Matt Stroup

Roundball Stew

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The Question is Kawhi

Friday, January 18, 2013

From @SLLagda: what can we expect from IT2 ROS?

Unfortunately, I think we have to expect more inconsistency from Isaiah Thomas as long as Keith Smart is in charge. We all know Thomas is capable of producing when he gets minutes, but Smart stubbornly maintains very little interest in consistently giving him 30-plus minutes per game. He’s certainly capable of helping fantasy teams for short stretches at the moment, but this is a headache I’m personally staying away from for now.

From @VP90244: is the eric "bled-show" ready 2 roll rest of the yr? is he worth owning in 12tm h2h 9 cat league?

For now, sure, but Eric Bledsoe should go back to being waiver wire material as soon as Chris Paul is back from his knee injury. Eventually Bledsoe figures to get a chance to be a starting point guard for someone, and I expect him to be dynamic. His athleticism is somewhat obscene.

From @mitchclarke1: what's MWP's value once the whole Lakers cast returns? Is he still good for 2 threes, about 14-15 pts & 2 steals?

I’d put Metta World Peace closer to 13 ppg than 15 (he’s averaging 13.6 ppg on the season), but there’s no reason to think that his 3s or steals are going to fall off significantly. He should be locked into solid value the rest of the way.

From @BrandonAllenSto: JaVale Mcgee. Per 48 incredible and a freaky ceiling, but at an 18 minute/game clip. Is he worth hanging onto?

In my opinion, only in a deeper league. Kosta Koufos doing a pretty serviceable job as the starter in Denver (10.0 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 1.3 spg, 0.8 bpg in 26 minutes per game so far in January), and with the Nuggets winning – 7-2 this month – the platoon at center is not about to go away. McGee’s blocks (2.0) are certainly an asset in deeper formats, but the limited run makes him a sub-par option in standard leagues.

From @gigglebowl: IYO, when will Drummond start or at least get starter min.?

Adam Levitan did a nice job of breaking down Andre Drummond’s outlook recently, and the second half should be an exciting time for the explosive rookie big man. The only red flag here is Detroit’s schedule – the Pistons have only one four-game week from Weeks 19-24 (and play just two games in Week 24).

From @dsp8709: what kind of impact on Greg Monroe is there going to be if Drummond moves to the starting lineup?

I’m not really worried about Monroe. He’s been very consistent on a month-to-month basis for the past couple of years, and I’d be surprised if Drummond’s continued increase in minutes significantly affects Monroe’s numbers.

‏@Nashuaf: How can we fix bad FG/FT%? Just adding good % guys or should I also dump my % killers?

You have to dump your percentage killers to truly fix your percentages, but you also need to be careful. Often those bad percentage guys are carrying you in other categories, so make sure you’re not mortgaging your best categories to end up with a team that has great percentages and not much else. Personally, I’ve always been willing to be middle of the road in percentages while trying to be at or near the top in all other categories.

From ‏@WillowBoyz: Better long-term value for keeper league, Faried, Vucevic, or Sanders?

Nothing against Kenneth Faried – who’s my favorite real-life player of the three, and has been a solid mid-round value this season – but I’m a bit more intrigued by Larry Sanders and Nikola Vucevic, who have been the No. 12- and No. 19-ranked players in Basketball Monster’s 9-category rankings for the last month, respectively. Personally I would put Sanders first because he’s such a huge asset in blocks (a league-leading 3.2 bpg), but Vucevic – who’s tied for third in the league in rebounding (11.2) – could become an even more valuable keeper asset if he can get his blocks (1.1) closer to the 2.0 range. As for Faried, I still really like his game, but I’m not sure that his ceiling is a lot higher than the solid but unspectacular numbers we’ve seen this year (12.3 ppg, 10.0 rpg, 1.1 spg, 0.9 bpg).

From @ItsVikWithAK: Top 10 keepers in 5 years?

Five years is a long way to look ahead. Five years ago, Shawn Marion, Caron Butler, Marcus Camby, Baron Davis, Allen Iverson and Yao Ming were all top-15 fantasy players (according to Basketball Monster’s archived 9-category rankings).

So with the caveat that a lot can change in five years, some of my favorite long-term keeper league prospects (aside from obvious names like Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook) include:

And for the record, this is not meant to be a comprehensive list…

Kyrie Irving: probably goes without saying;

Nicolas Batum: finally emerging as a legit first-round fantasy player, still just 24 years old;

Paul George: Averaging 16.9 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 3.7 apg, 1.7 spg, 0.7 bpg, 2.0 3s – still just 22 years old;

Anthony Davis: Eventually I think he’ll become a top-15 fantasy player;

Serge Ibaka: 23-year-old is averaging career-highs in ppg (14.0), rpg (8.3) while blocking 2.9 shots per game. Has even shown signs of eventually being an asset in 3s;

Jrue Holiday: Averaging 19.0 ppg, 8.8 apg at age 22. If he increases 3s (1.2) and cuts down on TO’s (3.9) he’ll be an absolute monster;

Brandon Jennings: May not ever be a marksman, but there’s plenty room to improve at age 23;

Damian Lillard: Came into the league with a lot of talent and a heavy dose of swagger. It only gets better from here.

That concludes this week’s mailbag. Hit me up on Twitter or email and let me know if you enjoyed it. If you did, we’ll throw around some more mail next week.

Matt Stroup covers basketball, baseball and football for You can find him on Twitter here .
Email :Matt Stroup

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