Byron Mullens Bobcats – 45% owned – In his four games since returning from his ankle injury, Mullens is averaging 15.8 points, 7.8 rebounds, a steal, a block and 1.5 3-pointers on 41 percent shooting. His shooting woes remain a concern, but he’s putting up solid numbers and is averaging 38.5 minutes over his last two games. He’s a must-own player in my book.
Martell Webster (and Trevor Ariza) Wizards – 23% owned – Webster has also become a must-own player with his strong play recently, and is averaging 15.6 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.2 steals and a whopping 3.6 3-pointers over his last five games. He’s also shooting a ridiculous 55 percent over that stretch, and is showing no signs of surrendering his starting SF job to Trevor Ariza. Ariza is also coming on, averaging 11 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.6 steals and 2.0 3-pointers off the bench over his last five, making him worth a look in deeper leagues.
Charlie Villanueva Pistons – 5% owned – With Andre Drummond out for the foreseeable future, Jason Maxiell will continue to start at power forward for the Pistons. But it’s Charlie Villanueva who is turning heads right now, averaging 19.5 points, 10.5 rebounds, 1.5 blocks and 4.5 3-pointers over his last two games. It’s hard to say if he’ll continue to stay hot and get heavy minutes, but the odds appear to be in his favor. I think he makes for a strong pickup right now, and should be available in most leagues.
Shawn Marion Mavericks – 68% owned – Marion shouldn’t be available in most leagues, but might be in yours. He’s averaging 18.8 points, 10.0 rebounds, 1.4 steals, 1.4 blocks and 0.8 3-pointers over his last five. He’s a must-own player right now.
Moe Harkless 6% & Andrew Nicholson 4% Magic – Harkless has been getting 39 minutes per game for the banged up Magic lately, but has really struggled with his shot, hitting 38 percent of them to average 10.4 points, 8.0 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 1.2 blocks over his last five. The minutes should stick and I doubt he continues to shoot it this poorly going forward. He hit 4-of-5 shots in Friday’s game, a sign he might be heating up. Nicholson is heating up, scoring in double digits in three of his last five games and averaging 11.6 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in 26 minutes over his last five. He hit 9-of-13 shots for 21 points and eight rebounds on Friday, and should continue to roll with Glen Davis out for most of the season after foot surgery. Both players are nice additions right now, but I like Harkless and his heavy minutes a little more than Nicholson’s upside.
Taj Gibson Bulls – 23% owned – Gibson is back on the bench now that Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah are healthy, but still had 14 points, eight boards, two steals and two blocks on 7-of-9 shooting in 31 minutes on Friday. Thursday was a disaster with just 17 minutes and six points, but Noah’s feet are still an ongoing concern and Gibson should still be able to get around 25 minutes per game the rest of the way. And any time Boozer or Noah go down, Gibson becomes a must-start.
Antawn Jamison Lakers – 29% owned – With Pau Gasol out for several weeks both Earl Clark and Antawn Jamison are going to see a lot of minutes on most nights. Jamison played just 19 and 22 minutes in each of his last two games, but is averaging 11.4 points, 5.2 rebounds, a block and a 3-poiner over his last five. And I expect his minutes to increase going forward. See more on Clark under the centers.
Wilson Chandler 40% & Corey Brewer 15% Nuggets – Chandler had 24 points and five 3-pointers on 8-of-9 shooting in just 19 minutes on Thursday, his best game of the season, but then had seven points on 2-of-6 shooting on Saturday. He’s averaging 11 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 1.2 3-pointers over his last five, but his lingering sore hip concerns me as far as random DNPs go. Brewer has been more consistent, averaging 12.4 points and 22 minutes over his last five, but is also coming in at just 1.4 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.2 steals over his last five. Both players should only be considered in deeper leagues.
Earl Clark Lakers – 45% owned – Clark is a must-own player with Pau Gasol out indefinitely and I’m surprised he’s not owned in more leagues. He’s averaging 13.2 points, 9.8 rebounds, 1.2 steals, 1.4 blocks and 0.6 3-pointers over his last five, and should continue to get serious run for the dysfunctional Lakers the rest of the way.
Spencer Hawes Sixers – 52% owned – Hawes is the starting center in Philly until we finally see Andrew Bynum, and is hot, averaging 13.2 points, 9.0 rebounds and 1.6 blocks over his last five. He’s also hit three 3-pointers in those, and is worth owning in all leagues until Bynum is back. While it’s possible Bynum will be back just after the break, I’ll believe it when I see it.
Emeka Okafor Wizards – 63% owned – Okafor has cooled off, averaging just 7.4 points on 42 percent shooting over his last five, but is still averaging 9.8 rebounds over that stretch. The blocks have disappeared, with just one of them over that stretch, while he’s also hit just 1-of-6 free throws in those games. He should bounce back sooner than later, and should be scooped up if you need a center and he was dumped in your league.
Samuel Dalembert Bucks – 44% owned – Larry Sanders has been out with a back injury but sounds like he’s nearing a return. Dalembert has been putting up quality stats in his absence and has earned more playing time after averaging nearly 20 points, 12 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 3.3 blocks over his last three games. If you need a center, he should continue to get around 20 minutes per game after Sanders is back.
Marreese Speights Cavaliers – 25% owned – Speights cooled off on Saturday when he played just 16 minutes and had five points and three rebounds. He’s still averaging 14.4 points, 7.2 rebounds and a block over his last five, and I’m guessing Saturday was more of a fluke than anything else.
Jonas Valanciunas Raptors – 12% owned – Valanciunas hasn’t done much since returning from a finger injury, but did get hot in 26 minutes on Friday when he had 14 points, 13 boards and two blocks. I have no idea if he’s going to keep getting minutes going forward, but the odds are in favor of it happening. Amir Johnson is still the center to own in Toronto, but Valanciunas could be ready to get hot.