Week 17 Fantasy Basketball Analysis: All-Star Edition
It’s officially All-Star break as many teams just play twice this week. Only two teams (Boston and Indiana) will play 3 times this week. Keep in mind, many league settings, Yahoo and ESPN included, will feature this week’s matchup counting this week and the following week. For Example, Week 17 will run from February 13th – February 26th because of the shorten week. NBA trading deadline is also near, as we had our first trade that actually has major implications in fantasy leagues.
First, let’s break down some of these breakout performers from Week 16:
Draymond Green PF/C GSW – Draymond was literally all over the box score this week. Through 3 games this week, he averaged 9.7 PPG 9.3 RPG 8 APG 4.7 Steals (!!!!!!) 2.3 Blocks with 1.7 3PTm. He was the best overall player in standard leagues this week, and it wasn’t close. Expect him to keep rolling in top 20 numbers for the rest of the season.
Andrew Wiggins SG/SF MIN – Wiggins has quietly turned the corner into becoming a fantasy stud. Much attention is on his teammate KAT, and with good reason. But Wiggins has become to go-to guy in the clutch and without LaVine in the picture, he’s taken on a bigger offensive role. Through 4 games this week, 28.5 PPG 4.8 RPG 3 APG 2.3 Steals with 1.5 3PTm on an impressive 55% shooting. He probably won’t be this good or efficient going forward, but this is a very encouraging sign for next year’s draft as he is just 21 years old. The T-Wolves are in for a bright future.
Kevin Love PF/C CLE – KLove has been in trade rumors, but little do people realize what he means for Cleveland. He’s the perfect complement to LeBron in Cleveland as he is a floor spacer with range, while also being able to score down in the post. They won a championship, as he has very little reason to be shipped elsewhere. Love returned 1st value round this week with averages of 21 PPG 10.8 RPG 1.8 Steals and 2.5 3PTm.
Kawhi Leonard SG/SF SAS – Once again the quiet assassin, Kawhi has been on fire with averages of 33.3 PPG 7 RPG 4.7 APG 1.7 Steals on 49% FG and 2.3 3PTm. He is the man in San Antonio and people probably forgot Indiana traded him away to the Spurs for George Hill. Who When What Why Kawhi is the best 2-way player in the NBA.
Patrick Beverly PG HOU – Pat Bev is heating up again, as he’s averaging 16.7 PPG 6 RPG 5 APG 2 Steals with 2.7 3PTm this week. As long as James Harden is in Houston, Pat Bev will have this type of upside as he’s a very good shooter from the corner from deep. Beverly is having a great season thus far, putting up top 50 numbers.
Nicolas Batum SG/SF CHA – Kemba might be the All-Star in Charlotte, but Nicolas Batum is a great Robin to Kemba’s Batman. Batum has always been a fantasy stud, filling the box score with averages of 19 PPG 7.3 RPG 7.3 APG with 1.7 Steals 1 Block and 2.7 3PTm. These numbers had him at 2nd round value this week, #14 best overall player.
Blake Griffin PF/C LAC – Not always the biggest Griffin fan, but with CP3 out Griffin is clearly stepping it up for the Clippers. He’s been asked to do more because Clippers need his playmaking, as he averaged 26 PPG 10.3 RPG 8 APG (!) with 1.3 Steals and 1.3 3PT. The 3’s are a bit of an outlier, but it’s just icing on the cake if he’s giving you 3’s as well.
Andre Drummond C DET – Drummond has a chance to be in New Orleans, especially with Kevin Love’s knee acting up. He’s been the best Piston all season and this week he is making a case to be in the main event with averages of 17.3 PPG 16.3 RPG with 3 steals and 2 blocks. If you have him on your team you’re most likely punting FT anyways, and he’s still been 2nd round value despite the free-throws. Can’t complain about that at all.
Nikola Jokic PF/C DEN – The Joker is legit. I watched live as he manhandled and toyed with the Knicks on Friday night. He’s a special player and some might argue he is better than Kristaps Porzingis. Through 4 games this week, he averaged 24.5 PPG 10.3 RPG 5.3 APG on 58% FG. Jokic can also stretch it out to the 3-point line as he averaged 1.3 3PTm. He’s a joy to watch and he’s only 21 years old.
Dario Saric SF/PF PHI – The Homie has been great and before you continue reading, make sure he’s not available in your league. Saric put up averages of 19 PPG 5.3 RPG 3 APG 1.3 Steals with 2.3 3PTm. He’s unlikely to be this good going forward, but you have to pick him up and see where it goes. The 76ers still have no time-table for Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid will take his time to heal from what is reportedly said to be a “small meniscus tear”. Saric is going to have plenty of opportunities to provide some offense for the 76ers.
Matt Barnes SF SAC – Barnes is going to be an intriguing option, despite the fact he can disappear anytime. But when he’s hot, he’s worth deploying as he has a history of sustaining mid-round value.
