Has the panic started to set in yet? With three weeks almost in the books, are you starting to worry that maybe your fantasy basketball team just isn't very good? Oh, don't panic. It's still far too early in the season to start sweating over your roster.
Look, in 9-category leagues, Josh Smith is ranked 193rd overall. Russell Westbrook is 59th, while Ty Lawson checks in at No. 177. And when you consider that guys like John Wall, Kevin Love, Andrew Bynum and Ricky Rubio have still yet to play a game this season, there's sure to be plenty of movement in the standings over the next month-plus.
Just, don't panic. Help is on the way.
Take rookie Harrison Barnes, for example. After scoring just seven or fewer points in three of his last four games, Barnes came out last night and exploded to the tune of 19 points, 13 rebounds, an assist, a steal and a three in 40 minutes. What you love to see there are not only the rebounding numbers, but the fact that Mark Jackson rode him for 40 minutes, showing that even while Barnes has had his struggle moments -- see: last week against the Nuggets -- Jackson is still married to the idea of giving the rookie some serious run.
The concern with Barnes is that, while we know he can score, he tends to be streaky and his defense is almost non-existent. I would label him as a 12-team waiver add at this point, simply for his points, some rebounds and the ability to give you a three per, but I wouldn't call him a must-own.
Now, let's get to the news...
John Wall (knee) - It's starting to look like Wall won't return to the lineup until sometime in mid-December. I'd still hold onto him, if you have him, and in the meantime look to someone like A.J. Price to get you through until Wall is ready to return.
Kevin Love (hand) - Love is getting x-rays on his hand next week, and we should no more about a timetable when those results come in. Right now it looks like early- to mid-December.
Kyle Lowry (ankle) - Lowry is going to get another opinion on his ankle, which, well, I'm not sure where that leaves him. For now, continue starting Jose Calderon, who is playing great in Lowry's absence.
Kyle Singler - I had suggested taking a flier on Singler last week in our F'N Fantasy Breakdown, and that call sort of made me look pretty good. At least for now. Singler was dubbed the team's 6th man, and even got the start on Wednesday when Rodney Stuckey missed the game due to the flu. Singler scored 16 points with four rebounds, a block and a three. Right now, I would say he's worth the flier in 12-team leagues, based on what seems to be his new-found role in which he'll play around 25 minutes per game, sometimes more.
Ramon Sessions - I've always thought of Sessions as a must-own, but now given the injury to Gerald Henderson and the ho-hum-ness of Ben Gordon, Sessions is becoming a highly valuable add off the waiver wires. Over the last week he's given you 16.3 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists and a half a steal. His percentages have been, well, underwhelming to say the least, but I expect his efficiency to improve, followed by his scoring numbers.
Alexey Shved - With the injuries adding up in Minnesota, Shved has been given an opportunity to get a look. Over his last three he's averaged over 26 minutes per game, scoring 11.8 points with 3.8 rebounds, 5.0 assists and a block per game. His FG% has been killer, but, again, I expect him to shoot at a better rate than the 36.6 FG% he posted over the last week.
Kyle Korver - Would you believe me if I told you Korver has been the 24th most valuable fantasy baller over the past seven days? Well, it's true. It's mostly due to the fact that he's averaging 2.8 threes and 1.3 steals over that span, which certainly isn't sustainable, but he probably won't regress enough to where he becomes a waiver wire cast-off. I suggested adding Korver in our second breakdown, and right now I'm happy to stand by that claim.
Jordan Crawford - There are few streakier NBA players than J-Craw, but when he's on, he can be a big-time scorer. Just look at his performance against the Mavs on Wednesday, where he went for 21 points on 6-of-11 shooting, with seven rebounds and three 3-pointers. The problem is, it was the first time Crawford had dropped 10-plus points since the second game of the season. If A.J. Price (ankle) does miss time, Crawford becomes a nice add in all formats, but for now I think he's worth at least picking and plugging in 12-team leagues or deeper.
Kosta Koufos - Dude is turning into a nice source for blocks, giving you 10 total swats over the last three games. He's not a high-ceiling player, but considering he's clocking in at around 23-25 minutes per game recently, he's becoming a nice source for rebounds and blocks.
Marcus Morris - He's someone to keep an eye on, as the Rockets are starting to give him more burn at the power forward position. Morris isn't a shallow league add, but in deeper leagues he's become a nice source of threes from the power forward position. He's made five over his last two games, and even added three blocks on Wednesday as a nice bonus. Again, the ceiling here is pretty low, but if you're desperate for threes... Morris should get a look.
Luke Ridnour - With the injury to J.J. Barea, Ridnour has taken advantage of extended minutes at the point, proving to be a must-own across all formats. On Wednesday he posted a great line, going for 16 points, 10 assists, five rebounds, two steals and zero turnovers.
Dante Cunningham - He's been more than just a great energy guy for the Timberwolves, who are now making due without both Kevin Love and Nikola Pekovic. Providing decent scoring, but more importantly rebounds and blocks, Cunningham is starting to fill it up a little and should be looked at in deeper leagues.
Samuel Dalembert - There's no scarier player to own than someone as streaky as Dalembert on a Scott Skiles-led team, but when you consider that Dalembert is getting it done in limited minutes, it's almost as if he knows his time is limited. On Wednesday he scored 14 points with six rebounds and three blocks in 18 minutes. Now, to be fair, a big reason why he played just 18 minutes was because the Bucks had blown the game open early. Still, there are plenty of reasons to be concerned about owning Dalembert, but in the short-term he looks like a nice fix for anyone looking to add an extra big man.