The big news in Fantasy Basketball came from Los Angeles Sunday, as SG Kobe Bryant announced he will be retiring after the end of the season. He is the only players in NBA history to play more than 20 seasons for the same organization.
Perhaps the announcement and all of the adulation at stops in away cities across the NBA will spur Kobe on to better results. The Lakers are in freefall, losers of six straight and 10 of the past 11 games heading into the new week, and Kobe’s miserable shooting is a huge part of the reason. He has killed Fantasy owners in Rotisserie formats by shooting 29.3 percent in the month of November in 11 games, and he hasn’t made more field goals than he has missed in any one game this season. His big scoring nights have been sporadic at best, and he has posted more than 20 points just once in 12 games since he went for a season-high 24 points against Minnesota in the season opener Oct. 28.
There were plenty of people moaning about ESPN’s Skip Bayless, and how he was being disrespectful about his assessment of Kobe in the preseason. Bayless ranked Kobe as the 93rd-best player in the league, which caused Stephen A. Smith to lose it on air. But as much as it pains me to admit, Bayless might actually be right. And Smith has been wrong plenty lately, as he also bemoaned the selection of New York Knicks PF Kristaps Porzingis, and things have been going swimmingly for the Latvia at Madison Square Garden this season.
TEAMS WITH FOUR GAMES
Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Golden State, Houston, L.A. Lakers, Milwaukee, Phoenix, Portland, Sacramento, San Antonio, Washington
TEAMS WITH THREE GAMES
Atlanta, Brooklyn, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Indiana, L.A. Clippers, Memphis, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Oklahoma City, Orlando, Philadelphia, Toronto, Utah
TEAMS WITH TWO GAMES
DALLAS MAVERICKS: Fantasy owners of Mavs players are going to have a huge smile on their face this week, especially in cumulative formats. First off, Dallas has four games on the schedule. As if that’s not good enough, they face Houston (107.5 points per game – 28th in scoring defense), Portland (100.9 PPG), Sacramento (109.1 PPG – 30th in scoring defense) and Washington (105.1 PPG – 24th in scoring defense). Enjoy the week, especially if you own Dirk Nowitzki, Zaza Pachulia and Deron Williams.
DETROIT PISTONS: It is going to be a very high-scoring week for Pistons players, and hopefully in head-to-head leagues you’re not playing against C Andre Drummond or PG Reggie Jackson. All four teams Detroit faces this week allow 105.0 or more points per game.
BOSTON CELTICS: The Celtics have just three games on the docket, and that’s bad enough in head-to-head formats. Two of those games are on the road in San Antonio and Miami, the two best scoring defenses in the NBA. A game against Sacramento will even things out somewhat, but expect a down week for your C’s players.
CHICAGO BULLS: Like the Celtics, the Bulls play a difficult schedule in the upcoming week, but at least all three games are at home. Still, facing the defensive-minded teams from Charlotte and San Antonio will be no picnic. And three games in a scoring period is bad news for those in cumulative formats.
DFS BASKETBALL STACK TEAM OF THE DAY
MONDAY – Dallas at Sacramento – The Mavericks will kick off the week with triple figures and plenty of Fantasy points.
TUESDAY – Philadelphia vs. L.A. Lakers – Believe in the 76ers, as they look to avoid NBA history and an 0-19 start.
WEDNESDAY – New Orleans at Houston – Both teams are awful defensively, so this will be a Fantasy fiesta.
THURSDAY – Boston at Sacramento – Look for the Celtics to make noise on the coast against former C’s start Rajon Rondo.
FRIDAY – Cleveland at New Orleans – LeBron James, Kevin Love and company will enjoy their stay on Bourbon Street.
SATURDAY – Sacramento at Houston – The Kings are 30th in scoring defense, the Rockets are 28th. That means points!
SUNDAY – Oklahoma City vs. Sacramento – Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook get their chance to pick on the lowly Kings.
