Mar 23

Fantasy Basketball Week 22: Gorgui Dieng leads New Faces

Fantasy Basketball Week 22 means it’s crunch time in fantasy hoops.  Focus on categories where you can actually make a difference to your team.  A couple of players getting new opportunities can help.

Meet Gorgui Dieng. (Greg Smith/ USA Today Sports)

Meet Gorgui Dieng. He has been one of the hottest Fantasy Basketball waiver wire pick-ups and is owned in 29 percent of Yahoo! leagues. (Greg Smith/ USA Today Sports)

Pick Up:

Who is Gorgui Dieng?  The 24 year old rookie has gotten starts, burn and shots with Nikola Pekovic out.  On Saturday, Dieng posted a Kevin Love-like line of 22/21/4 and was 10 for 11 from the free throw line against Houston when they opted to put all their effort in the paint into stopping Love.  He had averaged 11/11 with a high FG% his previous 2, and with Pekovic out Sunday, Dieng grabbed 9 boards and finished with 6 points only taking three shots against the Suns. If Pekovic continues to miss time Dieng might be worth a speculative add if you need a big.

The 76ers are doing exactly one thing right:  they are finding out if Henry Sims can play.  The answer seems to be “sort of,” and that may be enough to push your fantasy team over the top if you need a big.  Sims is averaging over 10/7 with a steal and almost a block in 12 March games, but trending up, with an 18/15 performance against the Bulls and DPOY candidate Joakim Noah on Saturday. He also isn’t a drag on other categories, a rarity among marginal bigs.



Despite continuing to come off the bench for the woeful Bucks, Ramon Sessions has been scoring, with 18, 23 and 18 points in his last three games, Sessions is familiar to fantasy veterans from his time as a starter in Cleveland, and while he likely won’t match his career best numbers for the remainder of the season, he gets more opportunities behind Brandon Knight than he did behind Kemba Walker in the much more crowded Charlotte backcourt.  If your team needs points or a little boost in assists for its playoff run, consider Sessions.


Don’t Pick Up:

After spending most of the season golfing, Drew Gooden looks like a relevant fantasy player right now.  Be warned though: Marcin Gortat is back from his brief absence, so Gooden is back to the bench.  Gooden is a known quantity, as in something like his career averages of 12 points and 7.5 rebounds over any length of time.  Not helpful enough.


Time to stop getting our hopes up for:

The Lakers seem to feature a hot add every week.  This week it’s Jordan Hill and Nick Young, who returned from injury to score 21 Friday night.  Last week it was Ryan Kelly, who seems somehow to be losing minutes to Robert Sacre.  None of them will help your team at this point, unless you’re desperate for the threes Young can provide, and his terrible fg%, steals, and assists won’t cost your team.

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