2012 Fantasy Basketball: LaMarcus Aldridge, Pau Gasol, Drew Gooden and More


There were worries coming into the season that LaMarcus Aldridge was a slightly risky pick as he underwent a procedure to treat a “heart issue”.  Admittedly, I was one of the few who were scared away by the news and during my first fantasy draft I totally missed out on an opportunity to pair him with my first-round picked Pau Gasol!

I rectified that in the LAST snake draft I did (one week into the season). After a string of solid performances, plus last night’s Line of the Night: LaMarcus Aldridge (2.57) had 28 points (8-8 from the line – we love his freethrow shooting, don’t we?), while grabbing 8 rebounds, dishing 4 assists,  and collecting 4 steals. At this point, there’s no doubt that the issue was a minor one and he’s now ready to dominate fantasy leagues all over the place. A slam dunk!

Honorable Mentions:

Phoenix made short work of the Bogut-less Bucks. No one else on the Suns’ squad benefited more than Marcin Gortat (2.39) who just bullied the heck out of Drew Gooden with 18 points (9-10 from the field) and 7 boards, while also doing it on the defensive end, adding 2 steals and 3 rejections. Hmm… did I read something like this somewhere? Deja vu.

Ryan Anderson (1.90) was the big guy for Orlando as Dwight Howard wallowed in what seemed like perpetual foul trouble. Until the Howard trade drama is over and done with, we can still expect Ryan to deliver lines like these every now and then. But once one or even two teams end up gutting their rosters for D12, we cannot guarantee to see 19 points (3 threes), 11 rebounds, and 4 steals on a nightly basis from Anderson. Enjoy it while we can count on it.

If Kevin Love (1.85) isn’t lording it over everyone else by getting LOTN, we can expect him to an honorable mention. Well at least only on days when the Timberwolves are playing of course. I mean who can ignore 20 points, and 16 rebounds, with 3 steals? Anyone? Didn’t think so. While K-Love was winning rebounds for his owners, Kevin Durant (1.77) went on a freethrow shooting barrage (10-10 from the line) and boosted his owners’ FT% with extreme prejudice. Being Durant, he capped off the night in, well Durant-like fashion, scoring 21 points, grabbing 10 rebounds, and in a pleasant surprise dished 7 assists.

Tyreke Evans (1.73) led the Sacramento Kings with 28 points (10-16 from the field), 8 assists, and 2 steals. These are the kind of numbers owners are expecting from Reke and it would be nice to see him achieve these lines with some more regularity as the season progresses.

Speaking of needing regularity, Jason Richardson (1.72) woke up from the early season stupor he’s been in and piled on 22 points (3 threes), and 5 assists. It’s his second “decent” night, so we can hope that he’s finally getting his groove on. Hopefully this wasn’t just a case of him stepping up during Dwight’s off night. Guys in shallow leagues might want to check their FA pools for a lingering Richardson as many disgruntled owners were quick to throw him by the wayside as thanks for his atrocious start to the season.

Pau Gasol (1.62) out-dueled, baby bro Marc to the tune of 13 points (5-8 from the field), 15 boards, and 4 assists. Not only did he and the Lakers put a W stamp on their encounter with the young and tenacious Grizzlies, Pau showed that he could also channel his inner “Magic” Johnson with this classic Showtime-throwback dime.

Waiver Wire Line of the Night: In spite of Channing Frye having a night that didn’t make his owners gag and swallow just a little bit of their own vomit, Markieff Morris (2.17) (14% owned) showed that he’s legitimately got game and doesn’t need a Frye-implosion in order to deliver 13 points (3 threes), grab 10 rebounds, block 2 shots. He’s more than a deep-league recommendation now and should be considered in 12-man leagues, especially if you’re in the market for a combo-PF

Pick Up Lines: Matt Barnes (1.54)  is now, according to Mike Brown the locked-in SF for the foreseeable future. This is actually his SECOND solid game and has further pushed thoughts of owning Metta Wordl Peace farther and farther from our consciousness (thank goodness!). Considering he was guarding Rudy Gay, Barnes was still able to contribute  15 points, 10 rebounds, and 3 blocks (8% owned) I personally dropped a John Salmons in a 16-man league in favor of Matt and am hoping to see him rekindle some of his Phoenix-day splendor.

I know we mentioned Danny Green as an intriguing pick, but for consistency (at least in the immediate short term) Gary Neal (1.33) is the guy to pick as far as getting the solid fantasy production is concerned. Neal will be steady, but Green will have flashes of brilliance when he gets opportunities. Neal had 18 points in 28 minutes and still started. (15% owned)

Marreesse Speights (it’s been so long I had to look up how many double letters he has in his name) had a lowly (0.53) on GMTR’s rater for the night, BUT started the second half of the game for the Grizzlies and finished the game with 17 points, 7 boards, and 2 steals. Memphis’ starting PF, Dante Cunningham, finished the game playing a mere 14 minutes and change. It’s fate. He’s going to get the lion’s share of the minutes vacated by the injured Z-Bo. Speights will be good for some FG%, PTS, some REB and the occasional BLK. Add him if you need a PF/C. He should outperform your Drew Goodens when Bogut returns, for example.

Biggest Loser:
Raymond Felton (-0.90) was just horrible! No wonder Aldridge had to make plays himself. Felton is a far cry from the New York Knick incarnation of himself and he had  rare off nights like these back in NY. Still 2 points, 4 rebounds, 7 assists, and 5 turnovers was not what his owners were expecting from him this season, even WITH calibrated expectations.

The guard log jam finally came out and bit someone in the butt and last night that guard was Ramon Sessions (-0.87) who was largely unimpressive with 8 points ( 2-8 from the field) while grabbing 2 rebounds and only sharing the rock once for 1 assist.

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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