This one's for all the losers.
You tried, it didn't work out. I still love you. Another year of not making the playoffs is tough to swallow, but let's make sure this doesn't happen again...
While your instinct may be to simply ignore the league altogether for the rest of the season, there may be some 2015/16 value in the scrap pile.
In dynasty/keeper leagues, you can always get a head start on your competition by playing 6 months in advance...
Before we get to next year's secret weapons though, I'll write a little bit for all of you still in the playoff hunt/prepping for your latest championship...
Wesley Matthews, POR, SG/SF
Wes Matthews owners, I feel your pain. I own(ed) Wes Matthews in the Yahoo friends and family league, and he was a big reason I've been holding 2nd place for most of the year...
I just replaced Wes Matthews with Mike Dunleavy.
For anyone asleep at the wheel, Matthews is out for the year
Hopefully you jumped on Arron Afflalo. He'll likely slide very easily into Wes Matthews' usage - considering they play the exact same position.
If you missed out on Afflalo, other volatile swings that have been playing well recently: The aforementioned Dunleavy, Terrence Ross, Jeff Green. I don't love any of these options, but you gotta go with the hot hand. And these are the hottest hands du jour in the SG/SF position...
Now back to the losers.
Kobe Bryant, LAL, PG/SG/SF
Say one thing about Kobe Bryant: He's never boring.
Some people have written Kobe off completely.
I am not one of those people.
His efficiency was pretty disgusting this season, but you can't argue with his counting stats: 22.3 PPG, 1.5 3PM, 5.7 REB, 5.6 AST, 1.3 STL.
In a punt-FG% situation, Kobe Bryant can still anchor your team next year. And he was 81.3 from the charity stripe this season, so he'll help you there as well - especially considering all the trips he'll make to the free throw line, and the refs' future HOF-friendly whistle.
The real issue is Kobe's health.
How many years does he have left to play, and how many games will he actually get in next season?
Your guess is as good as mine.
What makes injury-prone players like Kobe Bryant and Derrick Rose so frustrating to own is that there is no IR/DL slot in the NBA. So, like real life, you just take the hit with a roster spot that essentially produces nothing for you...
I've seen Kobe available in a 14-team dynasty league I play in, so I know he could pop up in intriguing situations. He's not a guy you want to hold in say a keep-7, 12 team league. But in dynasty leagues of 12 or more, or deep keeper leagues, I'd definitely sign off on Kobe Bryant... If you can absorb his erratic performances from the field, you'll continue to get alpha male production (when healthy)...
Larry Sanders, ??, PF/C
So why am I recommending him?
Because if he DOES choose to come back, you just might have the best shot blocker in the NBA.
This is another situation where it only makes sense to hold on to Larry Sanders if you're in a deep league, and you have some room at the back of your bench for a high upside asset. There is considerable RISK here, but also a high reward.
I absolutely would not roster Larry Sanders instead of a top 100 player, but for a lottery ticket, why the hell not?
In 21 MPG this season (while considerably distracted), Sanders put up 7.3 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 1.0 STL, 1.4 BLK. The kid has superstar potential, but sadly has the mentality of a teenager. If Larry has one of those How Stella Got Her Groove Back moments though, he could break out in a major way...
Joel Embiid, PHI, C
He's missed his entire rookie season, but so did Blake Griffin.
I've got your attention now, don't I?
Drafted 3rd overall in this year's hyped up rookie draft class, Embiid's got big man upside through the roof.
Check out his college stats: 23 MPG, 11.2 PPG, 8.1 REB, 2.6 BLK.
Embiid perfectly fits the profile of the NBA's next dominant big man. There is risk here, but lots of upside too...
Mirza Teletovic, BKN, SF/PF
For extremely deep dynasties (think 20 teams), consider Teletovic.
He'll never be a superstar, but he could put up really solid numbers across the board with more minutes.
In summation, the game never ends.
If your current season is over, start thinking about next year.
Guys who want to make the NBA wake up at 5am, and shoot 500 jump shots before breakfast every morning.
The least you can do is Google their stats.
I mean, would you rather wake up at 5?
That's pretty early.