Fantasy NBA with Tom Carpenter
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, ESPN.com fantasy basketball expert Tom Carpenter will drop by to take your questions and analyze all the latest hoops news from the hardcourt.
Send your questions now and join Carpenter Tuesday at 11 a.m. ET!
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Tom Carpenter (11:01 AM)
Welcome to our weekly fantasy hoops chat! I'll be here every Tuesday at 11 am ET for the remainder of the season to answer questions about your teams. Please remember that adding context to your questions (H2H, roto, size of league) always helps. Let's get to it!
Am I going to be more valuable fantasy vise from this point forward than Andre Drummond?
Tom Carpenter (11:03 AM)
I think it depends on what you're looking for stat-wise. Drummond will be better as a rebounder and shot-blocker, but MKG will get you more points and a far-better FT%. I do like both of them a lot ROS, though.
Hey Mr. Carpenter. Strategy Question. I am currently in 3rd with NO HOPE of catching the 1st place team. I have held onto Rose and Bargnani all season and it has cost me. Now, I HAVE to hold onto them right and hope they contribute like they should in the playoffs? Debating on picking up Bynum too at some point? Gracias!
Tom Carpenter (11:07 AM)
Mike, I love rapping strategy. Thanks for the question. If this isn't a keeper league, you may have to move those guys in order to make a push now. If Rose, Bargs and Bynum were expected to return soon, then sure, you'd wait on them. But any way you look at it you're in a bind. You should at least consider offering them around to good teams in your league who may have an excess of hot or underachieving players ... if not, then snag Bynum and hope you get lucky later.
Tom any thoughts on adding Cunningham or derr.Williams of Minnesota in cat 9 daily?
Tom Carpenter (11:10 AM)
Ethan, I am assuming that Love will be out until after the All-Star break. AK47 and Pek will carry the frontcourt load for the Wolves during that time, but Williams and Cunningham will get a boost. There isn't a lot of fantasy upside in either of them, but I'd look to Williams for scoring and Cunningham for boards and a little hustle-stat help.
Need a Favor(s) (Fla.)
12 team cat 9 daily and I'm concerned about C.Landry! Hold him or opt for 1 of these: E.Davis,Gee,Favors,Nicholson or sefalosha? Thanks
Tom Carpenter (11:12 AM)
All of these guys are "play 'em while their hot, dump 'em when their not" options. So you shouldn't hesitate to move on when they are slumping. If you need swingman stats, I like Gee. Favors is worth keeping a long-term eye on. But I think Davis is the guy to own here. He has a good amount of talent and a wide-open door to big minutes the rest of the season.
Brian (San Diego)
Cousins has been playing pretty well since his suspension. Can he keep this up or is he not quite ready to be a top 10 player?
Tom Carpenter (11:15 AM)
I wasn't as high on him as others in the preseason, only because of his awful FG%. That remains an issue, but the rest of his game is as huge as advertised. I'm skeptical about the entire Kings situation, and I think that FG% will keep him out of the elite fantasy ballers. Still, when he is angry and controlled, he is a monster ... plus, he clearly has full support from ownership, so there is little risk of a "doghouse" situation.
Your thoughts on Ilyasova ?
Tom Carpenter (11:17 AM)
As I noted in this morning's blog, I expect I will be surprised if Ilyasova doesn't get right back on track with Skiles out of the picture in Milwaukee. He has a contract that should force playing time and typically when an interim coach takes over, he let's talent dictate playing time. No more bizarre rotations, head games or doghouses like Skiles loved so much. Everyone should run out and get Ilyasova off waivers and hope he turns it on like last year.
Do you think Tyler Zeller could emerge as valuable fantasy option in 12 team league ?
Tom Carpenter (11:21 AM)
We already have gotten a taste of his upside with Varejao sidelined; double-double upside with some blocks. His FG% is a drag, though, and Sideshow Bob is expected to return this week, so he likely will fall off the radar for a while. That said, I'll be shocked if Varejao isn't traded by the deadline, at which point Zeller should be a quality fantasy play as the season winds down.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
What is your Favorite NBA Team?
