Fantasy NBA with Tom Carpenter
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday morning, ESPN.com fantasy basketball expert Tom Carpenter will drop by to take your questions and analyze all the latest hoops news from the hardcourt. Carpenter writes the weekly "Grand Theft Roto" column.
Send your questions now and join Carpenter Tuesday at 11 a.m. ET!
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Ryan (Princeton, New Jersey)
Believe the hype in Jeremy Lin? Or should he be used as trade bait?
Tom Carpenter (11:04 AM)
It's impossible to believe he can maintain this pace, so if you can deal him to someone who believes the hype, do it.
Think it's time to drop Augustin and move on?
Tom Carpenter (11:06 AM)
Of course, it depends on who you pick up, but I'd move along if there's someone else who can help you. This season is too short to wait on guys who are out indefinitely, especially when there's someone like Kemba playing well in his place.
Is Carmelo worth targetting as a buy low, or stay away?
Tom Carpenter (11:08 AM)
I would definitely target Melo on the cheap, but you might want to wait to see just how bad his groin is before making a move. If he's going to miss a few weeks, that could help or hinder your attempts (or desire) to get him. He still has a lot to offer fantasy owners when healthy.
What do I do with Gallinari? And is Rudy Fernandez worth the add to help pick up his slack? Thanks, Tom.
Tom Carpenter (11:11 AM)
We'll have to wait for a detailed timeline for his return, but a chipped bone in the ankle of a big guy who likes to move doesn't sound promising. Rudy could be a good fill-in, but Afflalo might finally get his turn, too, if he can get back on the court.
I have stephen jackson (headache) on my 12 team h2h roto league. Should I hold on to him? or drop him for a guy like marshon brooks.
Tom Carpenter (11:13 AM)
I really do think that SJax will find his way back into Scotty Skiles' good graces and finish the season on a strong note. Nonetheless, I like Brooks better, and it sounds like he could be back in action within the next week or two, so I'd drop Jackson for Brooks.
Mark T (Chicago, IL)
I have Kobe, Russell Westbrook and Brandon Jennings as my guards but I'm getting lit up in all the F/C categories (blocks, rebounds, FG %). With different big guys that are on the wire each week, I don't have many more spots that I can stash guys since I have Andrea Bargnani and Brook Lopez taking up spots. Is DeMar DeRozan droppable for me? I just want to make sure I'm not missing something with this guy! He shoots an awful FG % and doesn't contribute anywhere else. Can I drop him for someone like say, Jason Thompson, who can help with rebounds? Please help!
Tom Carpenter (11:17 AM)
I'm not big on DeRozan. He can score, but that's about it. If I'm going to have a poor-shooting scoring guard, he had better knock down a lot of threes -- which DeRozan doesn't do. JT can definitely rack up the double-dubs. And although he doesn't take enough shots to have his FG% carry much weight, every bit helps, especially when he's knocking down 55 percent of his shots from the field. I'd swap them.
10 team 8 cat roto league. Currently in last place for FG% by 1%, but first place overall. At this point is it worth abandoning the category? D. Will and Love are my keepers and I dont see them shooting well enough for my FG% to improve.
Tom Carpenter (11:20 AM)
You can assess your positioning in the standings, but it's a rare situation where you can "punt" a category in an 8-cat, 10-team league and win. I would look to at least get your team to the middle of the FG% rankings, so you can get at least 4-5 points there. In today's column, which will be posted soon, I discuss a number of guards who can help you out in FG%. Don't give up on it yet.
Matt M. (Paramus NJ)
I'm in a deep 16 team league and have been killed by injuries. I'm currently barely out of the playoffs, but I'm trending downwards and feel as if I should make a move. We keep 2 keepers max each year. Could Jrue Holiday become keeper worthy (top 20-25), because my best move right now would be to deal Ellis for depth.
Tom Carpenter (11:23 AM)
Holiday has the talent to reach those heights, but the trouble he has is the deep roster the Sixers have and the redundancy at his specific skills. Lou Williams, Iggy and even Evan Turner are basically clones of Jrue ... they all can handle the rock and shoot. Nothing wrong with moving Ellis to help your team, but unless the Sixers thin their roster out before next season, Jrue's fantasy upside will remain capped.
Can Boozer and Duncan keep this up? Or should I look to sell high on them for guys like Marc Gasol and Noah/Hibbert? Thanks
Tom Carpenter (11:25 AM)
You have to play the odds here. And the odds are that aging, injury-prone guys like Boozer and Duncan are going to break down. If you can move them in a deal for MGasol, Noah or Hibbert, I'd pull the trigger without hesitation.
How long till MarShon Brooks is back in action?
Tom Carpenter (11:27 AM)
Latest report yesterday was that he would try to practice this week. If he does and avoids a setback, we could see him back on the hardwood by next week. If things don't go ideally, the Nets may play it safely and wait until after the All-Star break. Keep your fingers crossed.
Ben Dolezal (Woodstock, Ga)
What are your thoughts on "Big Shot" Billups? Is his career done?
