By now you've probably realized the more recognizable names don't always make for the best Roto players. Guys like Jeff Green, Jimmy Butler and Harrison Barnes might have serious merit in the NBA, but their sub-42 percent field-goal shooting combined with a lack of peripheral stats makes them less than appealing in category-based Fantasy formats. It's going to be tough to drop one of them for Boris Diaw (36 percent), who became a must-add with the news that Manu Ginobili will be out for 3-4 weeks. San Antonio is now without four key contributors to its 2013 Finals run, meaning Diaw is slated for heavy minutes (pun intended). He's an efficient, center-eligible player who gets assists and threes. Just do it.
(All stats up to date through Jan. 29 games. Info provided by NBA.com and Teamrankings.com)
The scoring column has blown up over the last few weeks for a few people, with three players eclipsing the 50-point mark. We've come to expect such outbursts from Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant, but Terrence Ross? We didn't see that coming. We knew the guy could score, and shoot threes for that matter, but 51 on 10 three pointers? Impressive, but shouldn't be expected going forward. Take the fact that he followed it up with a 10-point outing as proof that we might not see Ross go over 30 points again this season. Tip your hat to him, but leave him out in free agency, as all he provides is moderate scoring and occasional threes. ... Courtney Lee and Mike Scott are both widely available players who have been on a roll. Lee has put together a string of seven double-digit scoring nights in his last eight games, and Scott has amassed an even more impressive nine straight double-digit scoring games, while averaging just 22 minutes per game in that span. ... Andray Blatche is on a bit of a hot streak, averaging 17.0 points per game over the last two weeks. ... Nicolas Batum does a lot, but his scoring has been way down lately. He's averaging just 8.9 points per game over the last two weeks, and it might have something to do with the finger splint he's had to wear on his left hand lately. ... Dwyane Wade has only played in three of his team's last eight games and has only scored eight points in each of those outings. He's planning to start Wednesday against the Thunder, but it might be time to try and move Wade in weekly leagues. In daily leagues, you probably will have to sell low on him, so just keep him around and pay extra attention to his status day to day.
If Timofey Mozgov (33 percent) played for a different team, he might be one of the top centers in Roto. He's hitting 67.1 percent of his field goals, 81.0 percent of his free throws, scoring 10.0 points and blocking 1.5 shots per game over the last 30 days. The problem is he's only averaged 20.8 minutes per game over that span, and he plays with rebound hogs Kenneth Faried and J.J. Hickson, leading to his 5.1 average on the boards. He's still worth a pickup, but Brian Shaw has not been kind to Fantasy owners with they way he's dispersed Mozgov's minutes. ... Anyone who bashes Chris Bosh knows nothing about efficiency. He's shooting 56.2 percent from the field over the last 30 days, while chipping in with 82.6 percent free-throw shooting, 18.6 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.0 made threes per game. If you're frustrated with Dwyane Wade, trying to trade him straight up for Chris Bosh might be the best value you can get, because Bosh will be the main beneficiary of Wade's periodic absences. ... Jason Thompson (45 percent) has been extra efficient lately, hitting 57.0 percent of his shots from the field over the last 30 days. He's proved useful while DeMarcus Cousins has been out, recording three double-doubles in his last six games. ... Tyson Chandler has quietly been awesome for Roto. His blocks are down, but he's still hitting 56.1 percent of his field goal attempts while scoring 8.0 points and grabbing 9.3 rebounds over the last 30 days. He also hasn't been bad from the free throw line, sinking 72.7 percent of them in that span.
