Fantasy Basketball 2014: Who’s Hot, Who’s Not
When a player you own in fantasy is on a nice streak, you feel great about life. No, not just fantasy sports.
Okay, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but you feel pretty darn good. And when your player is on a cold streak, you feel like ripping someone’s head off. And yes, that may be another exaggeration.
We are rapidly approaching Week 13 of the fantasy hoops season, and a handful of players are really emerging as must-start options with their recent play. And some, on the other hand, are head-ripping causers. Let’s take a look at who’s hot and who’s… well… not.
Terrence Jones, Houston Rockets: It turns out Dwight Howard isn’t the only must-start big man in Houston, folks. Sophomore, Terrence Jones is breaking out in year two, averaging 11 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game. But if you looked at his last five contests, you think that number would be way too low. During that span, Jones is dominating, averaging 21.6 points, 12.2 rebounds, three blocks and 1.4 steals per contest. Un-friggin-real. He is dominating the glass due to his physical play, as well as seeing a healthy 12.9 rebound opportunities per game on the year, which is good for 35th-most in the league. He is playing over 37 minutes per game on a team that plays at a fairly high pace, and also gets a favorable four-game schedule for Week 13. Must-start territory, y’all.
Goran Dragic, Phoenix Suns: I feel inclined to start calling him “Dragon” just because he is too good to be just called “Goran.” No offense, Gor— Dragon. Dragic has been an offensive machine since Eric Bledsoe went down with an injury. During those nine games, Dragic is averaging a stellar 22.8 points, 4.7 rebounds, 6.4 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.9 triples, making for one of the top point guards in all of fantasy. He’s averaging a healthy 77 offensive touches per game and is single-handedly running the Suns offense. Don’t expect him to slow down. Dragic should be universally regarded as an elite fantasy point guard, even if Bledsoe returns.
Al Jefferson, Charlotte Bobcats: Big Al is on a tear. Over his last five games, the newly acquired Bobcats center is averaging a gaudy 26.2 points, 11.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.4 steals and a block. He’s had three double-doubles during that span and now has 15 on the season. On the year, he’s also seeing a strong 16 rebounding chances per contest, which is good for 15th-most in the league. Also, the reasoning behind his large scoring outputs is the fact that his stellar point guard, Kemba Walker is averaging a league-leading 77.4 passes per game. On top of that, Jefferson is getting the ball where it’s easier to score, seeing an impressive eight close touches per game, which are looks originating within 12 feet of the hoop.
The Philadelphia 76ers offense: I wrote an article saying why you might want to sell high on your Sixers players. This team is not good by any means, and continue to get blown out more often than not, thus, hurting the upside of the fantasy prospects. Philadelphia has lost four of their last five games, and in those games, they’ve lost by 10, 10, 15 and 25.
Evan Turner hasn’t played more than 29 minutes in back-to-back games because of the 76ers recent awful play. And over his last five games, he’s averaging 14.4 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.8 assists, which is nothing to write home about. He continues to be one of my largest sell-high candidates, especially because he may be traded when it’s all said and done.
After a stretch of 20-point outings, Thaddeus Young has failed to reach that mark in four straight games now, averaging an ugly 12 points per game during that span. He, too, could be dealt with the way the Sixers season is going. Rookie Michael Carter-Williams seems to be the only untouchable player in Philadelphia.
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.