In most leagues, this week is the beginning fantasy basketball playoffs, so congratulations to those of you who made them and lamentations to those of you who didn’t. I’m kind of like Two-Face from Batman as I did both things this season, but I’d like to think I’m a little better looking. One can dream. Below are six suggestions to help you advance in the playoffs.
Martell Webster, SG/SF, Washington Wizards (41% owned in Yahoo! leagues)
Webster isn’t the first player you think of when you hear Washington Wizards. There’s John Wall, of course. And if you’re old school like me, you think Jeff Malone falling away in the corner and hitting a shot from the old Sports Illustrated commercial when the Wiz were still the Bullets. Ancient times aside, Webster has improved from month-to-month in points and triples-made as the season has gone on. This past week, in four games, Webster averaged 22.3 points on 48.3 percent from the field (15.0 FGA) and 100.0 percent from the line (2.8 FTA), 5.0 treys (9.8 3PTA), 3.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 37 minutes. I’d feel comfortable adding him in all leagues if you need threes, in particular, and points.
Rodney Stuckey, PG/SG, Detroit Pistons (28%)
Stuckey has definitely taken advantage of Brandon Knight’s ego bruise at the slam hand of DeAndre Jordan … I mean, sprained ankle. In his last three games, Stuckey averaged 23.0 points while shooting 51.0 percent from the field (17.0 FGA) and 86.7 percent from the charity stripe (5.0 FTA), 1.3 threes, 3.3 rebounds, 2.3 dimes and a steal in 38 minutes. He went off for 32 points in his last game, which was on the road in Portland, jacking up 23 shots and making a dozen of them. I’d gander a guess that Stuckey is a solid add in all leagues for at least this week and even if Knight returns soon, will still be giving up minutes to Stuckey as Knight transitions back from sitting. First round in the playoffs bonus? That could be Stuckey.
Patrick Patterson, PF/C, Sacramento Kings (21%)
Patterson has filled in nicely for an injured DeMarcus Cousins the past two games when he averaged 18.0 points on 78.9 percent shooting from the floor (9.5 FGA) and 100.0 percent from the free throw line (1.0 FTA), 2.0 three-pointers and 7.0 rebounds in 28 minutes. Cousins may be back in the starting lineup on Tuesday as the Kings host the Los Angeles Clippers. However, this brief bit of time and production could be the springboard for Patterson to get more playing time and improve on his stats with the Kings (11 games) – 8.6 points; 54.9 FG% (6.5 FGA); 80.0 FT% (0.9 FTA); 60.0 3PT% (1.4 3PTA); 4.4 RPG in 20 minutes per contest. Patterson is one of those players that does relatively well when on the court, so take a chance in deep leagues and if you’re in a daily lineup league, grabbing him for tonight to pad your stats could be worth it.
Josh McRoberts, PF/C, Charlotte Bobcats (10%)
McRoberts is one of those players that I can’t help but have an affinity for. He’s my modern day Oliver Miller. Or half an Oliver Miller. In any case, this past week, McBob started three games and did very well as he averaged 10.7 points on 54.2 percent from the floor (8.0 FGA), 83.3 percent from the stripe (2.0 FTA), 9.7 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.3 blocks in 36 minutes. Byron Mullens has been bothered by a balky back, so McRoberts could continue to see a lot of burn on the court. Take advantage now and scoop him up from waivers because McRoberts will contribute to a lot of the hustle stats.
Steve Blake, PG, Los Angeles Lakers (6%)
Blake’s increased production in the past week in four games is partly because of Kobe Bryant’s recent “assault” by Dahntay Jones that has seen the Kobester play a quarter-worth of minutes versus the Indiana Pacers and miss the Lakers’ most recent game versus the Kings. Blake averaged 11.0 points on 50.0 percent shooting from the field and 52.4 percent behind the three line, 2.8 treys, 4.5 rebounds, 6.3 dimes and 1.5 steals in 32 minutes. When Bryant comes back is anyone’s guess, but he’s likely to sit out tonight versus the Phoenix Suns and considering the Lakers have won their past two games without a full smattering of Kobe and have only two games this week versus relatively weak teams (at the Wizards on Friday), Kobe could sit and Blake would only benefit. Grab Blake and start him in deep leagues.
Jae Crowder, SF/PF, Dallas Mavericks (2%)
Coming out of college, Crowder was known as a great college basketball player that could do a lot of things on the court, but was undersized headed to the NBA. However, it looks like Crowder is still tapping into that “I don’t give a f*#k what anyone says” mentality because he’s filled in just fine for an injured Shawn Marion, who is suffering a calf strain. In his last four games, Crowder is averaging 8.0 points on 50.0 percent shooting from the floor (6.5 FGA), 100.0 percent from the freebie line (0.5 FTA), 1.0 threes, 7.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.5 steals, and 0.8 rejections in 31 minutes per game. In a deep league, Crowder should be strongly considered because he can give an across-the-board boost you could use in the final weeks of pretend basketball, whether it’s in the playoffs or finishing out your roto season. Calf strains can be tricky, especially when you’re older, so the Matrix could continue to sit for this coming week.
Number of Team Games in Week 21 (3/18-3/24)
Five Games: POR
Four Games: ATL, BKN, BOS, CHA, CHI, DAL, DEN, IND, MEM, MIA, MIL, MIN, NYK, OKC, PHI, PHO, SAC, UTA, WAS
Three Games: CLE, DET, GSW, HOU, LAC, NOR, ORL, SAS, TOR
Two Games: LAL