Line of the Night:/Waiver Wire Line of the Night: Carmelo Anthony returned for the Knicks after missing two games, but it was Landry Fields (3.04) continuing his recent string of strong performances who took both the overall LotN and by virtue of his 43% ownership, the WWLotN. Fields had 18 points (4 threes, 7-10 from the field, 0-0 from the line), 5 rebounds, 5 steals, and 0 turnovers. The Give Me The Rock fantasy basketball player rater always loves it when a guy can make a few threes, get a huge defensive number like 5 steals, and not turn the ball over. That said, the only other really guady (ie: non-efficiency type line) last night came from Anderson Varejao (1.27) and his 20 points and 20 rebounds. But when Ryan Anderson can get 20 rebounds in a game… well, it almost makes Kevin Love look like just an average guy.
Paul George (2.53) led Indiana over New Jersey with a very efficient 24 points (4 threes, 8-11 from the field, 4-4 from the line), and 2 steals. And since fantasy owners don’t care that the Nets lost, let’s mention Anthony Morrow (1.86) with 28 points (5 threes), and Deron Williams (1.63) (who of course I’m playing against this week) with 34 points (4 threes) and 7 assists. I’m sure those people with “Team Wins” as a category are frustrated by the loss, but you kind of have to take it with performances like those. You also have to tell your Commissioner that if they’re going to include a “bonus” or “fun” or just “extra” category, Team Wins is, in my opinion, the dumbest one you could add. The whole point is that it’s fantasy basketball, where you try to get a team of the best players from around the league and it doesn’t matter who they play for as long as they put up huge numbers.
Speaking of teams that lost, Al Harrington (1.85) put up 23 points (3 threes, 4-4 from the line), 10 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals in the loss to Memphis. Across the court Rudy Gay (1.75) rebounded (pun intended) from No Field Goal game with 20 points (4-4 from the line), 13 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks while Marc Gasol (1.57) had another strong game putting up 20 points, 13 rebounds, 2 steals, and 3 blocks.
I’m not sure why coaches play their starters when they’re up by 24 at half time… I mean, I guess you have to play somebody, but to give the notoriously unhealthy Andrew Bynum (1.82) 32 minutes of playing time in a season like this one, I have to question if Mike Brown is actually capable of coaching an NBA team. I’m sure fantasy owners won’t complain about the 20 points (8-11 from the field, 4-4 from the line), 11 rebounds, and 2 blocks (at least if Bynum isn’t injured at the end of the week). I mean, the Knicks were only up by 14 at half time, so I can understand the starters there playing 30+ minutes because they pushed the lead in the 3rd quarter and won by 27… but when you’re already up 24? At least Brown managed to keep Bryant and Gasol in for only 27 and 29 minutes respectively (much to the disappointment of fantasy owners – don’t worry guys, it’s a long season – you’ll need those two to be rested when the Lakers are fighting for playoff position during the fantasy basketball playoffs).
Joe Johnson (1.78) continued to his renaissance of racking up stats with Al Horford out: 30 points (3 threes, 13-18 from the field), and 4 assists. Nothing to it.
Tyreke Evans (1.62) had a near triple-double with 22 points, 10 rebounds, and 9 assists, adding 3 steals just for good measure.
Pick Up Lines: Stephen Curry (0.27) had 8 assists but went 1-7 from the field and played a few less minutes due to that struggle with shooting, which allowed Brandon Rush (1.46) to put up 20 points (4 threes, 6-10 from the field, 4-4 from the line), and 6 rebounds (22% owned). Rush has been pretty decent all season, and sits at #96 on the Player Rater. Even with his minutes capped at about 27 max, I would think he’d be owned in more leagues than 22% simply due to the fact that there are a lot of leagues with more than 12 teams (though, at 96, he should be owned in 12 teams leagues, too).
Troy Murphy (1.40) played nearly a season-high 27 minutes for the Lakers (because of the blowout) and ended up with 12 points (4 threes), 6 rebounds, and 4 assists (6% owned). His minutes are still very inconsistent and he’s only averaging 18 on the year, so leave him for deep leagues.
Alonzo Gee (1.09) was part of a furious 4th quarter comeback for the Cavs that just fell short. He put up 11 points, but it was the 4 steals that really drew the Player Rater in (4% owned). Gee is up to 25 minutes per game and averaging 1.6 steals in that time. He’s not a great fantasy asset, but it seems like he should be owned in more than 4% of leagues. (Especially when teammate Ramon Sessions is owned in 31% of leagues and only ranked 200 compared to Gee sitting at 164)
Jermaine O’Neal (1.05) returned from a bruised left knee to score 12 points (5-7 from the field), with 2 blocks (5% owned). Give him a couple games to see if he can keep getting 25+ minutes and if he does, then don’t hesitate. He can put up big boards and blocks for you when he starts for the Celtics.
If you’re looking for a short (or possibly long) term fill-in at Center and don’t trust Jermain O’Neal, then perhaps Ed Davis will be more to your liking. Davis had 11 and 11, making all 3 of his free throws and blocking a shot. Even though Amir Johnson is starting in place of Andrea Bargnani, it looks like the Raptors still don’t trust him to really get the job done. Davis has played more minutes of the bench the last two games, and while he’s not going to win anything by himself, his contributions in rebounds, steals, and blocks are better than nothing.
Biggest Loser: Still owned in 62% of leagues, that might not last long if Brandon Knight (-1.04) keeps this up. After coming in second (to last) last night, Knight managed just 9 points on 38% shooting with 1 rebound, 1 assist, and 3 turnovers.
It wasn’t a great night from DeMar DeRozan (-0.70), but that seems to be about how his lines go these days. After scoring 27 in the Raptors last game, DeMar had only 9 points (3-9 from the floor, 3-4 free throws) with 4 rebounds, 2 assists, and 4 turnovers.
Daily rankings and stats come from the GMTR H2H Player Rater (beta version). They are based on the stat Wins Above Replacement Player (WARP) an estimate of the number of wins a player produces per week in H2H leagues over a replacement (waiver wire) player.
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