Jeremy Lin Knicks – A true waiver-wire gem, Lin is averaging 22 points, nine dimes, four boards, 2.5 steals and 1.2 3-pointers per game in 11 starts. Yes, he’s also at 6.1 TOs in those games, but I don’t care. And while Thursday’s disaster against the Heat is alarming, I’m not too worried about it. But if someone offers you Josh Smith, or some other big name for him, do it.
Nikola Pekovic Timberwolves – Pekovic is averaging 15.6 points, 9.9 boards, 0.8 steals and 1.1 blocks in his 14 starts and has even played through injuries. Darko who?
Anderson Varejao Cavaliers – Varejao was a beast before going down with a wrist injury, averaging 10.8 points, 11.5 rebounds, 1.4 steals and 0.7 blocks. Not bad for a late-round afterthought.
Kris Humphries Nets – Despite all the boos, Humps is at 13.6 points, 10.5 boards and 1.2 blocks per game, a nice improvement over last year’s breakout numbers.
Nicolas Batum Blazers – Batum is suddenly the man and is averaging 20 points, 6.1 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1.0 steals, 1.3 blocks and 2.4 3-pointers in his seven starts. He’s poised for a monster second half.
Isaiah Thomas Kings – Thomas is averaging 19.5 points, 4.3 rebounds, 6.5 assists, .5 steals and 2.3 3-pointers, along with shooting 51 percent from the floor, 45 percent from downtown and 93 percent from the line in his four starts. Yes, it’s a small sample size, but he’s quickly become a must-start player, at least for now.
Jose Calderon Raptors – Calderon’s managed to stay healthy and is averaging 11 points, 3.5 boards, 8.9 assists, 0.8 steals and 1.1 3-pointers with solid percentages.
James Johnson Raptors – Johnson’s not flashy, but has been a solid fantasy role player with 8.0 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.3 steals, 1.5 blocks and 0.3 3-pointers.
MarShon Brooks Nets – Brooks is as smooth as they come offensively and despite missing nine games due to foot problems, is averaging nearly 15 points, four boards, two assists, a steal and more than a 3-pointer per game. He should also be ready for a big second half.
Al Harrington Nuggets – Harrington is coming off the bench but is still averaging 14 points, six boards, a steal and 1.4 3-pointers on the season, a nice improvement over last year.
Dorell Wright Warriors – Wright went scoreless in back-to-back games recently and has struggled to shoot it confidently all season. After averaging 16 points, 1.5 steals and 2.4 3-pointers per game last year, he’s at 10.7 points, 0.9 steals and 1.8 threes this year. He’s also shooting less than 42 percent from the floor and is sub-80 percent from the line. Having said that, there’s still a good chance he’s better over the second half.
Amare Stoudemire Knicks - Amare was taken in the late-first or second round in most drafts, making his averages of 17.5 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.4 blocks almost laughable. And to add insult to injury, he's shooting less than 45 percent from the floor after hitting over 50 percent over the last five seasons.
Jrue Holiday Sixers – Holiday is surprisingly averaging nearly 14 points per game, which is what he scored last season, but his assists are down to 4.5 per game from 6.5 a year ago. I bet he bounces back in the second half.
Carmelo Anthony Knicks – Melo was struggling before the emergence of Jeremy Lin, averaging 21.4 points per game after racking up more than 26 a game last year. He’s also missed 10 (and nearly 11) games and the Knicks only play twice next week. He’s been on my bench as much as he’s been in my starting lineup, which is not what I was planning on from my second-round pick.
Stephen Jackson Bucks – Jackson has scored in double figures in just 12 games this season and is in Scott Skiles’ doghouse. Unless he’s traded, it looks like a lost season. And moving that ridiculous contract is easier said than done.
Raymond Felton Blazers – Felton’s been so bad he lost his job to a non-point guard recently after averaging 10 points, two boards, six dimes, a steal and a 3-pointer. He’s shooting it just 25 percent from downtown, shoots less than 80 percent from the line and is at just 37.7 from the field this season.
Devin Harris Jazz – Harris averaged 15.8 points and 5.4 assists in 17 games with the Jazz last season, but those numbers are down to 9.1 and 4.6 this season, despite shooting nearly 46 percent from the floor. I’m guessing he’ll at least be a serviceable point guard the rest of the way.
David West Pacers – West’s scoring is down from nearly 19 points per game to just over 12 this season, and he’s hauling in less than seven boards and less than a block per game. I’m not too surprised since he is coming off major knee surgery, but the numbers have been pretty poor – especially considering he hasn’t even missed a game yet.
Lamar Odom Mavericks – Odom’s sudden departure from the Lakers has been disastrous for both parties and he’s averaging just 7.7 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.7 assists while shooting 36 percent from the floor. Yuck.
Michael Beasley Timberwolves – Beasley has had some big games this season, but is scoring 12 a game after averaging over 19 points last season. He’s also scored eight or less points in five of his last seven games and needs to be traded if he’s going to hold fantasy value over the second half. He’s also missed 11 games this season.
Injury Buzz Kills
Andrea Bargnani, Eric Gordon, Zach Randolph, Brook Lopez, Al Horford, Andrew Bogut, Manu Ginobili, Danilo Gallinari, Andray Blatche and Spencer Hawes.