In fantasy basketball, you can tend to put trust in seasoned veterans. One of my biggest pet peeves is when fantasy players doubt that certain players can perform on a solid level because of their age. I do not understand why that doubt exists if the player continues to be a solid fantasy option year after year. Let the players stats dictate when they are done, or at least done on your fantasy team. Here are some of the NBA's fantasy beasts for the week. As always The Beast Report celebrates the players not as much in the spotlight that are dominating.
Tim Duncan, forward-center, San Antonio Spurs: For a man who has played in the NBA for 15 years, Duncan has been a top-five fantasy option so far. Duncan was drafted mostly in the fourth, fifth and even falling to the sixth round in some leagues. Year after year he proves that he can still help your fantasy team by providing a ton of rebounds, blocks and a good field goal percentage. This old man is also playing more than 30 minutes a night.
Duncan is scoring 18.9 points and is grabbing 9.7 rebounds per game. The key stat is that he has blocked 2.4 shots per game. He has stolen the ball 1.3 times per game, too. With him shooting a solid 53.1 percent from the field, I would say Duncan has performed at a superstar level. Ten years ago, he would not make this list because, after all, he is considered possibly the best power forward of all time. The doubt surrounding the consistent Duncan baffles me. Let HIM let us know when he is done.
J.R. Smith, guard-forward, New York Knicks: Smith has proven in his time with the Knicks that he will shoot them in or out of the game on a given night. Smith is the sixth man thus far and is certainly getting his piece of the pie on offense. To start the season, his scoring of 17.5 points per game, while shooting over 45 percent from the field has been helping a ton. Smith is a very dynamic change of pace player who is performing as a top-five fantasy option while coming off the bench.
Smith has also helped fantasy players in the steals category. He has stolen the ball 2.3 times per game. As a shooting guard, any rebound help is acceptable. He has grabbed five rebounds and dishes the ball over three times per game. If you own Smith, he has given help in just about every category. Do I expect these stats to continue? Not to this level. He will have his share of nightmarish shooting days. Also, when Iman Shumpert (knee) returns for the Knicks in December or January, Smith's minutes could take a bit of a hit.
Nicolas Batum, guard-forward, Portland Trail Blazers: Portland did the right thing by bring back Batum, because he has picked up right from where he left off last season. He is a fantasy stat machine and is once again proving himself on a team with a lot of guards. Batum has become a major point of the Blazers' offense, even with top scoring option LaMarcus Aldridge back in the lineup.
Batum has scored 19.3 points per game while shooting over 44 percent from the floor. He has played nearly 40 minutes per game. He has grabbed 6.3 rebounds per game and has stolen the ball 2.4 times per matchup. He also gives you a few assists and has averaged nearly a block per contest. Batum's consistency in the Blazers offense between this year and last has not only made him look like a fantasy all-star but is also proving that he is a very trustworthy fantasy option.
Joakim Noah, center, Chicago Bulls: Noah had to deal with multiple injuries last season and even while hurt still showed he was one of the most aggressive players in the league. You can always count on him for blocks and rebounds. He is deserving of some of the spotlight in Chicago as somehow an injured Derrick Rose (knee) still has the majority of it. Noah is the best player on the Bulls right now, especially from a fantasy perspective.
Noah has been scoring 15.3 points per game while shooting over 51 percent from the field. He has grabbed 9.4 rebounds and has blocked the ball 2.3 times per game. He has stolen the ball at least once per game and has contributed a few assists, as well. He helps out in just about every fantasy category and plays nearly 40 minutes per outing.
O.J. Mayo, guard, Dallas Mavericks: Mayo just did not fit with the Grizzles offensive plans. As he was limited once Rudy Gay returned from injury. You put him on a team with new guards, an aging Vince Carter and a hurt Dirk Nowitzki (knee) and he becomes the No. 1 scoring option on the team. He has made a believer out of me as he has contributed 21.4 points per game while shooting 47.5 percent from the hardwood. He plays under 40 minutes per night, which shows how much the Mavs' offense runs through Mayo at this point.
Mayo has shot over 87 percent from the free-throw line and has grabbed four rebounds per game as a guard. He will dish a few assists as well. I do not worry about his production in the offense dropping when Nowitzki returns. Jason Kidd and Jason Terry both received plenty of chances in this offense. I am pretty confident in saying that Mayo will be a bigger part of the offense down the stretch than Carter. If he can score 17 points per game and shoot 45 percent from the field, I'd say that is a solid fantasy season for Mayo.