Week 9 Preview: 21st Dec - 27th Dec

Dieng’s value is now climbing back up to last year’s level now that he is getting more minutes and playing with Towns in the starting lineup.

Week 9 Matchup Rankings

This weekly ranking is based on opponents’ points given up per possession based on pace.

4 Games 3 Games 2 Games
San Antonio
Oklahoma City
LA Lakers
New York
LA Clippers
New Orleans
Golden State

What we learned last week

Gorgui Dieng is playing with the Big KAT

Dieng’s value is now climbing back up to last year’s level now that he is getting more minutes and playing with Towns in the starting lineup. This might be a move to showcase his talent so he could be traded. Either way, Dieng playing 28+ minutes a game is a must own in all standard leagues.


Felton is still starting for Dallas playing over 30 minutes a game. He continues to provide more than solid value for standard leagues. Wes Matthews came down with an illness that hurt his production over the last week and Matthews has been streaky all year long, but I’m not worried about this brief down turn. Play him with confidence.

Kyrie is back!

Only one game and 17 minutes, but you saw the explosiveness and the quickness that you wanted to see. 12 points, 4 assists and 2 three-pointers is pretty great in 17 minutes. Owners who have been waiting for this will make out great for the rest of the year.

I’m still not buying the Dragic hype

But he is doing enough to start having me question myself. Keep an eye on him and don’t be afraid to take flyers on guys with potential like Dragic. Every 3 to 4 games he turns back into crap.

What to Watch This Week


Magic vs Knicks
When Oladipo first moved to the bench, there really wasn’t too much to worry about since he was still getting starters minutes. Over the last week his minutes have dropped into the bench role range. Some of those low minute games were blowouts, but it is still trouble-some.

Oladipo is still one of their top players, there is no way this situation should continue throughout the rest of the season. He is in a nice buy low situation but you might have to deal with a month or so of “off-the-bench” level production. Kristaps is still “hitting the rookie wall” and it looks like the Knicks are actually doing something smart for once and playing him less minutes so he can get rest. The Knicks are thinking about the future, it is a new day in New York.

Porzingis does enough in limited minutes to stay fantasy relevant, while owners want to see the Knicks unleash the beast, be happy that they aren’t going to run him into the ground and see him sit out due to injury instead.


Grizzlies vs 76ers
Conley and Gasol have turned it around a bit over the last week and there was no chance that they weren’t going to eventually return to form. Matt Barnes is on a hot streak that everyone should be riding while he wants to suddenly play so well. Lots of people were excited about the Mario/Conley and while it could be interesting, it doesn’t look like it is going to happen for Super Mario.

Everyone on Philly is just dropping in value hard. The influx of new guards has ruined any consistence across the team. Bob Covington and Noel are too good to not stash but it is getting hard to want to keep any Philly players in standard leagues.


Denver vs Phoenix
Big Willy Style Barton is tearing it up for the Nuggets. We even got Jameer Nelson showing up to games. I find that there are a lot of intriguing guys on this team. King Joffrey/Jokic situation needs to figure itself out so one of them can get value. King Joffrey has the more interesting fantasy potential. Some more intriguing guys on the Suns are coming around as well.

TJ Warren is showing that he is a real NBA talent, Jon Leuer has dabbled with the same. I like taking a flyer on Warren, I know people like Leuer and he fills up the fantasy lines, but in the long term I don’t see how he continues to get major minutes. If only Chandler could get moved or hurt and Alex Len would really shine on a 9-cat level as well.


Spend time with your family for once.


ALL DAY NBA! The best Christmas gift of them all.


Boston vs Detroit
Smelly Kelly Olynyk is seeing more minutes, and I love his fantasy ability but this is the new normal in Boston. One guy starts getting minutes, then suddenly just disappears outside of the rotation. Play the minutes where you can, but I don’t like playing the guessing game in Boston.

I’m getting slightly concerned about the minutes being played in Detroit. KCP is averaging over 38 minutes, Drummond is at 35, Marcus Morris is at 37. I’m a tad worried about their stamina for the rest of the year. We know what this type of wear and tear does to players (see Deng/Butler). You hope this doesn’t mean injuries later in the year.

If you have any fantasy basketball questions or comments follow me on twitter at @WatchTheBoxes.

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