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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TOBIAS HARRIS (56 percent owned in Yahoo!, 46 percent owned in ESPN)
Owners who drafted Harris can’t be happy with his delayed return from an ankle injury, and most have even parted ways with him for good. My advice would be to scoop him up as fast as you can and stash him until he comes back. Harris won’t be out for too much longer than a couple weeks, and he put up 17.3 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.0 treys and 1.4 blocks per 36 minutes in Orlando last season. It may to tough sledding while he gets his legs beneath him, but he’s definitely worth the add in the long run.
TERRENCE JONES (20 percent owned in Y!, nine percent owned in ESPN)
Omer Asik‘s trade demand has opened up a starting gig for Jones, who was only minimally owned before last week. In those four games, he’s averaging 10.0 points, 10.3 rebounds, 1.0 treys and 2.0 blocks. Anyone who can knock down threes and block shots carries serious value, so as long as Jones is starting he’s a player worth owning.
JORDAN HILL (50 percent owned in Y!, 52 percent owned in ESPN)
Hill has overtaken Chris Kaman‘s minutes and is thriving in the role. In his last four games, all as a starter, he’s averaging 18.8 points, 12.0 rebounds, 0.8 steals and 1.8 blocks, while shooting 62 percent from the field. As long as he’s playing major minutes in Mike D’Antoni‘s up-tempo offense, Hill is worth a look.
MO WILLIAMS (19 percent owned in Y!, 19 percent owned in ESPN)
Mo-Will has had a hard time being fantasy relevant since parting ways with LeBron James, but he’s carving out a nice role off the bench in Portland. Over his last five games, he’s putting up 14.4 points, 3.2 rebounds, 5.6 assists, 1.2 threes and 1.6 steals. The Blazers are cruising at 9-2 and C.J. McCollum is still a ways off from returning, so Williams has a safe job for now. Anyone looking for a guard should make the add.
STEVE BLAKE (49 percent owned in Y!, 70 percent owned in ESPN)
Steve Nash wasn’t able to play in back-to-backs before he got hurt, so now that he’s out for a while, Blake has become twice as valuable. He’s on a tear in the assists department, averaging 10.3 over his last six games. Despite the Lakers need for a quality point guard, GM Mitch Kupchak says the team isn’t currently in the hunt for one, meaning Blake will continue his fantasy relevance.
ANDRAY BLATCHE (13 percent owned in Y!, one percent owned in ESPN)
Brook Lopez hurt his ankle over the weekend and has been seen limping badly since, making Blatche a nice plug-and-play for at least the beginning of this week. On Saturday night against the Clippers, he put up 19 points and eight rebounds with a three and a steal, then 10 points, five boards and a combined four steals and blocks last night. If you need a short-term starter, Blatche is your guy.
JORDAN CRAWFORD (41 percent owned in Y!, 53 percent owned in ESPN)
Crawford has taken over Avery Bradley‘s starting job and doesn’t look to be giving it back anytime soon. In seven games as a starter, he’s averaging 12.6 points, 3.4 rebounds and 5.6 assists, with 0.9 threes and 1.4 steals. His field goal percentage gets a little erratic at times, but if you can afford to take that on, you’ll have a fantasy relevant point guard until Rajon Rondo comes back.
TONY WROTEN (19 percent owned in Y!, 20 percent owned in ESPN)
Just as quick as Michael Carter-Williams burst onto the scene, he left it in a walking boot, leaving all the point guard minutes for Wroten. Since taking over the starting duties, he was averaging 19.7 points, 4.3 rebounds and 6.3 assists, with 0.7 threes and 1.0 steals before last night. Then against Dallas yesterday in 37 minutes, he put up 19 points, three rebounds, three assists and a ridiculous five steals. Like Blatche, he’s a near-sighted add, but he certainly can help your team win this week.
OMER ASIK (47 percent owned in Y!, 52 percent owned in ESPN)
Asik will practice today and expects to play in tonight’s game. He’s probably only worth a look in deeper leagues, but those who can afford to stash him until a trade is made should do it. You should have a legitimate starting center by the trade deadline.
These guys were mentioned in previous editions. Go grab them if they’re still around.
Stephenson has transformed himself into a must-start, despite Danny Granger‘s imminent return.
Thomas is continuing to splint point guard time with Greivis Vasquez, and on some nights outplaying him. As long as there are minutes for Thomas, keep rolling him out there.
Morris came back to Earth a little bit last week, but still deserves ownership in all leagues.
Plumlee is going to push a double-double every night and has a block in all but one game.
Until Tyson Chandler returns, Bargnani will see even more run than usual. He’s producing big time as a starter.
Milwaukee’s banged-up frontcourt opens up all the opportunity in the world for Henson, but can he keep consistent minutes when Ersan Ilyasova and Larry Sanders return?
Threes, steals and blocks may be hard to consistently come by, but Sullinger is a solid play and won’t really hurt you anywhere.
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. This list is limited to guys that are sidelined for an extended period of time, so keep your eye out for players that are day-to-day too.
Kobe Bryant (no timetable for a return yet)
Rajon Rondo (no timetable for a return yet)
Tyson Chandler (out for 4-6 more weeks)
Larry Sanders (out at least 5 more weeks)
Who are you looking to pickup this week?
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