Moving Without: Is Kyle Lowry The Fantasy Hoops MVP?

We’re just about one month into the NBA season, so it’s time for us to get an jump naming an early front-runner for the Most Valuable Fantasy baller. Of course it’s no real surprise to see that Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Love and LeBron James are among the top four players in the game, as we approach the one-month mark of the season. But there are also some less than familiar names in the Top 10, including Danilo Gallinari, Ryan Anderson and, yes, Kyle Lowry. Of course you can make the case that anyone of the top four superstars are in fact all MVP-worthy, but I think the case has to be made that it’s Lowry, who was drafted in the 4th or 5th round in most cases, is the early favorite for the Fantasy Hoops MVP.

The case for Lowry takes a hit in 9-category leagues, thanks to his coughing up 3.4 turnovers per game. You also have a legitimate beef in complaining about his 42.9 FG%. But, outside of those two deficiencies, you have to consider what Lowry has done to place himself among the top five players in the game, 15 games into the season.

First, you love the fact that he’s third in the league in FT shooting (90.2%), among those taking at least 4.0 attempts per game. He’s 7th in the NBA in threes made (2.1 per), first among all guards in rebounds per game (6.6), third in the league in assists (8.7), fifth in steals (2.2) and he’s scoring a career-best 17.3 points per game. Those are fantastic numbers. Again, you can make the case that Kobe, LeBron, K-Love and Durant have all been more valuable, but relative to where Lowry was drafted, it’s hard not to give him the nod here. And the best part is, there’s no reason to believe that he’s going to slow down anytime soon. So, don’t “sell high” on him. Just sit back and enjoy the ride!

Let’s take a look at some other pressing NBA news, shall we?

Mike Miller, G/F, Heat: Miller returned to action on Tuesday night, scoring 18 points on 6-of-6 shooting from beyond the arc. He also added four rebounds and an assist, in 15 minutes. You absolutely want to add Miller, specifically for this three-point shooting, but you need to remember too that Dwyane Wade was out, thus opening up more touches for Miller. And you also have to face the fact that he’s not going to make six threes per game. So, temper your expectations when adding him. He will, though, be among the top three-point shooters in the game, which is a great reason to add him.

Chandler Parsons, F, Rockets: I’ve suggested picking up Parsons on an occasion or two, and I’m going to stick by that call. He’s been playing some great basketball, especially providing nice “hustle” stats, including nine steals and five blocks over his last five. Plus, as a nice bonus, the dude just doesn’t turn the ball over. He’s not a “wow you” kind of guy, but he definitely has value in 12-team leagues.

Kemba Walker, PG, Bobcats: Walker is a player I’ve been holding onto since the start of the season, waiting for him to get the call as the team’s starting point guard. Well, maybe he’s not quite starting at point guard, but he’s starting. That counts for something! Over his last five games he’s playing 32 minutes and averaging 14.8 points, 3.6 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 2.0 steals, 0.6 blocks and only 1.8 turnovers. The concerns for a talent like Walker are the turnovers and, naturally, the FG%, which has improved over his last five (42.4%) from his season percentage (38.1%). If he’s out there, add him.

Samuel Dalembert, C, Rockets: The 7-footer has really been balling over the last week, playing close to 30 minutes and averaging 13.4 points, 10.4 rebounds, 2.2 blocks and 65.2 percent over his last five games. I hate putting all that much faith in Dalembert, but I also can’t argue against him as a short-term option at center. He’s a talented guy, but tends to go through far too many ups and downs in a short span.

George Hill, PG, Pacers: Hill is getting some nice burn lately for the Pacers, based solely on his defensive effort. He’s picked 10 steals over his last three games, which is pretty amazing. He’s making the case to play close to 28 minutes per game on a Pacers team that is lacking a perimeter defender. Hill makes sense as an add for teams that are in need of steals, a little boost in threes and some help in your shooting percentages. He doesn’t do all that much to push him into the must-own territory, but it’s time to take him seriously as a waiver wire consideration.

Deron Williams, PG, Nets: I think this might be your last opportunity to try and buy low on Williams. He’s been playing great basketball, while longing to leave New Jersey (or get another premier talent in Newark), Williams is showing some of that top-tier talent we’ve been used to seeing in the past. Over his last four games he’s averaging 20.3 points, 9.5 assists and three treys per game. Something seems to be motivating him, and I think the Nets are going to have to either man-up and trade him or make a bold move and get him another superstar. I think this is the time to make the move to get D-Will.

Danny Green, SG, Spurs: Green has been a nice add for those who have been looking to find some help since losing Manu Ginobili. Green has been a big help in threes, points, rebounds and, yes, blocks. He’s blocked 1.3 shots per game over his last four, while adding 2.5 threes. That’s a nice combo. Of course you can’t “replace” Ginobili, but Green has been a nice help in softening the blow of losing your starting SG.

Serge Ibaka, F/C, Thunder: Ibaka is proving to be a one-cat big this year, only helping his owners in blocks. He’s blocked nine shots over his last three games, but he’s also only provided 15 rebounds and 14 points in that span. He also has failed to take a free-throw attempt. He’s just been awful. I think the best thing to do is wait for a nice string of games to hopefully come from the Thunder big and see if you can move him when his value is elevated. It’s pretty clear that he just isn’t getting it right now. His effort on offense and off the glass has been mediocre, at best. It’s tough to move him now, but once he shows some signs, see if you can get a more solid upgrade. He’s just not going to be a Top 40 player this year.

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