StrategyNovember 13, 2013


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The Hot Hand: Fantasy Basketball Week 3

By EricOnSports

Another week in the NBA and another crop of startling performances both bad and good. If you’ve continued to win, then congratulations; you must be following my advice. If you are on a losing streak similar to Utah’s, then it’s time you take notice. In a league that’s always changing we must ask ourselves that all-important question. Who has the hot hand? I’ll break it down for you position by position.

Guards

Kyle Korver, Atl SG – Korver has been extremely productive as of late; the stat sheet is clearly his new favorite hangout. On Nov. 7 at Denver, he put up an impressive 16 points to go along with five boards, four assists, two steals and two blocks. His identity appears to have changed from slick three-point shooter to all-around baller. Feel free to play him as a SF, F or UTIL in week 3. Korver has three good match-ups this week and will continue to play a big role for the Atlanta Hawks on offense and defense.

Patrick Beverley, Hou PG – As the NBA puts it, “Big is on.” That’s especially true in the case of the Houston Rockets, who have been playing at a very high level for the first eight games of the season. Their 5-3 record trumps the records of 14 out of 15 teams in the Eastern Conference (the exception being the undefeated Pacers). Beverley has been a big part of the Rockets’ early success and continues to be rewarded by Kevin McHale with extra playing time. Besides a poor showing last night, he has been scoring in the teens regularly. Expect this to continue going forward and strongly consider picking him up to play G or UTIL on your team this week. Beverley will play in three contests during week 3.

Gerald Green, Pho SG, SF – Let loose the dogs of hell! The Phoenix Suns are rampaging; at 5-2, they’re looking shockingly good and are currently sitting tight in third place in the Western Conference. Green has been an important contributor as he’s averaged 13.3 PPG throughout the first seven games of the season. Any fantasy team lacking in the points department ought to take a shot on Green because he can be valuable in multiple positions. The only obstacle for those of you that will pick up Green this week is that Phoenix will only be playing in two contests in week 3.

Forwards

Corey Brewer, Min SF – There’s a lot of upside to Brewer this week. A lot of that upside comes from the fact that he will be having a busy week; the Timberwolves will be playing Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. For those of you interested in picking up Brewer, it’s all about points and steals. Brewer has been getting into the passing lanes, breaking up fast breaks and turning turnovers into oodles of points. His FG% is looking good as well. Brewer is a free agent even in most deep leagues so go and get him while the getting is good.

Brandon Bass, Bos PF – Bass is coming off a mediocre 2012 season. However, the Celtics are rebuilding, and the 28-year-old is due to come into his own now that KG and Pierce are out of the picture. Bass is not the most impressive glass-eater but he still manages to pull down an average of five rebounds per game. Points are his primary department; when Utah visited Boston, Bass threw down a mean 20 points. A surprising specialty of the PF is FT%. Bass makes a very impressive 86 percent of his shots from the charity stripe. Bass is my runner-up pick up of the week. If he is still available in your league, make moves now and grab him off waivers or free agency.

Markieff Morris, Pho PF – Markieff Morris was born seven minutes before his twin brother, Marcus. Those few minutes must have made a big difference because Markieff is becoming an explosive force on the Suns’ squad and Marcus is somewhat fading into the background. Markieff has 64 points in the last three games and two double-doubles. He is literally becoming a beast before our eyes, crashing the boards and throwing down monster jams. His chemistry with Eric Bledsoe is getting better every game, and the combo is leading Phoenix to a dominate early season. The only downside to picking up Morris this week is that he will only play two games this week. However, he’s the sort of pick-up that could become a permanent member of any fantasy team. Morris is my pickup of the week; if he’s available to you then scoop him up and prove you’re a fantasy basketball genius.

Centers

Jason Smith, Nor PF, C – The relatively unknown Smith made Miles Plumlee look like a complete and total chump last Sunday night. He went up, over and around Plumlee to score 22 points. His ample production was partially due to Anthony Davis going cold. Davis tends to be a primary target for defenses and as such we should see a growth in scoring opportunities for Smith. As of now, he’s not the sort of center who you can depend on to rake in the points consistently. Even so, if you need a plug-and-play PF, C, or UTIL then strongly consider picking up Smith. He could be an incognito high-scorer for week 3.

Anderson Varejao, Cle C – Varejao has shown some improvement in the early goings of the 2013 NBA season. He has continuously stuffed the stat sheet. If your fantasy team is losing in multiple stat categories then Varejao would be an impeccable C or UTIL addition to your team. He’s been scoring an average of 8.9 points. That may not be the most impressive stat, however, he’s been picking up rebounds, blocks and steals, and his FG% looks good thus far. If you are looking for a tentative quick play at center without having to make a trade, then Varejao is the cream of the crop.

Bismack Biyombo, Cha C – In fantasy basketball, this big man is useful for one thing and one thing only: rebounds. He has only brought in one double-double in the early part of the season, but he’s averaging eight boards per game. I know that doesn’t sound astounding for a center, but still, if your team loses the rebounding category then you need Biyombo. The center stays in the paint and has legitimate skill at tracking down loose balls. The big upside to playing Biyombo this week is that he will be playing a loaded schedule; the Bobcats will play four games this week.


 
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