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.