The NBA trade deadline has come and gone and things were surprisingly quiet this season. While there were plenty of deals involving low-end players, none of the bigger names that were reportedly on the block ended up changing teams. One of the teams that decided to stand pat at this year's deadline was the Lakers. Los Angeles will try to make the postseason with its current roster intact and the team is finally starting to string some wins together. One of the reasons for this is the fact that coach Mike D'Antoni has finally narrowed his rotation. D'Antoni has only been using eight players over the past few weeks, including veteran Antawn Jamison.
Jamison has been in and out of the rotation for most of the season, but has finally settled into his current bench role. Jamison has been seeing a healthy dose of minutes over the past few weeks, resulting in the veteran's most productive stretch of the season. In fact, Jamison has scored in double figures in a season-best five straight games and is averaging 16 points and six rebounds over that stretch on 43 percent shooting. He is also shooting 44 percent from downtown and attempting 2.8 3-pointers over that span as he continues to see open looks from deep in the Lakers' free-flowing offense. While at age 36 Jamison is no longer the high-end option he was back in his earlier days, he is proving he can still be a useful option on Fantasy teams when seeing consistent minutes. With the defensively challenged Nuggets and Timberwolves on the slate this week, owners are highly encouraged to leave Jamison active in the upcoming scoring period.
Find a place for 'em
Isaiah Thomas, G, Kings (@MIA, @ORL, @SA, CHA): The Kings seem to making news for all the wrong reasons lately as the team's possible move to Seattle and trade of No. 5 pick Thomas Robinson have made national headlines. However, the one story nobody seems to be talking about is the improved play of Thomas. The second-year guard has been on quite a run of late as he has scored in double figures in each of his last eight games and is averaging 19.5 points over that span on 48 percent shooting from the field. Thomas has been especially hot from 3-point land during his run as he has knocked down eight treys over his last four games and is making 45 percent of his shots from behind the arc. While the Kings look to have some tough matchups on tap this week, Thomas has thrived against Sacramento's next four opponents. In fact, he posted a 15-7-5 stat line in his lone meeting against the Bobcats this season, and torched the Heat for a career-best 34 points back in January. Thomas also went for 17 points when he faced the Magic back in December and is averaging 16.2 points and 4.8 assists in five career games -- four starts -- against the Spurs. Fantasy owners should continue to ride Thomas' hot hand this week.(owned in 78 percent of leagues)
Danny Green, G, Spurs (PHO, SAC, DET): The Spurs keep racking up the wins and while Tony Parker and Tim Duncan garner most of the attention, Green's recent play is a big reason for the team's success. The 25-year-old has caught fire in recent weeks as he entered Sunday's matchup against the Suns averaging 16.7 points over his last 10 games. He is shooting 54 percent from the field during his recent run and is also giving owners 3.4 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.9 steals while seeing more than 31 minutes per game (31.5). However, Green's biggest asset to Fantasy owners is his ability to knock down 3-pointers and that is exactly what he has been doing. The second-year guard has made at least two treys in nine of his last 10 games and is shooting a whopping 54 percent from behind the arc over that span. Green should be able to keep things rolling in Week 18 as he looks to have some favorable matchups on tap. The Suns are allowing opponents to shoot 39 percent from downtown on the year -- which ranks dead last -- while the Trail Blazers rank near the bottom of the pack in points allowed (99.9) and opponent field-goal percentage (46.7). Green also knocked down seven 3-pointers during his lone meeting against the Pistons earlier in the month so owners looking for help at guard this week should consider rolling with the sharp-shooter while he is red-hot.(owned in 63 percent of leagues)
Maurice Harkless, F, Magic (@PHI, SAC, HOU, MEM): The Magic were one of the more active teams at the trade deadline as Orlando shipped out a ton of rotation players, including J.J. Redick. That means some of Orlando's younger players will get a chance to see increased minutes moving forward as the Magic evaluate its roster for the future. Harkless has already been asked to take on a larger role as the rookie was pressed back into the starting lineup once Glen Davis went down for the year. He has more than responded to his increased role, averaging 11.5 points and 6.4 rebounds over his last 13 games as a starter. However, he has been especially hot of late as he is putting 16.8 points and seven rebounds during his last four games and is shooting 49 percent from the field over that span. With Redick now gone, Harkless will be asked to continue to shoulder an increased scoring load and based on some of his Week 18 matchups, he should be able to maintain his productive ways. The Rockets and Kings are both ranked last and next-to-last in scoring defense while the 76ers are surrendering an average of 101.6 points over their last five games. Harkless also finished with 19 points and nine rebounds against the Grizzlies in Week 17 (Feb. 18-24) and we see no reason why he can't do it again. Consider rolling with the 19-year-old in the upcoming scoring period. (owned in 52 percent of leagues)
Derrick Williams, F, T'Wolves (@PHO, @LAL, @POR): While the losses continue to mount up in Minnesota, the recent play of Williams has been one of the few bright spots for the Timberwolves. The 21-year-old continues to earn starts at power forward for coach Rick Adelman as he has scored in double figures in six of his past eight contests and is averaging a healthy 16.1 points and 8.8 rebounds over that span. He is shooting 44 percent from the field during his recent hot streak and looks to have some favorable matchups on the docket this week as well. The Trail Blazers and Suns both rank near the bottom of the pack in points allowed and opposition field-goal percentage, while the Lakers are also surrendering more than 100 points per game. Williams dropped in 15 points and nine rebounds in his lone contest against Los Angeles earlier in the year and has averaged more than 20-plus Fantasy points in each of the last three scoring periods. Fantasy owners looking for help at the forward position should continue to roll with Williams this week. (owned in 65 percent of leagues)
