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.
Send your questions now and join Carpenter Tuesday at 11 a.m. ET!
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Tom Carpenter (11:02 AM)
During last week's Fantasy Focus Podcast Adam Stanco and I were asked whether LeBron's stat production had broken fantasy hoops. No doubt his numbers are crazy, but I noted MJ, KG and Gary Payton in their primes as examples of other guys who had ridiculous stats but didn't guaranteed a fantasy championship. Payton often is a forgotten guy in Fantasyland, but consider his impact in 1999-2000, when he averaged 24.2 PPG, 8.9 APG, 6.5 RPG, 2.2 3s, and 1.9 SPG. Granted his percentages weren't elite (44.8 FG%, 73.5 FT%), but his overall value was amazing. Now, on to your questions ...
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Wh do you think will be the 2012-2013 NBA Champions?
Tom Carpenter (11:04 AM)
Chris, glad to receive your weekly question again. I guess I'd have to be a knucklehead to say anything other than the Heat right now, but I do think that people are snoozing on the Thunder, who I expect to come out of the West again. They are fully capable of beating the Heat.
at what point is a player too valuable to drop for an extra game. Valanciunas? DeRozan? Drummond? I dont feel comfortable dropping any of these guys, but its creeping into my mind that i may need to.
Tom Carpenter (11:07 AM)
Brandon, the season wraps up two weeks from tomorrow, which to me means it's time to drop guys like the ones you mentioned and stream players as needed to pick up the extra games. Unless you are in a very deep league, you should have little trouble shuttling in guys off waivers who can put up similar stats to DeRozan, Drummond and Valnciunas ... and odds are you will be able to pick those guys back up in time for their next games. The bottom line is you never want to leave unused games on the table in any format.
have dropped marion for vucevic in 3 leagues make sense to u? in playoffs in all three fyi
Tom Carpenter (11:10 AM)
Definitely makes sense for this week, George. But keep in mind, if you have to set a weekly lineup for your playoffs, that the Magic only play twice next week, so you may want to move on to someone with a more favorable schedule at that point.
Tom, Is it possible to salvage a .001% difference in FG% with so little games left?
Tom Carpenter (11:14 AM)
You should be able to make up even more than that in a two-week span. I won a my home league a couple of years back by topping the second-place team in FG% by a smaller percentage than that ... the leader changed several times in the final evening of the season. The nice thing for you is that it's not all on your team, but also on the other team (how well or poorly his guys shoot). Just keep shuttling in quality shooters and leave your shaky shooters on the bench and you just might pull it off.
Sid (New York)
Is there any point in holding on to Noah at the rate things are going?
Tom Carpenter (11:16 AM)
I'm skeptical about Noah risking his nagging injury when there are no signs that Rose is going to risk his knee. I'd hold onto Noah if I have the ability too, Sid, but with so little time left in the season, there no longer is time to be patient. If there is a player on waivers who can help you, go get him.
Marzblkman1 (Woodland Hills, CA)
I've been intrigued by the potential and development of Jonas Valanciunas. I'm in a 12 team keeper league, and I'm curious to know what you think is his fantasy potential for next season and beyond? I currently have Noah and Ibaka, but I'm considering parting with one to keep Jonas.
Tom Carpenter (11:21 AM)
Marz, I once had a long and great evening at Bruno's Dead Dog Saloon, which I believe was in Woodland Hills ... but I digress ... I actually featured JV in my blog entry this morning (http://espn.go.com/fantasy/blog/_/name/boxscore_basketball), so you can read my thoughts in more detail. But I really like his long-term upside as a big man who can score in the upper teens, average 9-10 boards and block 1.5 shots with solid percentages. Still, I'd have a hard time parting ways with Noah or Ibaka, because they already have arrived and have many years ahead of them. The exception to that would be if keeping Jonas costs you less or a lower draft pick, in which case it would be worth considering.
Think Lebron sits at all this week?
Tom Carpenter (11:23 AM)
Bry, I think we are just going to have to watch daily updates. It doesn't seem that he is really all that injured, so I would expect him to play most of the remaining games. Still, he's bound to get some more rest to keep him as fresh and healthy as possible for when it matters most.
With the Cavs saying Irving will not play in back to backs, would you still play him in a weekly league for the final week (April 8-17). The Cavs play 6 games, but Irving would presumably miss two of them.
Tom Carpenter (11:28 AM)
Yeah, this is right on the cusp for decision making and a great example of how strategy comes into play at this point of the season. In essence, he should only play four games in that final stretch ... in order to decide whether you'll play him, you'll have to consider whether a replacement option available to you can match Irving's production in, say, 6 games. My guess is that you don't have a player with that kind of upside available on waivers, so you likely will just roll your stud out there. If it's a total toss-up at this stage of the season, I always give the tiebreaker to the guy who got you here -- because Irving is capable of posting two-games worth of stats in any given game.
I get two keepers for next year, who do i keep out of the following players and why? Dwayne Wade, Lamarcus Aldridge, Greg Monroe, Danilo Gallinari, and Andre Drummond
Tom Carpenter (11:30 AM)
Erik, with just two keepers I would take Wade and LA ... You'd have scoring and percentages as the backbone of your squad ... and between the two of them, stats in basically every category but 3s.