Tobias Harris has been a monster on the boards with Nikola Vucevic out of the Magic lineup. Harris' value likely peaked with his 28-point, 20-rebounds performance Friday against the Lakers. This means it's probably time to sell high on Harris before the Orlando gets healthy and his numbers drop. ... An up-and-down sophomore season for Jonas Valanciunas looks like it's on the upswing for now. He's recorded back-to-back double-doubles while averaging 9.1 rebounds per game over the last two weeks. ... Speaking of up and down, Markieff Morris followed up a 15-rebound performance with a three-rebound outing. It's very hard to peg this suns team other than Goran Dragic. Morris has been scoring well at 19.4 points per game over the last two weeks, but his rebounding has been so erratic that it's hard to trust him. ... Blake Griffin's assists are up, but his rebounds are way down. He's only grabbed 7.1 per game over the last two weeks -- down from almost 10 per game on the season. ... I've ragged on George Hill all year, but I guess he's been OK in Roto lately -- that is if you've got a sizable lead in the assist column. His 4.9 rebounds, 55.8 field-goal percentage and 93.8 percent free-throw rate over the last two weeks somewhat make up for his disappointing 3.3 assists per game on the year. ...
Greivis Vasquez (62 percent) seems to be finding a role off the bench for his new team, as he's averaged 5.4 assist per game over the last two weeks for the Raptors. His short term value is on the rise, but his stock will skyrocket if Kyle Lowry somehow gets traded before the deadline. ... Phil Pressey (five percent) is another reserve point guard getting a decent run at playing time lately. He's also averaging 5.4 assists per game over the last two weeks while spelling Rondo in his first few weeks back from injury. ... Anderson Varejao has been doing his best Joakim Noah impression helping the Cavaliers facilitate, averaging 4.7 assists per game over the last two weeks. He missed Tuesday's game with weeks, but looks like he'll continue to surpass our Fantasy expectations once he gets healthy. ... Bradley Beal has been helping John Wall carry the assist load, dishing out 4.1 assists per game over the last two weeks. If he can start producing consistently in this category, he'll have some serious value heading into next season. ... Mario Chalmers (63 percent) is back from an Achilles injury and assisting well for Miami. He's totaled 30 assists in six games since returning, and is a nice source of steals anytime he's in the lineup. ... Shelvin Mack (12 percent) is another available guy averaging more than five assists per game over the last two weeks. Grab him now while his minute totals are peaking.
As I predicted last week on our podcast, Damian Lillard has hit a slump and it stems directly from his over-reliance on threes. Lillard hit five threes on Jan. 15 but has gone on to make just 11 in the eight games that followed. During this stretch he's shooting an abysmal 22.9 percent from three, as opposed to the 44.5 percent he was making leading up to it. Almost half (45 percent) of Lillard's made field goals on the season have been threes. The Trailblazers offense does encourage players to fire away from deep, and he's only halfway through his second season, so there's still time to prove me wrong. But he's one of only four players averaging at least seven three point attempts per game on the season, and the other three are Stephen Curry, Ryan Anderson and Klay Thompson. Those are three of the purest shooters in the league, and the way I see it, Lillard's just not. ... Randy Foye, Jodie Meeks and Mirza Teletovic are all making at least 3.0 threes per game on average over the last two weeks. All three are owned in less than 75 percent of leagues.
Courtney Lee has also hit 90.0 percent of his free throws on the season, adding to his Roto appeal. ... Gerald Green has scored his way into Fantasy relevance, so consider his 84.1 free-throw percentage extra incentive to pick him up. ... Devin Harris made his season debut Jan. 18 and has scored 14 points in back-to-back games for the Mavericks. He's also hit 83.3 percent of his free throws so far. ... If Paul Pierce got dropped in your league somehow, go ahead and pick him up. He's hit 83.0 percent of his free throws on the season.
If you have an extra roster spot, go ahead and stashed an injured Tony Allen, as he's one of the few steals specialists we have in the league. ... Corey Brewer has scored in double digits in four straight games and tallied eight steals in that span. ... You never know what James Johnson is going to do, but sometimes he decides to get a bunch of steals, like he did Saturday, when he snagged four against Houston. ... At 2.8 a night, Brandon Knight turns the ball over an awful lot for a guy who only gets you 4.6 assists per game. ... Tony Wroten has been equally sloppy with the ball. He and Rajon Rondo are the only players averaging more than 2.6 turnovers while playing less than 25 minutes per game. ... Center can be a turnover-prone position, but Robin Lopez is a shining exception. He's averaging a league-low 1.1 per game, the best among starting centers.