Fantasy Basketball: The Week’s 5 Best Pickups (11.4)

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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MILES PLUMLEE (61 percent owned in Yahoo!, 60 percent in ESPN)
The Marcin Gortat trade paved the way for plenty of opportunity for Plumlee, and he’s making the most of his time on the floor. Plumlee has come out of nowhere, and looks to be a safe bet to average a double-double. Last week, he averaged 10.3 points, 11.0 rebounds and 2.3 blocks, but more importantly, averaged 33 minutes per game. With the Suns looking forward to next year’s draft more than anything else, Plumlee should be in line for plenty of run this year and should be picked up in all formats.

VITOR FAVERANI (46 percent owned in Yahoo!, 15 percent in ESPN)
Faverani’s value is on the rise right now, so if he’s still available in your league, grab him while you can. After winning the starting job at the end of the preseason, the Brazilian rookie impressed over the first week, averaging 11.0 points, 7.7 rebounds and 3.3 blocks. He showed his ceiling on Friday night against Milwaukee, putting up 12 points, 18 rebounds and six blocks, but his floor last night with an effort of just eight points, two rebounds and one block. There will be some inconsistencies with the rookie big man, but he’s still worth the add if you need a big.

ISAIAH THOMAS (68 percent owned in Yahoo!, 100 percent in ESPN)
As much as the Kings love Greivis Vasquez, they can’t totally shut the door on Isaiah Thomas. A strong preseason forced Thomas into the rotation, and he has carried that success into the regular season, putting up 19.0 points, 3.0 rebounds and 4.7 assists over the first week. There’s always the concern of Vasquez stealing time, but so far Thomas is averaging almost four more minutes per game. As long as he’s hot, keep rolling Thomas out there.

LANCE STEPHENSON (69 percent owned in Yahoo!, 32 percent in ESPN)
Stephenson has carried a strong end to last year over to this season, and will continue to see plenty of time as long as Danny Granger remains sidelined. Over his first three games, he’s averaging 19.0 points, 6.7 rebounds and 4.0 assists. Most importantly for the fantasy basketball world, he looks to have improved his three-ball, averaging 3.0 per game. Stephenson is definitely worth the add, and will probably stay relevant even upon Granger’s return.

XAVIER HENRY (22 percent owned in Yahoo!, five percent in ESPN)
A gash that required stitches has marred Henry’s per game averages, but he still put up 14.3 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.3 treys last week. He looks to be the most confident scorer on the second unit, and in due time, may push a struggling Nick Young for a starting gig. Kobe Bryant is obviously going to come back and take the lion’s share of minutes, but for now, Henry is worth the speculative add.

Waiting on injured players is tough, especially when the zeroes 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.

Kobe Bryant (no timetable for a return yet)

Rajon Rondo (no timetable for a return yet)

Kevin also writes for the brand new TurnOnTheKnicks.com. Catch them on Twitter at @TurnOnTheKnicks

Who are you looking to add this week?

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