Saturday, February 2, 2013

Fantasy Basketball Pickups: Free Agent Finds For Week Of 2/4



Article By Tianjun Cao


Jeff Green


It is empirical to scour your free agent pools for players who could greatly help your team from this point forward, or just for a short period of time. Most times they will be the difference between making or missing the playoffs and maybe even win you the league championship. I highly recommend leaving your final one or two roster spots available to be constantly cycled through with new pickups each week depending on your match up. This is extremely important if your league doesn't have a games played per week limit. Because standard Yahoo leagues consist of 12 teams, I will only list players who are owned in less than 40% of leagues. Follow me on Twitter (@azn21baller) if you have any fantasy basketball, baseball, hockey, or football questions.
Taj Gibson (PF), Chicago Bulls: 12% owned
With news that Joakim Noah is out indefinitely due to Plantar Fasciitis, Gibson becomes a must in every fantasy basketball league. Although in  a small sample size, 3 games, Gibson has averaged 17 points, 2.7 blocks, 9.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 59% from the field, and 83.3% from the free throw line while playing 42 minutes a game. In yesterday's game, he played in all 48 minutes. All of these stats are legit other than his free throw shooting where Gibson is a career 66%  from the charity stripe. The plus categories that he will offer will be in blocks and field goal percentage. As long as Gibson keeps playing heavy minutes for the Bulls, expect great things from him as there's a reason why Chicago gave him that nice contract extension in the offseason.
Jeff Green (SF,PF), Boston Celtics: 14% owned
Now that rookie Jared Sullinger is out for the year after having surgery on his back, Green becomes only "big" off the bench for Boston. In the first game without Sullinger, Green went for 17 points on 57% shooting (8-14) while chipping in 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 blocks, and 2 monster dunks. Over the past week he had already begun to pick up his play, scoring in double figures the 3 games prior to yesterday. Like in his days with the Thunder, expect some inconsistency but the numbers he will put up for the rest of the season will be plenty useful for fantasy owners. He will help you in field goal percentage, points, and blocks for a player with forward eligibility.
Kyle Singler (SG,SF), Detroit Pistons: 11% owned
With Tayshaun Prince gone, Singler becomes the only true small forward on the Pistons. Already averaging around 27 minutes a game on the season, look for that number to climb well over 30 minutes from now on. Over the past week, he has averaged 1.3 3's, 11.8 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.8 steals, and 1.3 blocks. Those who had been riding Matt Barnes for the past month should drop him for Singler as they provide the exact same stats. The numbers I stated above for Singler are around what should be expected for the rest of the season for him, barring additional trades by the Pistons.
Marreese Speights (PF,C), Cleveland Cavaliers: 11% owned
Every savvy fantasy owner knew what Speights could do in expanded minutes and now the time has come. In his 4 games with the Cavaliers he has scored in double figures in each while averaging 23 minutes a game, 9 more than what he averaged in Memphis this season. With that increase in playing time, Speights has contributed with averages of 14 points, 6 rebounds, 0.8 steals, 0.8 blocks, 48.8% shooting, and 86.7% from the free throw line. The free throw shooting will come a bit to his 76% career average but the rest of his numbers can be maintained. Consider Speights a cheap source of all-around stats who won't hurt you in any category.
Nate Robinson (PG,SG), Chicago Bulls: 32% owned
Even prior to Kirk Hinrich missing the last game due to an elbow injury, Little Nate had scored in double figures 8 straight games. Now that Hinrich is out for a while, Robinson becomes an excellent pickup for those in need of threes, points, steals, and assists. Just make sure you can take a huge hit in field goal percentage as he shot 25% (4-16) from the field yesterday. Ouch. In 6 games as a starter, Nate has averaged 11.5 points, 6.7 assists, 2 steals, and 1.2 3's to go along with 35% shooting from the field. Although he will still have value once Derrick Rose comes back after the all-star break, consider this a short-term add if you want plus numbers in assists, steals, and threes.
Jerryd Bayless (PG,SG), Memphis Grizzlies: 19% owned
Where is the love the Skip Bayless' cousin? Over the past week Jerryd has averaged 17.3 points, 3.8 rebounds, 5.5 assists, 1.3 steals, and 0.8 3's while shooting 47.4% from the field and 85.7% from the charity stripe. Although he struggled in the Grizzlies' first game with Tayshaun Prince, Bayless still held the starting shooting guard spot. That remains to be seen if he stays there but he will play around 28 minutes a game regardless.  Consider this a long-term add who can help you greatly in free throw percentage, points, assists, and steals.

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