Tom Carpenter (11:21 AM)
Pistons -- showing promise in reality and Fantasyland, but we have a long way to go. Loving how Drummond has flourished thus far.
would you trade cp3 and stuckey for kemba and zach randolph? my current power forward is tristan thompson
Tom Carpenter (11:24 AM)
I wouldn't do that. The best part of Z-Bo's game is his quality percentages and high volume of shots -- CP3 does that, too. If you are looking to add rebounds, you can always find them on the cheap, and if you decide to trade a top-end superstar like CP3, you should demand a king's ransom or at least another equal superstar in return.
Hi Tom, who do you prefer between Waiters, Korver and J. Terry ?
Tom Carpenter (11:26 AM)
Waiters is the real deal, and despite his up-and-down stats and current bench role, I would hold onto him in most formats. He has far more upside in the second half of the season than Korver and Terry combined -- so long as you can deal with his FG% issue.
Who do you think is better fantasy vise, Big Baby or MKG ?
Tom Carpenter (11:28 AM)
Sean, I think Big Baby is more likely to give you reliable stats once he gets back into the mix.
julee (Palm Desert)
Hi there....Happy New Years to ya ...I need a Power Forward/Center type of person.....Which one of these players would be best...I'm in 1st place ( in the east) & I can't slip...Please help... ok, there's Brandon Bass (Boston), Tristan Thompson (Cav's) or Andray Blatche (whom I originally draft'd, but drop'd due to not giving me enough points !...Thank you for your help
Tom Carpenter (11:30 AM)
Julee, nice job drafting Blatche. He was one of my deep sleepers this season, and he's paid off well.I think Thompson is the better play going forward, though. He has a starting job, has been playing well and I think he is finally settling in as the double-double threat I've been expecting.
What to do with D. howard hold on to him or try to work trade for another superstar?
Tom Carpenter (11:33 AM)
Robby, it can't hurt to look around and see what you can get for him. But it's safe to assume you'll get pennies on the dollar for a guy who has somewhat underachieved, has a torn shoulder labrum and a bum back ... not to forget the FT% issues. I would hold on to him until he gets back and max out his trade value as best as possible then. If you think he's going to be out longer than a week or two (the initial estimate), though, then you'll want to make something happen sooner than later.
do you think Dwight's injury will be long term or even out for the year? the uncertainty scares me.
Tom Carpenter (11:35 AM)
Carrying on from the previous question about D12, I think we need to be genuinely concerned about his shoulder ... he said surgery isn't an option, but we know that could change. In the end, though, I think if you own him, you'll probably have to wait and see, because you won't get much value in trading him.
What do you think about Antwan Jamison going forward?
Tom Carpenter (11:37 AM)
Kyle, I think he should be added in all leagues. With D12, Pau and Hill out indefinitely, D'Antoni has no choice but to toss the vet back out there and let him run and chuck. However, I don't see him keeping that up long term, so I'd ship him in a deal to a D12 or Pau owner as soon as he busts off a couple of good games.
Eric Gordon was nice in his last game for me 24 points 4 rebounds 2 assist. I'm concerned about his durability though. Should I try to trade high now? Wait a couple of game and see if he can increase his value? Or hold on to him outright?
Tom Carpenter (11:41 AM)
Adam Stanco and I discussed Gordon in last week's Fantasy Focus Podcast, and we agree that it's a shame that his body continues to betray him, because he's such a heady baller. He doesn't have to use his athleticism to make fantasy noise, so this kind of production should be standard when he's healthy (Adam thinks EG will top 20 ppg). But we know he can't stay healthy, so you need to look to trade him. If you can move him for good value now, do so. More likely you'd be better off hoping he plays a couple of weeks and looks steady -- then trade him for nearly full value to a team willing to take a risk.
Do you except to see John Henson from Bucks get more minutes with the new coaching change?
Tom Carpenter (11:43 AM)
Chuck, I think we should see a bump in minutes for Henson with Skiles out of the picture. More importantly, he won't be subjected to Skiles' head games and inconsistent rotations, and that should help the youngster gain confidence without fear of being yanked. He looked great his last few games and that should continue. Definitely worth a speculative add.
Ben (Knicks Country)
I really need your help with a trade offer I just got! Its an H2H 9-cat league. He would be sending me Al Horford and J Wall for my Deng, Asik and Rubio. What do you think of this deal for the ROS?
