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2012 Fantasy Basketball: Dirk Nowitzki, Carlos Boozer, C.J. Watson, Kevin Love and More

Line of the Night:Dirk Nowitzki (2.40) led the Mavs to a big win over the Nuggets with 33 points on 12-19 shooting, adding 3 threes, 11 rebounds and 6 assists. For anyone scared about Dirk after his slow start to the season, the numbers he’s been putting up after he took that week off in January are right in line with the first round value we all expected from him this year.

Honorable Mentions: Derrick Rose missed yet another game with a groin injury, so Carlos Boozer (2.33) picked up the scoring slack (and defensive slack apparently) as the Bulls shut down the Magic 85-59. Boozer had 24 points on 12-18 shooting, with 13 rebounds and 4 steals. It’s his best game of the season according to the player rater. C.J. Watson (-1.08) got the start for Rose and had a bigger loser like 0-8 shooting night to finish with 1 point and 3 assists.

Gerald Wallace (2.00) celebrated his arrival to the Nets with 27 points and 12 rebounds in a loss to the Cavs. Deron Williams (1.30) added 28 and 8 in the game, then left without speaking to the media.

Kevin Love (1.96) had another insane double-double with 36 points and 17 rebounds in 44 minutes as the Wolves took down the Warriors.

And a very nice night for Thaddeus Young (1.85) off the bench against the Bobcats. He led the Sixers with 20 points, shooting 10-12 from the field, and added 6 rebounds and 2 blocks.

[Due to time constraints, let's take the jump into waiver wire territory]


Waiver Wire Line of the Night:Tristan Thompson (1.58). I made a halfhearted waiver wire recommendation for Thompson in this week’s podcast based on the fact that he was promoted to be the Cavs new starting center, saying that if he had a good game or two I’d look to pick him up. Well, I think last night’s explosion against the Nets qualifies: a career high 27 points on 12-16 from the field, with 12 rebounds in 37 minutes. Thompson’s first game as starter against the Hawks wasn’t anywhere close to as pretty and he’s bound to experience some huge ups and downs over the rest of the year, but it’s tough to ignore a guy with his upside who is also getting 35+ minutes a game.

Heading into H2H playoffs, if I already had a solid team and no clear player to drop for him, I probably would not bother picking him up as his inconsistency is likely going to be a killer where one bad week means your season is over. But if my team was on shaky ground and I had some guys either underperforming or injured, I’d take a shot on Thompson and pray all goes well with him in the Cavs’ starting lineup.

Pick Up Lines: Time to grab Spencer Hawes (1.50) if he’s hanging out on your wire and you’re in need of a big man. In this third game after a long, long absence, Hawes got 24 minutes of run while starting at center and finished with 13 points, 11 rebounds and 3 blocks. Yes, the game was against the Bobcats, so temper those expectations a bit going forward, but as long as Hawes can stay healthy for more than a week, he’s going to contribute enough to be addable in all league sizes.

Speaking of big men, Zaza Pachulia (1.44) had his best game of the season against the Boston Celtics, scoring 16 points, and adding 13 rebounds and 3 steals. While the game did come against the big man enhancing C’s, Zaza has continued to play better and better as the Hawks starting center and now has 6 double-digit rebounding games in a row. He’s still not going to block a lot of shots and his scoring is hit or miss, but over the past couple weeks he’s averaged 0.25 WARP, which puts him around #100 overall and means he’s got low end value for most leagues.

The Celtics need a disclaimer that reads, “Facing the Boston Celtics may increase your chance of having a big man go off; possible side effects include having wide open looks at the basket and getting hacked and going to the line a lot. A very small number of people experience shortness of breath while being choked by KG”.

While C.J. Watson took the reigns of the Bulls’ offense and attempted to crash it into the side of a mountain, John Lucas (1.33) came off the bench and saved the day, scoring 20 points and hitting 4 threes in only 21 minutes on the court. Unfortunately, for someone wondering who to play while Rose is out, Watson has been way too inconsistent to pick up and is dealing with his own injury and Lucas is simply not getting enough minutes to consistently put up this type of line every game. Looks like Rose owners are simply going to have to pray for him to get back on the court soon.

The Warriors really are the perfect low-pressure situation that Richard Jefferson (1.20) seems to thrive in. Jefferson scored 19 points, with 2 threes and 2 steals 29 minutes off the bench against the Wolves. Look for him to have a strong finish to the season as he can toil away in obscurity without the pressure of being on a playoff contender in the Spurs.

Brandan Wright (1.14) has recently returned from a concussion for the Mavs and helped fill in for the injured Brendan Haywood with 15 points on 7-9 from the field and 6 rebounds. With Haywood out with a sprained right knee until the end of March and possibly longer, Wright makes a great add in deeper leagues (he’s currently only 1% owned in Yahoo leagues) if you are looking for big man help over the next couple of weeks. As long as he continues to see 20+ minutes off the bench, Wright has the chance to block 2+ shots a game, he’ll also board and score a bit and won’t kill your percentages. He gets the official GMTR deep league recommendation!

Greg Stiemsma (0.71) blocked 4 shots in only 19 minutes against the Hawks. Unfortunately, he didn’t do too much else, scoring 4 points and grabbing 3 boards in the game. Still with Jermaine O’Neal officially out for the season, Stiemsma has some value – especially in deep leagues – if you’re streaming for some blocks as he’s got 16 in the Celtics last 6 games. He’s not going to do much else for you though.

With Corey Maggette out with a back bruise, Reggie Williams (0.65) got the start for the Bobcats and at least didn’t embarrass himself like he did during his last run as a starter, scoring 13 points and adding 6 boards in 29 minutes. He’s worth a look in deep leagues while Maggette is out, but Maggette’s injury does not appear to be serious and he could be back for the team’s next game on Friday.

J.J Berea (0.15) dished a season high 10 assists in 27 minutes off the bench against the Warriors. He also shot 3-10 from the floor and scored 6 points, so it wasn’t all gravy. He’s also not making nice with Wolves’ franchise player Kevin Love, which is not exactly the approach I’d take as a guy coming off the bench for limited minutes.

Injury of the Night: Really bad news for all you Danilo Gallinari owners, as the forward suffered a broken left thumb during Monday’s game against Dallas. The only positive news is that the injury occurred on his non-shooting hand. He’s expected to miss the next 4 weeks with the injury, although after the game Gallinari said he hopes to return sooner and play with a splint on his hand. A four week timetable puts Gallinari out for nearly the remainder of the regular season. He’s got a chance of returning the last week or so, but as a fantasy owner I wouldn’t bank on it. Consider him droppable in all non-keeper fantasy leagues. It also means that Wilson Chandler will likely see a huge bump in value now that he’ll be the team’s primary SF. He’s is now absolutely a must add in all formats. Grab him if he’s available.

Biggest Loser: This one could go to the entire Orlando Magic team for scoring 59 points and shooting 35% from the field as a team last night. In fact, I think it will! Jameer Nelson (-0.93) finished with 9 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assists and 5 turnovers while shooting 4-11 from the field . J.J. Redick (-0.81) shot 1-7 from the field to finish with 3 points; and Jason Richardson (-0.81) had 2 points, 2 rebounds and 2 assists on 1-7 shooting as well. Only Dwight Howard came out looking fairly good in this game.

And the Evan Turner (-0.81) rocket ship is experiencing some technical difficulties. The offensive inconsistency that has plagued Turner in the past has reared its ugly head for the second game in a row. Turner finished with 6 points and 3 rebounds on 3-11 from the field against the Bobcats.


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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