Every Sunday Kevin Smith will preview the New York Knicks upcoming schedule from a fantasy perspective and take a quick look around the NBA. Kevin writes as Dime Magazine’s Fantasy Doctor. For more extensive fantasy basketball advice, click here.
KNICKS SCHEDULE ANALYSIS
Monday at Golden State
In his next meeting with the Knicks after dropping 61 points at the Garden, Kobe Bryant scored 34 points. The Knicks will probably need to keep Steph Curry under 34 to get the win.
Wednesday at Denver
Denver is third in the league in points per game and loves to push the pace, so look for your Knicks to score more points than usual.
Thursday at Portland
The Knicks are 3-2 on TNT so far this year.
Sunday at Los Angeles Clippers
The Knicks and Clippers both average 100 points per game, but Los Angeles gives up 94.3 points per game, compared to the Knicks 95.8.
STAT OF THE WEEK – 43.0
Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire combine for 43.0 points per game, accounting for 43% of their offense. If Melo continues to miss games the offense will eventually fall off, so look for him to return sooner rather than later.
DIRK NOWITZKI, Dallas
It was only a matter of time before Nowitzki got back into his groove. The future Hall of Famer has put up 19.4 points, 8.7 rebounds, 1.3 treys, 1.1 steals and 0.7 bocks over the last seven games and finally appears to have his legs beneath him. The good sign is that his defensive numbers have been trending up, and Dirk even went old school on Milwaukee and dropped 21 points and 20 rebounds a few games ago. He’s not going to be the elite scoring option he used to be, but a healthy Dirk Nowitzki may in fact heat up just in time to take some fantasy teams to the championship.
MONTA ELLIS, Milwaukee
While Brandon Jennings took a few games to get used to a rotation with the newly acquired J.J. Redick, Ellis didn’t miss a beat. Since the February 21 trade deadline, Ellis is averaging 23.7 points, 4.0 rebounds and 7.7 assists with 1.2 treys and a ludicrous 3.5 steals. He’s the type of player that can get stats no matter who you put around him, and with Milwaukee sitting in the eighth and final playoff spot in the East, the need for all Bucks starters to log significant minutes is there. Continue to roll with Ellis in your lineup with confidence.
ANDREW BOGUT, Golden State
After drafting Bogut last season and watching him succumb to the injury bug, I promised myself I wouldn’t touch him this year. Even though he just came back from yet another injury and played a season high 29:54, he’s still moving down in the ranks. His numbers are only on the fringe of ownable to begin with at 6.5 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in just over 23 minutes a game. Throw in his notorious injury history and the fact that he admitted to feeling slowness the day after playing almost 30 minutes, and I’m ready to jump ship and drop Bogut way down in my rankings.
JASON TERRY, Boston
I thought that Terry would take command of the Celtics backcourt stats once Rondo was lost, but despite playing 27 minutes a night he’s still not producing. Over his last three games, he’s averaging just 8.6 points, 4.7 dimes, 1.3 treys and 1.0 steals. Terry is still guaranteed playing time and deserves to be owned, but shouldn’t be relied upon too heavily.
BYRON MULLENS, Charlotte
Despite all of the stars in the fantasy basketball world, believe it or not it’s players like Mullens who can help take you to a championship. He was one of the league’s hottest pickups at the beginning of the year, but because of injury has been widely available for quite some time. Mullens boasts quietly respectable averages of 12.0 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.4 treys, 0.7 steals and 0.6 blocks this year, but has been bothered by his knee recently, and is letting it affect his game. His sporadic minutes and nagging injuries drop Mullens in the rankings unless he can prove to be healthy down the stretch.
PICKUPS OF THE WEEK
Bradley Beal (68 percent owned in Y!, 88 percent owned in ESPN)
Beal is struggling to return from a sprained ankle, but now is the time to pounce on the up and coming rookie. He was putting up 20.0 points 5.8 rebounds 2.4 assists 2.1 treys and 1.1 steals over nine games before the injury. Beal’s ownership is plummeting dropping four percent in Yahoo! leagues and almost 12 percent in ESPN. His overall game is on the rise and with the Wizards nowhere near playoff contention, he’s a lock for logging major time on the floor. If an impatient owner cut him, now is the time to make the add.
Derrick Favors (64 percent owned in Yahoo!, 66 percent in ESPN)
Injuries to Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap have opened up tons of playing time for Favors and Enes Kanter, and if the Jazz continue to slip in the standings, Favors could be the main beneficiary. Not counting Saturday night’s blowout loss to the Knicks, where he started and logged only 23 minutes, Favors averaged 13.3 points 12.3 rebounds 1.0 steals and 3.7 blocks. With both Millsap and Jefferson about to hit free agency, the Jazz will find it difficult to re-sign both, so Tyrone Corbin may opt to give the younger guys some extra run. Continue to monitor the situation, but grab Favors now if you still can.
Ed Davis (12 percent owned in Y!, 6 percent in ESPN)
Zach Randolph has missed four straight games, and with his injury still lingering, Davis has been getting some extra run. He has started three of the last four games, averaging 9.3 points 8.5 rebounds and 2.5 blocks while shooting 56 percent from the field. While he won’t dominate the fantasy game (at least this year), Davis is a cheap piece if your team is lacking in big man categories. Continue to use him as long as Z-Bo is out for.
Jermaine O’Neal (21 percent owned in Y!, 12 percent in ESPN)
O’Neal is currently away from the team to be with his daughter, and although he’s not expected to return until Monday at the earliest, Marcin Gortat’s three-plus week injury opens up the door for tons of stats from him. Prior to his leave of absence, O’Neal put up 15.3 points 10.3 rebounds and 2.0 blocks while playing over 25 minutes in each of those three games. His ceiling is limited by his age, but O’Neal can still produce well enough to warrant ownership until Gortat is able to return.
Danny Green (63 percent owned in Y!, 74 percent in ESPN)
Green’s value hasn’t changed as much as one would have expected when Tony Parker went down with injury, but he’s been playing consistent enough to warrant more ownership. Green hasn’t gone a game without a three since January 26th and is averaging 2.3 treys 1.7 steals and 0.7 blocks on the season. He won’t hurt you in any category, making him a better add for rotisserie formats than head-to-head.