It's crunch time in Fantasy basketball with many leagues already having started their playoffs or about to next week. That can make for some tough decisions, but never fear, I'm here to help. Let's get to this week's submissions for the mailbag column and see if we can bring home some championships.
If you have a question that you'd like answered in next week's column, reach out to me on Twitter @rotomikebarner.
The Nets' center situation had trouble written all over it entering the season. The Nets were able to lure Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving to join the team over the summer, but both players reportedly pushed for Jordan to be added, as well. Even though the Nets already had a promising young center like Allen in the fold, they did bring in Jordan, likely to help cement their deals with Durant and Irving.
Coach Kenny Atkinson did flip back and forth between starting Allen and Jordan at the beginning of the season, but he made the move to Allen being the regular starter after only six games. However, with Atkinson now gone, the first move that interim coach Jacque Vaughn made was to start Jordan over Allen. That resulted in Allen playing only 19 minutes off the bench Sunday against the Bulls.
Meanwhile, Jordan recorded 11 points, 15 rebounds, four assists and three blocks across 29 minutes as a starter. Jordan also started and played 27 minutes Tuesday against the Lakers while Allen played 21 minutes off the bench. Since it looks like Jordan will be the starter and play the bulk of the minutes moving forward, he's the one you want on your roster.
Bridges has hit a rough patch, averaging 7.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists across the last three games. Part of that can be attributed to him shooting 27.6 percent from the field during that stretch, but it might also be because he didn't log more than 28 minutes in any of those contests. That came as a bit of a surprise considering he had averaged 34 minutes across his previous 14 contests.
Harris has largely been underwhelming this season, averaging only 10.4 points per game and shooting 41.8 percent from the field. His lack of efficiency is especially tough when you consider his usage rate is only 15.1 percent. He has come to life of late, though, averaging 14 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 2.4 steals and two 3-pointers over his last five games. What's the difference? Well, he shot 64.3 percent from the field across those contests. He's not going to be able to keep that up. With both the Hornets and the Nuggets set to play three times each in Week 23, I'd rather go with Bridges since he has a significantly higher upside.
Barnes is a frustrating Fantasy option. He looks great some nights, like against the Blazers on Saturday when he recorded 20 points, five rebounds and five 3-pointers. However, he's largely been inconsistent. Case in point: he followed up that performance with nine points and five rebounds against the Raptors on Sunday. He's scored at least 20 points in six of his last 13 games, but he also scored 10 points or fewer five times during that stretch.
This is a pretty easy answer for me. I'd much rather go with Covington, who has emerged as a key cog of the Rockets' small-ball approach. Not only is he averaging 12.8 points and 7.9 rebounds since joining the team, but he's provided important production across the board with averages of 1.1 steals, 2.5 blocks and 2.9 3-pointers. No need to overthink this one.
Do you advise that I drop Karl-Anthony Towns for any of these players or should I hold onto him until an update is possibly given next week? Playoffs start next Monday for my league. - @YoungB4ker
The players this reader could drop Towns for include Tristan Thompson, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Kevin Huerter. Let's start off by discussing the prognosis for Towns, which hasn't been all that encouraging. After initially saying they would re-evaluate his injured wrist after two weeks, the Timberwolves came back two weeks later and said it would be another two weeks before Towns is evaluated again. That means he should miss all of this week and next week.
The Timberwolves have nothing left to play for, so don't be surprised if Towns is eventually shut down for the season. If he does come back, expect him to be on a minutes limit to start things off considering he's been out for over a month. It's win or go home time in Fantasy basketball, so I'd drop him without hesitation to improve your chances of winning now.
Of the three players that I outlined are available in this league, Huerter is the most appealing to me. He's playing a ton for the Hawks, which has helped him average 13.6 points, 3.9 rebounds, 5.9 assists, 1.1 steals and 2.7 3-pointers across the last seven games. The Hawks have played at the seventh-fastest pace in the league, which affords Huerter with added opportunities to be productive. The Hawks also play four times next week, which gives him even more of an edge. Two of their four opponents are the Pelicans and Wizards, who happen to be two of the worst defensive teams in the league. Things could be shaping up nicely for Huerter to be a difference maker when it matters the most.