Emeka Okafor Wizards 57% owned
Okafor has managed to stay relevant for some time now and had 15 points and 16 boards on Saturday. He’s averaging 9.6 points, 13.2 rebounds, 1.0 steals and 1.4 blocks over his last five, and I’m surprised he’s not owned in more leagues right now. Especially given the Wizards’ four-game schedule this week.
Tiago Splitter Spurs 39% owned
Splitter is hot and finally looks like a reliable option despite playing for the Spurs. He’s locked in as the starting center in San Antonio and has scored in double figures in 10 straight games. He’s averaging 12.4 points, 7.9 rebounds, 0.8 steals and 0.8 blocks over those 10 games while shooting a magnificent 62 percent from the floor, and 80 percent from the line. The downside is that the Spurs only have two games this week, but Splitter should be owned in a lot more leagues, regardless.
Elton Brand Mavericks 59% owned
Brand started at center for the Mavericks on Friday, sending Chris Kaman to the bench, and had eight points, 13 boards and two blocks. He’s been playing well for a couple weeks and is averaging 12.6 points, 9.6 rebounds and a block over his last five. Dallas is another three-game team this week, but it’s clearly time to move on Brand if he’s still available.
Andre Drummond Pistons 30% owned
Drummond is seemingly on this list every week and is still available in 70 percent of leagues, despite averaging 10.4 points, 8.4 rebounds, 1.8 steals and 1.6 blocks over his last five, while hitting 69 percent of his shots (not a typo). Yeah, he’s only at 50 percent from the line over that stretch, but also hit 6-of-8 from the line last Sunday. The Pistons are going nowhere and I still think of him as a serious breakout candidate for the second half, if Lawrence Frank is going to cooperate. Here’s to hoping he does.
Spencer Hawes Sixers 50% owned
Hawes moved into the starting lineup on Saturday and disappointed with just four points and five rebounds, but also had four blocks. He had 21 points and 12 boards in his previous game and is averaging 11.6 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.6 blocks over his last five on 57 percent shooting. If he sticks in the starting five for Philly, he’s going to be worth grabbing in many leagues, at least until Andrew Bynum finally shows his face.
Bismack Biyombo Bobcats 17% owned
Biyombo had a big game against Greg Stiemsma and the Wolves on Saturday with 10 points, 13 rebounds and two blocks, but is still averaging just 3.6 points over his last five games. But he’s also averaging 7.8 rebounds and 2.8 blocks over that stretch, and has gotten between 27 and 36 minutes in each of his last three games. I don’t trust him, nor do I enjoy owning players who can’t score, but Biyombo might be able to help your team if you’re dying in blocks and boards.
Marreese Speights Cavaliers 7% owned
Speights is coming off the bench in Cleveland, and should continue to do so for the rest of the season, but he’s played very well in his two games for his new team. He had 17 points, five boards, a steal and a block in 27 minutes on Saturday, and had 10 points, six boards and two steals in 18 minutes in his Cavs’ debut on Friday. He’s far from a must-own player, but is a guy owners in 20-team leagues will want to take a serious look at.
Derrick Rose Bulls 83% owned
I still don’t think Rose will be back before the All-Star break, which means the first game I think he could play in would be February 19 at New Orleans. And it’s also possible he may not be ready until March. Either way, the bulk of his rehab should be behind him and this may be one of the last weeks that he’ll still be available in a few leagues. If you’ve been thinking about making a move for him, now is probably the time.
Danny Granger Pacers 77% owned
Granger’s rehab from knee surgery is also progressing, but his target date is still up in the air. He’s another guy I’d be surprised to see before the All-Star break, so a return date of Feb. 20 against the Knicks could be a possibility. It’s hard to predict what kind of shape he’ll be in, or if he’ll even be a focal point of the Pacers’ offense, but he’s another player owners might want to start thinking about stashing.
Byron Mullens Bobcats 21% owned
Mullens is hoping to return this week and the Bobcats are desperate to put him back in the power forward spot. His ankle injury was no ordinary sprain and he’s still not in game shape. I’ll predict a return date of Feb. 6 at Cleveland, and once he’s back, if he can stay healthy, he’s going to be a player you’ll want to grab.
Andrea Bargnani Raptors 52% owned
Bargnani is still a week or two away from returning from his elbow injury and wasn’t exactly a beast when he went down. Amir Johnson and Ed Davis have both filled in very well in his absence, but Bargnani will still be worth a pickup in most leagues once he’s back. And now is the time to start thinking about stashing him.
Andrew Bogut Warriors 48% owned
Bogut is still at least a month away from returning from his ankle injury and has seen such limited action over the past year, I would just leave him on waivers and let someone else deal with him.
Andrew Bynum Sixers 76% owned
As of our last update, Bynum still hasn’t done any lateral movement, and while all the chatter has him returning sooner than later, I’m not sure I believe it. He is hoping to play around the All-Star break, but it will all depend on how things go once he starts working on his lateral movement. His conditioning was a huge concern even before the injury and my gut tells me this will be a lost season for the big man who was taken in Round 1 of many drafts. Grab and stash him if you want, but be prepared for a bumpy ride the rest of the way.