Blocks And Boards Help

The inconsistent Derrick Favors is on one of his hot streaks and now is the time to pick him up.

Analysis: There aren’t many players out there that can stuff a stat sheet like Derrick Favors and then disappear for weeks at a time. Regardless, Favors is at it again and it’s time to ride his hot streak. The twenty-one year old is averaging 9.75 RPG, 1.25 BPG and 1.5 SPG over his last four contests. He’s doing all this still averaging 22 minutes per game which is right in line with his minute totals this season. He has been relatively consistent with the blocks and steals this year but his rebounding numbers have been rather strong lately. Favors is available in 30-60% of fantasy leagues nationwide.

Marreese Speights is another fantasy big man to watch. He’s averaging 9.3 RPG, 1.3 BPG and 16.3 PPG over his last three games in increased minutes with the Cavs. Speights is available in 40-80% of fantasy leagues and HE IS THE STEAL right now on the wire considering his minutes are up a ton in Cleveland. He’s also a career 75% free throw shooter, not bad for a guy with center position eligibility.

Who Is Tristan Thompson?

Tristan Thompson is an impressive athlete but can he be relied upon going forward this fantasy basketball season?

Analysis: Tristan Thompson is one streaky player and this week has certainly had its ups and downs. Despite his sporadic play Thompson has still managed to average 9.2 RPG to go along with 9.4 PPG over his last five games. Although the rebounding has been great Thompson only managed two blocks and zero steals in that five game stretch. His season average of .9 SPG and .3 BPG is absolutely unacceptable in the fantasy world. This is the type of athlete that can and should be averaging over one block and one steal per game quite easily. His struggles at the line this year(56%) is also killing his fantasy value but he just may be a double-double machine in the making.

It is too early to tell what the season holds for Thompson but if the blocks are not there he isn’t worth anyone’s time. He is in a similar situation to the one Derrick Favors was entering his second year in the league. In Derrick’s case, he really didn’t start playing consistent ball until last April and it may be the case with Thompson this year. Either way it goes his blocks and steals will ultimately tell his fantasy story this year because the rebounding is there.

Deep League Help- Taj Gibson

Despite the lack of minutes, Taj Gibson is producing some very solid numbers as a fantasy power forward.

Analysis: Taj Gibson is averaging 1.6 blocks per game and 5.5 rebounds per game over his last eight contests. He’s putting these numbers up in about twenty minutes of floor time per night. Chances are his minutes will not improve drastically but he remains a solid deep league option. Gibson is available in over ninety percent of fantasy leagues and you really cannot ask for more from a lower tier power forward.

Taj Gibson is also shooting over fifty percent from the field this year. Tack on 0.5 steals per game and you have yourself a productive power forward. He does struggle at the line and some nights he can disappear in the points department but overall he is as consistent as he can be at twenty minutes per night. If guys like Amir Johnson, Zaza Pachulia and Kenneth Faried are long gone in your league, Taj Gibson may be a fine alternative. Going forward Derrick Favors will pull down more boards but Gibson should hold the edge in blocks.

Deep League Help- Derrick Favors

The third overall pick of the 2010 draft is finally getting some minutes to go along with his freakish athletic talent.

Analysis: Derrick Favors has the athletic ability of Dwight Howard and it was only a matter of time before he started putting up some numbers. Favors has nine blocks and three steals in his last three games. He’s averaging 7.7 boards in just under twenty-five minutes per game and that number will increase by year’s end if his minutes maintain. Favors does have a twenty point game under his belt this year but it is clear his fantasy weakness as a power forward will be his scoring. He is shooting over fifty percent from the floor but he’s only averaging seven field goal attempts per game.

As of now he will be putting up center like numbers as a power forward. He’s going to block tons of shots due to his athleticism and his rebounds will improve as he matures. Favors is available in eighty percent of fantasy leagues and if his solid play continues he won’t even be available in the deeper leagues. Favors has been coming off of the bench recently but if his minutes are in the low to mid twenty range… you’re fine.

NBA: Best of the West

With the exception of Oklahoma City, the NBA Western Conference was weakened with the continued exodous of mega talent to the East. Even so, the two time defending champs reside in the Pacific and the sexiest team on the rise, Oklahoma City rule the Northwest, both from the Western Conference.

Gone are Deron Williams, Carmelo Anthony, Jeff Green and Chauncey Billups. The short term winners are the Lakers as they strive to three-peat. The long term winners are the Thunder as the future power of the West have distanced themselves from the rest. Finishing first in the West assures home court advantage to the finals, but also probably lands a 2nd round match up with Oklahoma City, as the Thunder are looking more and more like a 4th seed. FantasySP takes a look at projected first round playoff match ups.

Memphis vs San Antonio– The Grizzlies picked up forward Shane Battier at the deadline to help carry them through the injury to Rudy Gay. Memphis tried to trade O.J.Mayo, but missed the deadline, creating an awkward situation. Zach Randolph was also on the block,  but will remain the Grizzlies main option in the post and on the  boards. The Spurs will be without  Tony Parker for 2-4 weeks, giving George Hill an opportunity to run the show. San Antonio may have one last run, with the inside-outside game of Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili aging.

Portland vs Oklahoma City– Portland with a huge pickup at the deadline, getting explosive forward Gerald Wallace from Charlotte.  Wallace is a freak athletically and provides another option as Brandon Roy works his crippled knees back into shape.  LeMarcus Aldridge has taken a step toward power elite and Wes Matthews provides necessary minutes in relief of Roy. And yes, Greg Oden is still injured. The Thunder always a popular pick may have become the favorite.  Oklahoma City getting the big man they long desired, acquiring center Kendrick Perkins from Boston. The Thunder had to give up athletic flexibility in Jeff Green, but now have the big banger to face Dirk, Duncan, Bynum and beyond.  Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden get it done on the perimeter, but now Serge Ibaka has a playmate in the paint.

Denver vs Los Angeles Lakers– Looking at the big picture, Denver is in much better shape for the long run than they were just a few short weeks ago. Melo’s loss will be felt come playoff time, but the Nuggets certainly received value. Ray Felton, Danilo Galinari and Wilson Chandler are now in Denver, courtesy of  the Knicks and will see big minutes in the post season. Ty Lawson will share the point with Felton, while Kenyon Martin and J.R.Smith will be expected to fill the scoring void. Nene was rumored to be on the block, but Denver kept him, proving to fans that  winning remains an important part of the equation. Even with the Thunder roaring in Oklahoma City, the Lakers remain the favorite to three-peat. LA toyed with the idea of moving Andrew Bynum for Melo, but wisely did not, maintaining the size up  front that distinguishes them from the rest. The Lakers back court is stronger, Steve Blake allowing Derek Fisher to excel in critical minutes and Shannon Brown has been a nice surprise off the bench. Most of all, Kobe is Kobe.

New Orleans vs Dallas– The Hornets seem  the misfit of the West. Whomever gets New Orleans in the first round sure will be getting a break. No wonder Chris Paul wants out off NOLA.  The Hornets have nice bigs in David West and Emeka Okafor, but that’s about it. You think Trevor Ariza wishes he was back in Los Angeles about now? The Mavericks are the deepest club in the Association and appear close to adding another body. Free agent Corey Brewer is being courted by half a dozen teams, but only the Mavs have a mid-level exception contract to offer. Good money, chance to  go deep in playoffs, sure sounds alot better than Minnesota. Losing Caron Butler for the year hurt, but the exceptional play by center Tyson Chandler has more than made up for it.