Lance Stephenson Pacers 70% owned
As long as Danny Granger is hurting, Stephenson should be in starting lineups. He already looks like the league’s most improved player (no offense to the Brow) and is averaging 19 points, 6.7 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 3.0 3-pointers and just 1.7 turnovers while shooting nearly 60 percent from the floor. The bad news is that he has yet to record a steal this season, but that is more of a fluke than anything else. The fact he’s not owned in 30 percent of Yahoo! leagues sounds ridiculous to me.
Alec Burks Jazz 29% owned
How Burks is only owned in 29 percent of Yahoo! leagues is also a bit mind boggling. We hyped him as a super sleeper prior to the season and he’s now averaging 18 points, 3.7 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.0 steals and is hitting 49 percent of his shots after three games. He’s not hitting many threes or stealing the ball yet, but those should be coming soon. He’s primed for a breakout season and I’ll be surprised if it doesn’t happen.
Vince Carter Mavericks 34% owned
I might be old school but that doesn’t mean I like having old dudes on my fantasy teams. In fact, I hate it. But I simply couldn’t ignore what Carter’s been doing this year. He had one big line against the Hawks when he scored 21 points, and was solid in the other two. Cater is averaging 12.7 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.7 assists and a 3-pointer in 26 minutes per game. I’m not rushing out to pick him up, but if I were desperate for a healthy, established player, I would certainly give him a long look.
James Anderson Sixers 9% owned
Anderson has steadily declined in each game, starting out the season with 35 minutes, eight points, six boards, two steals and two 3-pointers against the Heat. He was especially bad against the Bulls on Saturday, but still managed to play 30 minutes. He had a big preseason and I still think he will break out of his funk soon, as he’s probably just been standing around watching MCW go berserk. Don’t go pick Anderson up right now, but put him on your watch list and be ready to jump when he gets hot. The reality is the Sixers don’t have anyone on the bench any better than Anderson, so hopefully he’ll keep the job.
Marco Belinelli Spurs 4% owned
Belinelli got off to a slow start, scoring a total of seven points in his first two games, but came through with 19 points, three boards, four assists, two steals and three 3-pointers on 8-of-12 shooting in 27 minutes on Saturday. With Manu Ginobili seeing a decline in minutes, as he’s another year older, Belinelli could be playing a very big role for the Spurs this season.
Trevor Ariza Wizards 65% owned
I’ve got trust issues with Ariza, but he’s been a beast in FanDuel.com leagues with his low salary, which means he’s also been working out well for owners in standard leagues. After two regular-season games he’s averaging 20 points, 12 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 1.5 steals and 3.5 3-pointers on 45 percent shooting. There’s no way he’ll keep up that pace and he’s off to a slow start in Sunday night’s game as I write this. But if he’s available in your league, he looks like a must-own player to me. As a side note, he’s in early foul trouble and really struggling on Sunday.
DeMarre Carroll Hawks 11% owned
Even though he’s the starting small forward for the Hawks, Carroll still doesn’t even qualify at SF in some leagues. He’s averaging a whopping 34 minutes in two games, along with 11 points, five boards, two assists, three steals and 1.5 3-pointers per game. I don’t see the Hawks looking to move in another direction anytime soon, meaning Carroll should be a nice, low-end source of steals and threes until further notice.
Corey Brewer Timberwolves 14% owned
Brewer checks in at 30.5 minutes per contest and is averaging 12.5 points, 1.5 steals and a 3-pointer in his two games. He’s probably never going to be a strong offensive player, but his defense is better than it has been thus far. The minutes are there and as long as he holds the job for the Wolves, he can help teams lacking depth at the position.
Francisco Garcia 8% & Omri Casspi Rockets 1% owned
If you’re looking for cheap 3-pointers, these are your guys. Garcia has drained 10 of them in three games and is averaging a block and 13 points per game for the Rockets. Things haven’t gone as smoothly for his teammate, Casspi, but I think his time might be coming. Casspi was a dud in Game 1, had 12 points, a steal and three 3-pointers in Game 2, and missed Game 3 with an ankle injury. It sounds like he’ll be ready to go for the upcoming week though, so if you’re scouring your wire for 3-pointers, he’s someone who can probably help you.
Richard Jefferson Jazz 1% owned
Again, I’m not a big fan of the old guys, but RJ is starting for the Jazz and playing well. He’s averaging 11.7 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.7 3-pointers per game in 23 minutes. He may not keep the starting job all season, but as long as he has it, he’s worth a look, especially in deeper leagues where the wire is really thin.