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2012 Fantasy Basketball: J.R. Smith, Kris Humphries, Danny Granger, Paul George and More

I hate to send people away to start a post, but I know if you really care, you’ll come back after you check out the Linfographic which I am linking to mostly because it’s called a Linfographic, partly because it’s too big to post here, and partly because How come no one ever mentioned that Rex Walters was half-Japanese?

Also, Lin has been added to the Rising Stars Challenge on February 24th. (Also a change to that game, instead of rookies vs. sophomores, it will be two teams picked by Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal – almost like a real life fantasy game!)

Let me follow that up with the news that J.R. Smith will sign with the Knicks. As the conservative/cautious one here at GMTR, I would wait to make any decisions regarding Landry Fields or Iman Shumpert until we actually see what the lineup looks like with Smith there, but my guess is that both of those guys are going to take a hit in their fantasy value. I’m not sure that the Knicks will be comfortable starting Smith out there with the still-turnover-prone Lin, but Smith will definitely see some big minutes off the bench. Smith might also be able to cut into Bill Walker’s burgeoning fantasy value (at least until Carmelo gets back at which point Walker pretty much goes back to 0).

(Updated with Stat Projection) One of the most frequent questions we get asked (it seems like) is how JR Smith will perform when he returns. Well, in 25 minutes last season with the Nuggets, Smith scored 12.3 points (1.6 threes, 43% from the field, 74% from the line) with 4.1 rebounds, 2.2 assists, and 1.2 steals.

When Carmelo gets back, let’s assume he plays 34 minutes as he was before, that leaves 14 minutes at SF. Landry Fields will probably drop back to no more than 30 minutes per game at SG, so that leaves 18 minutes for Smith at that position. That’s 33 minutes total… but Bill Walker will probably still play 8-9 minutes per game even once Smith gets used to the system and worked into the rotation. That leaves Smith with about 25 minutes per game. And it makes sense. If I were the Knicks, I wouldn’t sign Smith unless I was planning to give him those kind of minutes and from the other side, Smith probably wouldn’t sign with the Knicks if he didn’t think he was going to get at least that much time.

So, I’d say 12 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 1.5 threes and 1 steal is the bare minimum we’ll see from Smith. I think the biggest potential for increase comes in the threes, since he’ll have Lin distributing with Carmelo and Stoudemire (possibly) to take the attention of the defense. Perhaps that also means he’ll get up to 45% from the field (believe it or not, he’s done it before).

Line of the Night:Kris Humphries (2.21) was super-efficient for the Nets with 24 points (11-14 from the field), 10 rebounds, and 3 blocks, but …

Honorable Mentions: Danny Granger (2.16) led the Pacers to the win with 32 points (4 threes), and 5 rebounds. Luol Deng (1.92) also led his team to victory with 23 points (6 threes), and 10 assists. I’m not 100% sure, but I’m guessing that’s a career high in 3s for Deng and as a Bulls fan, I couldn’t be more happy to see him knocking them down like that. Speaking of knocking them down, a guy who usually knocks them down Paul George (1.90) only hit 1 three en route to his 11 points, but he contributed 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 steals, and 2 blocks, and the Player Rater loves the cross-category contribution.

Kevin Garnett (1.55) put up 18 points (4-4 from the line), 10 rebounds, and 2 steals and I guess it was the Free Throw shooting and the steals that put him ahead of what I thought looked like a more impressive Carlos Boozer (1.21) with 23 points (11-15 from the field), 15 rebounds, and 5 assists. Rajon Rondo (0.96) followed up his 35 points game with 17 points, 7 rebounds, and 8 assists. But again, the Bulls matched that with Joakim Noah‘s (0.88) 15 points, 16 rebounds, and 2 blocks.

The Clippers/Blazers game ended up at 74-71, so it’s not surprising to find the first line from that game this far down: Blake Griffin (1.04) scored 21 points (9-15 from the field) with 14 rebounds. The best line for the Blazers was Jamal Crawford (0.93) with his 19 points, and 2 steals.


Waiver Wire Line of the Night:Shelden Williams‘s (1.15) last game with 10 points and 12 rebounds was actually more impressive, but with only 3 games last night his 8 points, 9 rebounds, and 3 blocks (2% owned) wins him WWLotN. Williams has been starting for the Nets, but it took him a while to get into what seems like his “game shape” and now it’s probably too late as Brook Lopez is expected back pretty much any day now (though I’d still probably wait a week if you’re in a weekly league). Fun fact: this actually not the first time we’ve tagged a post with Shelden Williams. I’m not going to look it up because I’m sure it’s not great to look at, but he did show up in the tag selector drop-down just now.

Pick Up Lines: There were a bunch of pretty crappy lines that I’ve omitted since they only really came up because some guys got a bit of extra run last night and there were only 3 games.

What I would look at is: Randy Foye (0.16) who played 32 minutes and even though he only had 6 points, 4 assists, and 2 blocks (18% owned), the whole Clippers team played poorly, and you can’t knock 32 minutes. And C.J. Watson (0.09) continued his “well, y’know, pretty good” filling in for Derrick Rose. Watson had 11 points (2 threes), 4 rebounds, and 3 assists (19% owned). The Bulls are still winning without Rose (see the lines above for Deng, Boozer, and Noah), so they’re certainly not in any hurry to rush him back, which makes Watson a “well, y’know, pretty good” fantasy play for a while longer still.

Biggest Loser: The Blazers and the Clippers both shot 38% last night, but at 90% owned and last place out of 58 players, Raymond Felton (-1.41) not only made 0 shots, but turned the ball over 5 times. Felton ended up with 0 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 5 turnovers, and was 0-7 from the field.


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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