Basketball demands we break down its players not just by stats, but by the time and place they occur. That’s not the case in NBA fantasy hoops, though, where cold calculations rule the day and the matchup. Who are the Fantasy Doctor’s choices for this week’s best pickups? Hit the jump to find out.
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AVERY BRADLEY, Boston Celtics (59 percent owned in Yahoo!, 34 percent in ESPN)
Bradley was just getting hot, averaging 19.8 points in the last five games before be hurt his ankle and missed the next five games. He returned to the court on Sunday and put up 17 points, two rebounds and two assists against the Magic, and looks to be a solid play for anyone in need of points, steals and threes. The dynamic backcourt of Bradley and Rajon Rondo should be able to force tons of turnovers, and Bradley will even see an uptick in production when Rondo sits out back-to-backs. You’re not going to do much better at shooting guard off the wire.
EVAN FOURNIER, Denver Nuggets (eight percent owned in Yahoo!, one percent in ESPN)
Fournier was emerging as a deeper league play in his limited minutes before last week, but now that Nate Robinson is out for the season with an ACL injury, the Frenchman will have even more opportunity to impress. Many have speculated that the Nuggets will look to trade for a shooting guard, but I like to think that management knows they have one in house. Fournier has started and averaged 18.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 3.0 treys and 2.5 steals over the last two games and looks to be a safe source for points, threes and rebounds. He’s worth a look in most leagues of at least 12 teams.
STEVE BLAKE, Los Angeles Lakers (12 percent owned in Yahoo!, six percent in ESPN)
A few years ago, you would’ve been crazy to leave Steve Nash on the wire to acquire Blake, but that’s exactly what I’m recommending you do now. It’s possible that Kendall Marshall keeps his job, and both the Steves are irrelevant within weeks, but for now, Blake may return on Tuesday night and can help out any team in need of assists. There isn’t much upside here, but quality point guards don’t just grow on trees in the fantasy game, so if you’re in need of help at that position, Blake is your guy for the week.
TIM HARDAWAY JR., New York Knicks (20 percent owned in Yahoo!, 13 percent in ESPN)
Iman Shumpert has missed the last couple games with a sprained shoulder, moving J.R. Smith to the starting lineup and Hardaway Jr. into the sixth man role. With more rotation minutes, Hardaway Jr. has been thriving, averaging 20.6 points and 3.6 threes over his last three contests. He’s a dependable source for points, threes and field goal percentage, and if he keeps up his stellar play, he could carve a more permanent role out for himself. It’s definitely a situation to keep your eye on.
These guys were mentioned in previous editions and are listed in order of desirability. Go grab them if they’re still around.
Waiting on injured players is tough, especially once the zeros start piling up. However, this is the time of year to do it. If you start slipping too much in the standings, you can go ahead and drop these guys, but for now, they’re worth the stash. This list is limited to guys with long-term injuries, so be sure to keep your eye out for players that are day-to-day too.
Chris Paul (out at least a week)
Russell Westbrook (out until after the All-Star break)
Kobe Bryant (out at least two more weeks)
Eric Bledsoe (out 1-3 weeks)
Who are you looking to make a move for right now?
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