Kurtis (Houston, TX)
so are Ty Lawson, Steve Nash, Tyson Chandler all droppable?
Tom Carpenter (11:32 AM)
Yes, Kurtis, so long as you have someone worthy to pick up. Don't forget about them, though. If you drop those guys, you may want to snag them back off waivers if it sounds like they are nearing a return to action.
Big Mac (Florida)
I have J. Noah, Wade and Lebron James on my team, battling for the championship in a H2h league. How worried should I be about them sitting games. Are any of them dropable for someone like Reggie Evans or Brandon Bass?
Tom Carpenter (11:33 AM)
With Wade and LeBron, I think you just have to roll with them and hope they don't sit out many (or, crossing fingers, any) more games, BM. I would consider moving on from Noah, though; as I mentioned earlier, there isn't much time left to be patient with his return.
Any word on KG playing this week? He's taking up a valuable spot on my bench that could be used for someone like Taj Gibson. I'm hesitant to drop him on the chance he plays and my opponent grabs him.
Tom Carpenter (11:36 AM)
Tough to read on this one, Dave, since the C's aren't saying much. If they stick to that original 2-week timetable, he could be playing this weekend. But with the postseason being their only real concern, it's not crazy to think he might not play until the final couple of games. I'd lean towards waiting until this weekend for updates, then assessing.
I am in the semis this week (and will most likely win), any players to target for the week and a half long finals? I have picked up Jeff Green and Tobias Harris recently and am not sure how much they will produce with KG coming back soon and the Magic's schedule.
Tom Carpenter (11:38 AM)
Alex, I'd stick with Harris and Green, because I think they can continue producing regardless of KG or the Magic's schedule. You'd be hard-pressed to find more upside than Harris and Green on waivers unless you are in a very shallow league.
Tom Carpenter (11:39 AM)
Just a reminder that it is not necessary to repeatedly re-post your question. I see them all and get to as many as possible. Thanks.
do you think chandler will be more productive now that Lawson is out?
Tom Carpenter (11:41 AM)
The opportunity certainly is there for Chandler, and it wouldn't surprise me if he had a couple of big stat lines down the stretch -- especially since the Nugs have some favorable matchups (DAL twice, MIL, PHO) as the season winds down. The trouble with Chandler is a lack of consistency, which makes him a roll-the-dice plug-in, Jimmy.
Who should I trade westbrook and ibaka for
Tom Carpenter (11:45 AM)
That's a pretty open question ... I assume you are talking about a keeper league, in which case you should pretty much be able to ask for just about any player out there. Those two for LeBron and a young keeper (like Drummond or Valanciunas) should make any owner at least listen to your offer.
Ethan (Los Angeles)
Was Kevin Ware's injury the most gruesome thing you've ever seen on the basketball court?
Tom Carpenter (11:48 AM)
I broke my leg in two when I was a freshman in college ... not quite as gruesome, but I can genuinely commiserate with Ware. I still think that Shaun Livingston's injury was far worse -- broken bones heal, but a trashed knee like Livingston's never will.
Would you cut someone like Paul Millsap since he only has 2 games next week for someone with 4 games? I'm thinking of grabbing Reggie Evans to ensure my opponent doesn't creep up and win rebounds.
Tom Carpenter (11:50 AM)
Absolutely, AJ. Not sure how Reggie is even still available unless you have a shallow league. That's a great example of a heady move at this stage of the season. Names and resumes don't matter right now ... how hot a player is and how many games he will play is what matters.
Kurtis (Houston, TX)
so is derrick rose not going to play? I'm sick of having him on my IR
Tom Carpenter (11:53 AM)
We've gone well past the point where it would make sense for him to play this season, so my money is on him sitting out for good, Kurtis. Does he really want to come back in a couple of days, play maybe six games (assuming he skips one game in each of the Bulls' three remaining back-to-back sets) and then push himself to the max in the playoffs? Doesn't make much sense. I'd move on unless you have no other need for his roster spot.
I'm in a 8 cat espn roto keeper league. 3 keepers. How does the keep system work next draft? Do you lose the first 3 rounds if you keep 3 or does it go off of round your keepers was drafter the year before?
Tom Carpenter (11:57 AM)
You'll have to check your league settings, Joey. Some leagues are set so that each keeper you keep costs you a round ... so, in that case, yes, keep three players, don't draft until Round 4. In that setup, you will have to factor in who you think you could draft in those early rounds and balance that with the players you may keep. In other words, there is little sense in keeping a guy in Round 3 if you know you can draft him in Round 7. Other leagues have a plus-1 rule. Draft a player in Round 7 this season and it will cost you your Round 6 pick to keep him next season.
I'm in a dogfight for FG%. Would you drop Vasquez or Tyreke Evans for Demarcus Cousins or Kenneth Faried down the stretch?
Tom Carpenter (12:00 PM)
So long as the stats that Vasquez/Tyreke put up won't help your opponent and you can live without them, sure. Cousins and Faried both have been cranking out great FG% ... ideally, you may want to rotate them through your lineup to max out your FG%. Good luck, Ray!
Tom Carpenter (12:01 PM)
Thanks as always for you terrific questions this week. Good luck to all of you during the stretch run and I'll see you back here next week for another session. @AtomicHarpua