Feb 05

Week 16 Preview

The trade deadline is less than three weeks away and managers should start looking for ways to free up a roster spot. It’s always a good idea to have an open roster spot for streaming purposes, but it becomes even more essential around the trade deadline. It’s extremely likely that multiple top-100 players emerge due to trades made over the next three weeks and you don’t want to be hesitating when you are racing your leaguemates to the wire. Try to open up a spot through a 2-for-1 trade where you are receiving the better player. There’s still plenty of time to find a mid-round player off the wire to make up for any depth lost in a trade.


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  • The Blazers have their second two-game week of the season and that makes Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum weak starts in Week 16. Starting either player in a weekly league isn’t a death sentence, but the two-game week does it make it unlikely that either player will produce more than top-100 value this week. Two-game weeks are extremely hard to overcome. Moe Harkless is droppable at this point. Not only is he not seeing the minutes that he did earlier in the season, his play has dropped off as well. Harkless hasn’t been a top-200 per minute player over the last month.
  • The Heat have this week’s easiest schedule. Dion Waiters is red hot and is a must-start until he cools down. Tyler Johnson is healthy again and needs to be started in all weekly leagues as well. I’d stay away from Wayne Ellington as he’s only played 20 minutes in one of the Heat’s last three games. Hassan Whiteside is a tricky player to value going forward. The Heat are the league’s hottest team and are somehow only two games out of a playoff spot. If they can keep this up, it’s unlikely that we see Whiteside shutdown until very late in the season. I still think he’s someone you want to sell, but it’s no longer essential that you move the big man. He’s finished the last two seasons extremely hot so owners who hold tight could be rewarded handsomely.
  • Joel Embiid, Avery Bradley, and Thaddeus Young are questionable to play this week and all three need to be sat in weekly leagues. Bradley looks like the most likely to return, but with the Celtics having a back-to-back set in the middle of the week, it’s likely that the shooting guard only plays two games this week. Embiid is someone you should be looking to move. The Sixers are going to continue to be extremely careful with their franchise player and we won’t see much of Embiid down the stretch. Due to the Sixers having two back-to-back sets during the fantasy playoffs, Embiid will play a maximum of nine times during the season’s most important weeks. Mid-round players like Jabari Parker who have 12 playoff games are a lock to outperform Embiid during the fantasy playoffs. Young is dealing with what seems like a fairly serious wrist sprain. It’s possible we don’t see him at all this week.

Week 16 Pickups

Willy Hernangomez – Joakim Noah will miss time with a hamstring injury and that solidifies Hernangomez’ spot in the rotation. He’ll come off the bench behind Kyle O’Quinn, but he should see enough playing time to be useful. The rookie is one of the best rebounders in the league and is doing much more on the offensive end these days. Hernangomez has scored at least 15 points in his last three games and has hit 54.2% of his shots this season. He’s a very good fit for punt blocks teams in need of rebounding and FG% impact (0.5 BPG).

Yogi Ferrell – Every year a player comes out of nowhere and swings championships. This year it may be an undrafted rookie named Yogi. Ferrell’s first four games with the Mavericks could not have gone any better. He’s been a top-25 player since joining the Mavericks and is averaging 17.8 PPG, 3.3 3PG, 5.0 APG, and 1.8 SPG while shooting 44.4% from the floor and 90.9% from the line. Deron Williams has been sideline during Yogi’s hot stretch so it’s very unlikely that the rookie continues to post such impressive numbers. However, there’s plenty of talk of Williams being moved and if the veteran is, Yogi could be a difference maker down the stretch.

P.J. Tucker – Tucker has been a top-45 player over the past month but is somehow sitting on the wire in 63% of Yahoo leagues. The Suns appear to be showcasing Tucker for a trade, and until he is moved, the veteran will likely continue to play massive minutes for Earl Watson’s squad. He’s taken advantage of the opportunity and only Andre Drummond and Thad Young are averaging more steals than Tucker over the last month (2.1 SPG). In a punt points situation, only 24 players have been more valuable since early January. Unless you play in a very shallow league, it’s unlikely that you don’t have a player on your roster who is performing worse than Tucker.