Andray Blatche, C, Nets (@NO, DAL, @CHI): After completely falling off the Fantasy map for a few weeks, it looks like Blatche is slowly but surely starting to work his way back into form. The 26-year-old has managed to score in double figures in three of his last four contests and is putting up a respectable 10 points and 6.5 rebounds over that span on 55 percent shooting from the field. He is also seeing 19 minutes per game during his mini run as coach P.J. Carlisemo continues to dish out his minutes based on matchups and game flow. The Nets will likely lean on the veteran this week as the Brooklyn will be facing some bigger teams. While the Mavericks play with a small lineup most of the time, the Hornets have a ton of big bodies on their front line as do the Bulls. Blacthe has averaged 10 points and 4.5 rebounds in his two previous meeting against Chicago this season and has averaged 19.4 minutes in those meetings. We would expect Blatche to at least be able to match that this week, which makes him a viable low-end option at the extremely thin center position.(owned in 38 percent of leagues)
Put 'em on your bench
Jerryd Bayless, G, Memphis (DAL, @MIA, @ORL): After spending much of the season as a Fantasy afterthought, Bayless turned a few heads and gained new owners after his torrid nine-game stretch that started at the end of January and lasted into early February. He averaged 16.4 points and 4.6 assists on 53 percent shooting from the field over that span, but has since fallen back down to Earth. The 24-year-old made a loud dud when he landed as he is averaging just six points over his last six games and was even shutout in his last contest. Bayless is shooting just 35 percent from the field during his slide but has still managed to put up 3.7 assists. Bayless is clearly trending downward at the moment and things won't get any easier this week with the stingy Heat and Mavericks on the schedule. Despite the promise of seeing 20-plus minutes over the next week, owners are best to look at other options at the guard spot.(owned in 52 percent of leagues)
Kendall Marshall, G, Suns (MIN, @SA, ATL): After spending much of the first four-plus months of his NBA career on the bench or in the D-League, the Suns have finally decided to give Marshall a look. The team traded backup point guard Sebastian Telfair to the Raptors last week to open up some minutes for the rookie from the University of North Carolina. While his ownership has already started -- and will continue -- to grow moving forward, owners would be best to exercise some patience for the time being. Marshall is still being eased into the rotation and has scored a combined nine points in his four games since the All-Star break. He has averaged 11 minutes over that span, but we would expect his playing time and production to be on the rise in the coming weeks. However, with the playoffs a mere six weeks away in most leagues, owners are best to take a wait-and-see approach with Marshall for the time being. We strongly recommend leaving Marshall reserved heading into Week 18.(owned in five percent of leagues)
Kyle Singler, F, Pistons (ATL, @WAS, @NO, @SA): The Pistons have really struggled coming out of the All-Star break and unfortunately for Fantasy owners, so has Singler. The rookie has scored a combined 19 points on 34 percent shooting from the field since play resumed last week, which isn't going to help many owners out this time of year. We have seen this from Singler before this season as he has gone through the typical ups and downs that most first-year players in the association go through. At his best, Singler can be considered a decent source for points, rebounds and even 3-pointers as evidenced back in January. However, his inconsistent production has made him more of a liability rather than an asset of late -- especially for owners in category-based formats. While the Pistons are slated to play four times this week, Singler's recent cold spell makes him an extremely risky start. Owners should consider looking at other options in Week 18.(owned in 26 percent of leagues)
Brandon Bass, F, Celtics (@UTA, GS): Injuries have helped Bass reclaim a starting role for the Celtics, but the 27-year-old has not been able to take advantage of his increased playing time. In fact, Bass has only managed to score in double figures in two of his last 10 games entering Sunday's tilt at Portland and he is averaging a very pedestrian 7.8 points and 5.9 rebounds over that span. While those numbers aren't terrible, most expected a bit more from Bass. However, the days of him consistently scoring in double figures seems to be long gone -- even on Boston's depleted roster. While Bass will still post a stat line or two that will turn a few heads, his overall production has been that of merely a low-end option. Boston is one of two teams scheduled to play only twice in the upcoming scoring period, which doesn't give owners a ton of room for error. Fantasy owners should leave Bass reserved heading into the upcoming scoring period. (owned in 27 percent of leagues)
Chris Kaman, C, Mavericks(MIL, @MEM, @BKN, @HOU): After missing nearly three weeks with a concussion, Kaman was finally able to get back on the court during Dallas' latest loss to the Lakers. While that should be a welcome sight for the 50 percent of Fantasy owners in CBSSports.com standard formats who own the 7-footer, we would not recommend getting him active this week. Kaman only logged eight minutes during his first game back on the court and that trend is likely to continue moving forward as the Mavericks will look to ease the 30-year-old back into action. Fantasy owners should also keep in mind that Kaman's playing time was starting to dwindle prior to his injury as coach Rick Carlisle was giving rookie Bernard James more run at the five. In fact, Kaman lost his starting job to James just two games prior to his concussion and was averaging just 11.6 minutes in a reserve role. Wait until Kaman proves to be healthy and productive before getting him active again -- especially in this scoring period. (owned in 50 percent of leagues)