FORWARDS - THE REST
Tayshaun Prince Pistons – With Rodney Stuckey and Ben Gordon hurting, someone has to score for the Pistons and Prince is a good bet to pick up the scraps. He’s averaging 14 points, four rebounds, two assists, 0.8 blocks and 1.6 3-pointers over his last five games, and looks like a nice pickup right now.
Corey Maggette Bobcats – Maggette appears to be getting healthy again, had 22 points on Wednesday, and has hit double digits in three of his last four games. I don’t trust him – at all – but he could get hot and go on a tear. Or he could go down with another injury and ruin your week. Maggette is a true risk vs. reward player.
Matt Barnes Lakers – Barnes is quietly hot, averaging 10 points, six rebounds, three assists, 1.4 blocks and 1.6 3-pointers over his last five games, and the Lakers finish up 4-4-4 over the next three weeks.
Linas Kleiza Raptors – Kleiza has benefitted lately by injuries/illness to DeMar DeRozan and James Johnson, and has hit six treys over his last two games. It sounds like DeRozan and Johnson will play on Friday, but Kleiza could still have value going forward off the bench. Keep an eye on him.
Marreese Speights Grizzlies – Zach Randolph continues to struggle off the bench in his return from a knee injury and Speights had 18 points and seven boards in a start at center on Tuesday, when Marc Gasol was out with a sprained ankle. Gasol’s still not a sure bet for tonight, and with five games in each of the next two weeks, Speights could have some decent value if you need a big man.
Marvin Williams Hawks – Marvin is heating up, averaging around 12 points, six rebounds and two 3-pointers, as he looks comfortable with his new role off the bench. But the Hawks play just three games in each of the next two weeks, so you can probably find better four-game options off your wire.
Austin Daye Pistons – Daye started the second half on Wednesday due to Rodney Stuckey’s hamstring injury, and with both Stuckey and Ben Gordon (groin) unlikely to play on Friday, Daye could be ready to go on a run. Consider him a deep-league special.
Spencer Hawes Sixers – Hawes is still on a bit of a minutes count, but is good to go in back-to-backs and looks to be pretty healthy. He’s averaging 8.8 points, 8.2 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 0.6 steals and 1.2 blocks over his last five games, and those assist numbers go up to 4.5 per game over his last two. If you need a center, Hawes looks like a solid grab right now. The Sixers have four games this week, three the following and then four more the week after, and he’s available in about 40 percent of fantasy leagues.
Tristan Thompson Cavaliers – Thompson’s inconsistency has been tough to deal with, but he’s coming off a nice line of nine points, 11 boards, a steal and three blocks on Wednesday. He’s also averaging 11 points, eight boards and 1.4 blocks over his last three, making him worth adding in most leagues. Add to it that the Cavs go 4-5-4 over the next three, and Thompson could really help owners over the next three weeks. And he’s still available in nearly 70 percent of ESPN leagues. Anderson Varejao could be back in the near future from his wrist injury, but I still think Thompson should get plenty of minutes going forward.
Anthony Tolliver Timberwolves - Tolliver mysteriously played just 13 minutes on Tuesday when he scored two points, but despite that dud, he’ s still averaging 12.4 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 0.4 steals, a block and a 3-pointer over his last five games. Take out the two-point disappearance, and he’s scored in double figures in four straight, including his 11-point, 11-rebound, one block and one 3-pointer performance on Wednesday. Nikola Pekovic’s return could hurt Tolliver going forward, but there’s no guarantee Pekovic isn’t shut down for the season. And given that Rick Adelman is done messing around with Darko Milicic (the artist formerly known as Manna from Heaven), and Tolliver looks like a very sneaky add right now. The Wolves go 3-4-4 over the next three weeks and Tolliver is available in most fantasy leagues.
J.J. Hickson Blazers – Hickson is still coming off the bench, but is averaging 16.5 points, five boards, 2.5 steals and a block over his last two in 27.5 minutes. He’s healthy and Joel Przybilla isn’t the greatest option at center for the Blazers, so Hickson should continue to get plenty of run. He’s available everywhere and the Blazers play four times in each of the next two weeks. If you need a center, you could do worse.
Johan Petro Nets – Shelden Williams, Jordan Williams and Brook Lopez are all hurt, meaning Petro is about the last big man standing in New Jersey, outside of Kris Humphries. Petro had four points, five boards and a block on Wednesday, and four points and seven boards on Tuesday, playing just 14 minutes in each of them. He didn’t start in either of those games, so look for his numbers and minutes to increase if he sticks in the starting five going forward. Consider him a deep-league special, as the Nets go 4-3-3 over the next three weeks.
Byron Mullens – Mullens was hot for a minute recently, averaging 17.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in his two games on Saturday and Monday, but he played just 12 minutes on Wednesday, when he and Bismack Biyombo were run over by a train called Kevin Love. Mullens isn’t trustworthy, but with Tyrus Thomas hurting and Biyombo struggling, Mullens could end up starting at power forward in the near future. Just keep a close eye on him, as the Cats finish up 4-5-4.