Tim Hardaway Jr. – If you missed Hardaway single-handedly take down the Rockets on Thursday, do yourself a favorite and rewatch the fourth quarter. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more dominant late-game performance this season. Hardaway has been a top-100 player this month and is a very strong pickup if your team is in need of points (15.1 PPG) and threes (2.1 3PG).

Week 16 Watchlist/Streaming Options/Deep League Pickups

Danny Green – Green is a must-own if you are punting points. He’s been disappointing this season, but has still managed to post top-70 numbers when points are ignored. Green’s defensive stats have been trending up and over the last month he has averaged 1.4 SPG and 1.1 BPG. He’s been very solid from deep this season (1.9 3PG) and can help keep your turnovers under control (1.0 TOPG). Green has also only missed one game this season and is less likely than his teammates to be rested during the fantasy playoffs.

Courtney Lee – Lee is poor man’s Danny Green and has been extremely productive over the past two weeks. Over that span, he’s been a top-60 player and has averaged 14.1 PPG, 1.7 3PG, 1.1 SPG, and 0.6 BPG. The return of Derrick Rose won’t have a major impact on his minutes and owners looking for threes and defensive stats could do worse than Lee.

Brandon Jennings – Derrick Rose is slated to return Monday, but Jennings should continue to see enough run to be useful in deeper leagues. Jennings does see some time beside Rose and his recent strong play with Rose out of the lineup may have earned him some extra playing time. Even if his minutes continue to hover in high-20s, Jennings will be a very good source of threes (1.7 3PG over the last month) and will provide owners with low-end dimes (4.4 APG over the last month). As always, Jennings is best deployed on a punt FG% team (38.4 FG%).

John Henson – The Bucks’ center rotation is impossible to predict, but for now, Henson seems to be Jason Kidd’s preferred option. He’s played major minutes his last two games, but that may just be due to Roy Hibbert’s and Spencer Hawes’ unfamiliarity with the Bucks’ system. Henson is extremely useful when he does get extended run, so owners in need of FG% (51.0 FG%) or blocks (2.5 BP36) should stream the big man until Kidd starts messing around with the rotation again.

C.J. Miles – Unsurprisingly, Miles hasn’t been able to build on his impossibly hot start to the season. However, since moving back into the starting lineup seven games ago, the veteran has been a top-100 player and has been one of the league’s best sources of triples (2.9 3PG). Thad Young is looking doubtful for Week 16 and that should send Miles’ minutes north of 30 for at least the next week.

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson – The Nets look like they are going to start focusing on developing their younger players and Hollis-Jefferson has moved ahead of Trevor Booker in the rotation. This move is likely to stick and that makes Hollis-Jefferson and his 12-game playoff schedule an interesting option in deeper leagues. He’s still not seeing enough minutes to be worth a pickup in standard leagues, but his upside on the defensive end (1.7 SP36, 0.8 BP36) and on the boards (8.2 RP36) makes him worth monitoring.

Frank Kaminsky – Cody Zeller can’t seem to get over what was thought to be a minor thigh injury. The Hornets’ starting center has missed the team’s last six games and has no clear return date. Kaminsky has been the biggest beneficiary of Zeller’s absence and has been providing owners with a useful, low-end line. New owners should treat Kaminsky like a wing. He doesn’t block shots (0.4 BPG) and is only a mediocre rebounder (4.3 RPG), but he does contribute from deep (1.3 3PG) and has seen his steals rate spike over the last month (1.1 SPG over the last month).

Marquese Chriss – I hyped up Chriss earlier in the season as a player who could be a difference maker over the second half of the year and while it’s been a (very) bumpy ride, the Suns look primed to unleash the rookie. He’s played at least 24 minutes in three of his past four games and in those three contests he averaged 18.7 PPG, 2.0 3PG, 5.7 RPG, 2.0 SPG, and 1.0 BPG. As far as counting stats go, there’s major upside here. Unfortunately, efficiency also matters in fantasy and that’s where Chriss has, and likely will continue, to fall short. Chriss is only shooting 42.8% from the floor this season and has been just as bad from the line (62.5 FT%). He’s a great pickup in points leagues and is worth stashing if you play in a category league with at least 14-teams.

Follow me on Twitter @EliteFanBBall for the latest fantasy basketball news. I will gladly answer any fantasy basketball related questions that you may have.

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