Tom Carpenter (11:46 AM)
Hey, Ben ... I don't expect much of anything fantasy-wise from Rubio, so if you are looking for dimes and some good big-man numbers, I like the Horford, Wall side better. That said, I would seriously consider moving Wall soon after he returns, because I think that knee is going to be an issue later this season.
barclay bully (atlantic and flatbush)
Rubio, should i continue to wait it out, they say hes over his back issues but still in time limit for knee......or should i cut ties and go after a Skiles rebirth in Ersan or Henson or evem a Tyreke(waivers).....9 cat h2h daily
Tom Carpenter (11:49 AM)
BB ... As I just noted, I don't see much upside in Rubio. Best case, he gets stronger as the season goes along and dishes out 6-7 dimes and maybe 1.5 steals, but that will come with single-digit scoring and a horrific FG%. Tinsley and Earl Watson can do better than that. Go get Tyreke if you need swingman stats or Ilyasova if you need big-man stats.
who's a better add now? kawhi leonard or john henson?
Tom Carpenter (11:51 AM)
Hey, Charles ... I like Kawhi better as a long-term option, but with Skiles out, I would roll the dice for the short term on Henson and see if he clicks.
When would be the earliest you would expect to see Derrick Rose on the court?
Tom Carpenter (11:51 AM)
The earliest would be right before the All-Star break. I think more likely it will be right after the break.
Allen (Twin Cities)
Hi Tom. What do you think Paul George's ceiling is in the future? What kind of stats do you envision him having in his "best" year?
Tom Carpenter (11:55 AM)
Great question, Allen. Always important to look down the road, especially in keeper leagues. I think most of his stats aren't likely to go higher. However, as he gains confidence the next few years, his FG% should rise back to the 45-percent range and I also expect him to take a lot more free throws. That should boost his scoring to the upper teens or low 20s. If the Pacers really ride him hard at some point, he could score in the mid-20s. Obviously, I'm a believer.
Who wins this deal? Nash for Dirk
Tom Carpenter (11:57 AM)
Probably a wash. Dirk will be the better all-around option, contributing in several categories. Nash is basically a one-category wonder, but high-end dimes are scarce, which is why I'd call that deal even -- dimes for all-around production.
Is it a good time to trade for Danny Granger? When do you expect him to return & what type of stats do you see?
Tom Carpenter (11:59 AM)
Reportedly, he's targeting sometime in February. I had him as a bust entering the season, not just because of his health issues and already declining production, but because (as I just noted), I believed that the Pacers were ready to turn the offense over to George. Now he has proved ready to handle the load, I think we should have very tepid expectations for Granger upon his return. That said, if you can get him really cheap, it can't hurt if you have room to stash him.
Do you expect Roy Hibbert to start playing like himself soon?
Tom Carpenter (12:02 PM)
I think he is playing like himself. He's not a great scorer, so if the garbage shots aren't going in, his scoring will be limited. Granted, that's a horrifically bad FG% for a man of his size, so that should come up as the season progresses. But forget the scoring aspect and just savor his decent rebounding and big block totals.
I was offered Boozer and Westbrook for Nowitzki and Ilyasova, should I take it?
Tom Carpenter (12:03 PM)
Joe, I hope you already took that deal. Anytime you can land one of the top handful of players (Westbrook) and all you have to give up are a declining guy (Dirk) and an upside flier (Ilyasova), I wouldn't hesitate to pull the trigger.
Do you think Kobe will last the entire season. Should I hold him or trade him now while his value is high?
Tom Carpenter (12:06 PM)
I can't doubt the Mamba and so long as his body holds up to the workload, I see no reason why he can't continue his dominance of the Association. However, you can't get his trade value any higher, so if there are things you can tweak in your roto standings by dealing him for the right guy(s), then this is the time to do it. Certainly the risk of injury at his age and usage level is legit, despite his continuing dis of Father Time.
Tom Carpenter (12:07 PM)
Well, that's a wrap on our first chat. I wish I could stick around a bit longer but at least got in a few extra ?s. Be sure to come back next week. Thanks for all of the terrific questions!-Tom