NOTABLE INJURED PLAYERS (START OR SIT)
ATL – Tiago Splitter, PF/C (hip): SIT
BRK – Andrea Bargnani, PF/C (hamstring): SIT
CHA – Al Jefferson, PF/C (calf): SIT
CHI – Aaron Brooks, PG (hamstring): SIT
CHI – Kirk Hinrich, PG (hip): START
CHI – Doug McDermott, SF (illness): START
DEN – Gary Harris, G (concussion): SIT
DEN – Jusuf Nurkic, C (knee): SIT
GSW – Harrison Barnes, PF (ankle): SIT
HOU – Donatas Motiejunas, PF/C (back): SIT
MEM – Brandan Wright, PF/C (knee): SIT
MIA – Luol Deng, SF (hamstring): SIT
MIA – Amar’e Stoudemire, PF/C (illness): SIT
MIL – Greivis Vasquez, PG (ankle): SIT
MIN – Ricky Rubio, PG (ankle): SIT
NOP – Tyreke Evans, SF/SG (knee): SIT
NYK – Carmelo Anthony, SF (illness): START
PHI – Nerlens Noel, PF/C (knee): SIT
PHO – Tyson Chandler, C (hamstring): SIT
POR – Chris Kaman, PF/C (ankle): SIT
SAC – Caron Butler, SF/SG (ankle): SIT
SAC – DeMarcus Cousins, PF/C (leg): START
UTA – Rodney Hood, SF/SG (back): SIT
UTA – Raul Neto, G (illness): START
WAS – Drew Gooden, PF/C (calf): SIT
WAS – Nene Hilario, PF/C (calf): SIT
WAS – Gary Neal, PG (groin): START
San Antonio at Chicago (8:00 p.m. NBATV)
Washington at Cleveland (7:00 p.m. NBATV), Dallas at Portland (10:00 p.m. NBATV)
New Orleans at Houston (8:00 p.m. NBATV), Indiana at L.A. Clippers (10:30 p.m. NBATV)
Oklahoma City at Miami (7:00 p.m. TNT), San Antonio at Memphis (9:30 p.m. TNT), Boston at Sacramento (10:00 p.m. ESPN)
Brooklyn at New York (7:00pm ESPN), Cleveland at New Orleans (9:30pm ESPN)
Cleveland at Miami (8:00pm NBATV), Charlotte at Chicago (8:00 p.m. WGN)
If you need help in specific categories in Rotisserie Fantasy Hoops play, you’ve come to the right place. Check out these guys, who should be available in your league, to help out in certain areas.
POINTS PER GAME
Jamal Crawford, SG, L.A. Clippers (13.5 PPG past 11 games)
Jeremy Lamb, SG, Charlotte (13.2 PPG past 11 games)
Jerryd Bayless, PG, Milwaukee (13.1 PPG past 10 games)
Dion Waiters, SG, Oklahoma City (13.0 PPG past 10 games)
Luis Scola, PF, Toronto (12.1 PPG past 11 games)
REBOUNDS PER GAME
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, SF, Brooklyn (7.1 RPG past 10 games)
Lavoy Allen, C, Indiana (6.3 RPG past eight games)
Trevor Booker, PF, Utah (6.2 RPG past nine games)
Jeremy Lamb, SG, Charlotte (5.7 RPG past 11 games)
Jon Leuer, PF, Phoenix (5.5 RPG past 10 games)
Kevin Garnett, PF, Minnesota (5.5 RPG past 10 games)
ASSISTS PER GAME
Phil Pressey, PG, Philadelphia (4.2 APG past nine games)
Andre Miller, PG, Minnesota (3.8 APG past eight games)
Ramon Sessions, PG, Washington (3.5 APG past eight games)
Jerryd Bayless, PG, Milwaukee (3.5 APG past 10 games)
Shane Larkin, PG, Brooklyn (3.3 APG past 10 games)
STEALS PER GAME
Jerryd Bayless, PG, Milwaukee (1.8 SPG past 10 games)
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, SF, Brooklyn (1.8 SPG past 10 games)
Tony Allen, SG, Memphis (1.7 SPG past 11 games)
Patty Mills, PG, San Antonio (1.6 SPG past 11 games)
Leandro Barbosa, PG, Golden State (1.5 SPG past eight games)
BLOCKED SHOTS PER GAME
Jerami Grant, SF, Philadelphia (1.8 BPG past 12 games)
Josh Smith, PF, L.A. Clippers (1.3 BPG past 11 games)
Kris Humphries, PF, Washington (1.0 BPG past eight games)
Mike Muscala, C, Atlanta (1.0 BPG past 10 games)
3-POINTERS MADE PER GAME
Isaiah Canaan, PG, Philadelphia (29 3PT past 12 games)
Mirza Teletovic, PF, Phoenix (28 3PT past 10 games)
Jerryd Bayless, PG, Milwaukee (26 3PT past 10 games)
Hollis Thompson, SG, Philadelphia (26 3PT past 12 games)
Nick Young, SF, L.A. Lakers (21 3PT past 10 games)
(statistics through November 28, 2015)