The NBA takes Christmas Eve off, then returns with five televised games back to back, running from Noon Eastern all the way to midnight! What does your fantasy team need? If you are in a roto style league, the categories should be taking shape. Is it time to bail on certain categories? Much can be said about head to head leagues.... can you pickup in deficient areas? enough to compete? As always, developing rookies, opportunity created by injury and now... anticipating NBA trades are the key to finding fantasy nuggets.
Can you believe we have already reached the end of the first quarter of the season? A year ago at this time, the Association was just getting started on their abbreviated season. As with any fantasy sport, injuries are the biggest factor in creating opportunity and productive talent from the waiver wire. We keep and eye on that, along with rookies who settle in and begin to emerge. Teams are also preparing to wheel and deel as newly signed and/or acquired players are eligible to be traded. Let's take a look at some players that may be available through free agency in your league.
Need a free agent off your league's waiver wire to jump start your team? Well, you have come to the right place. Whether you need a guard, a perimeter wing or a post player, we bring you some suggested talent that might be available for pickup. As we move through the holidays, many teams are free to trade players signed in the off-season and injuries begin to pile up. In most cases, these create the most impact and corresponding emerging talent.
When we last spoke, we broke down the 2012-'13 rookie class in the Eastern Conference. At this early juncture, it appears that the first year players in the Western Conference are not only outperforming their counterparts, they also collectively possess great upside. It helps when you have the first overall pick (New Orleans), as well as multiple high picks (New Orleans and Portland). The Hornets and Blazers both following the quick "flash" rebuild, much like Utah did in the wake of the Deron Williams deal.
We are not yet a month into the season, but the role of this season's rookie crop is beginning to take shape. While you usually don't want to rely on a first year player, they certainly can contribute. With many players turning pro after just one or two years, development is longer in many cases. While rookies will improve as the season progresses and they get more experience, beware of the "rookie wall". Having never played more than 40 games in a season, many will wear down following the All-Star break. Lets take a look at the fantasy prospects of this year's rookie class, starting with the Eastern Conference.
As we wrap up the early returns around the Association, we take a look at point guards. The elite point guards provide scoring, assists and steals, while the rest contribute in just two or even only one of the categories. Obviously its important to grab your point guards during the draft or auction as the chances of grabbing a "great" one during the season through free agency or waivers is doubtful. The best chance to improve your lot mid-season is to find emerging rookies or players getting increased playing time due to injury. From time to time a point may move to two guard, opening up a spot for some new talent.
We've checked in on big men around the Association, lets move on to swing men. What are swing men you may be asking? Swing men are players that qualify at shooting guard, small forward, combo forward or in some cases, guard/forward. Swing men are typically your best all-around players who almost always contribute in the scoring category. Swing men are also those you see moved in and out of rosters the most. Lets take a look at those swing men that are beginning to populate rosters and those that have been, or should be on the chopping block. As a reminder, always check your own league for position eligibility.
How did you do in your draft or auction? Have you had to dip into the free agency pool much yet? There are many strategies at play here. When is it too early to bail on a player and seek a replacement? If you wait too long, does the valid talent that slipped through get gobbled up? Is it better to wait and see how surprising talent develops, rather than jumping to changes too early? Lets take a look at the big men across the Association.
As we roll into the 2012-'13 NBA season, we're going to take you through an overview of each of the six divisions. Who are key newcomers? Who are notable for your fantasy team? Last season was brutal with a late and sudden December start to an abbreviated season. We wrap up our previews, staying in the Western Conference, with the Pacific Division. The Lakers have assembled the latest "Dream Team" with Steve Nash and Dwight Howard now running showtime alongside Kobe. The Clippers are now a force, with Chris Paul and Blake Griffin leading the way. Golden State finally landed a big man to help David Lee, now if only Andrew Bogut can stay healthy. Watch out for Sacramento and mercurial big man DeMarcus Cousins. Marcin Gortat was a nice find in the desert, but Phoenix just doesn't have the horses to compete.
As we roll into the 2012-'13 NBA season, we're going to take you through an overview of each of the six divisions. Who are key newcomers? Who are notable for your fantasy team? Last season was brutal with a late and sudden December start to an abbreviated season. We continue our previews in the Western Conference, with a look at the Southwest Division. San Antonio's big three are back for another run, do Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan have anything left in the tank? The Memphis Grizzlies continue to ascend and may be poised to take over the Division with Marc Gasol and Rudy Gay among the best in the West at their positions. O.J. Mayo is finally showing his potential, but can Dallas stay competitive until Dirk Nowitzki returns? Wow, that's all I can say about Houston and new leading man James Harden. Lastly, New Orleans rebuilds around Anthony Davis but the process has a long way to go.