Fantasy Basketball 2013: Week 6 Strength Of Schedule

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

 

Do you believe in magic?

I do, at least for Week 6 of the fantasy hoops season.

Rookie guard Victor Oladipo has been a favorite of mine all season long, and with point guard Jameer Nelson still sidelined, Oladipo will continue to be on my love list. The Magic aren’t the only group I am eyeing this week. Let’s forecast Week 6 of the fantasy season, shall we?

Orlando Magic

Opponent

PPG Allowed

Rank

Wizards 100.8 10th-most
76ers 109.8 most
Knicks 98.8 20th-most
Rockets 102.7 4th-most

 

Did I mention I love Oladipo? The Indiana product hasn’t had an immediate fantasy impact, largely because he hasn’t seen the most playing time, finally logging 30 minutes per game. However, with veteran point guard Jameer Nelson still dealing with an ailing foot injury, Oladipo has seen an uptick in playing time. Over his last five games, the rookie is logging 34.2 minutes per game, and has scored at least 15 points in four of those games. His value appears to be climbing, and as the Magic continue to build toward the future, he should be used more. I love him this week, as he gets three bottom-five defense in the league. No team has allowed more points on the season, as well as over the last 10 games than the Sixers. Oladipo has struggled with the long ball this year, but a Sixers team that is allowing a league-high 32.1 three-pointers per game may be the best medicine. Of course, Oladipo has struggled taking care of the ball, turning it over four times per game. That should change against a Houston defense that has forced the third-fewest turnovers in basketball. Roll with the rookie this week.

The last time Glen Davis scored over 15 points in a game, it was the day before Thanksgiving. Who was it against? None other than the Sixers. Davis had a nice stat line, scoring 19 points, while adding five rebounds, one assist and one block. He’s been strong since making his season debut a few weeks back. Since returning from a foot injury, Davis is logging close to 30 minutes per game, and with Nikola Vucevic soaking up the attention, Davis should have plenty of opportunity. The 76ers lack size and power, which bodes well for the monstrous Davis. He’ll have rebounding opportunity, as well, as both the Wizards and Knicks rank fourth-worst and ninth-worst in rebounding differential, respectively.

Denver Nuggets

Opponent

PPG Allowed

Rank

Nets 102.4 5th-most
Cavaliers 100.8 11th-most
Celtics 96.6 23rd-most
76ers 109.8 most

 

The Nuggets are a first on the love list for this season, simply because they lack a ton of fantasy relevant pieces. I mean, outside of Ty Lawson, there aren’t really any players you can consistently trust. However, if there is any week to roll with them, it’s this one. You are starting Lawson, so let’s just leave it at that. But what about a sleeper of mine heading into the season?

Since returning from injury, Wilson Chandler hasn’t been the most productive fantasy asset, but his minutes are begging to rise, which is great for fantasy owners. After logging a season-high 32 minutes on Monday, Chandler has now played at least 30 minutes in four of his last five games. Danilo Gallinari won’t return to action until perhaps February, so Chandler has the small forward job for the time being. That’s great, especially this week. Chandler is known for his three-pointers, averaging almost four attempts per game from long range. He’s only sinking one per game, but he has a great chance to improve on that this week. Two of his Week 6 opponents (PHI, BKN) are inside the bottom-five in three-pointers per game, coming in at 32.1 and 25.9, respectively. Also, the Nets (40.4%), Cavs (38.1%) and Sixers (38.6%) are all inside the bottom six in opposition three-point percentage. Chandler could light it up from three this week.

Also, JJ Hickson has filled in admirably for the injured JaVale McGee, averaging 10.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. The Nuggets center is only averaging 0.9 blocks per game, though, which has hurt owners a bit. However, he may be worth a look in a week with good matchups on the table. The Sixers are allowing opponents to block 7.4 shots per game, which is the most in basketball, and Cleveland isn’t too far behind with 5.8 per contest. Hickson could use his size and athleticism to his advantage this week, against teams that lack towering presences in the paint.

Cleveland Cavaliers

Opponent

PPG Allowed

Rank

Nuggets 102.9 3rd-most
Hawks 99.6 17th-most
Clippers 101.6 7th-most

 

The Cavs only have three games this week, but some good matchups have me liking them. Not to mention the fact that they are my favorite team, so back off. Kidding. Anyway, after slumping a bit, it’s good to see Kyrie Irving getting back on track for fantasy owners that invested a first round pick in him. He’s an elite point guard, and needs to be started without even thinking twice. Two other guys I have my eyes on are Dion Waiters and Andrew Bynum. Let’s start with the former member of Syracuse.

Waiters has brought a handful of drama to Cleveland this season. There have been trade rumors, locker room trouble, you name it. On the court, the sophomore shooting guard has been very inconsistent. A streaky scorer, Waiters is capable of scoring 20 points every night, but the consistency issues have killed him this year. Because of that, fantasy owners haven’t felt comfortable starting him, and I don’t blame them. However, this may be the safest week yet to play him. Cleveland had a terrible schedule last week, and Waiters still averaged 21.6 points per game. He’s a very talented player, and with Irving drawing tons of attention next to him, Waiters should see plenty of opportunity. Denver and the Clippers rank in the bottom seven in points allowed per game, so perhaps Waiters can consistently put the ball in the basket. Waiters also has that slasher mentality, getting to the free-throw line almost six times per game. That bodes well against a Clippers team that allows 27.4 team foul shots per game, the third-most in basketball.

Then there’s Bynum. What a tragic downfall for this talented center. However, it has been encouraging to see him on the court for the most part this season, and is actually coming off his best game in what seems like forever. On Saturday, Bynum played a season-high 30 (yes, it’s possible) minutes, scoring 20 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and a healthy five blocks. It was very promising to see Bynum post that tremendous stat line. Keep in mind that was against a tough Bulls frontcourt. If you have been anxious about using him, this may be the week to do it. The Nuggets are allowing the second-most offensive rebounds per game this year (12.7), and with an uptick in playing time, Bynum may be turning the corner.

Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.

You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.

 

 


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