Steve Alexander

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Wired: Hot NBA Pickups

Sunday, December 23, 2012


Small Forwards


Jared Dudley Suns 67 percent owned.


Dudley is starting at small forward for the Suns and is finally living up to the hype we were giving him prior to the start of the season.  He’s clocking in at 17 points, 4.2 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 2.0 steals and 2.2 3-pointers over his last five games, is showing no signs of going back to the bench, and should be owned in all leagues.


Kyle Korver Hawks 39 percent owned.


Korver’s health will be a concern all year, but he’s healthy enough to be back in the Hawks’ starting lineup and averaging more than 12 points, nearly six rebounds, two assists, one steal, one block and 2.75 3-pointers over his last four games.  As long as he’s healthy and playing for the Hawks, he’s going to rack up a lot of 3-pointers and has the ability to contribute across the board in fantasy.


Alan Anderson Raptors 10 percent owned and Terrence Ross.


Anderson is still coming off the bench, but is averaging 17 points, 3.0 rebounds, 1.75 assists, 1.25 steals and three 3-pointers over his last four games.  And if he ever does crack the Raptors’ starting five, look out.  Terrence Ross is also worth a look in deeper leagues, averaging 10 points and 19 minutes per game over his last five.


Dorell Wright Sixers 39 percent owned.


Wright is suddenly relevant again in Philly, averaging 13.4 points, 5.6 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 2.2 3-pointers and 29 minutes over his last five games.  He scored 25 and 20 points in back-to-back games on Tuesday and Wednesday, but he was also helped by the absence of Jrue Holiday, who is back from his foot injury.  He’ll have to compete with Evan Turner and Jason Richardson for minutes, but as long as he’s getting 20 per game, he should put up serviceable numbers across the board.


Matt Barnes Clippers 22 percent owned.


Barnes has been hot for a couple weeks and is averaging 15 points, four rebounds, 1.4 assists, 0.6 steals, 1.6 blocks and 1.4 3-pointers, while shooting nearly 58 percent from the floor over his last five games.  He’s getting 27 minutes a night and is productive enough across the board to be grabbed in all leagues right now, despite coming off the bench.  And it doesn’t hurt that the Clips are one of just a few teams playing four times next week.


Power Forwards


Gustavo Ayon Magic 5 percent owned.


Ayon looks like the primary beneficiary in the absence of Glen Davis, who should miss at least a month with a shoulder injury.  Ayon wasn’t doing much prior to Davis going down, but had 12 points, 13 rebounds and a steal on 4-of-4 shooting in 28 minutes on Friday.  With Davis out for so long and Ayon’s solid numbers last season, he looks like a must-add player to me.


Jason Thompson Kings 55 percent owned.


Thompson gets a boost with DeMarcus Cousins suspended indefinitely, although it doesn’t sound like the Kings will keep him out for too long.  Cousins is also a serious trade candidate, which would also work in Thompson’s favor.  JT’s averaging 11.8 points, 9.0 rebounds and 1.4 blocks over his last five games, and is worth a pick up, with or without Cousins around.


Ed Davis Raptors 29 percent and Amir Johnson 14 percent owned.


Davis got off to a rocky start when Andrea Bargnani went down, but is starting to turn it on.  He’s averaging 8.8 points, 6.6 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 0.6 steals and 1.2 blocks over his last five games on 50 percent shooting.  He may not be a must-own player, but he’s a safe pick up if you need a big man, and probably available in your league.  Johnson is clocking in with similar averages over his last five: 8.8 points, 7.4 rebounds, 1.6 steals and 1.8 blocks on 62 percent shooting in 28 minutes per game.  The Raptors play three times in the upcoming week, and both big men are worth a look in most formats - especially now that center Jonas Valanciunas could miss a lot of time after breaking a finger on his shooting hand on Friday.


Tristan Thompson Cavaliers 25 percent owned.


Thompson has seen a boost with Anderson Varejao missing games with a knee injury, but it doesn’t sound like Varejao will miss much more time going forward.  He’s missed three straight and TT has double-doubled in all three of them, but also had 10 points in each of Varejao’s last two games before going down.  That puts him at 11.4 points, 10.4 rebounds and 1.2 blocks over his last five, making him worth a look in many leagues.  Just beware that his minutes will likely drop closer to 25 per game when Varejao is back, instead of the 35 he’s been getting in his absence.


Derrick Favors Jazz 64 percent owned.


Favors is checking in at 10.8 points, 5.4 rebounds, a steal and 1.6 blocks over his last five games, and is averaging nearly 26 minutes per game over his last three.  He will always be limited as long as Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap are healthy, but is a guy I like hanging onto in hopes that the Jazz trade a big man at some point this season.




Nikola Vucevic Magic 67 percent owned.


Vucevic should also benefit from the absence of Glen Davis (shoulder) and was already having a pretty special season.  He’s checking in at 12.6 points, 13.2 rebounds and 1.2 blocks over his last five games and has double-doubled in four of those.  And without Davis around, he could be even better.  Make sure he’s not available in your league.


Robin Lopez Hornets 46 percent owned.


Ro-Lo was struggling coming into last week, totaling just 14 points, four rebounds and zero blocks in games last Sunday and Tuesday, but exploded onto the scene on Wednesday when he had 22 points, nine boards and two blocks.  He backed that one up with 10 points, six boards and a block on Friday, and went nuts on Saturday with 24 points, 11 boards, two steals and six blocks.  He’s back and feeling it again, so make sure he wasn’t dropped in your league.  Over his last five, he’s averaging 14 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.8 blocks.


Spencer Hawes Sixers 49 percent owned.


Hawes is relevant again in Philly and should stay that way until Andrew Bynum finally shows his face.  Then again, that’s still not guaranteed to happen, and Hawes is averaging 15.6 points, 6.0 rebounds, 0.6 blocks and 0.6 3-pointers over his last five games, hitting double figures in scoring in each of them.  He’s getting 24 minutes per game and is a serviceable center if you need one.


Andre Drummond Pistons 20 percent owned.


Drummond continues to make some noise off the Pistons bench, but really needs more minutes to be in most starting lineups.  He’s averaging 7.8 points, 9.6 rebounds and 2.6 blocks over his last five games in 23 minutes per night, and those minutes have to keep inching upward for the dead-end Pistons.  As usual, he’s a guy I like to keep at the end of my fantasy bench, just in case the explosion ever comes. 


Bismack Biyombo Bobcats 20 percent owned.


Biyombo’s scoring is still a concern, as he’s averaging just 6.6 points over his last five games, but he’s also chipping in with 7.6 rebounds and 2.0 blocks over that stretch.  If you can afford to take the hit in scoring, he should be able to help owners in need of boards and blocks.  But I doubt he’ll ever start averaging 10 points per game this season. 

Steve "Dr. A" Alexander is the senior editor for the NBA for and a contributor to The 2014-15 NBA season marks his 13th year of covering fantasy hoops for Rotoworld. Follow him on Twitter - @Docktora.
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