The season is winding down and injuries are piling up. Hawks play-by-play man, Bob Rathbun and I had a conversation on Wednesday about the state of the league, and the bottom line is guys are tired and worn down. Many players are dealing with five games in six days situations, and the abbreviated schedule is wearing everyone in the league down. There should be plenty of solid options on your waiver wire, and I’ll break down a few of them below.
Here are the games played per week over the next three weeks for each team, ranked in order from best to worst.
Memphis 5-5-4 = 14 Games
Charlotte, Cleveland 4-5-4 = 13
Golden State, Miami, San Antonio 4-4-5 = 13
Sacramento 5-4-3 = 12
Boston 4-5-3 = 12
Dallas, Detroit, Indiana, Clippers, Lakers, Oklahoma City, Phoenix 4-4-4 = 12
Houston 3-4-5 =12
Milwaukee, Portland, Toronto, Utah, Washington 4-4-3 = 11
Philadelphia 4-3-4 = 11
Denver, Minnesota, New Orleans, New York, Orlando 3-4-4 = 11
New Jersey 4-3-3 = 10
Atlanta, Chicago 3-3-4 = 10
Iman Shumpert Knicks – Shumpert is officially hot and with news that Jeremy Lin is out again on Friday, and Amare Stoudemire is out indefinitely, he should stay that way. Shumpert, who is only owned in 10 percent of ESPN leagues currently, is averaging 18 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists, a steal, 3.5 3-pointers and 33.5 minutes over his last two games, both starts for the Knicks. I have no idea if Mike Woodson will leave him in the starting lineup the rest of the way, but it’s starting to look that way. And with Carmelo Anthony’s groin appearing to be held together with thread and Elmer’s glue, Shumpert could be a beast the rest of the way. Just keep in mind the Knicks only play three times in the upcoming week, but then go 4-4.
Kemba Walker Bobcats – Paul Silas appears to be about done waiting for D.J. Augustin to get his stuff together and Walker has been playing well. He’s averaging 12.6 points, three boards, 5.6 assists and nearly a 3-pointer over his last five games. He only has one steal over that stretch, but it’s time to turn the kid loose, give him a starting job and let him get ready for next year. Especially since DJA is now also dealing with a knee injury, as well as a horrendous slump. The Cats go 4-5-4 over the next three weeks and Walker is still available in about 40 percent of the leagues out there. The latest news is that Augustin’s knee is feeling better and he’ll continue to start, but even off the bench, the minutes should still be there for Walker.
Gerald Green Nets – Green didn’t turn many heads when it was announced he signed a 10-day contract with the Nets last month, but that led to a full-time gig and he’s suddenly very relevant in fantasy, with injuries to Jordan Farmar and Anthony Morrow. Green is averaging 12 points, four rebounds, 1.6 steals a block and 1.6 3-pointers over his last five games, and those numbers jump up to 17 points, four boards, three steals and three 3-pointers in his last two. I don’t really trust him as much as I’d like to, but I threw him into my 30-Deep lineup this week (over Jeremy Lin) and it’s turned out to be a possible life-saving move, at least in terms of fantasy basketball. The Nets play four times next week, but then go 3-3 over the following two. I’m planning on riding him again next week, and then finding another option when the Nets schedule tails off. He’s only owned in five percent of ESPN leagues.
Tony Allen Grizzlies – The Grizzlies go 5-5 over the next two weeks, making Allen look like a great bet in fantasy leagues. Despite the schedule, he’s still only owned in 44 percent of leagues, and is averaging 13.4 points, 4.2 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.8 steals, 0.4 blocks and 0.6 3-pointers over his last five games.
Shannon Brown Suns – Grant Hill will have knee surgery, putting the rest of his season in jeopardy, and Brown has gotten the start for him in the last two games. That trend should continue going forward and Brown should post numbers somewhere in between what he’s done in his last two games. He blew up for a career-high 32 points on Tuesday and backed it up with 10 points on Wednesday. Despite coming off the bench for three of his last five games, he’s still averaging 15 points, three rebounds and 1.6 3-pointers over his last five games, and should pick it up in the steals department if he continues to start. He’s available in almost all leagues, but should start showing up on teams as news of Hill’s surgery makes its way through the web. And with the Suns going 4-4-4 over the next three weeks, Brown is closer to a must-add player than anyone would think.