Steve Alexander

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Wired: NBA Hot Pickups

Saturday, January 05, 2013


Small Forwards


Harrison Barnes Warriors - 46% owned – Barnes is heating up, hitting double digits in scoring in five of his last six games and averaging 11.6 points, 5.0 rebounds, 0.8 steals and 1.2 3-pointers while shooting 49 percent over his last five.  He’s started every game for the Warriors this season and is only going to get better.  If he’s still available in your leagues, now is the time to pick him up.


John Salmons 16% owned (and Francisco Garcia 2% owned) Kings – Salmons had 20 points, four assists and a 3-pointer on Friday and had 23 points, six boards and four assists last Sunday.  He’s averaging 13.6 points, 2.6 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.6 3-pointers over his last five, and should continue to be a decent option for as long as Tyreke Evans is out with his bum knee, but he’s targeting Monday as a return date.  Garcia might be worth a look in very deep leagues now that he’s back in the rotation, and he’s been starting with Evans out.  He’s scored six or fewer points in four of his last five, but did play very well on Wednesday with 14 points, six boards, two steals, two blocks and two 3-pointers.  Over his last five he’s averaging 6.6 points, 2.0 steals, 1.0 blocks and 1.4 3-pointers, but he’s the most likely candidate to go back to the bench once Evans is back.  Salmons could stay hot, even when Evans returns, but Garcia’s run could be ready to come to an end.


Mike Dunleavy Bucks - 43% owned – Looking at Dunleavy’s game log can be a dizzying task, as he tends to be up and down like a see-saw, but he’s playing well again off the bench.  After three straight games in single-digit scoring, he’s hit double figures in four of his last five and is averaging 15 points, 4.2 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.0 steals and 2.6 3-pointers over his last five games.  Just beware that if Ersan Ilyasova ever finally gets it going, Dunleavy’s consistency will continue to rise and fall like a roller coaster.


Corey Brewer Nuggets - 18% owned – Brewer failed to score last Friday after his 27-point explosion on Wednesday, but has hit double digits in four of his last five.  He’s averaging 12 points, 3.6 boards, 1.8 steals and 1.6 3-pointers over that stretch and continues to be an important bench player for the Nuggets.  And if you need games played in a daily league to finish out this week, the Nuggets play on Saturday and Sunday to finish out Week 10.


Austin Daye Pistons - 2% owned – Lawrence Frank is finally giving Daye some run and Daye has responded with some nice numbers.  He’s scored in double digits in three of his last four, including Friday’s 20-point game, which also included six boards and two 3-pointers on 9-of-11 shooting in 22 minutes.  And over his last five, he’s averaging 11.4 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.8 3-pointers.  There’s no telling how long Frank will stick with him, but Daye is always capable of playing well if he gets minutes, and he’s averaging 23 of them over his last five games.  Just don’t be surprised if he disappears at some point once his run is over, and don’t plan on using him this week with just two games.


Power Forwards


Ed Davis 30% owned & Amir Johnson 18% owned Raptors – Dwane Casey said recently that it’s going to be tough to bench Davis anytime soon, and Andrea Bargnani and Jonas Valanciunas don’t appear to be close to returning from their injuries.  Davis is averaging 13.4 points, 7.8 rebounds, 0.8 steals and 1.2 blocks over his last five games and looks like a very safe power forward to start right now.  Amir Johnson is also worth a look, but fizzled in his last game with zero points before fouling out in just nine minutes.  Prior to that, he averaged nearly 12 points, seven boards and 1.25 blocks in four games, and he’ll bounce back from Friday’s disaster.  But if I had to pick one right now, I’d switch my call up from Johnson to Davis.


Tristan Thompson Cavaliers - 39% owned – Thompson has been hot ever since Anderson Varejao went down with his knee injury and has gained confidence along the way.  He’s averaging 13.6 points, 12.2 rebounds and 0.8 blocks over his last five games.  He’ll likely take a hit once Varejao is back, but he could miss another week, making Thompson a nearly must-start player for Week 11’s four games.


Kevin Seraphin Wizards - 18% owned – I was high on Seraphin and then dumped him when Randy Wittman planted him on the bench, but he’s coming on again.  He hit double figures in scoring in four straight before Friday’s six-point game (on 1-of-9 shooting), and is averaging 12.2 points, 5.4 boards and 1.6 blocks over his last five.  It looks like the minutes are back and he’s still shooting at 44 percent over his last five, despite the 1-for-9 meltdown on Friday. 


Patrick Patterson Rockets - 27% owned – Patterson is back from his foot injury and starting to round into form.  He’s averaging 16.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.0 3-pointers in his last two games, and his minutes should continue to rise.  It’s time to pick him up, as he should only get better as his foot injury continues to heal.


John Henson Bucks - 3% owned – Henson exploded for 20 points, nine boards, a steal and block on 10-of-11 shooting on Wednesday, and I kind of blew it off in his blurb, as that was really the first time he had done anything in a month.  Add in the fact he plays for Scott Skiles, and it seemed to have “fluke” written all over it.  But then he did it again Friday, going for 11 points, 15 boards, two steals and two blocks on 5-of-10 shooting, and he’s averaging 25 minutes over those two games.  This is still very much a potential “fluke” situation, as the Bucks are very deep at forward and Henson is unproven, but he’s worth a flier after those two big games.  Just don’t cut a player you rely on to take a chance on Skiles’ flavor of the minute.




Andre Drummond Pistons - 31% owned – I love watching Drummond play and he’s averaging 24 minutes per game over his last five, in which he’s averaged 9.4 points, 9.8 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 1.6 blocks.  The minutes should continue to be a concern going forward, but at some point, Lawrence Frank is going to have to suck it up and start Drummond over Jason Maxiell.  When it happens, Drummond should be a beast, and is still worth a shot, even if he continues to come off the bench.  I think he should be owned in most leagues, but he only plays two games in Week 11. 


Derrick Favors Jazz - 62% owned – Favors would be owned in every league if he didn’t play behind Paul Millsap, but the fact remains that he does.  Despite some very inconsistent playing time and lack of a solid role for the Jazz, he’s still averaging 8.6 points, 5.8 boards, 1.0 steals and 1.0 blocks over his last five games, and is coming off a 32-minute solid line with Enes Kanter out on Friday.  Favors remains a player worth holding in all leagues in hopes that he or Millsap gets moved.


Kosta Koufos Nuggets - 25% owned – Koufos isn’t the most exciting center around, but he’s starting over JaVale McGee and averaging 8.8 points, 5.8 boards, 1.2 steals and 1.5 blocks over his last five games, and 7.7 points, 6.3 boards and 1.7 blocks on the season.  He’s been fairly consistent and is a reliable center in deeper leagues.


Emeka Okafor Wizards - 53% owned – Okafor’s scoring is inconsistent but he’s still playing pretty well, with double figures in rebounds in five of his last seven games, and four double-doubles over that stretch.  He’s averaging 8.8 points, 11.2 boards and 1.2 blocks over his last five and remains a decent option in two-center leagues.


Zaza Pachulia Hawks - 8% owned – I hear sometimes that the guys I write about are already owned in leagues, but that shouldn’t be the case with Zaza.  He’s coming off the bench, but is averaging 24 minutes over his last five games, along with 10 points and eight boards.  He’s not blocking many shots or stealing the ball, but if you need a serviceable center in a deep league, he fits the bill right now. 

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.
Email :Steve Alexander

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