2015-16 Fantasy Basketball: Week 10 Preview
5 Games: PHO
4 Games: CHA, CHI, DAL, DEN, GS, IND, LAC, LAL, MIA, MIL, MIN, ORL, PHI, TOR, UTA, WSH
3 Games: ATL, BKN, CLE, DET, HOU, NO, NY, OKC, SAC, SA
2 Games: BOS, MEM
Karl-Anthony Towns – C/PF – Minnesota Timberwolves
It has been an up and down season for KAT, and there is no doubt that he is currently on the up swing. Over the last week, the rookie out of Kentucky has averaged 20.8 points, 11.3 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game while shooting 52% from the field and a whopping 95% from the free throw line. Meanwhile, second year phenom, Andrew Wiggins has continued to struggle and find his role as an elite player in the NBA, especially in categories outside of scoring. It appears the big KAT is beginning to take over as the new sheriff in town for this young Timberwolves team, as he has been their leading scorer and best player over the last week. However, the up and down season will likely continue for Towns in his rookie campaign, as it is only a matter or time before he finds himself struggling to put up consistent numbers as he is now.
Paul George – SG/SF/PF – Indiana Pacers
Paul George is having an MVP caliber season, averaging just less than 25 points a game for the resurging Pacers. However, in the past week, George is averaging just 12.3 points per game and shooting an abysmal 26% from the field. His rebound and assist numbers are right on par with his season averages, but he has been absolutely pathetic shooting the ball. This is just a bump in the road for the return of PG-13, and he has a chance to make up for it with a four game slate this week. Despite the poor shooting performance lately, George made up for it with an increase in defensive production, averaging 2.3 steals per game, a bump up from his average of 1.7 on the year. George is still a top 10-15 player on the player rater, depending on which format you play, and has a chance to end the season as a top five player with the abilities that he has. There is no reason to panic if you are a George owner, but you might want to avoid him in DFS until he proves to be back to his old ways.
Ish Smith – PG – Philadelphia 76ers
I am not really sure what the Sixers were thinking when they went out and got Ish Smith from the Pelicans and gave up two second round draft picks, but they’re 1-0 since acquiring the former Demon Deacon. Smith is on his ninth different team since joining the NBA back in 2010, and this is his second stint with the Sixers. He had 14 points, five assists, one block, one steal, two rebounds on 6/15 shooting in his Sixers debut, playing 31 minutes. He and Kendall Marshall will likely split time at point guard, but the team wouldn’t have given up two second round draft picks for a guy that they didn’t expect to come in and make an immediate impact for their team. The Sixers play four games this week, giving Ish plenty of opportunity to make an impact, especially if you’re looking for guard help. Smith is owned in just 35% of ESPN leagues, making it very possible that he is available in your league.
Devin Booker – SG – Phoenix Suns
This stream option comes as an unfortunate piece of news to Eric Bledsoe and his owners, as he will miss at least a month and a half with a torn meniscus in his left knee. The timetable for the return of Bledsoe will all depend on which road to recovery he and the Suns choose to take, but with the Suns out of the playoff picture this season, it would seem likely to have them take the long term option and come back 100% and not rush anything. This simply means that Booker will be entered into the starting lineup, at least for the moment being, which should make him one of the most added players in fantasy basketball this week. Not to mention, the Suns play an unusual FIVE game slate this week.
J.J. Barea – PG – Dallas Mavericks
This one likely won’t last very long, but J.J. Barea has been nothing short of sensational in his two games as the Mavericks starting point guard in place for the injured Deron Williams. With that being said, there is not a clear timetable for Williams’ return to the Mavericks lineup with a hamstring injury. Barea put up 32 and 26 points in the two games respectively since joining the starting lineup, adding 16 assists as well. Don’t expect the scoring to be this high as long as he starts, as he is shooting an absurd 64% from the field and has 12 three pointers in two games. His stats are simply unsustainable from a shooting standpoint, but as long as he plays with the starters in place of Deron Williams, expect points, threes and assists from the veteran out of Puerto Rico.
Games of the Week
Monday – Toronto Raptors at Chicago Bulls
Two of the top teams in the Eastern Conference battle in a game that is about as meaningful as it can get for the end of December. Kyle Lowry and Derrick Rose headline a terrific matchup at the point guard position.
Tuesday – Atlanta Hawks at Houston Rockets
James Harden, Dwight Howard, Al Horford, Paul Milsap and Jeff Teague headline a matchup between two teams that were heavy title contenders just a season ago.
Wednesday – Golden State Warriors at Dallas Mavericks
While this is what I’m picking for the game of the night, this game also has the potential to be the most lopsided of the 10 contests on Wednesday (except for maybe the Suns at the Spurs). Nevertheless, don’t count out Dirk and the Mavericks as they get their most recent chance to take down the mighty Warriors.
Thursday – Golden State Warriors at Houston Rockets
We saw these two teams battle at the very beginning of the season and James Harden fell flat on his face with one of his worst performances of the season. The Rockets have been playing much better basketball since their change to their starting lineup, and we all know Harden will want redemption.
Friday – New York Knicks at Chicago Bulls
It will be a very intriguing matchup to see Kristaps Porzingis matchup against Pau Gasol, as well as Jimmy Butler on Carmel Anthony, if they decide to go that route.
Saturday – Houston Rockets at San Antonio Spurs
It was a fantastic game on Christmas day in Houston, but the Rockets will now travel to San Antonio to take on their in-state rival where the Spurs will be looking for payback.
Sunday – Portland Trail Blazers at Denver Nuggets
These two teams could not be anymore opposite in terms of their strengths. Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum make for an excellent backcourt for the Blazers, and Faried, Jokic and Lauvergne make up an up and coming front court fort he Nuggets.