TWO-thirds of the way through the season we have all earned a rest for a week. The strenuous task of gunnin’ for fantasy championship glory can be a draining task and as the All-Star break approaches it’s important you’re ready for the run into the playoffs and to close out the season.
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*All fantasy stats and numbers are based on ESPN format fantasy leagues.
HEADLINES THAT MATTER
- LAST week I discussed all the relevant trade deadline news and the effect it had on each individual from a fantasy perspective. If early signs are anything to go by, then Elfrid Payton could emerge as ‘Mr. Win You Your League’. Averaging 20.3 points, 8.7 assists and 8.3 rebounds as a Sun isn’t maintainable, but Payton could keep the points and assists ticking over and become a welcome boost for owners.
- SCORING has always come naturally to Damian Lillard. Even he will tell you that his hot streak from the last week is out of this world. With 50, 39 and 44 points in his last three outings, Lillard made all 35 of his free throw attempts and has shot over 55% from the field. Dang.
- EVEN though the real trade deadline has passed you have until Wednesday to complete any deals in your fantasy leagues. Of course, some leagues have different rules, but across the board, Wednesday is your last chance to deal.
- IT’S been a rough season for Andrew Wiggins and his struggles only got worse last week. He is averaging just 13.7 points in the month of Feb shooting a dismal 26/1% from the 3-point line in that stretch. For some, the All-Star break can’t come soon enough.
MUST ADD/MUST DROP
MUST ADD – Dwight Powell, Dallas Mavericks, PF/C
I’VE always been a big fan of Powell and he’s starting to prove me right. With no incentive to win now Dallas is giving their young a chance to shine and as a result, Powell has started six of the Mavs last seven games. In the month of Feb, he is averaging 16.3 PPG and 8.1 RPG in just over 28 minutes a game and with no sign of his minutes slowing down Powell could continue to go off post All-Star break.
Other candidates: Joe Ingles (Jazz, PF/SF, 49.3%) & Tomas Satoransky (Wizards, SF/PG, 17.5%)
MUST DROP – Avery Bradley, Los Angeles Clippers, SG
WHEN Bradley landed in LA many thought that his stay would be brief and he would be traded to a contender. Now that he is staying with the Clippers he sits behind Harris and Lou Will as a scoring option, giving him little significant value for the rest of the year.
Other candidates: Greg Monroe (Celtics, PF/C, 27.3%) & Lance Stephenson (Pacers, SG/SF, 12.3%)
Image from celticsblog.com
- THE All-Star break gives players a chance to recover from injury and everyone has their eyes on Kawhi Leonard (Spurs, SF). Still out ‘indefinitely’ San Antonio has remained tight-lipped about his return. Owners will have their finishers crossed he is contributing by playoff time.
- NIKOLA Vucevic (Magic, C), Paul Millsap (Nuggets, PF), Lonzo Ball (Lakers, PG) and Aaron Gordon (Magic, PF) are the most noteworthy guys who will return to action after the break. The latter duo Ball and Gordon are expected to play at almost the first opportunity they get while Vuc and Millsap are going to be worked back into the rotation slowly and may face a little longer spell in the sidelines.
- THE news isn’t as promising for Kevin Love (Cavs, PF/C) and John Wall (Wizards, PG). The two East All-Stars are going to be on the sidelines for close to a month and may miss a big chunk of the playoffs for you.