Fantasy Basketball: The Week’s Best Pickups (12.17)

Bismack Biyombo (19 percent owned in Yahoo!, nine percent in ESPN)
Bismack Biyombo has recently been promoted to a starting role for the Charlotte Bobcats, immediately setting him up to be a force in fantasyland, especially in head-to-head formats. Biyombo is a blocks specialist who has a Samuel Dalembert (in his prime) upside. Offensively, he still has a lot of developing to do, so any points he gives you will just be gravy for your squad. Rebounding and shotblocking are his specialty though. Since entering his starting role, Biyombo is averaging just 6.2 points, but 8.6 rebounds and 1.6 blocks, warranting an add in most fantasy formats.

Jose Calderon (70 percent owned in Y!, 90 percent in ESPN)
Once again, Kyle Lowry finds himself on the injury report, thus propelling Jose Calderon back into fantasy relevance. Unfortunately, Lowry’s torn tricep will only keep him out about ten days or so, but since taking over for him, Calderon is putting up 13.5 points, 9.5 assists, 0.8 steals and 1.8 treys, including a triple-double Sunday. Even when Calderon is relegated back to the bench, he may even warrant a stash, as trade rumors swirl around Andrea Bargnani and him. In a starting role, Calderon is a legitimate middle-tier fantasy point guard and should be closely monitored even with Kyle Lowry in the lineup.

Bradley Beal (58 percent owned in Y!, 55 percent in ESPN)
The Real Deal Beal is finally breaking out of his shell of late, and just in time for the return of John Wall. In the month of December, he’s putting up 14.7 points, 1.3 treys, 1.3 steals and 0.4 blocks. Beal has the ability to shoot threes with the best of them and can also give your blocks a boost with his shooting guard eligibility. Sure he will go through the usual ups and downs that come along with being a rookie, but as he becomes more acclimated to the professional game, his stat lines will show the progress. Add Beal now and expect that he’ll get better with time.

Ed Davis (29 percent in Y!, 34 percent in ESPN)
The Toronto Raptors are pretty banged up these days, allowing for some extra run for Ed Davis. Over his last four games, he’s averaging 14.3 points on 68 percent from the field with 8.8 rebounds and 1.0 blocks, and will continue to see plenty of time until Andrea Bargnani returns. Like Jose Calderon, Bargnani has been the subject of trade rumors and didn’t help his cause by calling his team one of the worst in the league. If Bargnani is shipped somewhere else, it will open up a great opportunity for Davis so while he is a great addition to your team’s short term plans, a trade can all of a sudden have him on your squad for the long term as well.

Jeff Green (14 percent owned in Y!, 10 percent in ESPN)
Right now, this suggestion is for deeper leagues, but Jeff Green is showing fantasy relevance for the first time since he was traded to Boston. Over his last eight games he’s averaging 14.3 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.3 treys, 0.4 steals and 0.4 blocks. Green probably won’t approach the one steal, one block, one trey club like he used to, but his stat lines are certainly useful, especially in rotisserie formats.

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

Kevin Seraphin
Seraphin is still fantasy relevant, even as Nene‘s minutes are increasing.

Larry Sanders
Sanders is a rebounding and shotblocking specialist. Go grab him now if he’s still available.

Nikola Vucevic
Guaranteed minutes on an Orlando squad that lacks depth in their frontcourt.

Andre Drummond
I promise this will be the last time I write about him until he breaks out. He’s not seeing significant time yet, but once he does, he will put up big time defensive stats. Stash him now if you can.

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.

Amar’e Stoudemire (should be back within the next week or two)

Dirk Nowitzki 
(should be back within a few weeks)

John Wall 
(could be back in a couple weeks)

Steve Nash 
(should be back within the next week or two)

Eric Gordon 

(should be back within the next month)

Andrew Bynum 

(no set timetable yet)

Danny Granger (no set timetable yet)

Andrea Bargnani (no set timetable yet)

Derrick Rose 
(no set timetable yet)

Which unknown player do you expect to blow up in the second half of the season?

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