Written by: Kyle Kroeger on January 19, 2016
We are at the mid-year point in the regular season and now is the time to think about what players do you want to target for the second half and the home stretch. Yes, fantasy playoffs are at the end of the regular season, so we are technically past the mid-year point. Here are some moves to make if you need to move up for a playoff push or hold onto your top tier status:
Let’s be clear, AD is not at the similar level of production as last year. Alvin Gentry came in to release the shackles off of an uber efficient year from AD in a Monty Williams system that refused to give him elite level usage. Gentry has though increased the Pelicans pace of play, which has primarily benefited the points guards (see: Tyreke Evans, Jrue Holiday, and Norris Cole). This has no doubt been an adjustment for Anthony Davis. With Tyreke stuggling to stay healthy and Anthony Davis getting comfortable in the system, look for Anthony Davis to have a monster second half of the year.
2. Add Norris Cole
Last point on the Pelicans. We are not sold on Tyreke’s ability to finish out the year fully healthy. Let alone Jrue Holiday staying healthy as well. Add Norris Cole. His arrow is point up in a favorable system and he has two injury prone PGs in front of him. He’s been seeing decent minutes with both PGs active. IMAGINE THE USAGE WITHOUT BOTH TYREKE AND JRUE (note: speculative add, only pull trigger if you have roster space).
3. Buy Brandon Knight
Let the debate begin. EVERYONE thought Brandon Knight’s usage would skyrocket sans Eric Bledsoe and it hasn’t. Phoenix will be in rebuilding mode at the trade deadline and going into the second half of the year. They will want to see what Brandon Knight can do over the course of the year without Eric Bledsoe to see if he can be the go-to-guy and a pillar of the franchise. If he is, look for some of the Eric Bledsoe trade rumors come to fruition in the offseason? Look for the Suns to feature Brandon Knight.
4. Drop Nikola Mirotic
With Joakim Noah likely done for the year, fantasy owners rejoiced at the idea that the logjam rotation was solved. I am not sold on the fact that Hoiberg is ready to give Nikola the full allotment of minutes. He has a mirror image player in Doug McDermott behind him and Hoiberg’s pace of play needs wing defenders. The upside is there for Nikola. He has the ability to put up 25 points and 11 boards, but he needs the minutes. If Taj goes down, I don’t see Hoiberg giving Nikola minutes at PF. I think Hoiberg would be ready to unleash Bobby Portis (perhaps, a future transaction candidate?).
5. Sell Chris Paul
This may cause for some controversy, but I think you can get the most out of Chris Paul right now. Blake Griffin has of course been out of action, which has allowed for Chris Paul to be the #1 scoring option. Chris Paul sports a 26.3 usage rate which is the highest ever in his career and a significant outlier (see below, source: Basketball Reference). At his age, this will not last especially with Blake Griffin coming back to action. Chris Paul is a fantastic real point guard and a great fantasy asset, but now is the time to SELL.
Have fantasy basketball questions follow me on Twitter. Agree or disagree with my transactions? Leave a comment below and let’s start the debate.
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