It’s getting to be crunch time for most fantasy basketball leagues with just one week left in the regular season. Below are six suggestions to help you get over the top and into the 74th annual Hunger Games! Err, I mean fantasy basketball postseason. Good luck, everyone. Paz!
Waiver Wire Considerations
Jason Thompson, PF/C, Sacramento Kings (43% owned in Yahoo! leagues)
Thompson has always had the tools to succeed and is one of those players that only need some consistency to really take it to that next level in his development. If there’s any time to start doing it, it’s now during his fourth season. Things are looking good if his recent play is any indication. In the past week (four games), Thompson, in 33.5 minutes per game, averaged 16.8 points, 60.9 FG%, 78.6 FT% (3.5 FTA), 13.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.3 steals and a less-than-stellar 0.5 blocks despite his height and length. But, it’s hard to complain about the other stats considering he’s had five double-doubles in his last five games. If you need contributions in points, boards and field goal percentage, Thompson is a great choice. Since the All-Star break (14 games), he’s shooting 54.6% from the field and averaging 10.5 points and 8.5 rebounds in about 27 minutes per contest.
Ben Gordon, PG/SG, Detroit Pistons (44%)
In a spot start for the injured Rodney Stuckey (toe) against the Denver Nuggets, Gordon went off with total disregard for human life! OK, it’s really not that dramatic, but hitting all nine of your three-point attempts is pretty impressive. What’s not so impressive is only hitting four of 13 shots from two-point range. Regardless, Gordon scored 45 points in total, also hitting 10-for-11 from the charity stripe, as well as dishing out eight assists. The caveat about any fantasy value he may have now is when Stuckey returns. If you want to take a shot on a points guy, go for BG since he is a player that can explode at any point during a game.
Danny Green, SG/SF, San Antonio Spurs (14%)
For the past week’s performance (three games), Green is ranked eighth overall in per game average with 17.3 points, 62.1 FG%, 100.0 FT% (2.7 FTA), 2.7 triples, 4.3 rebounds and 1.7 steals in only about 29 minutes of play. The wing position is crowded for the Spurs and it seems that they all rotate in high production each week. However, Green has produced well since the All-Star break (10 games), scoring 10.6 points, shooting 51.4% from the field, 91.7% from the stripe (1.2 FTA), dropping 1.9 bombs from long-range, grabbing 3.4 boards and swiping 1.0 balls in half a game’s worth of burn. He’s worth the pick-up in deep leagues and a spot starter in standard-sized leagues.
Derrick Favors, PF/C, Utah Jazz (29%)
The third overall pick of the 2010 NBA Draft came out of Georgia Tech with many believing his very raw offensive skill set, good defensive instincts, NBA-ready body and great athleticism made him quite the project. Unfortunately, the team that drafted him, the New Jersey Nets, didn’t have time to wait for Favors and were in win-now mode in anticipation of their move to Brooklyn. Well, Favors may make the Nets rue the day — especially if Deron Williams, the player Favors and others were traded for, bolts during the offseason — if he has more weeks like last week (four games): 13.5 points, 54.5 FG%, 69.2 FT% (6.5 FTA), 11.5 rebounds, 1.5 steals and a block. He started two games at center for Al Jefferson due to personal reasons, but check this out — in five starts at center, Favors averages 15.8 points, 51.7 FG%, 76.0 FT% (5.0 FTA) and 11.2 rebounds. Oh, stupid Nets!
Kevin Seraphin, PF/C, Washington Wizards (7%)
Seraphin seems to have worked his way into the Wizards’ big man rotation and in the past week (four games), he averaged 10.5 points, 65.5 FG%, 100.0% (1.0 FTA), 6.2 rebounds and 2.2 rejections. In four of his past five games, Seraphin scored in double-figures and even had a dozen rebound game and a four block performance. Seraphin should get about 20 minutes of play each game and makes for a nice add in deep leagues, particularly if you need blocks.
Brandon Wright, PF, Dallas Mavericks (1%)
Wright was activated five games ago and has produced solidly in the past week (three games) as he averaged 10.0 points, an amazing 64.7 FG%, 72.7 FT% (3.7 FTA), 6.3 rebounds and one of each for steals and blocks. It’s quite obvious that Dallas tries to get Wright more burn to spell Dirk Nowitzki in anticipation for the playoffs, but since the Western Conference playoff race is so close, a lot will depend on how Wright performs. If he produces more like last week, Wright could be a nice deep league add to push your team up.
Number of Team Games in Week 14
Five Games: IND, NOR
Four Games: ATL, BOS, CHA, CHI, CLE, DEN, DET, GSW, HOU, LAC, LAL, MIA, MIL, MIN, NJN, NYK, ORL, POR, SAC, TOR, UTA, WAS
Three Games: DAL, MEM, OKC, PHI, PHO, SAS