2015-2016 Fantasy Basketball: Week 15 and 16 Preview
Your next matchup is likely February 8th through the 21st. The All-Star game in Toronto is this weekend, making this a two-week matchup in most season long fantasy basketball leagues.
5 Games: CHI, NOP, OKC, SAS, UTA, WSH
4 Games: ATL, BOS, BKN, CHA, CLE, DEN, DET, GSW, IND, LAC, LAL, MEM, MIL, MIN, ORL, PHI, PHO, POR, TOR
3 Games: DAL, HOU, MIA, NYK, SAC
John Wall – PG – Washington Wizards
It’s been an incredible week for John Wall, as he averaged 24.8 points, 9.5 assists, 2.0 three pointers, 6.5 rebounds, 2.0 steals, 1.0 block, while shooting 53% from the floor. This included a game of 41 points and 10 assists against the Warriors. Wall is an obvious fantasy superstar, but he has been the best player in the NBA from a fantasy perspective in the past week. He has come a long way since the beginning of the season when he shot in the low 40% and even in the 30% range from the floor for the first part of the season. The Wizards play five games during this two-week stretch with the All-Star break strung in between, tied with five other teams for the most in the league.
Carmelo Anthony – SF/PF – New York Knicks
It has been a rough stretch for the Knicks, as they have lost five games in a row, which has led to the firing of head coach Derek Fisher. Things haven’t been much better for Carmelo Anthony of late, as he shot just 28% from the floor over the past week. While he has made up for it with contributions in other areas (10.3 rebounds, 6.3 assists), Carmelo has had a tough time shooting of late. He has been a fine DFS play, as the field goal percentage won’t hurt you, and you can’t exactly bench him in season long leagues because he is still scoring, rebounding, and racking up assists. The only thing you can hope for with Melo at this point is that he finds his shooting stroke soon. Maybe the change at head coach for the Knicks will rejuvenate their team.
Stanley Johnson – SF – Detroit Pistons
With Kentavious Caldwell-Pope out with a groin injury, Stanley Johnson has stepped in and played 38, and 44 minutes in the Pistons lineup. Johnson has responded, chipping in with 15.0 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.8 three pointers, 0.3 blocks, 1.0 steals, while shooting 45% from the field and 90% from the line. The Pistons have said that KCP will not return from his injury until after the All-Star break, and they’re not sure that he will be available immediately following the break. Johnson is just 36% owned in ESPN leagues at the moment, and the Pistons play four games in the next two weeks with the All-Star break in the middle.
Norris Cole – PG – New Orleans Pelicans
Tyreke Evans has missed the last seven games for the Pelicans because of tendinitis in his knee, and he will be out until at least after the All-Star break. Cole has received a bump in playing time due to the Evans injury and the trade of Ish Smith, as he has scored 16.3 points per game over the last week. He has also chipped in with 5.5 assists, 2.3 rebounds, 1.3 three pointers, and 1.3 steals over the past week, shooting 44% from the field and 100% from the charity stripe. The Pelicans play five times this matchup period, tied for the most of any team, and Cole should continue to be a contributing factor for the last place Pelicans until Evans returns. He is currently owned in just 25% of ESPN leagues.
Games of the Week
Monday 2/8 – Bulls at Hornets
The Bulls have struggled of late, and the Hornets have been sensational at home this season. Kemba Walker and Derrick Rose will highlight a matchup of two Eastern Conference teams hoping to improve their playoff stock.
Tuesday 2/9 – Rockets at Warriors
A rematch of the Western Conference finals is my pick for the game of the night, however, it could become the most lopsided game of the night. James Harden against Steph Curry will be the game of the night, at least before the game starts.
Wednesday 2/10 – Clippers at Celtics
Chris Paul against Isaiah Thomas at point guard is a very underrated matchup of two terrific point guards. Obviously Chris Paul gets the credit that he deserves, however, Isaiah Thomas as formed into an All-Star point guard for the Celtics, who host the Clippers.
Thursday 2/11 – Wizards at Bucks
John Wall has been one of the best players in fantasy basketball of late, and he will look to continue putting up big numbers against Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks.
Friday 2/12 – Wednesday 2/17 – All-Star break
As much as the players need this break, us fantasy owners are relieved to get six days off from setting lineups as well. Remember the NBA trade deadline is Thursday the 18th.
Thursday – 2/18 – Bulls at Cavaliers
It has been an up and down start to the coach Lue era in Cleveland, but the Bulls have had their struggles of late as well. The Bulls will travel to Cleveland to take on the Cavaliers at the Q where they have only lost two games all year.
Friday 2/19 – Pacers at Thunder
The Thunder are in third place in the Western Conference, however, they might be the team that gives the Warriors the best series in the playoffs, if recent games have shown us anything. The Pacers are in the middle of the Eastern Conference playoff hunt, with Paul George leading the way. Paul George against Kevin Durant at the small forward position highlight this game or marquee players.
Saturday 2/20 – Warriors at Clippers
Again, every time the Warriors go up against a team where the game is highlighted, the Warriors usually use that as motivation to give their best game they could possibly play, and they win by 30. The Thunder are the only team that played the Warriors close of late, but this game is on the road (barely), as the Warriors head down the road to Los Angeles to take on the Clippers at Staples Center.
Sunday 2/21 – Cavaliers at Thunder
LeBron James, Kevin Love, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Serge Ibaka. Enough said.