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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If you’re in the market for a big man, then this is your week to pounce. All of today’s pickups play in the frontcourt and are worth a look in most formats. Some will produce right away, some will require a stash, but either way, these are the top pickups for week three of the fantasy basketball season.
MARKIEFF MORRIS (53 percent owned in Yahoo!, 70 percent in ESPN)
After a one game suspension followed by a couple of clunkers to kick off the season, Morris is finally getting comfortable and rewarding fantasy owners for their patience. The Suns sixth man is putting up 22.8 points, 8.0 rebounds, 0.8 threes, and 2.0 steals over his last four games and has solidified his spot in the rotation. He’s worth a pickup in all formats.
ANDREA BARGNANI (59 percent owned in Y!, 47 percent in ESPN)
Tyson Chandler‘s broken leg hurt the Knicks defensively, but has forced them to use smaller lineups and push the pace. Enter Andrea Bargnani. Starting at the five, the Italian has put up 20.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.0 threes and 2.5 blocks in two games. Coach Mike Woodson has given him the freedom to take every single open look he gets, and the trend should continue until Chandler is back on the floor. Bargnani’s combination of blocks and threes makes him a must-own in all formats.
JOHN HENSON (18 percent owned in Y!, five percent in ESPN)
Both Larry Sanders and Ersan Ilyasova are day-to-day with injuries, making Henson a great near-sighted add for those of you looking for a big man this week. The second year center has put up 12.3 points, 8.7 rebounds and 1.3 blocks over his last four games. As long as the Milwaukee frontcourt is banged up, there will be minutes for Henson, so if you’re in a jam this week he’s your guy.
KELLY OLYNYK (42 percent owned in Y!, two percent in ESPN)
This is our second pickups piece of the young season, and for the second time, a different Celtic is featured. Olynyk quickly replaced Vitor Faverani in the starting lineup, and while he won’t produce in usual big man categories like field goal percentage and blocks, he’s still useful in most leagues of at least 12 teams. Over his last three games, the rookie is putting up 9.7 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists. He also hasn’t missed a free throw all year, although it’s only on seven attempts. You have to be aware of the Boston big man carousel, but for now, Olynyk is worth a speculative add.
JARED SULLINGER (10 percent owned in Y!, four percent in ESPN)
Surprise! It’s another Celtics big man for you to stew over before making your Monday pickups. However, Sullinger is more of a stash than anything else. He has put up 15.3 points and 6.0 rebounds with rock solid percentages over his last four games, but conditioning problems and a lack of steals, blocks and threes make his fantasy outlook a little shaky. Still, he’s my bet to be the best Boston big man by the end of the season, so if you can afford to wait on some production, give Sully the add.
STEVEN ADAMS (16 percent owned in Y!, four percent in ESPN)
Adams will test your patience for most of the season, but should pay off big time in the long run. With Kendrick Perkins fading fast, Adams has been getting a little extra burn. On Friday night, he played a career-high 30 minutes and produced 17 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks. In just 20 minutes a night, he’s averaging 6.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.3 blocks on 52 percent shooting from the field. His free throw percentage will hamper you a bit, but he’s still worth a speculative look in deeper leagues.
These guys were mentioned in previous editions. Go grab them if they’re still around.
Plumlee has come back to earth since his red-hot start, but he’s still roster worthy in every league.
Even though he splits time with Greivis Vasquez, Thomas produces enough point guard stats to warrant ownership.
Stephenson is making his case for Most Improved Player of the Year early on. Danny Granger‘s imminent arrival shouldn’t change that.
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)
Tyson Chandler (out for 4-6 more weeks)
Who are you looking to add this week?
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