Week 16 Fantasy Basketball Pickups: International Edition
The New York Knicks continue to make headlines, signing sharpshooter J.R. Smith a few days ago after J.R.’s Chinese team was eliminated from the playoffs. Arguably the smartest backcourt in the NBA, Jeremy Lin (Harvard) and Landry Fields (Stanford) should remain in tact for the forseeable future, but look for J.R. Smith to be the first guard off the bench. Steal-machine Iman Shumpert will be most negatively affected by J.R. and will likely be relegated to a 2-category contributor – 3′s & steals. J.R. Smith has the fifth highest career three-point percentage among active players and in the up-tempo Lin-led offense, Smith should average at least two three-pointers per game. The anticipated return of Carmelo Anthony will not hurt J.R. as the reduced touches will be offset by the open threes as a result of Carmelo being double teamed.
Ersan Ilyasova has finally been inserted into the Milwaukee Bucks starting lineup. The versatile Turk should now be universally owned (currently 51% in Yahoo leagues and 75% in ESPN leagues). Over the past 2 weeks, Ilyasova has averaged 15 points, 9.5 rebounds, 1.5 blocks, 1 three-pointers per game, while shooting over 48%. Ersan has always had the fantasy potential, the only issue has been the minutes and the consistency. With the long term injury to teammate Andrew Bogut, Ilyasova’s minutes has increased significantly and he has managed to average the extremely rare one three and one block average per game.
Gustavo Ayon is one of the more intriguing pickups as this Mexican rookie has been a huge beneficiary of the injuries to the New Orleans Hornets frontcourt. Carl Landry, Emeka Okafor and Jason Smith are all injured, none of whom are expected to return until after the All-Star break. Jason Smith may be the first to return (day-to-day with a concussion), but is also the weakest threat to Ayon. Gustavo Ayon has averaged 12.7 points, 10.7 rebounds, 2 steals and 1 block per game over the past three games. Yes, he may be a short term add because Okafor and Landry should be back on the court after the All-Star break, but don’t forget that New Orleans is among the worst teams in the NBA, meaning that the young players should get more minutes than normal. Also, current Hornets starting center Chris Kaman may be traded, further opening up the frontcourt minutes. Gustavo is an ideal pickup for leagues with weekly game limits because he will produce as long as he continues to start, but will be irrelevant with a healthy Hornets frontcourt.
Whether it was erratic minutes or shooting slumps, Carlos Delfino one of the most inconsistent players this season. However, over the past two weeks, the Argentinian has averaged a remarkable 17 points, 2.3 threes, and 2 steals per game. Even when Delfino is at his best, he is limited to a 3-category contributor, if you need help in those categories, he is a strong add. He is currently on the waiver wire of 47% of ESPN leagues and 34% of Yahoo leagues.
Written by Justin Hasan exclusively for WinMyFantasyLeague.com
Comment below or e-mail him at JHas@WinMyFantasyLeague.com