Fantasy Basketball As February Closes
Fantasy basketball returns with a post All-Star break edition. Various injuries to some of the league’s top stars have made navigating your fantasy basketball team a bit more difficult of late, but many of those are clearing up as NBA teams make a push for the postseason. But your only concern is the next two weeks, and we’re here to help with our next forecast.
Player 1 (6 Games)
Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, LeBron James
Along with Kevin Durant, James and Anthony are locked in a race to be crowned the NBA’s scoring champion, with each averaging over 29 points per game. Speaking of Anthony, he and Bryant are nursing injuries, but both should be fine to go when this contest begins, making them noticeable options as usual. Bryant leads this group in steals per game at just under 1.7, but Anthony and James also average at the minimum one theft per contest. Bosh and Duncan each block at the minimum one shot per game, though Duncan is closer to two swats per contest. And as you might expect, the two big men rule the group in rebounds in addition, with Bosh at just over 11.0 per game, and Duncan just under that mark.
Player 2 (7 Games)
Kevin Durant, Monta Ellis, Danny Granger, Joe Johnson, Dwayne Wade
Ellis is sixth in the league in scoring, as he pours in over 26 points per game, but he’s also a renowned thief, and is third in the NBA with over two steals per contest. Wade is the only one in this group in the NBA’s top-10 in assists, as he dishes over six per game, and he’s also in the top-10 in steals and scoring average. If you follow basketball at all, or have participated in fantasy basketball of late, you know how well Durant is playing right now, with a scoring average of close to 30 and rising.
Player 3 (8 Games)
Carlos Boozer, Al Jefferson, Dirk Nowitzki, Zach Randolph, Amare Stoudemire
As he has been seemingly all season, Randolph is the king of the offensive glass. He wipes it clean over four times per contest, and is one of just two players averaging at the minimum 4.0 offensive boards per game. He leads this group in rebounding average overall with over 11 per game, followed by Boozer, who averages over 10 per game. Boozer also leads the group in steals and is the only player here averaging at the minimum one per contest. He also leads in assists, though that’s not saying much, considering he dishes at a rate of 3.3 per contest. Nowitzki, of course, leads in scoring at over 24 points per game.
Player 4 (6 Games)
Chauncey Billups, Pau Gasol, Dwight Howard, Andre Iguodala, Gerald Wallace
Howard is the NBA’s leader in rebounds per game, as he cleans up the boards an average of 13.4 times each night, which is over a complete rebound more than anyone else in the league. He also swats away shots at a higher rate than any other player in the league at over 2.7 per game. Wallace pulls down about 11 boards per game, which places him in the top-10, but he’s also in the top-15 in steals with over 1.5 per game. Iguodala’s average is higher than that, and closing in on 1.9 per contest, which places him in the top-10. Billups is among the top-five in three-pointers made per game, and he leads this group in assists with over six per game, but Iguodala isn’t far behind him.
Player 5 (7 Games)
Tyreke Evans, Antawn Jamison, Chris Kaman, David Lee, Brook Lopez
Lopez is the only one in this group not averaging between 20.0 and 20.6 points per game, but he’s not far off as he collects just over 19 points each time he laces ’em up. The rookie point guard, Evans, is far and away the leader in assists in this group, but you already knew that by just looking at the players involved. If that’s the case, you may also already know his 1.5 steals rule the group in addition. But he can’t hang where blocking shots is concerned. Lopez leads here with nearly two per game, followed by Kaman. Jamison, Kaman and Lopez also each average about nine rebounds per game, a statistic led by Lee, who grabs over 11 per contest.
Player 6 (8 Games)
Rudy Gay, Brandon Jennings, Steve Nash, Derrick Rose, Deron Williams
Among this group of (mostly) point guards, Nash stands above the rest – at the minimum when it comes to assists. He dishes the rock at a speed of 11.1 dimes per game, which is second in the league only to the injured Chris Paul. Williams is in the top-five with about 10 assists per contest, but he’s third in scoring with an average of nearly 19 points per game. Rose paces the group in that regard, as he and Gay are both at an average of almost 20 points per contest. Gay leads in steals with nearly 1.5 per game, followed closely by Jennings, though Jennings is the leader in three-pointers per game.
