Derrick Williams MIN – Williams has been cooking over his last four games, scoring between 23 and 15 points in each of them, and is averaging 18.2 points, 9.0 rebounds and 1.2 blocks over his last five on 44 percent shooting. Andrei Kirilenko could be out for “a while,” and the only thing that can slow Williams down right now would be the return of Kevin Love. But Love’s return is far from guaranteed and with Minnesota’s great remaining schedule, Williams looks like a must-own player to me.
Jeff Green BOS – Green had a 3-of-10 shooting night for just six points on Monday, but has been pretty stellar outside of that one, averaging 16.2 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 0.8 steals, 1.8 blocks and 0.8 3-pointers on 51 percent shooting over his last five games. He’s getting 32 minutes a night and is going to continue to see heavy minutes going forward, albeit off the bench. The Celtics play four games per week in four of their next five, and I see no reason why Green’s not owned in all leagues – which I say every week.
Tobias Harris, Moe Harkless & Andrew Nicholson ORL – Harris has absolutely been killing it ever since he stepped off the plane in Orlando, averaging 20.0 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.0 steals, 1.0 blocks and 1.3 3-pointers on 70 percent shooting over his last five. That’s not a typo. He’s scored 27 and 23 points in his last two and it looks like the Magic are going to roll with him going forward, even though he’s coming off the bench. And despite the fact he’s killing it, he’s owned in just 36 percent of Yahoo! Leagues right now. Orlando plays four times per week in three of their next five.
Harkless is averaging 13.4 points, 5.2 rebounds, 0.8 blocks and 1.2 3-pointers on 56 percent shooting over his last five, and it looks like he’ll be able to co-exist with Harris going forward. Nicholson has taken a hit, playing just 17 minutes per game in each of his last three, but has scored 17, 8 and 13 points in those limited minutes. But I’d much rather own Harris or Harkless at this point.
Thaddeus Young PHI- Young has been back in action for four games since returning from a hamstring injury and is averaging 10.5 points, 11.3 boards, 2.3 steals and 1.3 blocks since then, despite hitting just 39 percent of his shots. His shooting will improve, meaning the rest of his numbers may follow, although it’s hard to imagine him grabbing more than 10 boards a night the rest of the way. But if he was dropped in your league and still hasn’t been picked up, make the move.
Other Forwards To Consider
Antawn Jamison & Earl Clark LAL – Pau Gasol’s not coming back anytime soon and Jamison has been pretty solid and very consistent since he went down. Over his last five, Jamison has scored between 13 and 17 points, averaging 15.0 per game, along with 5.4 rebounds and 1.6 3-pointers on 52 percent shooting. Some assists, blocks and steals would be nice, but at least Jamison can be relied upon for scoring and threes, with some decent rebounding numbers mixed in. Clark has hit a bit of a wall, scoring eight or fewer points in each of his last three games, with a total of just 11 rebounds. I’m not sure what his problem is and while I’m guessing he’ll bounce back, I trust Jamison more at this point.
Carlos Delfino HOU – Delfino has played well over the past few weeks and saw a big boost when he was starting at power forward. However, that job currently belongs to Donatas Motiejunas, which means Delfino is coming off the bench again. He’s averaging 15.2 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.2 steals and a whopping 3.8 3-pointers per game over his last five. He’ll have some bad games when his shot’s not falling and the Rockets play just three games per in all but one of the remaining scoring periods. But if you can live with the inconsistency, Delfino looks primed to keep it going through the end of the season, as long as he can stay healthy.
Al-Farouq Aminu NOH – AFA hasn’t scored more than eight points in six straight games, but has hit double digits in rebounding in three of those and is averaging 6.0 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.8 steals and1.8 blocks over his last five. He’s shooting just 35 percent over that stretch and the scoring is a major concern, but the Hornets play four times this week and maybe he’ll break out of the funk while he’s at it.
John Salmons SAC –Salmons went on a three-game tear recently, blowing up for 21, 15 and 18 points in three straight starts, while piling up 3-pointers, assists and steals. However, he had eight points in the game prior to the streak, and hit just 1-of-7 shots for three points on Friday. Another concern is that he’s played 21 & 22 minutes in each of his last two games, while Marcus Thornton is surging and probably hurting Salmons’ minutes. He’s worth keeping an eye on, but one look at his game log will tell you he’s gone on several short hot streaks like this one this season, and they seem to end as quickly as they start.
Caron Butler LAC –Butler has been playing really well lately and we can even forgive him for his 1-of-9 shooting Thursday, when he had just two points and missed all six of his 3-point attempts. Butler’s been hot in six of his last seven games and is averaging 12.6 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.6 3-pointers on 45 percent shooting over his last five. He’ll get some rebounds and steals, but isn’t really killing it anywhere outside of the scoring category right now, while the Clippers’ schedule goes 3-2-3 over the next three weeks, meaning he’s going to be tough to own in many leagues. Lamar Odom is also worth a deep-league look after averaging 8.8 points, 5.4 rebounds, 0.8 steals, 1.9 blocks and 0.8 3-pointers over his last five.
Carl Landry GSW – Landry has hit double figures in scoring in seven straight games and is averaging 13.6 points, 6.0 rebounds and 0.8 steals over his last five. As long as Andrew Bogut is out with his back injury, Landry is a solid option. But keep in mind the Warriors’ schedule is pretty bad after they play four games in each of the next two weeks. Harrison Barnes is also worth a look, but has been too inconsistent for my blood.
Martell Webster & Trevor Ariza WAS – Webster averaged 12.4 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 0.7 steals and 2.6 3-pointers per game in the month of February, shooting 52 percent in 12 games. And even with Trevor Ariza coming on, Webster still played 37 minutes on Friday night, when he scored nine points and hit a 3-pointer. As long as Webster’s starting over Ariza, he’s worth owning in deeper leagues, and the Wizards play four games per week in four straight after this scoring period’s three-game week.
Wilson Chandler DEN – Danilo Gallinari actually played on Friday, but that didn’t stop Chandler from going off for a career-high 35 points with six 3-pointers on 13-of-19 shooting. Chandler is always a decent roll of the dice when Gallo is out, but that’s all we really know. When Gallinari is back at full strength, it’s hard to imagine Chandler being consistent enough of use in most leagues.
Quincy Pondexter MEM – QP has quietly been seeing more minutes recently and is in a timeshare with Tayshaun Prince. He’s averaging 11 points, 1.5 3-pointers and 24 minutes over his last two games, meaning owners in extremely deep leagues should have him on their radar.