published 01/26/13 8:29am
Michael Beasley could be a very nice fantasy option at small forward for the rest of the season.
Photo: Icon SMI
Beasley or Chandler? Marreese or Mullens? Fantasy All-Stars (so far); And the rookie wall watch. Have some fantasy questions and don't know where to turn? Ask us.

Q: My starting SF John Salmons) is doing nothing lately so I am dropping him! To replace him, should I pick up Michael Beasley? Or should it be Wilson Chandler?
- Adrian (Calgary, Alberta)

FI: We would go with Beasley, Adrian. He and Chandler will likely produce very similar numbers going forward--solid scoring and some rebounding--but Beasley gets the slight edge because he has less competition for a big role on the Suns than Chandler has on the Nuggets. Phoenix's recent head coaching change (from Alvin Gentry to Lindsey Hunter) may give Beasley more opportunity, and he's proven in the past he can play like a star if given the chance.

Q: Is it finally time to pick up Marreese Speights? I've been a fan of his since his college days and I want to add him now that he's a Cavalier, but I would have to drop Byron Mullens to do it.
- Gerald (Miami, Florida)

FI: It probably depends on your fantasy team's specific statistical needs, Gerald. If your more pressing needs are blocks and field-goal percentage, we would indeed pick up Speights. Yet if you're more in the market for 3-point production and scoring from the PF & C spots, keeping Mullens is probably the better option. The Charlotte Observer recently reported that Mullens hopes to return (from his ankle injury) during the Bobcats' upcoming 5-game road trip. Meanwhile Speights could soon become a key frontcourt regular with Cleveland after recently getting traded to the Cavs from the Grizzlies--especially with Anderson Varejao out the rest of the season.

Q: Hey guys, the NBA has released its All-Stars for this year's game, but I want to know who you think are the 'fantasy' All-Stars at the half-point of the season… say, starting five.
- Jeremiah S. (Chicago, Illinois)

FI: Interesting (and timely) question, Jeremiah. The best players in fantasy are often also the best players in reality, but obviously there are a few notable differences (mostly because fantasy focuses more on individual numbers than on total contributions to an NBA team). By our calculations, the top five fantasy performers after the first half of the season are as follows: PG Russell Westbrook of the Thunder; SG James Harden of the Rockets; F LeBron James of the Heat; F Kevin Durant of the Thunder; and C/F Tim Duncan of the Spurs.

Rookie Wall Watch
Q: My buddy told me the reason Bradley Beal is struggling is 'the Rookie Wall.' Does that exist? And what do I do with Beal?
- Han (New York, NY)

FI: The Rookie Wall definitely exists Han, although it exists in varying degrees for different players. First-year NBA players aren't used to playing an 82-game NBA schedule, so a certain amount of fatigue often sets in around mid-season (and is often made worse by the fact NBA opponents start to figure them out and defend them more effectively). In Beal's case, he's dealing with a sore wrist lately. Other notable rookies slumping recently: Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Alexey Shved, Harrison Barnes, and Austin Rivers. As for what to do with Beal: we would keep him on your bench and ride out the struggles, since he's probably too good to drop.

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