Fantasy Basketball: Short & Long Game
One of the keys to winning your Fantasy Basketball league is knowing how to add and drop players. It’s not a matter of just getting the best player off the waiver wire, but it also is about getting the right player. So Aaron Brooks went down and now you need to get 3s elsewhere, or you need help in defensive statistics because Anthony Randolph and Al Jefferson didn’t work out.
I’m gonna break these pickups into two categories. There is the short term fix – which includes a player who is bound to help your team out, but you have to be willing to cut him when the player he is replacing in the lineup comes back to play. He will not stay on your team through the playoffs. Eric Bledsoe was the perfect short term fix for those teams who were lacking in assists early on. These are typically players who will be getting extra minutes because of an injury and will make the most of it.
Short Term Fixes:
If you need assists and Kyle Lowry is still available in your league as he is in 61% of leagues, then you better snatch him up. Sure Aaron Brooks will be back soon, but Lowry is averaging 7.7 APG, 2.1 SPG, and 0.9 3s while adding in 4.3 RPG and 11 PPG as a starter. If you aren’t in a league full of dolts and Lowry is gone, then a quick fix is JJ Barea. His minutes have been increasing as Kidd realizes that 37 year olds aren’t supposed to sprint around with a ball that much. When JJ gets over 20 minutes, he averages 4.75 assists. I predict somewhere around 5 APG until Rodrigue comes back.
Let’s say you need rebounds right now instead. My favorite short term fix is Ersan Ilyasova. The Buck has been averaging 8.6 RPG in the last 5 games – the time that Drew Gooden has been out. He’s also getting 12 PPG, 1.6 SPG, and 1.4 3s and he’s only owned in 15% of leagues. Drew Gooden does not look like he’s gonna be truly healthy for a while, which will give EI plenty of time to rack up stats. DeJuan Blair is another player who will help you in rebounds and steals, but Blair is sporadic and scary to have on a team. Brendan Haywood will get you some blocks to go with your rebounds, but he’s still a back up to Tyson Chandler and shouldn’t be a long term solution to your big man woes. Until Yao returns to the Rockets, Brad Miller is worth a look as he will get you decent rebounding numbers complimented by 3s and points. And if points is what you are looking for, Marvin Williams is looking to get an increase in minutes with Joe Johnson out and he’s only owned in 38% of leagues.
Long Term Solutions:
Amir Johnson should be owned in all leagues instead of the 53% that he is owned in now. In the four games he has started this season he has averaged 13.5 points, 7.8 rebs, 1.3 stls, 1.8 blks on 69.7% shooting from the field. He will be starting now with Reggie Evans out and you should expect these numbers for the rest of the season. Wesley Matthews is another player that you’ve probably already missed out on, but it looks like the Batum experiment is over and Wes Mat is gonna be getting the minutes next to Roy to score and steal in bunches. What if you are just in need of some threes? The obvious choice is to go with James Jones, but his stock will plummet when Mike Miller comes back. A player who is owned by only 6% of leagues and just got 7 threes in a game while starting is Jodie Meeks. He plays for Philly so picking him up is a risk, but if you are desperate for threes, he might just be the player because it looks like the 76ers are giving him a shot. A less risky player to take is Jerryd Bayless. He’s another player in a crowded backcourt, but if he plays he will be getting you rebounds and assists too. If you really hate risk, go with George Hill or Shane Battier who will get you 3s and points or 3s and defensive stats respectively.
The last big pickup you should be thinking about is one if you need rebounds and/or steals. In the last 10 games he’s gotten 6.8 RPG and 2 SPG. His name is impossible to spell or pronounce, but you should learn it because he will keep getting these numbers the rest of the season. Thabo Sefolosha.
Here are your top ten pickups by value (percentage of leagues they are owned in):
1. Jerryd Bayless (8%)
2. Amir Johnson (58%)
3. Thabo Sefolosha (17%)
4. Shane Battier (44%)
5. Kyle Lowry (39%)
6. Wesley Matthews (59%)
7. Ersan Ilyasova (15%)
8. Marvin Williams (38%)
9. Brad Miller (29%)
10. Jodie Meeks (6%)
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