Jason Smith Hornets – Smith blew up for 26 points, 10 rebounds and three steals on 12-of-16 shooting on Saturday, and is averaging 14 points, five boards, a steal and .8 blocks over his last five games. Carl Landry and Chris Kaman are also playing well again, and all three players deserve a look as the Hornets finish up 4-4-2. I’d rank them Kaman, Smith, Landry.
Brandon Bass Celtics – The Celtics play five games in the upcoming week and Bass is averaging 11 points, six boards, a steal and .8 blocks over his last five. The minutes are steady and despite scoring just two points on 0-for-6 shooting in his last one, Bass looks like a strong play this week. The Celtics finish up the season at 5-3-2.
Glen Davis Magic – With injuries to both Dwight Howard and Ryan Anderson, Davis is having a monster week, going for 23 & 12, 15 & 7, 31 & 10 and 18 & 16 points and boards over his last four games. But Howard is back and Anderson is hoping to return from his sprained ankle on Monday, making Davis a true roll of the dice. The Magic finish up at 4-4-2, which makes Davis even more intriguing the rest of the way. But I’m worried that he’ll disappear again once Anderson is back to full strength.
Thaddeus Young Sixers – Young blew up for 20 points and seven boards on Saturday, but had scored eight or fewer points in his previous three games. The Sixers finish up 3-4-3, and that seven-game week in ESPN leagues could make Young a must-start for that final week. But with three games this week, owners will have to weigh options carefully before starting Young.
Brandan Wright Mavs – Wright has played well in two straight games, going for 16 points, six boards and a block on Saturday, and 13 points, five boards and two blocks on Friday. Ian Mahinmi has been out for personal reasons and Wright is simply more skilled than starting center Brendan Haywood. If Mahinmi is going to miss more time, Wright could be a sneaky, but risky play going forward. The Mavs finish 4-4-1.
Marreese Speights Grizzlies – Speights has been up and down during his five-game week, but continues to start and gets five more chances in the upcoming week. He’s averaging eight points, 6.6 boards, .6 steals and .4 blocks over his last five, and should offer more of the same going forward.
Byron Mullens Bobcats – Mullens is starting at power forward but also qualifies at center in most leagues. He’s scored 17, 31, 8, 20 and 20 points in his last five games, averaging 19 points, nine boards and 1.4 blocks over that stretch. With five games in the coming week, four in the following and three in the final week, he’s as must-own as they come right now.
Kevin Seraphin Wizards – Seraphin is feeling it in the absence of Nene (plantar fasciitis) and is averaging 16 points, 7.6 rebounds, .8 steals and .6 blocks over his last five games, and remains a must-start player until further notice. Just beware that Nene’s return would potentially hurt Seraphin. The Wizards finish up 4-3-3.
Jeremy Tyler Warriors – Tyler is quietly averaging eight points, six boards, .8 steals and 1.2 blocks over his last five games and continues to start over Andris Biedrins. He’s not going to score a ton of points, but the boards and blocks should be there.
Ekpe Udoh Bucks - Drew Gooden finally returned to the lineup on Saturday and had seven points, eight rebounds and four assists on Saturday, while Larry Sanders had 14 points, seven boards and two blocks off the bench. Udoh, who had been hot with Gooden out, also came off the bench and had six boards, two steals and three blocks, but failed to score in 26 minutes. Gooden played 21 minutes and Sanders played 17 in the win over Portland. I’d rank these guys Gooden, Udoh, Sanders, but Sanders is too risky to use at this point. The Bucks finish 4-3-3.
Jordan Williams Nets – Shelden Williams is back and starting for the Nets, but Jordan Williams appears to have more upside. Jordan played 24 minutes and hit all seven of his shots on Friday, finishing with 14 points, four rebounds and a block, while Shelden had three points, four boards and a block in 21 minutes. Neither are great fantasy options, but both are worth a deep-league look.