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2012 Fantasy Basketball: LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Dwight Howard, Mo Williams and More

Line of the Night:LeBron James (3.78) almost got to WARP factor 4 with his 38 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists, and 5 steals. Looking at the numbers below, I think 2-3 more assists might have done it… And since Unathletic just happened to send me a link to the Miami Heat dancers looking pretty awful for the Miami Heat dancers, there’s LeBron’s reward.

Honorable Mentions:
Speaking of 38 points: Kevin Durant (1.99) also had 38 points (5 threes, 9-9 from the line) along with 8 rebounds, but his 5 turnovers really held him back. Meanwhile, with Dwyane Wade (1.60) scoring 33 points, it’s almost like the Heat don’t need Chris Bosh. Of course, then all teams would have to do is double-team Wade and wait for LeBron to try to give him the ball in the 4th quarter. Boom, Roasted. Wade also had 10 assists and 3 steals. Good luck to anyone playing James or Wade this week (like me!).

Mo Williams (1.42) came off the bench for the Clippers to score 18 points (4 threes). He added 5 assists and 3 steals while teammate Chris Paul (1.40) scored 22 points with 9 assists and another 3 steals. The Kings gave it a valiant effort, and while none of them were today’s Biggest Loser (and DeMarcus Cousins (0.85) actually shot above 50% en route to 23 points with 10 rebounds and 3 blocked shots), the newly crowned Isaiah Thomas only had 10 points to his 6 turnovers. Too much too soon for Thomas? Perhaps. Nothing like on-the-job experience, though.

Dwight Howard (1.31) fell just short of 38 with only 33 points (14-20 from the field), and didn’t even get to double-digit rebounds (9) as the Magic lost to Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Howard chipped in 2 steals.

If you haven’t already compared Nicolas Batum‘s (1.02) season to Shawn Marion’s 2004 season, then you’re missing out. Because if you ignore the fact that Batum actually makes more threes, they’re almost identical. Look at this: 17 points (6-11 from the field, 1 three), 5 rebounds, 3 steals, and 2 blocks. That is vintage Shawn Marion (back when he was a guaranteed #1 overall pick even though no one outside of fantasy basketball knew who he was). In another 8 years, we’ll be saying that’s vintage Nicolas Batum.

Marcin Gortat (0.96) had yet another strong game with 17 points (6-10 from the field, 5-5 from the line), 6 rebounds, and 2 blocks.

Wesley Matthews (0.90) came off the bench for the Blazers and played 33 and a half minutes. Marcus Camby had 21 and Joel Przybilla had 19. I mention that mostly because Portland played Miami, so for those with daily changes, consider Guards at a premium against Miami’s small lineup (while Chris Bosh is out – until at least Sunday, maybe longer). Matthews had 15 points (5-5 from the line), 7 rebounds, and 4 assists. For what it’s worth, Raymond Felton only played 15 minutes.


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Waiver Wire Line of the Night:Luke Ridnour (1.18) is constantly at the Malcolm Gladwell Tipping Point, but just can’t seem to put out a product worthy of making everyone rush to pick him up. His 15 points (5-5 from the line), 8 assists, and 3 steals (36% owned) is something that any fantasy owner would be proud to have on their box score mantle. The problem is that his averages are 11, 4, and 1 for those categories. So for every 15 point game you get two 8-point outings.

Pick Up Lines: Hey, what’s Randy Foye been up to lately? Well, last night Randy Foye (1.14) had 16 points (3 threes) and 5 assists (17% owned), and capped off his a positive daily WARP in 5 of the last 6 games and while that might not mean anything, he continues to be an incredibly efficient playing across almost every category. His 0.2 threes over the last 2 weeks is not great, but he’d getting over 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 0.8 steals and blocks with only 1 turnover. Maybe not the best guy for head-to-head matchups, but for Roto leagues, that kind of across the board contribution is nice.

I feel obligated to mention Wesley Johnson (0.60) because I think a lot of people want deep-league picks that they can actually use. Well, that’s not quite the case here, but Johnson did play close to a season-high 27 minutes and ended up with 12 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals, and 2 blocks (17% owned). Johnson is only averaging 21 for the season, despite starting for the Timberwolves for nearly every game. This was his best game in a couple weeks, but with the Wolves only rotating 8 guys, maybe his minutes will continue to trend up… Just something to keep an eye on. Or forget about. Probably won’t make that much of a difference either way. Unless you’re in a one of those deep leagues (like one with 200 rostered players).

In almost the exact opposite situation as Wes Johnson (as he’s known on Yahoo) is Bobby Simmons (0.35) (remember him???). Simmons is back on the Clippers these days and is now part of their 13 man rotation. Yes. 13 man rotation. Wow. Anyway, in his second game with Lob City, Simmons put up 13 points (3 threes, 5-8 from the field) (0% owned). Not much else going on with his stat line, but with Caron Butler only averaging 8 points and 4 rebounds in 30 minutes per game over the last 5 games, Simmons might be the guy to grab.

Finally, I mentioned Joel Przybilla (0.17) briefly above, but the Vanilla Gorilla played 19 minutes in his first game this season, and that was even against the undersized Heat. He only scored 4 points, but had 6 rebounds and 2 blocks. Better than Marcus Camby… And we all know Camby’s injury history. The two of them might tag-team it for a while, but definitely keep an eye on Joel since he could come up big down the stretch.

Biggest Loser:
Another guy we thought might be big in the second half: Derrick Williams (-1.19) followed up 2 pretty good games with 6 points on 2-10 from the field, 3 rebounds, 0 assists, and 2 turnovers. I can blame the 3 games in a row that the Wolves had to play for the field goal shooting, but Williams also went 2-6 from the line. Not exactly what you want to see in someone you hope can get you into the fantasy playoffs… We’ll see how he does with a day of rest before their next game on Saturday. They play four games again next week, though, so it could be feast or famine with Williams.


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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