The worst thing you can do is drop a guy producing all year for a 1-game wonder.
Players go through dry spells.
LeBron is injured for a couple weeks. Do you drop him? Of course not.
The same principle applies to the rest of the players on your team. The trick is figuring out who has sustained value, and who doesn't.
The Fantasy game is very similar to investing in the stock market: Strategy dictates action.
Are you simply a short-term add guy? Or a draft-and-hold girl?
Do you have half of your roster slots allocated to long-term assets, and the other half for short-term assets?
Obviously the type of league you play in dictates your strategy to some degree, but even in dynasty leagues, I believe it's a good idea to make sure you have space for short-term assets.
When that hot rookie starts producing double-doubles out of nowhere, you want to make sure you have the roster space to add said mythical Fantasy beast.
There are a few intriguing players emerging that may/may not sustain their value. You don't want to purge a player having a bad week for a player that could disappear at any moment, but ideally you have a bit of flexibility built in to your roster...
I'll operate under the premise that you have room to drop a guy or 2. Cuz there are some really interesting short-term options right now...
Hassan Whiteside, MIA, C (47% owned in Yahoo leagues)
Supposedly he's still available in half of all Yahoo leagues, but he was literally snagged in all 10 Fantasy Basketball leagues I currently play in. (Yes, I have a problem.)
I personally don't think he's a guarantee for sustained success, but the numbers he's been putting up the last few games are pretty elite.
Check out these stats for the month of January so far: 13.8 PPG, 71.7 FG%, 10.2 RPG, 3.5 BPG.
And he's doing all that playing 24 MINUTES A GAME.
(For anyone checking, that's the #11 ranked player in average stats over the last 14 days.)
So who the hell is this kid?
Apparently, he was a 2nd round pick in the 2010 draft.
If you have a roster spot available, this is absolutely somebody you want to grab from FA.
But is he worth trading for?
I don't think so.
While his numbers are gaudy, it's hard to believe that the next Anthony Davis went undetected by every team in the NBA. More likely, he'll start to drop off as soon as the scouts figure out who the hell he is, and NBA teams will adjust accordingly.
He certainly looks like an asset in dynasty leagues though.
That FG% simply isn't sustainable, but the blocks & rebounds should be there every night - as long as he continues to get the minutes. It's possible he becomes an elite Fantasy asset moving forward, but it's also possible he loses his roster spot next week. Such is life in the NBA...
Get him if you can, just don't pay too much to get him.
Jae Crowder, BOS, SF/PF (11% owned in Yahoo leagues)
The hype machine is a powerful thing.
A trade happens, and all of a sudden perception changes.
While Jae Crowder has shown flashes of ballerisma sporadically throughout his brief NBA career, he is what he is: An inconsistent role player.
While he's getting a chance to play heavy minutes for the rebuilding Celtics, he's nothing more than a stopgap. He tricked me for the 14th time against the Pelicans, going 9/14 from the field, with 22 points, 3 assists, 4 steals and 2 blocks. I purged a crappy player for him in an extremely deep league, then Crowder followed up by going 3/4 from the field, with 7 points, 2 rebounds, 1 turnover and 2 fouls.
Look, the kid is getting twice as many minutes playing on the crappy Celtics. He's basically putting up average statistics for an NBA starter, and his upside seems pretty limited to me.
It's true that he's only 24 years old, 3rd year in the league, and players with this profile break out all the time.
But not Jae Crowder.
I just don't see it.
There's no reason to believe he's anything more than a pickup-of-the-week.
If you need a potw, he's as good as anybody else. But don't view this kid as a long-term asset.
The Celtics are aggressively rebuilding, so they'll likely cycle lots of young players with upside through their system in the next couple years. Jae is just another one. Enjoy him this week, then replace him with somebody better next week...
Bismack Biyombo, CHA, PF/C (3% owned in Yahoo leagues)
Remember this guy?
After not doing much all season (save for good blocks numbers in limited minutes), Biyombo is the #120 ranked player in the Yahoo game over the last 7 days. Averaging a double-double with 2.7 blocks/game, Biyombo is the biggest beneficiary of the Al Jefferson injury.
This guy is not a long-term asset, but he could provide major value as Al Jefferson's injury fill-in for the next couple weeks...
Jefferson is supposed to come back at the end of Jan, so your BB party has a clear end date. But for now, enjoy Bismack Biyombo. I mean, he does have the best name in basketball...
Bojan Bogdanovic, BRK, SG (2% owned in Yahoo leagues)
Continuing the alliteration involving the letter B, I bring you to Bojan. (Not Bogdan.)
After starting the season as one of the best rookies in the NBA, Bojan then endured weeks of being one of the worst. Now, with Brooklyn being in a perpetual state of crisis, Bojan has re-emerged as a Fantasy asset.
How long is this going to last?
I have absolutely no idea.
He's doing a little bit of everything, and scores lots of points at a pretty good percentage.
The issue is the general direction of the team.
There have been many rumours involving basically everyone on the Nets' roster, so rotations could change wildly at a moment's notice.
But Bojan has international pedigree, is a young asset and is starting. He could be a steal for the rest of the season, or he could be replaced immediately. There's no way of knowing really. But if you need a 2-guard for the short term (with potential as a long-term asset), I present you with Bojan Bogdanovic.
So there are a few guys that are worth looking into.
The Fantasy game is a complex one.
It's always tough to balance present gains vs future value. Mason Plumlee looked like a bust the first month of the season, now he looks like an elite Fantasy asset. Hassan Whiteside looks like Anthony Davis 2.0 right now, but could be just another iteration of the Linsanity hype machine...
In some respects, you gotta trust your instincts.
We're about halfway through the Fantasy Basketball season, so your position in the standings should dictate your actions more than anything else: If you're pretty close to the top, you have the luxury of holding players whose best days are ahead of them; If you're fighting to get into the playoffs, you're probably best advised to take whomever is producing right NOW.
The only thing worse than making the wrong decision is being that manager who is incessantly talking about NEXT SEASON...
Always try to win your league this year.
And eat your vegetables.
And clean your room.
You disgust me.