Fantasy Basketball: The 5 Best Pickups Of The Week (1.22)

Devin Harris (26 percent owned in Yahoo!, nine percent in ESPN)
Lou Williams, one of the NBA’s biggest spark plugs, recently suffered a devastating knee injury which will keep him out for the rest of the season, and perhaps the beginning of next season, too. So who on the Atlanta Hawks will step up? You can expect an uptick in minutes from DeShawn Stevenson, Anthony Morrow and rookie John Jenkins, but I think the one to own is Devin Harris. His numbers are rather unspectacular, just 8.7 points, 1.9 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.3 treys and 1.0 steals on the season thus far, but he’s doing it in 23 minutes of play. In the seven games where he played more than 30 minutes, he’s averaging 16.0 points, 4.7 assists, 2.3 treys and 1.9 steals. Although he missed yesterday’s game with a sprained ankle and is considered day-to-day, Harris is worth the add as the most eligible player to pick up some stats left behind by Sweet Lou.

Wilson Chandler (41 percent owned in Y!, 10 percent in ESPN)
Wilson Chandler is back and fully healthy in Denver, and is putting up fantastic rotisserie league numbers. Through four games, he’s averaging 10.8 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.0 treys, 1.5 steals and 0.3 blocks. The Nuggets are a deep team and consistent playing time may be hard to come by, but Chandler puts up production across the board and should find a nice rhythm as he continues to play in more games. He is one of the rare fantasy players that has the upside to average a trey, a block and a steal, and while that upside probably won’t come to fruition this year, Chandler still holds plenty of value.

Elton Brand (56 percent owned in Y!, 45 percent in ESPN)
Once a bonafide top round pick in fantasy circles, Elton Brand has seen his production drop significantly over the past few seasons as his old knee injuries finally caught up with him. That was until he had time to figure things out with Dirk Nowitzki. The Mavericks have been playing much better, winning four out of their last five games. Over that stretch, Brand is averaging 13.0 points, 8.8 rebounds and 0.8 blocks. The low blocks number is a little fluky as Brand is averaging 1.2 on the season. You always have to be concerned about Brand missing games due to injury, but for what’s probably on your wire right now, he’s as solid as they come.

Carlos Delfino (24 percent owned in Y!, 36 percent in ESPN)
Carlos Delfino isn’t really anything other than a three-point specialist, but he more than holds his own in that category. Over his last six games, Delfino is averaging 14.2 points with 2.8 treys and 1.3 steals. Houston loves to push the pace and hoists up tons of three-balls – plus, with Jeremy Lin and James Harden‘s ability to get in the paint so easily, kick-outs to Delfino can be made with closed eyes. He won’t really help you out anywhere else, but if you need the treys, Delfino is your guy.

Eric Bledsoe (18 percent owned in Y!, 17 percent in ESPN)
Eric Bledsoe is one of the most intriguing players in fantasy basketball. If you’ve ever seen him play, he’s one of the most electrifying players in the league. He’s not afraid to throw his body around despite being listed at only 6-1, 195 pounds, and he filled in admirably for Chris Paul, starting three games and averaging 11.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 2.7 steals. Despite playing just under 19 minutes a game, Bledsoe averages 1.6 steals, so the upside is there. I don’t necessarily recommend that you rush to the wire and add him immediately, but perhaps the starting time will force Vinny Del Negro to give him a little extra run. Eric Bledsoe’s day will come in fantasy, but this unfortunately isn’t his year. He holds some value, but I would only suggest adding him on deeper leagues for now.

These guys were mentioned in last week’s edition. Go grab them if they’re still around.

Al-Farouq Aminu
Aminu is still beasting on the defensive end of the floor. He won’t help any offensive categories, but still deserves a roster spot.

John Henson
Not much short term value here, but like Andre Drummond, if he starts seeing floor time as the season drags on, he can dominate rebounds and blocks.

Tiago Splitter
Splitter’s numbers aren’t phenomenal, but he is a model of consistency and dominates field goal percentage.

Iman Shumpert
Playing time will be hard to come by as he strengthens his knee, and even harder once Felton is back in the mix, but his jumper looks improved and you can always count on Shump for steals.

These players will be out for an extended period of time, but if an impatient owner cuts them and you can afford to sit on an injury for a while, they are well worth the wait.

Andrew Bynum (should be back in a month or two)

Derrick Rose (should be back in a month or two)

Raymond Felton (should be back within the week)

Danny Granger (should be back in a few weeks)

Manu Ginobili (should be back within two weeks)

Kevin Love (out at least a month or two)

Andrea Bargnani (should be back in a month)

Who are you thinking of picking up this week?