The past couple weeks have been a complete mess. The DNPs are racking up all over the place and it has put a somber mood in the world of fantasy basketball. Teams like the Hawks rested almost all of their stars on Saturday night and Miami continues to take their foot off the gas. In hindsight, it’s easy to say something like, “I’m never going to draft players on teams that are going to tank or Miami guys because they will clinch early.” However, it’s not that simple and a team like Golden State wasn’t expected to come out and make the playoffs in the Western Conference. In fact, they were one of the most prominent teams to tank last year. Plus, as great as Miami is, we just can’t automatically assume they’re going to win 27 in a row again. When it comes to drafting next year, try not to get too cute and remember to take the best guy. If you want to give a guy a little better edge for a great schedule, that’s fine, but don’t let it influence your draft strategy too much.
Moving to this week, the waiver wire is a little weak compared to the past month or so. Hopefully, your team is in a position in which you won’t have to count on guys off the wire, but with so many DNPs out there, the bench contributions for fantasy teams could be essential.
Two games: Atlanta, Detroit, Orlando, Utah
Three games: Boston, Charlotte, Dallas, Denver, Golden State, Houston, Indiana, LA Clippers, Memphis, Oklahoma City, Phoenix, Portland, San Antonio, Sacramento, Toronto, Washington
Four games: Brooklyn, Chicago, Cleveland, LA Lakers, Miami, Minnesota, Milwaukee, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia
You can follow me on Twitter for some streaming pickups throughout the week @MikeSGallagher.
Evan Turner (4)- Last week I said I’m probably going to regret putting Turner in Wired, but he actually came to play. Over his last five, Turner averaged 19.4 points, 8.4 boards, 3.4 assists, 0.6 blocks and 1.2 triples on 53.5 percent shooting. Perhaps the shooting numbers are the most impressive considering that Turner shot 36 percent in February. The good news is that he had four games and there’s a very little chance that he gets a DNP.
Jimmy Butler (4)- This one might seem a little obvious, but he’s owned in just 29 percent of Yahoo! leagues. In his last four, Butler averaged 14.3 points, 5.3 boards, 0.8 blocks, 1.0 triples and an impressive 2.8 steals. Marco Belinelli is a game-time call for Sunday, but there’s very little incentive for them to play Bello at less than 100 percent. He plays at shooting guard, small forward and even some power forward, so he should find some way of getting 30 minutes once Belinelli comes back.
Kirk Hinrich (4)- Nate Robinson has outshined him a bit, but in Kirk’s last two games, he averaged 11.5 points, 5.0 assists, 1.5 steals and 2.0 triples in 33.5 minutes. The Bulls have no backcourt depth whatsoever and Tom Thibodeau has gone with a Nate-Kirk backcourt quite a bit. If you're looking for assists, steals and threes, you could do worse than Hinrich. Hopefully, he doesn't get hurt this week, though.
Garrett Temple (3)- He hasn’t exactly been fun like Legends of the Hidden Temple. Temple failed to crack double figures in scoring in any of his last five games, but he played 30 minutes on Saturday and hit two treys with one steal and one block. Bradley Beal is out for the year and with the struggles of Martell Webster lately, Temple could be useful.
Steve Blake (4)- Steve Nash is dealing with hip and hamstring problems, which caused him to sit out of Sunday’s contest. Nash is 39 years old and his body is going to take quite some time to get back to being healthy enough to suit up. Blake has taken on almost all of Nash’s workload, averaging 36.5 minutes in the two games without Nash. He hit five threes in that span and he’ll be worth starting in standard leagues as long as Nash is out.
Corey Brewer (3)- Danilo Gallinari suffered a brutal torn ACL on Thursday night which has left Denver without their top two scorers. Brewer started the second half in Thursday’s game and came off the bench on Saturday. Despite some of the negative connotations that come with being in the second unit, Brewer didn’t disappoint with 22 points, three assists, one steal and two 3-pointers in 29 minutes. He should be viewed as a must-own player even though he’ll hurt your field goal percentage.
Wilson Chandler (3)- He started on Saturday and was outstanding with 21 points, six boards, three assists, one steal and three 3-pointers on 9-of-15 shooting. Besides the stats, things got better with 30 minutes per game and Denver going bananas with the tempo, scoring 131 points in a win over Houston. It did come against the team with the fastest pace in the NBA, so 131 isn't going to happen often. Chandler has been productive in his 24.1 minutes per game this year with 12.1 points, 4.9 boards, 1.0 steals and 1.1 triples. Obviously, if he’s going to get 30 MPG, he’s a must-own guy.
