Rick’s Tips: Five Fantasy Takes





As David Lee Roth once sang in Mean Streets, “I’m searching for the latest thing, a break in this routine.” I’m pretty sure he was fantasizing about something other than basketball when he wrote that, but nevertheless, we break from the waiver-watching routine to survey the NBA fantasy landscape times 5.

Kevin Love

Love was suspended for two games by the league for stepping on Luis Scola last week. If you’ve seen the video, you fully understand the ruling. The league’s best power forward apologized to Scola and the Rockets, displaying his typical class and dignity through a regrettable situation.

It’s a four-game week for My Wolves, who are going to struggle to win without Love on Tuesday against Sacramento and Wednesday in Memphis. It will be interesting to see if Ricky Rubio flirts with triple doubles in Love’s stead.

Looking to put embarrassment behind him, and feeling fresh after several days off, Love is going to be a handful Friday and Saturday in home games against the Mavericks and Knicks, respectively. I say you START Love in this personal two-game week, as you just might get 60 points and 40 rebounds for your trouble.

Paul George

In the last four games, George has been the reincarnation of the Phoenix Matrix (remember how NICE Shawn Marion was with the Suns, four All-Stars!). George hits threes, blocks shots, and steals the ball, which is all I need to know. If you deliver Matrix-style goodies like that, you can play for my fantasy team.

That said, when you look beyond the fantasy gold you see 47-47-86 on the shooting percentages, up significantly from 45-30-76 last season. To see a young player so strong across the board without slippage tells me he’s legit.

The George Hill injury has opened up roughly 10 more minutes per game for George, who has averaged 38 minutes the last two games. As long as Hill is on the shelf, George will be a top-shelf fantasy player. And when Hill comes back, George may have played his way onto the floor for at least 35 minutes a night, which would keep him startable for the duration.

Jeremy Lin

Lin stole the hearts of Knicks’ fans on Saturday night by dropping 25-5-7 in a win against the Nets in the Hudson River Rivalry. Toney Douglas and Iman Shumpert have gotten extended looks at PG for the Knicks this season, and then Lin got his turn on Saturday. The Harvard-grad energized the crowd and his team, and now the fantasy world is buzzing about the latest PG to run Mike D’Antoni’s point-guard-friendly system.

Lin will start tonight’s game and if he can play half as well as Saturday, the Knicks appear to have found their point guard of the present. Pick up Lin, get him in your lineup, and ride the wave as long as it’s bringing goodies to shore. And remember, reports of Baron Davis being out even longer only sweeten Lin’s fantasy prospects.

Brandon Jennings

Last Friday on Gametime, Steve Smith and Antonio Davis had Jennings on their lists for Eastern All-Star Reserves. Today on NBA.com Fantasy Insider, Dennis Scott did not have Jennings on his list, but I did — and it’s an opinion I have had for a couple weeks now.

Jennings is keeping the Bucks afloat without Andrew Bogut AND Stephen Jackson, highlighted by two jaw-dropping wins against the Heat in which he posted 23-6-6 and 31-4-8. I’m impressed the Bucks are even sniffing .500 given the circumstances, and Jennings is starting to play winning basketball in reality as well as fantasy.

As we speak, Jennings is 11th on the 8-cat chart thanks to 20-3-5 with 2.4 threes and 1.7 steals per game. But best of all, Jennings’ efficiency is at an all-time high, shooting a career-high 43 percent from the field. Last year, Jennings shot 39 percent, up from 37 percent as a rookie.

When I’m done with this blog, I will be submitting trade offers in my various leagues to acquire the services of one Brandon Jennings. I advise you to do the same before EVERYONE is talking about him.

Serge Ibaka

As Ibaka proved last week with his 10-block performance, he’s finally back to being the human pogo stick that we all know and love. And Scott Brooks is rewarding Ibaka with more minutes than the first two to three weeks of the season, when Ibaka was merely a stash player in fantasy hoops.

However, now that Ibaka is hovering around 30 minutes per game, he is fully startable in 12-team leagues and deeper thanks to 8 and 8 with 3 blocks. It’s a luxury to go into a head-to-head matchup, be it five-cat or eight-cat, knowing you are going to win blocks. Ibaka is in a rare class of big men (Jordan, McGee, Dalembert, Camby) whose blocks and boards keep them startable despite ugly scoring numbers.

Hit me up on Twitter (@NBATVRICK) and maybe we’ll take your tweet to the air on the next episode of NBA.com Fantasy Insider, airing each Monday at noon eastern on NBA.com and 5 ET on NBA TV.

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4 Comments

  1. newyorksteelo says:

    Jeremy Lin definitely deserves a spot here! Best knicks game I have seen this season was due to this new Asian sensation. I just hope he is the answer to the missing link for NY. Keeping my fingers crossed :)

  2. tupark82 says:

    i wrote about lin’s incredible night in detail if u click my name

  3. charles says:

    With love gone, Derek Williams finally has extended opportunities to shine and show the world what he can do.

  4. tupark82 says:

    lovin the lin shout out rick! a lotta people sayin he’s gettin too much love. i say he’s gettin just the right amount given what he did!