Player 7 (7 Games)
Kevin Garnett, Jeff Green, Yi Jianlian, Troy Murphy, Josh Smith
Smith probably doesn’t get enough credit in fantasy basketball circles for being the all-around player that he is, but he’s in the top-five in the league in blocks, top-20 in steals and top-25 in rebounds, and recently recorded a triple-double. He leads this group in assists with nearly four per game, followed by Garnett who dishes almost three per contest. Murphy has a huge advantage over the others in three-pointers made, with Green the only other viable threat from outside in this group. Murphy’s nearly 10 rebounds per night also rule this group.
Player 8 (8 Games)
Andrew Bogut, Luol Deng, Marc Gasol, Kevin Love, Mehmet Okur
This is an interesting group that has a little bit of everything. Everything except assists, that is. No one in this group ever seemingly drops pennies, much less drops dimes. The leader in assists here is Love, with 2.6, which says plenty. Deng leads the group in scoring with an average of about 18 points per game, while Bogut leads in confined shots with more than two per contest, and Gasol is second at about 1.5 per game. Love isn’t only the most generous when it comes to dishing the rock, however. He also leads the group in rebounds with about 11.5 per game, with Bogut and Gasol at about 10.5 and 9.5, respectively. Ah, but what about Okur? Nobody in this group can touch him in three-pointers made; he has more than double any other player.
Player 9 (7 Games)
Aaron Brooks, Baron Davis, Devin Harris, Rajon Rondo, Russell Westbrook
Unlike our last group of (almost) point guards, this group features nothing but the smaller guys who run the show. Rondo is in the top-five in the NBA (and as such, fantasy basketball) in assists with nearly 10 per game, but he’s also the Danny Ocean of the league – it’s ringleader in thefts. He leads the NBA with nearly 2.5 per contest, and is one of only three players averaging more than 2.0 per night. Davis is in the top-10 in the league in assists, as is Westbrook, who barely trails Davis in that category. Brooks is in the top-five in the NBA in three-point shots made per game, and leads this group at over 19 points per game, or about five more than Rondo. However, he’s last in rebounds in this group, a category led by Westbrook with about five per contest.
Player 10 (7 Games)
Jamal Crawford, Eric Gordon, Al Harrington, Kevin Martin, Paul Pierce
Martin is in the NBA’s top-10 in three-pointers made per contest, but Pierce isn’t far off, as he’s in the top-15. Pierce leads the group with just over one steal per game, with Gordon and Martine the others who excel in theft. If you’re looking for rebounds, you won’t find a whole lot here – Harrington leads with just over 5.5 per game.
Player 11 (7 Games)
Ray Allen, Trevor Ariza, Caron Butler, Wilson Chandler, Stephen Curry
Curry is at the bottom of the group when it comes to scoring average, as he accumulates about 14.5 points per game – Butler leads at nearly 17 per contest – but Curry does have an edge in steals, where he’s among the league leaders with over 1.8 per night. Ariza just trails him in that regard, but he leads Curry – and all others in this group – in three-pointers made per game. Curry and Allen are in a virtual tie behind him.
Player 12 (8 Games)
Jonny Flynn, O.J. Mayo, Jason Richardson, Rodney Stuckey, Jason Terry
Stuckey, Mayo and Terry each average over 17 points per game, and Stuckey also leads at just over 4.5 assists per game, though rookie point guard Flynn doesn’t trail by much. The stat category Stuckey is dead last in is three-pointers made. Terry, Richardson and Mayo rule the speed there, followed by Flynn, while Stuckey has hit fewer than 10 all year.
Player 13 (6 Games)
Elton Brand, Andrew Bynum, Nene Hilario, Kenyon Martin, Lamar Odom
Odom is the most offensively-challenged of the group in terms of scoring, but he’s the leader here in rebounds with nearly 10 per night. Both Martin and Brand each average at the minimum one block and one steal per game, and while Brand has the higher scoring average than Martin, Martin tops him in rebounds. Be a little cautious of Bynum, who is nevertheless feeling the effects of a hip injury.
Player 14 (6 Games)
Vince Carter, Manu Ginobili, Rashard Lewis, J.R. Smith, Lou Williams
Lewis is in the top-five in three-point shots made per contest, and he also leads this group with nearly five rebounds per game. Carter is the leading scorer here with an average over 16 points per contest, while Ginobili leads with over four assists per game, and Williams is tops with nearly 1.5 steals.