'Wolves three-point specialists (@LAC, UTA, @CLE)
Categorical breakdown: threes (1st)
Short Circuits – players with a set of unfavorable matchups who have a good chance of struggling this week
• Your Mavericks, especially big men (@MIA, @ORL)
Categorical breakdown: points (30th), threes (27th), rebounds (30th), assists (29th), blocks (30th), FG% (30th)
• Your Lakers, especially guards (MIL, MIA)
Categorical breakdown: points (29th), threes (23rd), rebounds (23rd), steals (30th), blocks (29th), FG% (29th)
• Suns big men (@SAS, MIA, @LAC)
Categorical breakdown: rebounds (26th), blocks (t-24th), FG% (t-24th)
• Your Raptors (DET) - only team with one game in Week 9
• Celtics guards (PHI, @ORL)
Categorical breakdown: points (t-28th), threes (30th), assists (30th), FG% (28th)
Photos via Getty Images
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