The 2016/17 campaign is nearing the half-way mark and Hoops Rumors is examining the fantasy basketball landscape in order to help you dominate the competition. Check back weekly for more fantasy basketball analysis.
Atlanta’s 60-Win Quintet No Longer Makes Music
The Hawks have been pretty busy recently. They traded away Kyle Korver and fielded calls for Paul Millsap over the last week, though it was reported today that the team has informed the power forward that he will not be dealt. Millsap is the last remaining starter from Atlanta’s tremendous 2014/15 team that led the Eastern Conference with 60 wins.
Let’s examine how each starting member of that team is doing this season and rank them according to their fantasy basketball value.
- Paul Millsap (Remains with the Hawks): The 31-year-old leads this list because of his ability to reliably contribute in a number of categories. He’s in the top-10 in points, rebounds and assists per game among power forwards and he’s only slightly outside the top-10 in free throw percentage and blocks per game. Draymond Green is the only big man to average more steals per game than him. Factor in his 3-point shooting (making over a shot per game from behind the arc) and his solid field goal percentage overall, and you’ve got one of the most well-rounded fantasy options in the league.
- Jeff Teague (Traded to the Pacers during the offseason): Teague took a while to get acclimated to the Pacers, but he’s playing well lately. Entering Tuesday, he’s averaging 17.4 points and 10.1 assists per game while shooting 48.0% from the field over his last 11 contests. He’s in a great situation playing in Indiana’s fast paced offense and he’s on pace to have one of his best seasons as a pro.
- Al Horford (Signed with the Celtics during the offseason): Horford also had an adjustment period with his new team this season, a situation that was compounded when he missed nine games because of a concussion. He’s appears to have grown more comfortable in his new home, though his field goal percentage remains an issue. He’s only making 45.2% of his attempts this season, which is his lowest mark since his rookie campaign. That’s due in part to an increase in 3-point attempts, as he’s chucking a career-high 4.4 shots per game from behind the arc. He’s making 1.5 3-pointers per contest, the second highest mark in the league among centers (Brook Lopez is knocking down nearly two per night). The increased usage on the perimeter has hurt his rebounding totals over the last few seasons and this year, it’s impacting that category yet again, as he’s grabbing a career-worst 6.7 rebounds per game.
- DeMarre Carroll (Signed with the Raptors during the 2015 offseason): Carroll is a fantasy asset when he’s both healthy and receiving a full complement of minutes. He’s missed over 51% of his games due to injury since signing with Toronto and he’s been limited in many others. However, it appears the team is starting to feel comfortable giving him a full workload, as he’s averaging 37.3 minutes per game over his last four contests. He was particularly impressive over his last two games, where he’s made a total of 10 3-pointers and shot 50.0% from the field.
- Kyle Korver (Traded to the Cavs last week): The 35-year-old shooting guard will come off the bench for the defending champs and don’t expect him to contribute much in terms of fantasy. He saw 18 minutes of action in tonight’s loss to Jazz, but only made one of his five field goals. Beyond an occasional spot start, it’s best if he’s left on the waiver wire.
Here’s more fantasy analysis and notes from around the league:
- Kent Bazemore re-signed with the Hawks on a massive $70MM deal during the offseason, but he has failed to live up to expectations. Don’t expect his fantasy value to rise too much with Korver out of the picture. Bazemore’s problem isn’t opportunity, it’s a lack of efficiency. He’s shooting the ball more this season than he was last year, though he’s only making a career-low 37.0% of his attempts. Despite the potential for a slightly bigger role, he’s not worth a valuable roster spot at the moment.
- Tim Hardaway is the player most likely to benefit from the Korver trade. He’s seeing about four more minutes per game than he was prior to the deal and he’s averaging 17.2 points per game over his last five contests. He’s not a must-own player, but he’s serviceable as a streaming option. He’s available in over 88% of ESPN leagues.
- Keep tabs on Clint Capela. The center fractured his left fibula in mid-December and was expected to miss 4-6 weeks. The projected timeline puts him at about halfway through his recovery, though it could take longer for him to regain the role he had with the Rockets prior to being injured. Capela had the third best field goal percentage and had the 10th most blocks per game among centers during the first two months of the season, as I mentioned in a previous edition of Fantasy Hoops.