2012 Fantasy Basketball: Kenneth Faried, Goran Dragic, Kyle Lowry, LaMarcus Aldridge and More


Line of the Night/Waiver Wire Line of the Night :Kenneth Faried (2.55) exploded for a career high 27 points (on 12-18 from the field), with 17 rebounds in only 24 minutes as the Nuggets destroyed the Warriors by a score of 123-84. A great game for the rookie, who has played well enough this season to go from not playing at all at the start of the year to Denver’s starting PF (Nene and his injuries helped a little along the way). Faried is currently owned in about one-third of fantasy leagues, but I’m about to buzz kill this party. Remember that this game A) came against the Warriors, who I think put up scarecrows on the court in lieu of having an actual frontcourt defense, and B) came after a game in which Faried scored 1 point with 4 rebounds. It’s also his first double-double in a month. I’d still consider Faried an option mostly for deeper leagues.

Honorable Mentions: As I mentioned on the podcast this week, I was really nervous to start Goran Dragic (1.97) in the finals of the GMTR Dynasty league, where rosters lock for the week. Fortunately for me, Dragic is still flying high even with Kyle Lowry coming off the bench as he finished with 22 points, 4 threes, 7 assists and 3 steals in 41 minutes against the Blazers. It’s the most minutes he’s seen in a couple weeks, which is a good sign for Dragic’s immediate fantasy value.

Kyle Lowry (0.96) saw a productive 23 minutes off the bench as he finished with 13 points on 5-6 from the floor, with 4 boards, 3 assists and 2 steals. Lowry actually stole his minutes from Courtney Lee (27 minutes in the game) and Earl Boykins (DNP) rather than Dragic. Lee’s value could take a hit going forward if Dragic and Lowry continue to get big minutes. Based on this game, I would also get Lowry back into fantasy lineups. He might not be the Lowry we got at the beginning of the season, but it appears that he’s at least going to produce some decent value in limited minutes, if not more.

The Blazers lost to Houston, but LaMarcus Aldridge (1.58) had a game with 20 points, 6 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 blocks. Jamal Crawford (1.57) got the start for the injured Nicolas Batum and played well, scoring 18 points and racking up 3 steals. Batum is day-to-day with the injury, but that doesn’t mean a thing this season, and Crawford is worth starting in all fantasy leagues while Batum is out. Definitely watch the situation.

Al Jefferson (1.74) took advantage of the Spurs giving the night off to Duncan, Parker and Ginobili to score 12 points, with 10 rebounds and 4 blocks in 36 minutes. Honestly, going against DeJuan Blair and Boris Diaw, I’m surprised that’s all he got. Devin Harris (1.05) contributed 25, 6 and 6 in the game and now has scored at least 18 points in each of his last 3 games. Did he finally wake up and realize there is an NBA season going on?

Despite missing their big three, none of the lesser Spurs really took advantage of the situation. Tiago Splitter (0.79) had the team’s best fantasy line all the way down at #51 with 14 points, 6 boards and 2 blocks. Stephen Jackson, Gary Neal and Danny Green combined to shoot 11-39 in the game.

Jason Richardson (1.74) has pretty much been an afterthought this season thanks to various injuries and some really mediocre play for the Magic (who knew things would actually get worse compared to last year’s low point). But against the Pistons, Richardson hit 6-7 from three on his way to 22 points in 28 minutes. That is now three positive WARP games in a row for Richardson, who is starting to hit threes again after a weeks long lull.

Mandatory Kevin Love mention: Love (1.21) had 25 and 13 last night for his 48th double-double of the year by my count.

Danilo Gallinari (0.84) didn’t miss a beat in his return for the Nuggets last night, scoring 15 points with 5 boards, 6 assists and 2 threes in 30 minutes. With Wilson Chandler sidelined at the moment, Gallinari should continue to play at the level he showed earlier in the season provided he can actually stay healthy.


Injury Report: As we anticipated on the podcast, Kobe did not play last night because of his shin injury. The Lakers play in San Antonio on Wednesday, so the question is will Kobe travel with the team for that game, or simply wait it out until Friday when the Lakers play at home? He is currently questionable for Wednesday.

Just what Derrick Rose owners wanted – another injury! Rose suffered an ankle injury in Sunday’s game and appeared in a walking boot on Monday. The severity of the injury is unknown and Rose will likely be a game time call against the Knicks tonight. Given the Bulls propensity for babying Rose, I would not hesitate to drop him if it looks like he’s going to miss any time with the injury.

