Jamal Crawford G Clippers - Crawford is averaging 26 points and three 3-pointers in three games off the Clippers bench, and while Aaron Bruski doesn’t agree with me, I think Crawford has a great shot at keeping this up all season and winning Sixth Man of the Year. Consider him a must-own player.
J.R. Smith G/F Knicks - Smith was 3-of-11 for 11 points, three boards, six assists, a steal and two 3-pointers in his first game and then scored 20 with a full stat line (including nine boards and four treys) on Sunday. The Knicks need scoring punch with Amare Stoudemire shut down indefinitely and we’ve been high on Smith since last April. He looks like another must-own player and another Sixth Man candidate.
Ray Allen SG Heat – Allen is averaging 16 points and three 3-pointers through three games with the Heat and could lead the league in 3-pointers made this season. He won’t do much besides bomb threes and score some points, but it looks like he’ll be good at both of those things.
J.J. Redick G Magic - Redick had 21 points, four rebounds, six dimes and three 3-pointers in the opener, and could be the big beneficiary from Hedo Turkoglu’s broken hand. Redick still isn’t a must-own player, but he could be by the end of next week if he keeps it going.
Danny Green G/F Spurs - Green is averaging 14 points, a steal and 2.3 3-pointers through three games for the Spurs, and is starting over Manu Ginobili. Ginobili returned to action in Game 3, but saw just 15 minutes. Pop likes running his young guys hard during the season and saving his old legs, which means Green should start at SG all year for the Spurs.
Richard Hamilton SG Bulls – Hamilton is averaging 14 points in three games, and while he’s not doing much else, he is worth a look if your team is lacking some scoring punch. But how long he stays healthy is anyone’s guess.
Dion Waiters SG Cavaliers - Waiters is averaging 12 points, 1.7 steals and 1.3 3-pointers in three games as the rookie is starting at shooting guard. He’s only going to get better and looks like a must-own player in 12-team leagues and deeper.
Gerald Henderson SG Bobcats - Henderson is averaging 12.5 points, three steals, a block and a 3-pointer for the Bobcats so far, although I’m not sure how. He’s known for scoring a few points and not contributing much in other categories, so this hot start looks a little fluky to me. Keep an eye on him.
Jordan Crawford SG Wizards - Crawford is averaging 16 points, four assists and a 3-pointer through two games. Crawford is the forgotten man on the Wizards’ bench but he’s still a volatile scorer when his shot is falling. And given Bradley Beal’s slow start, Crawford’s number could be called more often than not. Just beware that when he goes into a shooting slump, he does it right, and can wreck your team’s shooting percentage in just a couple games.
Vince Carter SG Mavericks - Carter is averaging 14 points and two 3-pointers in 23 minutes after three games. The old man is still kicking and while I don’t trust him to keep it up all season, he does have a bigger role than I expected him to have this season. Give him a look in very deep leagues and only if you have someone you want to cut.
E’Twaun Moore G Magic - Moore had 13 points, five rebounds and three assists in 25 minutes in his first game. Don’t pick him up, but keep an eye on him. Jameer Nelson is already banged up and Moore could also see some extra minutes without Turkoglu around.
Gerald Green G/F Pacers - Green is averaging 10 points and 1.3 3-pointers in three games, but is also averaging 31 minutes. He’s off to a very slow start, hitting just 39 percent of his shots so far, but with Danny Granger out indefinitely, Green is going to play and the numbers are coming. I consider him a must-own player, despite the slow start.
Al Farouq-Aminu SF Hornets - Aminu has been a bust thus far in his career but is showing signs of life now that Ryan Anderson is out of town. Farouq is averaging nearly 13 points, seven boards, two steals and two blocks through three games and looks to be locked into the starting job for the Hornets. I think he should be owned in most leagues until he cools off, but keep in mind the Hornets play just two games this week.
Tayshaun Prince SF Pistons - Prince is averaging 15 points in two games, leading the Pistons in scoring. He’s not the most exciting player to own, but he’s going to get his 30-plus minutes a night and can still rebound, steal and hit the occasional 3-pointer.
Alonzo Gee SF Cavaliers - Gee is averaging 11 points, three boards, three assists and 1.3 3-pointers in three games. He got off to a slow start in the opener, but is picking it up and should continue to start for the Cavs.
Jason Richardson & Dorell Wright G/F Sixers - Wright had 14 points, seven boards, two steals, a block and two 3-pointers in the opener, while Richardson added 10 points, four rebounds, two assists, four steals, three blocks and two 3-pointers for one of the most underrated lines of the new season. JRich went down Sunday with a sprained ankle and until we find out the severity of that injury, Wright is the guy to own right now. And when they’re both healthy, they’re both worth owning in almost all leagues.
Harrison Barnes F Warriors - Barnes is averaging just eight points in three games, but has to see a boost now that Brandon Rush is done for the year. I am not racing to pick up Barnes because I think Mark Jackson is going to go with Klay Thompson at SF and Jarrett Jack at SG (maybe off the bench), but there should still be enough minutes left over for Barnes to put up some decent numbers. Keep an eye on him.
Steve Novak SF Knicks - Novak had 17 points and five 3-pointers in first game, but hit two 3-pointers and scored just six points on Sunday. He’s a poor man’s Ray Allen, but won’t do much else besides hit treys.
Mike Dunleavy & Tobias Harris SF Bucks - Harris is starting and averaging 11 points and 4.5 rebounds in two games, while Mike Dunleavy went off on Saturday for 29 points, 12 boards and six assists. The two players are going to split minutes going forward, but Dunleavy should get hurt sooner than later, given his injury history. And when it happens, Harris will become more of a solid fantasy starter instead of a guy that’s simply nice to have on your bench – which is what his current status is.
Rashard Lewis F Heat - Lewis is averaging nine points and 1.7 3-pointers in three games, and is simply worth keeping an eye on off Miami’s bench.