2012 Fantasy Basketball: Luol Deng, Joakim Noah, John Wall, Paul Pierce, Brandon Bass and More


Line of the Night: After the Beast Mode game between Miami and OKC on Wednesday, not to mention the 11 other games played that night, last night seemed like a bit of let down… allowing Luol Deng (2.04) to take the Line of the Night with a mere 26 points (8-8 from the line), 6 rebounds, and 4 steals. Of course, I’ll take that as I battle to get to my fantasy playoff finals, but even combined with my opponent having the night’s Biggest Loser (see below), I am struggling to make up for injuries to both Ryan Anderson and Drew Gooden. Kind of tough to play the number one team when you’re down 4 games on the week.

Honorable Mentions: Derrick Rose still didn’t play and if you’re in leagues like me where the commissioner intelligently (or mercifully) decided to end the season 15th instead of the 26th, then the Bulls’ 3 games next week are just kind of adding insult to recovering from injury. Meanwhile, if you took Joakim Noah (1.79) as your Chicago Homer Pick, then you’ve got to be happy not just with his most recent 17 points (7-7 from the line), 9 rebounds, and 3 blocks, but with his performance throughout the season. John Wall (1.26) hasn’t been quite as consistent nor prolific as Noah, but you can’t very well argue with 28 points, 10 assists, and 2 steals. Those stats are exactly what you drafted Wall for.

Paul Pierce (1.23) just kept rolling with Ray Allen resting his old man parts some more. Pierce had 22 points (3 threes), 8 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals. Teammate Brandon Bass (1.00) had another strong game with 15 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 steals. Everyone is saying that the Celtics are kind of sneaky good right now, and I have to agree. With Derrick Rose out, the Bulls have little hope in the playoffs (though we know that Rose will play through anything once the playoffs start, or at least when they get to the second round), and besides Miami it seems like every other team in the East is struggling for wins right now. Except Boston. Watch out.

Bringing up the end of the HMs is Isaiah Thomas (0.95) who continued to bomb away in a Kings loss with 17 points (3 threes), 5 rebounds, and 2 steals. Marcus Thornton is day-to-day, but that doesn’t really seem to affect Thomas (and I’ll continue to tell myself that at least until the end of this week).


Waiver Wire Line of the Night: This is the J.R. Smith (1.49) you were looking for: 15 points (3 threes), 9 assists, 4 rebounds, 1 steal (29% owned). Those 29%ers are probably people with 14+ teams where at least a couple teams are still paying attention (like my fantasy experts league over at ESPN where the Rotoworld guys just happen to pick up every good free agent hours before I do). After 3 straight games of positive WARP values, and the extra couple minutes per game he’s been getting, Smith is definitely worth picking up.

Pick Up Lines: Jason Thompson (1.28) put up 15 points, 16 rebounds, and 2 blocks so if you’re not in the 47% of leagues where he’s owned, then you should probably get on that. If he’s already taken, then just keep in mind that some people will probably way overhype him going in to next season based on this year-end performance. I like him, and I believe he can be a good fantasy-relevant player, but those kinds of numbers seem a bit unreasonable for an 82 game season.

Toney Douglas (0.88) played more than Baron Davis last night for Knicks, ending with 15 points, 5 rebounds, and 6 assists (26% owned). We all know that Douglas can blow up the spot like a grenade in the hands of Bruno Mars, but the Knicks had a pretty comfortable lead on the Magic in this one, so much so that Carmelo Anthony only played 28 minutes. Still, we know that Davis is kind of banged up still, so if Douglas can show Mike Woodson that he’s a capable Point Guard, then he might be a solid guy to sneak into your lineup in the next week or two.

One night after Caron Butler took home some fantasy honors (or at least an Honorable Mention), he let Randy Foye (0.83) go for his, and Foye said thank you very much sir to the tune of 20 points (5-5 from the line), and 6 rebounds (35% owned). Foye started for the Clips and has a higher WARP over each time period that we show on individual player breakdowns and yet he’s still only owned in half as many leagues as Butler. If you’re a small ball team who already has a terrible FG%, then look at Foye to add a bunch of Points and Threes, a few Rebounds and Assists without hurting you much (if at all) in Turnovers. No steals or blocks, but who knows, maybe the profile fits for someone reading this.

Glen Davis (0.66) is soaking in Ryan Anderson’s limelight now with 15 points (6-10 from the field), and 7 rebounds (26% owned). Left alone with Dwight Howard, Davis would probably eventually develop a three-pointer to rival Anderson’s, but I hope that doesn’t happen (at least not this season) because I NEEEEEEEEEED Ryan Anderson back!

Kevin Seraphin (0.65) is a must-add in all leagues, even if you have a small ball team, just because you’ll keep him out of the hands of someone who can use his 15 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 steals to beat you (22% owned). Or, his FG% and Rebounds might be enough to sneak in wins in those categories against another small ball team.

Biggest Loser:Jordan Crawford followed up his strong 1.27 WARP game with 9 points on 2-13 from the field (15%) with 2 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 turnovers resulting in a -1.02.

Meanwhile, the more highly owned (93%) DeMarcus Cousins (-0.76) managed 6 fouls in 18 minutes to end up 4-8 from the field with 8 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assists, and 5 turnovers. I know Blake Griffin is an unstoppable force of nature, but really? Fouling out in 18 minutes?

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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