Jason Richardson (64 percent owned in Yahoo, 39 percent owned in ESPN)
Although he is an old 31 years old with a recent history of knee problems, the trusty vet has been coming on strong after missing four games with an ankle sprain. Over his last four, Richardson is averaging 16.3 points with 3.6 treys, 4.3 rebounds and 1.6 steals. He may not be the most reliable over the long haul, but when healthy, J-Rich can give you the upper hand in rebound and block totals with his shooting guard eligibility.
Harrison Barnes (58 percent in Y!, 34 percent in ESPN)
Some people tend to stray away from rookies, but if you can afford to take on some turnovers, Barnes looks poised to take on a bigger role for the Warriors. If Andrew Bogut is about to miss as much time as he usually does, Golden State may opt for a smaller lineup featuring David Lee at the five with Carl Landry manning the four. This lineup puts more scoring onus on Barnes and he’s been proving he can handle the load by averaging 18.5 points on 58 percent from the field to go along with 12.0 boards over his two games. He is worth a speculative add.
Jordan Crawford (45 percent in Y!, 11 percent in ESPN)
The lesser of the NBA’s two Crawfords was given an opportunity to start on Saturday night and put on a heck of an audition. Jordan dropped in 20 points to go along with eight assists and a perfect 5-5 from the line. Crawford is a stat hound who, when given run, can put the ball in the hole and provide a nice source of dimes, threes and steals. As long as Randy Wittman keeps giving Crawford time, he can be deployed in all leagues with at least 12 teams.
Metta World Peace (44 percent in Y!, 45 percent in ESPN)
Nothing makes a fantasy basketball owner salivate more than the thought of a Mike D’Antoni-run offense. With the offensive guru in L.A. now, look for an uptick in offensive production from all of the Lakers. It’s easy to forget about Metta World Peace in a starting lineup full of studs, but quietly he has been putting together a nice season. To date, he is averaging 12.9 points with 2.2 treys, 5.1 rebounds and of course, 1.7 steals. With statistics that solid and the hope D’Antoni will quicken the pace, World Peace is definitely worth a look in most leagues.
Jason Kidd (59% Y!, 48% ESPN)
Although he is about a hundredth as useful as he used to be in fantasy, if you need help in certain categories, Jason Kidd can still help your team win. You’re obviously not going to count on him for scoring, but his lack of attempts won’t harm your field goal percentage. Even without many points, he’s averaging 1.6 treys per game and a very useful 1.7 steals. You don’t want to be too dependent on Kidd for dimes anymore, but as a fourth point guard, he can be a valuable addition to your squad.
Tristan Thompson (26 percent in Y!, 25 percent in ESPN)
The sophomore out of Texas has all the fantasy potential in the world; he just needs to realize it. At times, it looks like Thompson doesn’t have the aggression or confidence needed for him to impact the Cavs offensively. Thankfully for the second-year player, the season is just as young as he is and since such a high draft choice (No. 4 overall) was invested in him last year, he’ll have the opportunity to prove his worth. Over his last six games, he is averaging 11.1 points on 50 percent shooting from the field to go along with 8.8 rebounds and a steal. Expect the blocks to come back and the offensive efficiency to increase as the season wears on. Right now he is only usable in deeper leagues but might be worth a speculative add for the future.
These players should be almost universally owned by this point.
Jose Calderon (73 percent in Y!, 99 percent in ESPN)
With Kyle Lowry shelved 1-2 more weeks, Calderon will pick up all the production.
Carl Landry (59 percent in Y!, 92 percent in ESPN)
Even though he comes off the bench, Landry is the model of consistency and will pick up extra minutes while Andrew Bogut is on the mend.
These players will be out for an extended period of time but if an impatient owner cuts them, be ready to pounce.
*all statistics are from games through 11/17*
Who’s been your biggest pickup this year?
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