It’s fantasy basketball playoffs time in most leagues and every decision has tremendous implications in whether or not you advance towards a championship. Below are eight players that could help any fantasy hoops team. Ironic since three of them play for a franchise that they can’t help towards anything but a high lottery pick. Good luck to all!
Waiver Wire Considerations
Mike Dunleavy, SG/SF, Milwaukee Bucks (49% owned in Yahoo! leagues)
Dunleavy is doing damage as he comes off the pine for the Bucks and he’s doing it big in the month of March as he seems to be finding his stride. In 14 March games, Dunleavy averaged 15.6 points, 56.9 FG%, 88.0 FT% (1.8 FTA), 2.3 treys, 3.9 boards and 3.1 assists in almost 29 minutes per contest. Other than the defensive categories, he’s been contributing for his fantasy owners. In the past week (four games), Dunleavy averaged 15.5 points, 64.9 FG%, 50.0 FT% (1.0 FTA), 3.0 threes, 4.0 rebounds and 2.0 dimes, which is basically in line with what’s he’s been doing for the month. If he’s available in your league, grab him with the quickness.
Carl Landry, SF/PF, New Orleans Hornets (39%)
Landry came back last week from a knee injury that had him miss 23 games, In the four games since his return, Landry averaged 18.3 points, 60.0 FG%, 86.4 FT% (5.5 FTA), 7.5 rebounds, 0.8 assists and 0.5 each of steals and blocks. In the two starts Landry had during this time, he averaged 22.0 points, 58.1 FG%, 88.9 FT% (4.5 FTA) and 7.5 boards. It’s safe to say that Landry is happy to be back on the court and you should be as well. Pick him up off the waiver wire in any sized league because he could be a huge factor in the fantasy playoffs.
Brandon Rush, SG/SF, Golden State Warriors (34%)
Rush is getting a lot of burn with the Warriors going small and he’s been a solid points (10.0 per game), three-pointers (1.5 makes per game) contributor off the bench in the month of March (17 games) where he is getting about 29 minutes of play. He’s also averaging above average numbers in rebounds (4.8 per) and blocks (1.1 per) for a wing player during this same period. In the past week (four games), Rush averaged 14.0 points, 51.4 FG%, 100.0 FT% (2.7 FTA), 1.8 triples, 5.2 boards and 1.8 blocks. He could be a significant factor for fantasy teams during the playoffs as he seems to be coming through with more playing time.
Marco Belinelli, SG, New Orleans Hornets (21%)
Belinelli has always been a great waiver wire source for points and threes and that continues to this week. However, since it’s playoffs time, it might be best to end that trend of him being available in your league. In the past week (four games), Belinelli averaged 16.5 points, 51.0 FG%, 100.0 FT% (0.5 FTA), 3.0 treys, 1.5 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 0.8 steals. He’s improved from his pre All-Star production and has been solid after the All-Star break, averaging 13.5 points, 43.5 FG%, 80.7 FT% (1.7 FTA), 1.8 triples, 2.6 rebounds and 1.9 assists.
Shannon Brown, SG/SF, Phoenix Suns (15%)
Brown had a very solid period of production last week when he averaged 16.0 points, 53.3 FG%, 72.7 FT% (2.7 FTA), 2.0 triples, 3.2 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 0.5 each of steals and blocks in almost 30 minutes. March has been his best month of the season and the key has been a much improved field goal percentage (45.7 percent) versus the first three months of the season (38.7 percent). For the month, Brown is averaging 11.2 points, 45.7 FG%, 78.1 FT% (1.9 FTA), 1.0 three-pointers, 2.7 boards and 1.0 dime in about 23.5 minutes per game. If Brown continues to get the burn on the court, consider him in standard-sized leagues. He should be grabbed in deep leagues if available.
Taj Gibson, PF, Chicago Bulls (9%)
Gibson has always been a deep-league fantasy darling because of his production in his limited role with the Bulls and he’s a good source for rebounds and blocks this late in the fantasy game. Since the All-Star break (17 games), Gibson is averaging 8.5 points, 49.6 FG%, 59.5 FT% (2.2 FTA), 6.2 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in only 21 minutes per game. In the last week (three games), he averaged 11.0 points, 56.0 FG%, 71.4 FT% (2.3 FTA), 6.3 rebounds and 1.7 blocks. If you need blocks in any league-sized league, Gibson is there for the taking. In deep leagues, he shouldn’t even be available.
Gerald Green, SG/SF, New Jersey Nets (8%)
Green has been solid since being signed by the Nets from the D-League, earning a contract until season’s end after two 10-day contracts. Ridiculous dunks and rejections aside, Green has really polished his game since his initial experience in the league. In the past week (four games), Green averaged 12.5 points, 48.6 FG%, 58.3 FT% (3.0 FTA), 1.8 threes, 3.7 boards, 1.8 steals and 1.0 blocks in almost 26 minutes of play. Now that Green and Gerald Wallace are on the team, the Nets weakness at small forward has become a relative strength. Green should continue to get minutes at the three when Wallace shifts to the four and has been a needed dose of energy off the Nets bench. He should get fantasy relevant playing time all the way through the end of the regular season and help any fantasy team.
Jason Smith, PF/C, New Orleans Hornets (6%)
Smith has been out a significant amount of the season, having only played 26 out of a possible 51 games for the Hornets. If there’s any positive in his play, it’s that he’s improved from month-to-month in really small sample sizes. If you need some help from the four or five spot, Smith could be worth the chance. In the past week (two games), Smith averaged 12.5 points, 62.5 FG%, 100.0 FT% (2.5 FTA), 7.5 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.5 blocks in 29 minutes. It should be noted that he missed the two games previous to this due to a DNP-Coach’s Decision and a league suspension. However, in the two games before that, Smith averaged 14.5 points, 59.1 FG%, 7.5 boards, 0.5 steals and 1.0 blocks in about 27 minutes on the hardwood.
Number of Team Games in Week 15
Five Games: MEM, SAC
Four Games: BOS, CHA, CLE, DAL, DET, GSW, IND, LAC, LAL, MIA, MIL, NJN, OKC, PHI, PHO, POR, SAS, TOR, UTA, WAS
Three Games: ATL, CHI, DEN, HOU, MIN, NOR, NYK, ORL