Last week, I warned you about Jason Kidd, who didn’t give much to fantasy owners. I also gave you my take on Nikola Pekovic and advised to start him. Hope you had a fantastic fantasy week just like myself. This week, the league is flooded with three-game and four-game weeks. Here’s a few safe sits and my low-risk/high reward starts for Week 15.
Start Ricky Rubio: Rubio may have disappointed at the beginning of his sophomore season, but that could end up being the best thing for him, as he’s looking more comfortable every game. Rubio is ready to be started in all lineups as the Wolves play a four-game week with three of those games at home. In his first two February games, Rubio scored nine points in both and dished out seven assists in both. In his last nine games (since he’s been in the starting line-up), Rubio’s averaging roughly 7 points, 6 assists, and 2 steals per game.
Sit Jose Calderon: Rubio’s Spanish backcourt teammate, Jose is rumored to start at the point with Brandon Knight rolling at the two position. This may seem like great news and it is for fantasy owners, but I wouldn’t put money on Jose fitting into this team from the get-go. He’s never played on another NBA team, so give him a week if you have another PG that can be productive, because Calderon will need some games to gel.
Start Jerryd Bayless: Bayless has started the last three games at the SG for the Grizz, and has played at a very high fantasy level. In his four games this season in the starting five, Jay-Bay averages 16 points, 5.8 assists, in about 37 minutes per contest. With all these new players on Memphis, Bayless could be the starting two-guard until coach Hollins finds a better fit. It may be one of the last good fantasy weeks you can get out of Bayless.
Sit Paul Pierce: I’m sitting PP this week because not only is it a 3-game week for the Celtics, but Pierce will have three good defenders on him for all three. First he will have Rudy Gay in his new Raptor uniform to deal with, then Metta World Peace, and ends the week against Andre Iguodala. I predict a tough shooting week.
Start Ray Allen: Ray-Ray is going to have a fine week of basketball. He has four home games and at home is where he plays his best, averaging 13 points, over two 3-pointers, shooting 50% from both the field and 3-point line and over 90% from the free-throw line.
Sit Gerald Wallace: You don’t really need me to tell you that Wallace is having quite the disappointing season, fantasy wise. His rock-bottom January stat averages of 6.4 points with less than a block and steal per game was a good wake-up call that a draft pick was wasted. Wallace’s value is pretty low right now, being owned in 82% of Yahoo! leagues and dropping by the day. Brooklyn may have four games this week, but I would sit him, look at the calendar, and try to get a deal going while his name is still slightly hot. Crash is a big name player; plenty of owners will give up some sort of value for the 12-year vet. No more time to sell high as the trade deadline may pass by the time that happens.
Start Marreese Speights: The change of scenery was exactly what Speights needed to become a legit fantasy player in standard-sized leagues. In his first four games as a Cavalier, he’s averaged 14 points, 6 rebounds, almost a steal and a block, and interestingly almost 11 shots a game. On Saturday night, Mo posted 21 points, 10 rebounds, a block, on 10 of 15 shooting. Those all-around numbers are almost exactly what you want from your big man. This team was in need of some consistent offence and Speights is giving them exactly that. Only three games for Cleveland this week, but if lacking legit big men, Speights should be started since he’s playing his best fantasy basketball of the season.
Sit Andrea Bargnani: Bargnani was rumoured to be ready to hit the court as early as today vs. the Heat, but I don’t expect him to have the same role as he had when he sustained the elbow injury. The Raptors have a new plan now that they’ve acquired Gay and shipped Calderon to Detroit. Toronto’s general manager, Bryan Colangelo, said he’s shopping Bargnani as well. If Andrea has a good fantasy week after all that has happened since he got injured, I’d be really surprised.
Start Emeka Okafor: Another player who’s playing his best ball of the season. Emeka has pulled down 67 rebounds in his last five games while posting January averages of 11.2 points, 11.4 rebounds, and a block per game. These numbers are what the Wizards and NBA teams wanted from Okafor coming out of Connecticut. Only three games for the Wizards this week, but Okafor has three legit centres that he needs to match-up to (Chandler, Jordan, Brook Lopez) so expect a lot of rebounds and minutes going his way.
Sit Andrew Bogut: He better be off the waiver wire by now, but not in your weekly line-up this week. Bogut has already sat out since returning and they will be cautious for the big man in a back-to-back. The Warriors this week play four games but they are all on the road and there are two back-to-backs. Bogut may have his minutes reduced as the week goes along. The Warriors were already playing great without him so it wouldn’t make sense for coach Mark Jackson to overplay Bogut at the mid-way point of the season.