Al Harrington left last night’s Nuggets game with a torn meniscus. The team is currently exploring options, but Harrington is likely to miss at least a little time to rest the injury, if not more. Keep an eye on the situation, but I’d expect Harrington will have to be dropped if you are fighting it out in playoffs this week.

Those hoping for a Kyrie Irving return this week are going to be disappointed. According to the News Herald, he’s going to be held out for the week with that sprained shoulder injury. As will Anderson Varejao.

Pick Up Lines: At least once a season, Thabo Sefolosha (2.43) will show up with something like this: 14 points, 5 rebounds and 7 steals in a win over the Bucks. Prior to this 7 steal night, Sefolosha had 6 steals total over the last month. Just like every season, he can be safely ignored in fantasy leagues, despite starting for the Thunder.

James “Don’t Call Me Chris” Singleton (2.10) played in his third game on a 10-day contract for the Wizards, and scored 18 points, adding 12 rebounds, 2 steals, and 2 blocks in 38 minutes off the bench as the Wizards beat the Bobcats handily 113-85. It’ll be interesting to see what he does against a real basketball team, but with Andray Blatche and Trevor Booker currently out, Singleton should continue to get big minutes for the Wizards and be a guy who can score and board a good amount. I might not add him quite yet, but he is someone I’d definitely keep an eye on in the Wizards’ next game and be ready to jump on if he repeats this performance.

Speaking of Wizards that are on no one’s radar – well other than the entire team (boom, roasted) – Cartier Martin (1.36) saw 30 minutes off the bench against the Bobcats and finished with 19 points and 6 assists, while hitting 4-8 from three. However, it’s his first double-digit scoring game in his past six games, so leave him on waivers considering this performance came in a blowout.

Jump on Greivis Vasquez (2.07) immediately if he’s still available in your league and you could use a PG. With Jarrett Jack done for the season with a stress fracture in his foot, General Greivis will continue to get big minutes the rest of the season put up lines like this one against the Lakers: 18 points, 5 threes and 11 assists. He’s basically a must add in all leagues.

I can no longer ignore Sebastian Telfair (1.76), who has a 0.44 WARP over the last week with games like this: 14 points (on 6-7 from the field), with 7 assists and 2 steals. The Suns won big over the Wolves 114-90, which is why Telfair saw 22 minutes instead of the 14 he’s been averaging this season. As long as Nash is out there, Telfair just won’t see the minutes on most nights.

Last night George Hill (1.62) bounced back from a brutal four game stretch where he shot 24% from the field to score 18 points, grab 7 rebounds and dish out 4 assists in 36 minutes against the Raptors. Darren Collison sat in this one with a sore groin (giving Hill the start). Hill will remain a solid fantasy add in nearly all leagues as long as Collison is out – which if I know my groin injuries – will be at least a few games.

On the podcast, Erik and I recommended that people pick up J.J. Redick (1.56) with Hedo Turkoglu out for the rest of the season with a facial fracture. Redick did not disappoint, as he scored 20 points in 28 minutes on 4-7 from three and 7-10 from the field. Consider him a nice – if a little unexciting – play in leagues for the rest of the season.

The Hornets are basically a mobile hospital at this point and Trevor Ariza isn’t playing because Coach Monty Williams “wants to give more playing time to Al-Farouq Aminu and Lance Thomas”. The side effect of that mess is that Carl Landry (1.47) is getting some extra run off the Hornets’ bench. Landry finished with 20 and 11 against the Lakers and should continue to see decent minutes as long as he can stay healthy. He’s worth a look if you need points and boards, although he won’t do too much else on the court.

Glen Davis (1.31) – with 16 points and 16 rebounds against the Pistons – continued his magical mystery run with Dwight Howard sitting due to back problems. With the Magic playing again tonight in Washington, Howard will likely miss this game too, which means that Davis will continue to be a must play in all fantasy leagues. Ride out the hot streak if you own Davis.

Biggest Loser: Usually we leave injured players out of the biggest loser section, but when your as injury prone as Rodney Stuckey (-0.91) is, then all bets are off. Stuckey only played 17 minutes in the Pistons loss to the Magic before leaving the game with a knee injury. He finished with 2 points, 1 rebound and 1 assist on 1-5 from the field. If he were to miss any time, Ben Gordon again becomes a viable, if somewhat risky, play in most leagues as a guy who has a chance to blow up in any given game – both in a good or bad way.


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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