I decided to take a break from talking about Ersan Ilyasova this week, but he’s averaging 13 points, eight rebounds, 1.2 steals and 1.4 3-pointers over his last five games, and is worth holding in most leagues.
Games played for Week 8
4 Games - Hawks, Bobcats, Bulls, Cavaliers, Mavericks, Pistons, Warriors, Pacers, Clippers, Grizzlies, Timberwolves, Bucks, Hornets, Knicks, Magic, Sixers, Suns, Spurs, Kings, Jazz, Wizards.
3 Games - Celtics, Nets, Nuggets, Rockets, Heat, Thunder, Blazers, Raptors.
2 Games - Lakers
Ricky Rubio Timberwolves – Owned in 78 percent of Yahoo! Leagues.
Rubio finally debuted from knee surgery on Saturday night and hit 1-of-4 shots to finish with eight points, four rebounds, nine assists and three steals in just 18 minutes. It’s going to take him time to get back to 100 percent, and he is expected to sit out in some back-to-back situations, but Rubio should be owned in all leagues going forward.
John Wall Wizards – Owned in 79 percent of Yahoo! Leagues.
We finally got a decent report on Wall over the weekend and it sounds like there’s a chance he could finally be ready to return shortly after Christmas. Then again, he might not be back until the All-Star break, and could also have trouble staying healthy once he does finally make an appearance. But if he is able to return on Jan. 1 and can stay healthy, holding him for the next couple weeks will seem like a blip on the radar in hindsight.
Jason Kidd Knicks – Owned in 69 percent of Yahoo! Leagues.
Kidd’s scoring has fallen off a bit over the last two games, especially when he hit just 3-of-14 shots and 3-of-13 3-pointers in Saturday’s win over the Cavaliers. But the fact Kidd has the green light to shoot 13 3-pointers in a game is exciting. He still averaged seven points, 7.5 rebounds, 6.5 assists, a steal, a block and two 3-pointers over those two games, and is at 11 points, 5.8 rebounds, 5.6 assists, a steal and 3.0 3-pointers over his last five games. Iman Shumpert is due back in January from knee surgery, but it’s going to take him some time to get back into shape, while Kidd is also locked into minutes at point guard, as well as the current starting shooting guard for the Knicks. He should be owned until the wheels fall off.
Jarrett Jack Warriors – Owned in 34 percent of Yahoo! Leagues.
Jack has scored in double figures in four straight games and is averaging 12 points, five rebounds, 5.4 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.8 3-pointers over his last five games. Those numbers are happening with Stephen Curry fully healthy and playing well, and Jack’s production would take a big leap if Curry were to go down. But even with Jack coming off the bench, he’s getting 30 minutes a night and is playing very well for the Warriors right now.
Nate Robinson Bulls – Owned in 21 percent of Yahoo! Leagues.
Kirk Hinrich has missed two straight games due to a knee injury and is banged up, meaning he could be day-to-day for a while. Robinson hasn’t exactly gone off in his absence, but is averaging 10 points, 4.5 assists and a 3-pointer in his last two starts for Hinrich, and should be better if he continues to play heavy minutes with Hinrich so banged up. If Hinrich is playing, Robinson is probably best served on fantasy benches, but when he goes down, Robinson quickly becomes a must-start fantasy point guard.
Others to consider: Rodney Stuckey, Isaiah Thomas.
Jordan Crawford Wizards – Owned in 61 percent of Yahoo! Leagues.
Crawford had just five points on 2-of-12 shooting in Saturday’s loss to the Heat, but is still averaging 16 points, 5.6 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 1.4 steals and 2.2 3-pointers over his last five games. Yes, the return of Wall would hurt Crawford, but JC should still see plenty of minutes at shooting guard, and Wall’s return, or ability to stay healthy, are still far from guaranteed.
Marco Belinelli Bulls – Owned in 23 percent of Yahoo! Leagues.
Belinelli has scored between 16 and 22 points in each of his last five games while starting for Rip Hamilton, and Hamilton isn’t due back for a couple more weeks. Even when he returns, Belinelli has earned more minutes, and possibly a starting job going forward. He’s at 18 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.8 steals and 2.6 3-pointers over his last five and remains an excellent option off waivers, and should be available in a ton of leagues.
Alexey Shved Timberwolves – Owners in 16 percent of Yahoo! Leagues.
Shved is now starting at shooting guard for the Wolves and could stick there for the remainder of the season. He had 18 points, six assists, two steals and three 3-pointers on Saturday, and is averaging 11.4 points, 2.4 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 1.8 steals and 1.6 3-pointers over his last five. But in the two starts over his last two games he’s at 15.5 points, 7.0 assists, 2.0 steals and 3.0 3-pointers, while playing 35 and 44 minutes in those two games. He should be available in your league and is a must-own player in my opinion, as long as he’s starting at shooting guard.
Austin Rivers Hornets – Owned in 22 percent of Yahoo! Leagues.
Rivers has made three straight starts at shooting guard for the Hornets and blew up for a career-high 27 points and five 3-pointers on Friday. He’s hit double digits in scoring in four of his last five games, averaging 14 points, 2.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 0.6 steals and 1.6 3-pointers over that stretch, but those numbers improve to 16 points, three rebounds, three assists, and two 3-pointers in the three starts. He’s coming on and Eric Gordon still isn’t near a return, meaning it’s time to grab Rivers in many leagues.
Gary Neal Spurs – Owned in 14 percent of Yahoo! Leagues.
Neal has been inconsistent while starting at shooting guard for the Spurs, but is averaging 13 points and 2.8 3-pointers over his last five games. He scored 20 points with three 3-pointers on Saturday, and had 29 points and seven 3-pointers on Monday against Houston. Unfortunately, he scored just six or fewer points in the other three games. Manu Ginobili is iffy for upcoming games due to a bruised left thigh, which will help Neal’s cause, while he’ll also have to deal with the return of Kawhi Leonard at some point. Leonard should hurt Danny Green more than Neal, and while Neal has been hit or miss, he can really help your team if you have him in the lineup on the right night.
Others to consider: Jodie Meeks, Martell Webster, Cartier Martin, Nick Young, Terrence Ross.