DeMar DeRozan has just about flatlined since his hot start to the season. Since Jan. 6, DeRozan has averaged 11.4 points, 2.9 boards, 1.0 assist, 1.0 steal, 0.6 steals, 0.2 threes and 2.8 turnovers per game, while shooting 35 percent from the field and 73 percent from the free-throw line. That’s good for top 300 value, which is nothing to write home to Compton about. This makes DeRozan a low-risk buy-low candidate, the best kind. Andrea Bargnani’s nearing return will help take some pressure off of DeRozan, who still has an appealing ceiling. If he finds that touch he had in the first handful of games in 2011-12, it’ll be well worth spending 50 cents on the dollar for.
Danny Granger has been pretty mediocre so far this season, averaging 15.3 points, 4.4 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.7 steals, a block, 1.5 threes and 1.8 turnovers per game, while shooting 34 percent from the floor and 82 percent from the line. Fantasy owners should keep in mind that he’s still battling through a bum ankle, which is partly to blame for his inconsistency and subpar production. On the other hand, even with some of those dull numbers, Granger’s holding onto top 80 value. If he can lift his accuracy from the floor back above 40 percent (which would likely benefit his scoring and three-point making) and keep his turnovers low, that alone could vault him back into top 40 territory.
Amar’e Stoudemire has averaged 13.3 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.2 blocks and 3.7 turnovers in his last four games. Sure, he’s struggled with foul trouble lately, but there’s more at play. So far as the public knows, he’s not injured, which leaves us to assume (yes, a dangerous word) that he and the subpar Knicks are just working through some kinks. For Stoudemire, it’s probably playing alongside Tyson Chandler, who’s probably the reason why STAT has seen his blocks per game plummet from 1.9 last season to 0.4 this season. Owners desperate for some change should target Stoudemire as a buy-low candidate – and bring some courage with them.
Gerald Wallace has been a roller coaster in January, where he’s notched a zero-point and a one-point game. Since Jan. 11, Crash has averaged 11.8 points, 8.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.8 steals, 0.6 blocks, 0.6 threes and 2.4 turnovers, while shooting 40 percent from the field and 53 percent from the free-throw line. Wallace is still averaging solid all-around numbers, and with reports indicating he’ll forego his player extension to become an unrestricted free agent, owners can count on him finding surer footing soon.
Ray Allen has averaged 6.3 points, 3.7 rebounds, 1.7 assists, a steal, 1.3 threes and 1.7 turnovers in his last three games. During that stretch, he’s shot 30 percent from the field. For Allen and the Celtics, it appears rock bottom has been met. Allen hurt his shooting wrist Monday, so that might be nagging him. But as the Celtics trudge along and trade rumors materialize, Allen will eventually recover his fantasy value, which is mostly tied to his threes and free-throw shooting, two things that won’t get snuffed out that easily.
Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade, Brook Lopez and any other productive fantasy players who are injured should be considered buy-low candidates.
MarShon Brooks has averaged top 40 numbers since Jan. 2, and he appears to have a strong grip on the starting SG job for the Nets right now. However, his owners should be mindful of the rookie wall (which could make an appearance earlier than expected in this compressed season; Brooks has averaged more than 34 minutes per game since Jan. 2, the highest mark for rookie) and the nearing return of Brook Lopez. Brooks looks to be a reliable fantasy asset for the duration of the season, but his trade value won’t be this high for much longer.
Steve Nash is hot right now. In his last four games, the Canadian sensation has averaged 21.8 points, 1.8 rebounds, 11.3 assists and 1.5 threes, while shooting 63 percent from the field and 81 percent from the free-throw line. However, in that stretch Nash has averaged 34:30 of playing time per game, far above the 29 minutes per game he was averaging beforehand. Count on his minutes being pulled back, along with a few DNPs before the season ends. His trade value is great right now, and his owners should be looking for more reliable options in exchange for Nash.
Andray Blatche has double-doubled in his two games since his return from three consecutive DNPs with a shoulder injury. But that shoulder should still be a concern for his fantasy owners. Blatche is a big man who shoots poorly from the field and doesn’t do anything too special for fantasy purposes, and his vulnerable shoulder makes him even less appealing. His owners should move him as soon as they can.
Hedo Turkoglu has been one of the biggest surprises of the season. The standout numbers so far have been his 2.5 threes per game and 50 percent shooting from the field. Turkoglu is a career 43 percent shooter from the floor, which makes both of those numbers unsustainable. His owners should sell high before his value settles back down to where it should be.
Mario Chalmers has had himself a dandy 2011-12 NBA season so far. Heading into Thursday’s game, he was shooting 54 percent from the field and hitting 2.1 threes per game. Like the guy above, those numbers seem a bit difficult for him to maintain, given that Chalmers shot 40 percent from the field in his first two seasons in the league. Is it possible that he’s just found his touch and comfort zone with this squad? Sure. Would it be wise to bet on it? Probably not, especially with Norris Cole capable of hitting hot streaks and Dwyane Wade’s return somewhere on the unseen-but-probably-close horizon.
Throughout the season, be sure to leave your questions, comments, concerns, trade offers, roster problems and more in the comments below.
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