Fantasy Basketball

Fantasy Basketball 2013-14: In The Bonus – Waiver Targets Week 18 – Name Value

Photo Credit: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Photo Credit: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Everyone’s parents put a lot of thought into their children’s names knowing that they’d have to live with it the rest of their lives. Which is true, but in the end it’s what each individual does that makes their name, whether it be for better or worse. As observers of what these ballers make their names to be known for, we tend to rely too heavily often times on the players name value rather than their actual production.

What’s the first thing you think of when you hear the name “Danny Granger?” Injury prone. What’s the first thing you think of when you hear the name “Chris Anderson?” Tattoos or mohawk. Whether you realize it or not you do this with most players. Usually it’s knowing them as either a super-stud, stud, mid-level, injury prone or worthless player. It’s fine to have an opinion on each player but in the grand scheme of things it’s the numbers that are going to win or lose you a title, not their names.

I bring this up because it is oh to common for owners to over-value players based on their name reputation or history rather than how they’re actually playing currently. To further prove my point, I am going to do some blind player comparisons that will show a bigger name or highly owned player vs a not so popular name or lesser owned player. I think some of the results will surprise you. All of the below are based on the players last month of production.

In player comparison one, it’s pretty clear that unless you’re in need of steals, Player B is the better all around option. So, why is it that Player A is owned in 99.2% of leagues while Player B is owned in just 7.4%? Well, this is a perfect example of a name carrying a players value to fantasy GMs. Player A is Andre Iguodala, Player B is Josh McRoberts. Shocked? I’m sure you’re thinking, “well, Iggy has been bad all season, so it’s not that crazy.” I agree with that but the owned percentage goes against what you’re thinking. Not only is Iguodala a worse option statistically with no change in site, he also is on the Warriors who have the worst possible playoff schedule.

Here player C is the better guy for dimes but basically everywhere else Player D is equal or superior. You’d think that they should be owned in about the same amount of leagues but Player C is 96% owned Jameer Nelson, Player D is 48% owned Mario Chalmers. You wouldn’t think that Jameer’s name would carry much weight but overall he probably should be owned in at least 90%, but Mario is deserving of being owned in just as many. His advantage in steals and FG% is a nice improvement over Nelson, and unless you really need the couple of assists a game boost, Chalmers is the one you’d rather have especially with his perfect 4-4-4 playoff schedule.

This one really surprises me because Player F has been doing his thing all season long and still obviously hasn’t garnered fantasy owners respect. Player F is better or equal in every category yet is owned in way less leagues. Player E is 95% owned Wilson Chandler, Player F is 39% owned DeMarre Carroll. Carroll was owned in about 65% of leagues before missing a few games around the all-star break due to a minor injury, and he was then dropped in a good chunk of leagues during that stint. I tweeted that if he was dropped in your league, snatch him up. He does a little bit of everything for you and has a perfect 4-4-4 playoff schedule, what more could you want? This isn’t a shot at Chandler but the fact he’s so highly owned while Carroll isn’t even owned in half the leagues is absurd.

This example is a hit of reality that Player G is supremely over-valued and there’s a good amount of players very similar statistically who aren’t thought to even be in the same ball park by most owners. Player G is 100% owned Klay Thompson, Player H is 29% owned Marco Bellineli. Now sure, Belli may take a little bit of a hit in value with the return of Kawhi Leonard, but this still shows that a guy as shrugged off as Belli can put up numbers right along a guy thought so highly of like Klay. Klay’s threes have been down the last month and he’s averaging 2.7 a game on the season, but he’s cold at the moment and when he’s not hitting treys, he’s really not doing much of anything for his owners. He also falls in the same boat as Iggy with the subpar playoff schedule of 3-2-4. If you can cash in his name for a better playoff schedule and a guy who does more all around, make it happen.

Most league’s trade deadlines are coming up soon, and if you have a chance to make a deal that betters your overall statistical output, go for it. Use your player’s name value to get a less sexy name but similar stats plus an added upgrade for you. If you can turn Wilson Chandler and a bottom guy on your bench into DeMarre Carroll and an upgrade to your bottom guy, make the move. Be sure to look at my column from last week that shows teams/players playoff schedules to help target good options. Also consider my week 4 column that is all about the streaming strategy. All season long I’ve tried to give helpful tips on how to better your chances at winning a title, and we’re just a couple of weeks away from the playoffs and your opportunity to hoist the trophy above your head while confetti rains down on you.

