2015-16 Fantasy Basketball: Week 13 Preview
4 Games: ATL, BOS, BKN, CHA, CHI, CLE, DAL, DET, HOU, LAC, NOP, NY, OKC, TOR, UTA
3 Games: DEN, GSW, IND, LAL, MEM, MIA, MIL, MIN, ORL, PHI, PHO, POR, SAC, WSH
2 Games: SAS
Giannis Antetokounmpo – SF – Milwaukee Bucks
I’m just going to call him the Greek Freak to save any mistakes at spelling. However, you better get used to spelling Antetokounmpo, because we are talking about a future star of the NBA. The Greek freak has averaged 22.5 points, 12.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.0 steals, and 2.0 blocks per game while shooting 56% from the field and 76% from the free throw line. He has been an absolute stud over the past week, pulling down a double double in his last four games. It has been an up and down season to this point for the Greek freak, but he has shown that at just 21 years old that he can be a superstar in the NBA. Antetokounmpo has similar size and skills to Kevin Durant, standing at 6-11 and arguably still growing. He is very high on the dynasty rankings for players to own, as a possible MVP down the road in Milwaukee.
Nerlens Noel – PF – Philadelphia 76ers
It’s been a tough year for those who invested in Nerlens Noel in the draft, as his ADP for 2015-2016 was 29.9 in ESPN leagues. Let’s just say he is nowhere near the 30th player on the player rater, making him an early candidate for the biggest bust of the season based on where he was drafted. Let’s just focus on the past week, however, and the struggles that he has had. Noel is averagins just 6.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.5 steals, but he is managing 3.5 blocks per game, and shooting 45% from the floor. Not only has his production plummeted, but Noel is now just playing 25 minutes per game. It would be tough to sell Noel for anything at this point, but I still believe that he has some value with his defensive contributions. It’s clear, however, that Noel is strictly leaned on for his defense and rebounding, but with rookie Jahlil Okafor also down low for the Sixers, there are only so many rebounds to go around to make either of them an elite rebounder.
Robert Covington – SF – Philadelphia 76ers
I wrote about Covington before the season started as a guy that could make a big jump this season and become a fantasy sleeper. He plays for the worst team in the NBA, and he has shown that he can be their leading scorer if given the opportunity to play big minutes. Well, with Jerami Grant missing time with a calf injury, Covington is now going to see north of 30 minutes a night for a Sixers team that needs help anywhere they can find it. He had a stretch earlier in the year when he was a top 10 player in fantasy basketball over a two week period because of not only his scoring ability, but his defensive ability as well. The Sixers play just three games this week, but Covington has proven that he can do more damage in three games than most free agent fantasy players could contribute in four if he is playing big minutes, which he will be this week.
Trey Lyles – PF – Utah Jazz
Derrick Favors continues to sit for the Jazz while nursing a back injury, which has sidelined him for the past 14 games. Lyles has been great in the past three games for the Jazz, averaging 17.3 points, 4.6 rebounds per game. He has not been the best rebounder while filling in, but at just 20 years old, it appears as if Lyles will continue to get better with experience, and that is just what he has done on the offensive side of the ball. Utah has four games this week, and with no set timetable for Favors to return to action, Lyles should continue to see the bulk of the minutes at power forward for the Jazz.
Jamal Crawford – SG – Los Angeles Clippers
Everyone has to chip in on the offensive side of the ball to make up for Blake Griffin being out of the lineup, and that includes bench players like Crawford. While he wont help out much more than points and three pointers, Crawford has shown that he has the ability to go for 20 a game, with his ceiling up around 30 or even 40 if he gets hot enough. The Clippers have four games this week, and while Blake Griffin continues to sit, the scoring has to go somewhere.
Games of the Week
Monday – Warriors at Cavaliers
The Golden State Warriors are coming off of a loss as they travel to Cleveland. This game does not need much introduction and reasoning as to why it’s the game of the night, probably even week.
Tuesday – Bucks at Heat
Giannis Antetokounmpo is on fire and the Heat are missing their starting point guard, Goran Dragic. The Bucks have proven that they can hang with the best in the NBA, defeating the Warriors for their first loss of the season and nearly beating them a second time AT Oracle Arena. The Bucks also defeated the Cavs in overtime on their home floor, but going on the road has been another story.
Wednesday – Warriors at Bulls
The Warriors continue their trip out east as they take on the Chicago Bulls at the United Center. Jimmy Butler and Steph Curry headline a matchup of two of the better guards in the NBA going head-to-head.
Thursday – Clippers at Cavaliers
The Clippers have won nine of 10 games since Blake Griffin went down with an injury, but they will travel to Cleveland to take on LeBron James and the Cavaliers, who seem to finally be a healthy basketball team and hitting their stride.
Friday – Thunder at Mavericks
Kevin Durant vs Dirk Nowitzki in Dallas as the Thunder have been one of the best teams in the NBA this season. The Mavericks have been able to play anyone in the NBA tough at home and there is no reason that should change on Friday night.
Saturday – Bulls at Cavaliers
The Cavaliers were on a tough six game road trip out west, with their only loss coming at San Antonio. The Cavs now return home for another tough stretch of games, but they get them all at home where they have lost just one game all season.
Sunday – Clippers at Raptors
The Clippers seem to be putting it all together right now, which ironically is coming without Blake Griffin in the lineup. They take a trip out east to take on Kyle Lowry and the Raptors.