Josh McRoberts (3)- We’ve covered him for a while with the troubles of Byron Mullens’ left ankle and Mullens tapped out yet again on Saturday. McBob logged a whopping 40.2 minutes per game over his last five games, averaging 9.8 points, 9.6 boards and 0.8 steals in that span. The upside isn’t going to be there, but he’ll be a double-double threat with that amount of playing time.
Earl Clark (4)- We should know a whole lot more after Sunday afternoon’s game but Earlsanity has been back for the Lakers. In his last two he averaged 15 points, 8.5 boards, 1.0 steals, 3.0 blocks and 2.0 triples on 59.1 percent shooting. The Lakers won both of those games and Clark was a big reason why with help on the perimeter. He was red hot two months ago and he can do it all, so it’s not a bad idea to pick him up. Be sure to check out his blurb following Sunday’s game.
Michael Beasley (3)- He’s a character. "I just stopped listening to people," Beasley said about his improved play. He was asked a follow-up question about what people and said “everybody.” Despite his strange mental makeup, his numbers are coming on lately. He put up a 25-point gem in 32 minutes on Friday and has been in double-figure scoring in each of his last four games. Beasley’s upside isn’t going to be that high and he’s not going to do you any favors in field goal percentage, but the Suns are in dire straits. Desperation can lead to some unexpected guys putting up big lines.
Trevor Ariza (3)- He’s been quiet in his last two games, scoring a combined 13 points with 12 boards, one block, two steals and 3-pointers. The good news is that he averaged 31 minutes per game in that span and he’s locked in to a role with Bradley Beal out for the year. Ariza can rack up the steals and threes, so if you can absorb the ugly field goal shooting, he should be a solid asset in standard leagues.
Chase Budinger (4)- His minutes have been on the rise with 25.5 per game in his last two and he’s made 1.5 triples in that span. The Wolves have four games this week and their schedule sets up pretty well for him against the Warriors, Clippers, Jazz and Suns.
Greg Smith (3)- He was solid off the bench for most of the year and earned his promotion into the starting lineup. Smith’s productivity was certainly there on Friday with a 19-point, five-board game against the Blazers, but fell off against the Nuggets with six points in 13 minutes on Saturday. The lack of playing time on Saturday makes some sense since the Nuggets have a pace just as fast as Houston's, so the big man was a bit of a liability. He’s more for deep leagues with his lower upside and is likely to come with inconsistencies.
Alonzo Gee (4)- Gee has come on for his last three games, scoring 12.0 points with 7.0 boards, 1.5 steals and 0.5 triples in 31.7 minutes per game. He basically took two months off with a lack of production including shooting 36.4 percent in March, so it will take some guts to move in on Gee in most formats over the course of the week. A four-game week also helps his case.
Jonas Jerebko (2)- The minutes are back up over his last three games with 26.0 per game. The nice thing about Double-J is he takes some threes and he’ll will be doing most of the heavy lifting off the bench along with Rodney Stuckey. However, he’s only someone to spot-start in daily leagues with just two games this week.
Bismack Biyombo (3)- The blocks are back for Bismack Biyombo and he swatted nine in his last three games. He made 100 percent of his free throws in that span, too!! Of course, he only had two attempts. The Bobcats are toast up front with Mullens possibly out for the year. If you need blocks, BB could be your guy with a three-game week.
Ivan Johnson (2)- The Hawks rested the majority of their team on Saturday and there could be more to come. Ivan played 29 minutes and scored 14 points on Saturday and even played 26 minutes under normal circumstances on Friday. Although, he only gets two games this week and only has allure as a spot-start.
Jermaine O’Neal (3)- JO is heating up again. Friday’s game was the headliner with 15 points, nine boards and two blocks in 33 minutes, but he’s been in double-figures for three games in a row. We all know how fragile Jermaine O’Neal is and he’s one of a few players that ices his knees during games. Durability aside, he’s all set to be the man in the middle and the Suns have no choice but to play him considering they arguably have the worst interior D in the NBA.
Brandan Wright (3)- Elton Brand is a game-time decision for Sunday night’s game, which would hurt Wright a bit. Although, Wright has been effective with the Mavs off the bench, but Rick Carlisle doesn’t play him in every matchup. He only has three games this week and isn’t a reliable option.