Fantasy Basketball: Pts, Stls, 3s = Boring
When you are looking to pick up free agents, don’t get excited because you think you found the next 14 points, 1.5 three pointers, and 1 steal a game player. They are a dime a dozen. And by that, I mean that they get one assist for a dozen of other stats and that isn’t enough. They also can’t manage a rebound, block or decent field goal percentage. Right now here are the players that may help you if you need these stats, but I suggest staying away because you can get a different 5 of these next week and your energy would be more useful if you found a player to help you in other stats.
James Harden: His 14 PPG, 1.5 threes, and 1.3 SPG in December may seem appealing, and considering he will definitely help you in FT% while getting 3 RPG and 3 APG, Harden (who’s owned by 40% of yahoo leagues) feels like a great pickup. Next month he will decrease to 11 PPG, 1 three, and 1 steal. He’s not the worst pickup, but I wouldn’t get excited to think you have won your league because of your sneaky pickup.
Tracy McGrady: Players that used to be great and are now good players on bad teams are scary. In the last week, McGrady has averaged 12.7 PPG, 0.7 threes, and 1 steal and is only owned by 14% of leagues. Don’t read too much into this. Ask any Richard Hamilton or Ben Gordon owner if owning players on Detroit is fun. Hint: It’s not, they get 25 points one game and 2 the next, and it looks like McGrady is about to join that threesome of terribly mundane statistical productions.
Anthony Parker: A tempting choice with Mo Williams looking like he’s gonna play day-to-day and they’ve been starting Parker at forward. Especially considering he has averaged 13 PPG, 1.3 SPG and 2.1 threes over the past two weeks and he’s only owned in 10% of leagues. He’s also gotten 4.9 RPG and 3.1 APG. If you need steals and threes badly, take Parker – he’ll be of use – but don’t hold onto him too long. As soon as Mo-Will is healthy, Gibson and Sessions are getting the minutes they want, and Jamison is doing the scoring, Parker is back to the 25 minutes that gets him 8 points and less than a steal a game.
Mario Chalmers: He’s finally getting minutes and averaging 1.3 SPG and 1.9 Threes over the past two weeks. That’s it though. Don’t take him. He will get you no other stats and kill your FG%.
Mike Dunleavy: Yes he averaged over 5 rebounds a game and almost a block a game in December, but he’s also owned by 56% of leagues and only gets 1 steal, 1.8 threes and 12.4 PPG. When Brandon Rush or Josh McRoberts could easily start stealing minutes any game, Dunleavy is far from a long term solution to your problems.
So who should you get instead? Thanks for asking:
Linas Kleiza: If everybody in your league has been sleeping (as is happening in 53% of leagues) then you need to pickup Kleiza right now. In his last five games as a starter he has averaged 20.2 PPG, 6.4 RPG and 2.4 threes on 53.8 FG%. He won’t get you defensive stats, but he isn’t giving up that starter spot when Bargnani gets back if he keeps playing like he’s playing.
Shane Battier: I feel like I’m telling people to pick up Shane every time I write one of these columns, but he’s still only owned in 58% of leagues. Here are his December numbers: 10.4 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 3.0 APG, 1.2 SPG, 1.3 BPG, 2.1 3PG, on 48.5 FG%. Solid numbers that will help you all around.
DeMarcus Cousins: He’s now owned by 70% of leagues, but D-Cus has been on a rampage, averaging nearly 9 RPG and 0.7 blocks to go along with his 12.2 PPG in December.
Kenyon Martin: He’s available in over 80% of leagues and when he’s healthy he’s a top tier player. I heard that gasp at my attempt to call him a top tier player, but look at the numbers. He will always get you over a steal and a block every game, and last year he averaged over 9 rebounds and 11.5 points. He may suck at shooting free throws, but luckily he doesn’t shoot many, and he hurts you even less in turnovers. Keep an eye to see if K-Mart can stay healthy and snatch him up if he can. He can be a long term fix.
If you are in desperate need of rebounds you can also grab Chuck Hayes, but that is all he will get you.
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