Tom Carpenter (11:32 AM)
Obviously, we'll have to wait for an official diagnosis, but in my fantasy eye, it looked like he probably tore his Achilles to some extent and will miss most or the rest of the remaining games this season. He'll be 36 next year, so he could come back in some form. But realistically, you would think that would be in a reserve role that would leave him a non-factor in fantasy. As for the Clippers, we should see more Mo Williams now. And you'll want to keep an eye on Randy Foye and maybe even Eric Bledsoe in deeper leagues.
I have had Eric Gordon on my roster all year, his bruise doesn't seem to be healing, time to cut bait?
Tom Carpenter (11:34 AM)
I would not cut him, unless there's some stud who ended up on your waiver wire. He still has value to someone, so if you can't wait any longer, package him up in a trade to someone who is willing to wait. He has so much upside, it's worth the (seemingly never-ending) wait.
Dan (New York)
If Baron Davis ever decides to play do you think he will be effective?
Tom Carpenter (11:37 AM)
Simple answer: NoHypothetically: I suppose he could. But since his game has always been 100 percent dependent upon his physical skills -- e.g., blowing by people with his speed or quick bursts creating steals -- I don't see how he can be expected to succeed now that his physical skills presumably have been sapped by age and a bad back.
would you drop Hedo Turkoglu for MarShon Brooks
Tom Carpenter (11:40 AM)
I like Brooks' upside more the rest of the way, but as I note in my Grand Theft Roto column today, Turk has fantasy value that is often overlooked: he's a small forward who averages 4.6 dimes per game. If you need scoring over dimes, though, I'd take Brooks.
Dwight Howard and Mayo for Brandon Jennings. Fair? Lopsided?
Tom Carpenter (11:44 AM)
I think that's a fair swap. Presumably, one of you needs big man stats and is willing to deal with Howard's FT% and the other wants guard stats and is willing to take on Jennings' shaky FG%.
Brett (New Orleans)
Thoughts on Josh Smith? Just acquired him for Wes Matthews and Drew Gooden. Will Smith's FT% ever improve?
Tom Carpenter (11:48 AM)
Looks like a tasty deal for you. Congrats!As for his FT% ... sure it will improve. He's shooting 53.4 percent on the season, but he's averaged 66.9 percent for his career and had a career-high 72.5 percent last season. I'd guess he gets it back into the mid 60s, which isn't pretty but is acceptable. Just be glad he hasn't been taking a ton of FT attempts this season. That helps limit the damage.
Coley ( NY)
If Gordon has been dropped, when should he be picked up and stashed? Worth dropping Dudley for him?
Tom Carpenter (11:51 AM)
I believe when there's a guy with the talent level of Eric Gordon out there and you can get him for free, you shouldn't hesitate if there's room on your bench to stash him. Trust me, if he ever does get back in action, you'll be ecstatic during the stretch run when he's piling up big stats for your team. I'd dump Dudley for him right now.
in a 10tm h2h w/ daily lineups, any reason to stash guys like Z-Bo or Blatche yet?
Tom Carpenter (11:55 AM)
Depends on the size of your bench. If you can tuck them away, do so. If you can only hang on to one, I'd stash Z-Bo, because he should produce like a stud once cleared to return (though that could still be 3-4 weeks away).
Bayless primed for a 2nd half explosion?
Tom Carpenter (11:58 AM)
I've been pumping Bayless up since before the season, and I do expect a big second half. He can bomb threes (he had six last night), score and even dime a bit. If he can get his FG% up to a reasonable rate, he could be a monster. Hopefully, coach Dwayne Casey feels the same way and gives him the minutes and touches to max out his production.
Jon (Des Moines)
Do you feel Rubio's numbers will drop a bit as the season goes on? I have to admit I'm pretty shocked at his fantasy production, let alone helping Minnesota to a .500 record for the first time in ages. I'm a big fan, but at some point, I'm wondering what his return value would be. Thanks if this gets to you.
Tom Carpenter (12:01 PM)
I believe in the rookie wall, especially in this compressed season. So I do expect most rookies to have a tough time in the second half of the season. However, Rubio is not a rookie in any sense other than it's his first season in the NBA. He's been balling as a pro for years, so I don't expect him to run into the rookie wall. In fact, it's possible that he might even gain confidence in his shot as the season progresses.
Tom Carpenter (12:05 PM)
Thanks for another great question-and-answer session. We'll do it again next week ... same time, same place!But before I go, let me point out that while it's impossible to ignore Blake Griffin's insane slams, there's something else we should take note of: he's beginning to block shots.He has blocked at least one shot in seven straight games and has tallied 15 total blocks over that stretch. Consider that it took him 23 games to block 15 shots as a rookie. And despite a slow start to this season, he's now averaging nearly twice last year's pace (1.1 bpg/0.6 bpg).I expect this trend to continue, as he gets more comfortable playing off the ball on defense and benefits from playing with CP3.See ya next week!