2012 Fantasy Basketball: Danny Granger, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Pau Gasol and More


We’ve reached that point in the NBA’s regular season. It’s time for Fantasy Basketball Playoffs! Yeah! So, bring out that Win Sauce and slather it all over your team’s roster.

Some playoffs have just started, while others are already deep into the thick of things. Regardless of the situation, teams that made it to fantasy’s post-season are ready raring to duke it out.

Many questions are abound and up in the air. Is Eric Gordon finally going to get back on the court? How risky a play is it to start guys like Nene Hilario, Andrew Bynum, Nate Robinson, Ryan Anderson? Those are some tough calls that had to be made, but now for teams in weekly changes leagues, your fate rests in the hands of the Fantasy Basketball Gods.

Line of the Night: Last night Danny Granger (2.73), brought the goods, big time, and led the Pacers to an overtime victory against the rockets. Danny blasted away from downtown for six triples, was perfect from the line (4-4) and wound up with 32 points, seven boards and two blocks to his name. That right there is the kind of quality basketball owners are looking for in the playoffs!

Honorable Mentions:

Kevin Durant (2.38) should just get handed the regular season MVP trophy so we all be done with it and begin cheering the Thunder’s real-life playoff appearance. Durant had another superlative night with 26 markers (11-16 from the field) and 10 rebounds. He and the rest of the Thunder just crushed the Chicago Bulls. Speaking of the rest of the Thunder, Russell Westbrook (2.36) was not to be outdone. Well he was actually. But just by 0.02 WARP. R-West went for 27 points (6-6 from the line), while dishing out five  assists, and grabbing four steals. There isn’t a better dynamic duo in fantasy at the moment. Own either of these studs and that’s all win sauce right there, baby!

Let’s be honest. For most of the season Pau Gasol (2.12) has been overshadowed by both  Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum (-1.02). Pau has quietly been producing solid lines post-all-star break, but went bonkers the moment bonkers when Bynum sprained his ankle and only managed to total 10 minutes on the floor. Gasol double-doubled in style via 26 points (11-17 from the field), and 11 boards, and in vintage Pau Gasol fashion he threw in six dimes and three blocks for good measure.

Luke Ridnour (2.04) is back and while JJ Barea is still out and dealing with a thigh contusion, expect Ridnour to keep up this kind of effort. He finished the night with 21 points (6-6 from the line), 6 assists, and three steals. Barea hopes to be back this week and Ridnour is just currently “nutting up” and playing through his own aches at the moment. It would be wise to keep an eye on Minnesota’s back court situation closely.

Ty Lawson (1.86) has been doing quite well over his last few games. Last night’s performance against the Magic was no exception. He was a smooth operator as he scored almost at-will over what poor defender the Magic threw at him as he scored 25 points (10-16 from the field). It wasn’t a score-fest for Lawson as he also managed to add nine assists and five boards to his tally for the evening.

Roy Hibbert (1.64) helped out teammate Danny Granger by doing a lot of the “dirty work”, you know, cleaning up off the glass with nine boards, swatting away unwanted shots by the opponents with five blocks; those kinda things. Oh, he added 15 points too. Overall not a bad night for Hibbert.

While it wasn’t yet another Kevin Love (1.59) line of the night, he still managed an honorable mention-worthy performance with 26 points (11-12 from the line), nine boards and four assists. I’m up against Nels in the GMTR Readers League this week. He’s got Kevin Love, I’d be overjoyed to see Love deliver these kinds of “toned down” nights this week, especially considering how explosive we all know he’s capable of being.

Waiver Wire Line of the Night:Marcus Camby (1.76) has clearly taken over things upfront for the Rockets and has completely displaced Samuel Dalembert and his fantasy value. Camby in seemingly ageless form had a killer line with 10 points and nine boards that were complemented by four steals and four blocks. It looks like he’s worth a pick-up even in shallow leagues at this point. (46% owned)

Pick Up Lines: Nate Robinson (1.68) stepped up when Charles Jenkins (0.81) bruised his knee. Robinson finish the night with 17 points most of which came via his five treys. He also added seven assists and two steals. Jenkins on the other hand only played 22 minutes, but managed to notch 10 points and hand out six assists. Either Warrior is a risky play at this point as they’re clearly tugging at each others’ value, but then neither one is at 100% health. Jenkins is theoretically the safer of both risks right now, but we’ll have to wait on how the trainers evaluate his knee until we anoint a true winner between the two.

Chris Singleton (1.30) is still a deep league special, at best, right now. He lacks consistency, but his 15 points with four triples was pleasant sight, not to mention his grabbing eight boards too. While Trevor Booker and Nene Hilario are risky plays this week Singleton may at least be considered as “streaming fodder” for the week.

Richard Jefferson (1.22) is quietly carving out some solid sixth, or should I say seventh to eighth man production since being traded to the Warriors. Jefferson was a clutch play for a team I was hoping not to meet this week in one of my leagues. His team needed exactly the four treys RJ brought for him to squeeze passed an easier opponent (for me). At that point, his 16 points scored was just plain gravy

Biggest Loser:

JaVale McGee (-1.66) and his lack basketball IQ shined through last night as he was benched mainly due to, well what I surmise, his five early turnovers. That was just awful for his owners who may have been counting on him to up his game. He finished with two points and 7 rebounds.

Mario Chalmers (-1.14) looked lost, once again! Let’s just say he got “Rondo-ed” and leave at that, and hope he returns to his more effective self. He managed just two points, two assists and on rebound

Luol Deng (-1.13) must have been overwhelmed by Kevin Durant and was largely ineffective in lifting the Bulls to victory. He had a field-goal punishing 4-13 ratio, winding up with eight measely points in the process. Call it an off night and pray to the fantasy Gods he doesn’t bang his wrist the wrong way this week.


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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