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Category Strategy: What Did/Didn't Happen

James Anderson

James Anderson

James Anderson is a University of Minnesota graduate, with allegiances to the Packers, Brewers, Bucks (sigh) and Gophers (double sigh). He is an editor and scribe at Rotowire.com, primarily focused on basketball and baseball. In 2013 he was a FSWA finalist for Fantasy Basketball writer of the year.

Before I get into Category Strategy, I just want to hit on a few things about what happened/didnít happen at the trade deadline.

Of course, the big move was Indiana acquiring Evan Turner for Danny Grangerís cadaver. I think itís a little risky to bring in Turner, as he could cause some end-of-game lineup questions. The urge to keep Turner in if heís playing well at the end of a game and keep George Hill on the bench could get the better of coach Frank Vogel. I donít think you want Turner on the floor at the end of a close game in the playoffs. He needs the ball in his hand to be successful, and while thatís fine if heís a sixth or seventh man, no team with Turner creating at the end of games is a true title contender. People talked about the Andrew Bynum signing as a risky chemistry move, but I think the Turner acquisition is far more dicey. However, I think Vogel is smart enough to use Turner correctly, and I still have them as the favorites to come out of the Eastern Conference if they get to host Game 7 against the Heat. For fantasy purposes, this trade really stinks for Turnerís owners, and itís a boon for owners of Thaddeus Young and Tony Wroten. Iíd target Young in any leagues where the trade deadline has yet to pass, and I think Wroten is one of the key players to add heading into this week if youíre looking for scoring.

While I donít understand why the Cavs are so hellbent on making the playoffs when an early exit is inevitable, Iím still a big fan of them getting Spencer Hawes for basically nothing (Earl Clark and two second round picks). If anyone tells you teams arenít tanking, point to this trade, because thatís all it was about from Philadelphiaís perspective. That said, I love that theyíre aggressively tanking. Theyíre taking advantage of the leagueís rules and are keeping their eyes on the prize (a pair of Kansas Jayhawks).

I love what the Warriors did in acquiring Steve Blake. Heís essentially the player they thought they might be getting when they traded for Jordan Crawford. How that team doesnít have a better hold on a playoff spot is beyond me, but I think itís pretty clear that Harrison Barnes isnít the player they were hoping heíd be, and the smart move wouldíve probably been to deal him while he still has some shine.

The Bucks and Bobcats shuffled deck chairs on the Titanic, or at least thatís what the Bucks did. I actually like Gary Neal and Luke Ridnour quite a bit, especially if theyíre on a winner, and the Bobcats have been sneakily not too bad this year. The Bucks made a great offseason signing in Neal, but they didnít seem to have a plan for how to use him and keep him interested. You can use O.J. Mayo or Gary Neal, but you probably donít need both of them. The only person with a shred of fantasy relevance in this deal is Ramon Sessions, who could stake claim to a similar role on the Bucks as he had in Charlotte.

The Timberwolves held on to Kevin Love, which on the one hand is very understandable, as theyíll never be able to acquire a player of his talent in free agency. But itís also quite desperate and shortsighted, as it seems clear to everyone who covers the league that heíll be a Los Angeles Laker in 2015-16. I think they couldíve gotten quite a haul if they had looked to move him at the deadline, something along the lines of Chandler Parsons, Terrence Jones, Omer Asik and a couple future first round picks would probably suffice.

CATEGORY STRATEGY

Each week, this article highlights players who are widely available in standard leagues that can help in specific roto categories. Remember, while each player highlighted can help in a specific category, there's no guarantee for production in other areas.

POINTS

Tony Wroten, PG, Sixers
I mentioned Wroten and Thaddeus Young as the primary benefactors of the Evan Turner trade, as both have proven to put up very nice numbers when theyíre heavily involved in the offense. Wroten is available in 90 percent of leagues, and Iíd value Young as a top-30 fantasy option over the rest of the season. Alec Burks in shallower leagues and Patty Mills in deeper leagues are both interesting here as well. Orlandoís dispatching of Glen Davis makes Tobias Harris a very hot commodity right now too.

REBOUNDS

P.J. Tucker, SF, Suns
Tucker has been mentioned at least once before in this column this season, and heís playing especially well right now, grabbing double-figure rebounds in three of his last five games. If you havenít watched this Suns team play, theyíre far more entertaining than you would expect, given the names on the roster. They are clearly a well-coached, committed bunch, and Tucker is the poster child for that. Heís available in 78 percent of Yahoo! leagues and 86 percent of ESPN leagues.

ASSISTS

Louis Williams, PG, Hawks
My first move here would be to try to trade for Kendall Marshall, but thatís probably a pretty tall order in most leagues. Williams is kind of a stretch to be a consistent source of assists (although he does have 15 dimes over his last two games), but the waiver wire is so bare in that department right now, that youíre not likely to find a much better option, especially in deeper leagues.

STEALS

Elliot Williams, SG, Sixers
Iíd prefer to go after Wroten here, but if heís owned, Williams is actually the guy who got the start Friday in Turnerís absence. I always Liked Williams a little when he was with Portland, as a young player with promise, and now heíll get the chance to demonstrate that. He has a steal in four of his last six games, and had three in Fridayís start. Heís available in basically every league.

BLOCKS

Gorgui Dieng, C, T-Wolves
Dieng was an elite rim-protector in college at Louisville, and he demonstrated that in Saturdayís game, compiling three blocks in just 22 minutes in the absence of Nikola Pekovic (ankle) and Ronny Turiaf (knee). Pekovic could be back soon, but all Dieng needs is 20-plus minutes off the bench to make his defensive presence felt. Heís available in almost all leagues.

THREE-POINTERS

Kyle Singler, SG, Pistons
Finding guys to contribute in three-pointers is probably the easiest task on the waiver wire, which is why itís important to go after categories like assists in the draft, and three-pointers will usually come with that production. But if you want a guy who is good for a couple triples per game and someone who wonít hurt your shooting percentages, Singler is a solid bet. Heís averaging two three-pointers in over 35 minutes per game over the last five contests, and is available in 89 percent of Yahoo! leagues and 94 percent of ESPN leagues.