Dirk Nowitzki: Diggler’s been a mixed bag so far this season. Though he’s improved his shooting from the field and rebounding, all of his other averages have fallen from where they were last season, and his turnovers have risen. His value has always been his efficient shooting and his ability to average close to one steal, one block and one three per game. While the shooting is still there, the steals, blocks and threes are not, which puts a real dent in his value. Still, Nowitzki is too good to remain a player with second- or third-round value, which is what he’s given his owners so far. His bum ankle will heal soon enough, and so will his fantasy value.
Antawn Jamison: After a very rough start to the season, Jamison has turned things up a notch in the last week or so. On a Cavs team with very few steady options on offense, Jamison’s value to the team is obviously there. Add to this J.J. Hickson‘s poor play as the starting power forward and coach Byron Scott‘s public ruminations about replacing Hickson with Jamison in the starting five and the future is looking brighter by the moment for the 34-year-old forward.
Troy Murphy: Murphy’s foot is reportedly a non-issue at this point, but that hasn’t stopped coach Avery Johnson from handing the power forward two consecutive DNP-CDs. Trade rumors aside, it’s safe to say the Nets’ brain trust didn’t bring him in to be squandered on the bench. Trust that he’ll eventually regain a prominent role, whether it’s as a starter or as a sixth man. If you can take him off his frustrated owner’s hands, it might be a cheap-yet-wise investment.
O.J. Mayo: After a string of solid games during the start of the season, his last handful of games have left his owners waning a lot more than he’s been able to provide them with. Somehow, Mayo is averaging about three-and-a-half fewer minutes per game so far this season, and his shooting percentages, scoring, rebounding and assists are all down from last season’s marks. Mayo will regain his footing sooner than later, especially since Mike Conley has cooled off from his hot start. He can be had for a bargain these days and there’s plenty of reason to believe he’ll regain most, if not all, of his value before the end of the year.
Marc Gasol: Little Gasol has been a big disappointment so far in 2010-11. His points, rebounds and blocks are all down from where they were last season and expectations of a breakout season are on the backburner for now. But the reason for Gasol’s early struggles is clear: he’s averaging 4.2 fouls per game, tied for second with DeMarcus Cousins and just behind Dwight Howard. Gasol should figure out how to lower that number soon, and a rise in his averages will be close behind.
David Lee, Andre Iguodala, John Wall and any other productive fantasy players who are injured should be considered buy-low candidates.
Michael Beasley: He’s been on an absolute tear since his 42-point outburst on Nov. 10. He’s been shooting 55.6 percent from the field and averaging 32.6 points, 1.8 threes, 6.2 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1 steal and 1 block in his last five games. While Beasley should be applauded for his big-time production in Minny, it’s hard to believe he’s capable of keeping this pace up even through the end of next week. His value probably won’t get any higher during the remainder of the season than it is right now, so do your best to see what you can get for him.
Jason Terry: Many fantasy owners were pretty down on Terry coming into this season, but he’s blown expectations out of the water so far, as he’s returned to 2008-09 form. However, once Caron Butler‘s back heals up and once Rodrigue Beaubois returns to claim a starting spot, Terry’s value is sure to be considerably deflated. His return to happy days is numbered.
Tony Parker: This sell-high recommendation isn’t based on the notion that Parker will struggle on the court because of his off-court issues (though it’s fine if you think that). This recommendation is based on his unsustainable averages so far. The main knocks on Parker’s fantasy value have always been his lack of threes (unchanged) and steals (very much changed). Through 10 games, Parker has been thieving two balls per game, exactly double his career average. He’s also averaging 7.6 assists, nearly two more than his 5.7 assists-per-game mark last season. Oh, and he’s also averaging a healthy 18.6 points per game, up from 16 points per game last season. The steals aren’t going to stay that high, and his scoring will likely dip now that Tim Duncan appears to be back on track and George Hill seems to be finding his comfort zone off the bench. He’s playing at an elite level right now, but fantasy owners shouldn’t believe that Parker has fundamentally changed his game overnight.
Gilbert Arenas: He strung together two solid outings this past week and even started twice, thanks to Wall’s absence from the lineup. Arenas is showing signs of life lately and is fulfilling expectations that he’d be a three-point machine this season, averaging 3.0 triples per game so far. In an effort to avoid tiring your eyes by listing his many risks, let’s just say that any week when Arenas puts together some solid lines is a good week to sell high on him.
Daniel Gibson: He might be the one Cav to most impressively step out from LeBron James‘ now-vacant shadow in Cleveland. We all knew he was a three-point shooter, but Boobie has done a lot more than that so far this season, averaging 14.2 points, 3.5 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 1.0 steal, along with his 1.8 threes per game. But with Mo Williams on the mend and set to bring some instability to that backcourt, Gibson seems set for some inconsistency for the rest of the way. His value is solid right now and it’d be a good idea to trade him for someone whose minutes are more reliable.
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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