Since my usual publishing dates are Monday and Thursday (which is Christmas) - I'm gonna have to modify my publishing schedule this week. Lots of Christmas family stuff happening - which I'm sure most of you will understand.
(If you don't, I'll make you play the Golden State Warriors. That will humble you quickly.)
So this week, I'll only be writing ONE article: this one.
It's a little Christmas report, but we'll be back to our normal Monday/Thursday ritual next week.
So double up on the eggnog, get that cute girl near the mistletoe and let's get in some Christmas Fantasy Basketball analysis...
The beasts return:
David Lee, GSW, PF/C
David Lee's Christmas came a few days early - as Lee returned to the GSW after weeks and weeks of missed games. He came off the bench last night - which means that Harrison Barnes may still have a few games of productivity left...
It's possible that Lee and Barnes will ultimately coexist, or Harrison could go back to the bench. Golden State is a pretty unconventional team in terms of rotations, so anything is in play really. But one thing is certain: David Lee is gonna get run. The guy averaged 18 & 9 last year, and makes $15 million a year. He's likely not available in FA in any format, but if you can get anything for those other GSW bigs, cash in immediately.
Tony Parker, SA, PG
Parker wasted no time being productive last night, scoring 26 points on 11/18 shooting in his return to action. That ends the highly productive fill-in Cory Joseph's momentum - as Joseph went back to the bench and scored 3 points in 17 minutes of action. I like Cory Joseph as a hold in dynasty leagues, but he can be safely dropped in all other formats...
Mo Williams, MIN, PG/SG
Mo Williams actually returned a couple games ago, but didn't do much until Sunday's game against the Pacers: 24 points, 10/16 shooting, 10 assists. He was beasting as Ricky Rubio's injury replacement until he himself got injured, and will likely steal all the usage from Zach LaVine - unless Minny decides to keep the youth movement going. (I mean, what else are they playing for?)
Still, coaches have pride - so Mo will get his minutes in the T-Wolves' failed efforts to get their team clicking on all cylinders. Mo is a must-start in deep leagues, and could even provide some value in standard, 1-year, 12-team leagues. He's erratic, but when relatively healthy, he's also very productive.
While I wouldn't purge Zach LaVine from your roster entirely, he may be intriguing trade bait in 1-year leagues...
James Johnson, TOR, SF/PF (9% owned in Yahoo leagues)
After Landry Fields' gruesome injury against the Knicks, JJ got himself inserted into the starting 5. Perhaps it was a reward for making the dirtiest dunk I've seen all year. He looked good against the Bulls as a starter: 33 minutes, 16 points. 7/10 FG, 4 steals, 2 blocks. As long as Fields is injured, J2 is going to have standard league value. If/when Fields and/or DeMar DeRozan return, Johnson will revert back to being a deep league option. Ride this train while you can though...
Mason Plumlee, BRK, PF/C (56% owned in Yahoo leagues)
I mentioned Mason Plumlee as an intriguing option here, and if you were suitably intrigued, you are reaping the considerable benefits now. Mason has been going off. There's no other way to say it. As Brook Lopez' injury replacement, here are Plumlee's stats over the last 14 days: 16.6 PPG, .623 FG%, 9.9 rebounds/game, 1.7 blocks/game. He's actually outperforming Brook Lopez' numbers, so it will be interesting to see what happens if Brook Lopez decides to return to the court at any point... With both Lopez twins injured, it's gonna be a good Christmas in the Lopez home. Lots of presents for everyone. They're making piles of money without doing anything. Perhaps they should go into politics?
So that's what I got, all.
I was gonna do the naughty/nice list, but it really does change on a weekly basis: If you're productive, you're nice. If you're not productive... You get my point.
Merry Christmas, everyone. (Or the culturally sensitive equivalent.)
If you get a chance on Christmas Day, check out Cleveland-Miami. That should be epic.
And if you're too busy running around with family stuff, use the PVR.
I mean, that's why they invented it.