Now, let’s take a look at this week’s waiver wire targets:

Kent Bazemore (owned in 20% of leagues) – I can’t help but say “JUST BAAAAZE” (hip hop producer Just Blaze voice) every time I see or discuss Bazemore, it’s become a thing. Well, it’s going to be a thing. OK, it’s just my thing… Anyways, my colleague Sam got to hit on Bazemore in his column earlier this week which are always entertaining reads. Baze was given a shot right away after being traded to the Lakers and wow, has he come through big thus far. Had a eye catching first game, where he came off the bench to play 33 minutes posting up a sick 15-3-4 line with two steals and two treys. He then went on to start the next three games for the Lakeshow, putting up quality lines in each game. Through four games he is averaging 17.3 points, 2.3 rebounds, three assists, two steals, 1.5 treys while shooting 45% from the floor. Baze has had a usage rate of 25.4% since joining the Lakers, showing that he is a focal point in their offense right now. Most of his buckets are from him driving to the bucket and finishing, but he has been shooting four treys a night while hitting 1.5 of those attempts thus far. He’s truly seizing his opportunity by being aggressive and he’s oozing confidence right now. He should be owned in all leagues until he shows a reason to lose belief in what he’s currently doing.

Jerryd Bayless (1%) – With the recent news of Gerald Wallace being out for the rest of the season due to injury, the Celtics now have over 30 minutes a game to distribute over their team. A decent bit of that time should go to scoring guard, Jerryd Bayless. Bayless has been solid in his 25 minutes a game of late posting 13-2-2 averages plus a three a night. Also, Rajon Rondo has still yet to play both parts of a back to back yet and when he sits Bayless has been getting the starts at PG. There’s just too much playing time around for Bayless not to improve on his already decent numbers. Look for him to easily see 30 minutes a night the rest of the way with 15-3-5 and three pointer upside. He should likely be grabbed in most 12-team leagues by those needing guard stats and especially any leagues deeper than that.

Brian Roberts (21%) – This guy should be mentioned right up with the above player comparison between Chalmers and Nelson. I’m guessing that owners were shrugging him off believing that Jrue Holiday would soon be returning, but we found out on Friday evening that Jrue would be having surgery and miss the remainder of the season. That’s terrible news for a bright star in Jrue, but great news for Brian Roberts owners the rest of the way. He should stay right on par with his stats from the past couple of months. In 24 starts this season, Roberts has stayed consistently solid with 12.1 points, 2.6 boards, 4.3 dimes and 1.3 treys a game while shooting 45% from the field and 93% from the free throw line. No reason to believe that these fair numbers wont continue the rest of the way for Roberts. Grab him and roll with him in basically all leagues.

Elton Brand (4.7%) – Another Dukie, yeesh. The Hawks announced on Friday that Gustavo Ayon would miss the rest of the season meaning that Brand’s recent good play should continue for awhile. Brand isn’t going to help a lot in the points department, averaging just 8.8 points in over 35 minutes per game of late. He does however help out handily in rebounds (nine a game) and blocks (two a game) since he’s taken on this larger role. Mike Scott, who I have previously mentioned, also should continue to see solid minutes and usage for now. If you’re in need of boards and/or swats, give Brand some run in your rotation and use him ’til he wears out.

MarShon Brooks (0.6%) – He’s baaaaack. The third year pro who had a really impressive scoring rookie season but fell off the map after being traded to the Celtics, has found another new home. Brooks joined his third team of the season last week being traded to the Lakers. There was doubt he’d get enough playing time to do anything significant but he’s been really impressive thus far on his new team. He’s right back to his old scoring ways and pitching in more elsewhere in D’antoni’s offensive system. Brooks is making the most of his off the bench scoring role averaging 13 points over his five games while playing just 21 minutes a night. He’s also pitching in just shy of two treys, two boards, two assists and a steal which is really impressive in his limited role. On Friday night Brooks was electric and doing it all while simply reeking of swagger on the court. He rattled off 23 points, two rebounds, three assists, a steal and three treys while going 8/11 from the field in . He’s got to keep getting minutes and hopefully even more as we go forward.

Will Bynum (2.4%) – Willy B is one of those guys who always gets hot for brief stints, but he seems to really be tearing it up this recent stretch and it’s catching some attention. While most are still not swooping him up, it’s no longer possible to totally ignore what Bynum has done recently. His scoring has been a bit bi-polar, scoring in double digits every other game over the last eight Piston games. He really doesn’t contribute much of anywhere excpet points and assists where he averages 12.5 points and seven assists respectively over the past eight games. If you’re in a deeper league Bynum should be rostered as he’s cutting into Brandon Jennings and the other shooting guard minutes enough to be racking up the points and dimes of late. Assists like this are not easy to find on the wire this late into the season.

All percentages were gathered from ESPN.com

Follow me on Twitter @BigZack44 for more fantasy basketball analysis and more.

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