Jusuf Nurkic C POR – This was a shocker as Portland has decided to part ways with Mason Plumlee, which makes sense now as Portland realizes he isn’t the center they need in the future. Getting rid of him now will now enable Portland not to pay him big money this summer, while also getting a first-round pick from Denver. For Nurk, this is a run, don’t walk moment. Yes, Ed Davis might end up being the biggest beneficiary from this trade. But you want the upside in case Nurk does become the starting center for the Portland Trail Blazers. These are the type of gambles you have to be willing to take in order to win fantasy leagues.
Maurice Harkless SF/PF POR – The loss of Evan Turner will give Harkless back his starting job. Before he got injured, Harkless was pumping out top 50 numbers in standard leagues. You have to grab him to see if he can regain his form. Look for a good source of 3-pointers, steals, with trickles of blocks and boards.
Michael Beasley SF/PF / Malcolm Brogdon PG/SG MIL – The Bucks lost Jabari Parker for the season due a ACL tear. Jason Kidd’s rotations are really random so you might want to tune in some Buck’s game to see their rotations. However, if Brogdon has flashed some upside and Michael Beasley can provide some decent scoring if that’s what you seek.
Marco Belinelli SG/SF CHA – Belinelli is averaging 14.7 PPG over the last 2 weeks. Surprisingly, he’s not hitting enough 3-pointers lately but he’s worth deploying in deep leagues if you need the extra points.
Frank Kaminsky C/PF CHA – Frank the Tank has been really good since Cody Zeller went down, averaging 13.7 PPG 7.3 RPG 3.7 APG with 1.7 3PTm. Zeller is getting closer to return, but Kaminsky is worth deploying until further notice.
Kelly Olynyk C BOS – Olynyk has always had the upside, where minutes were the only thing standing in his way. He’s been pumping top 60 numbers over the last week in just under 22 minutes per game. He’s a must own in standard leagues right now.
Matt Barnes SG/SF SAC – Barnes has been pumping out top 40 numbers over the last week. Whether or not it will last is anyone’s guess. He’s a must own right now while he’s hot. He has the ability to fill the box scores.
The Center Position in Phoenix – When Tyson Chandler went down with an ankle injury, I immediately wanted to grab Alex Len. I just didn’t have anyone worth dropping for a gamble in Len, so I waited. I’m not killing myself over it as Chandler might be back sooner than usual and the Suns might actually continue to start him over Len anyway. Just keep a lookout on this situation as Len could be an immediate pick up if the Suns finally want to start player development for the rest of the season.
Lou Williams / Nick Young PG/SG/SF LAL – Both has been fantastic this season, and I still think one of them are to be moved for young assets during the trading deadline. To be clear, both would lose value on a new team.
Brook Lopez C – I think he gets traded as well, where he would most likely lose value on a contending team.
Dwyane Wade SG CHI – I told you guys all season it’s going to be a headache to own Wade down the stretch. The DNP’s has been piling up and with the Bulls struggling to get W’s, the outlook for Wade isn’t promising at all.
Serge Ibaka ORL – A lot of rumors are speculating he could be moved. A move to a contender would obviously hurt his value. Now is the time to deal him away.
DeMarcus Cousins C – Getting Boogie would probably require you to give up one of your top players. While Boogie is a huge risk because he has already hit his limited on technical fouls this season, the Kings have one of the more favorable playoff schedules. Boogie hasn’t exactly been filling it up either so it might be an ideal time to see how patient his owner is with him.
Otto Porter, John Wall, Bradley Beal WAS – Wizards have one of the best schedules during the playoffs with 4 games played from Week 19 – 23. They are not exactly buy-lows as they have been killing it recently. It would help if these players are on struggling teams on the cusp of a playoff berth who might need roster changes.
REMINDER: Take a bit of time to look at some of the players on your team to see if they have good playoff schedules. Trading multiple players on the same team with a not so good playoff schedule (EX: Houston Rockets) is also ideal if the right trade is in place to improve your team. Analyze what you need to make the final push. After all, you only need to win your matchup 5-4 to advance in the playoffs. These next 2 weeks are critical as you will have time to really analyze what your focus should be to win your fantasy leagues.
Week 17 Schedule Analysis:
On Tuesday, the Lakers, Timberwolves, Kings, Raptors and Cavaliers play. Terrence Ross, Lucas Nogueira, Shabazz Muhammad, Matt Barnes, Ivica Zubac comes to mind. On Thursday, the Celtics, Pacers, and Wizards play. Kelly Olynyk should be added right now. CJ Miles is worth a look. There aren't any back-to-backs Monday and Tuesday. There are five teams with back-to-backs Tuesday and Wednesday (Lakers, Timberwolves, Kings, Raptors and Cavaliers) and two teams with back-to-backs Wednesday and Thursday.
3 Games – BOS, IND
2 Games – ATL, BKN, CHA, CHI, CLE, DAL, DEN, DET, GSW, LAC, LAL, MEM, MIA, MIL, MIN, NOR, OKC, ORL, PHI, PHO, POR, SAC, SAS, TOR, UTA, WAS
1 Game – HOU, NYK
Schedule Grid for the rest of the season: