Steve Alexander

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Wired: NBA's Top Pickups

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Power Forwards


Amir Johnson Raptors 81% owned


Johnson has exploded since he returned from a stint on the bench and is averaging 20.8 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.0 blocks over his last five games. He’s a must-own player right now, but I also think now would be a good time to try to sell high on him. How he’s not owned in more leagues after his recent explosion is beyond me.


Andrea Bargnani Knicks 69% owned


Bargnani went through a pretty brutal recent slump, but the bottom line is that he is one of the more prominent players the Knicks have not named Carmelo. He’s averaging 22.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.5 steals, 0.5 blocks and has hit 20-of-48 shots in his last two games. He hasn’t been making many 3-pointers lately (one in his last five), but I suspect he’s going to start hitting them again. And regardless of how you feel about Bargs personally, it’s hard to come up with an argument for not owning him right now.


Josh McRoberts Bobcats 17% owned


It feels like McBob is on this list every week and that might even be a fact. But if you disregard his scoring, the rest of his numbers have been pretty fun all season. He’s averaging 8.2 points, 7.0 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 1.2 steals and 0.8 blocks over his last five games. He’s also hit three 3-pointers over that stretch and is shooting 55 percent. I have owned him all season in a few leagues and he’s one of those guys you don’t really want to focus on until the week is over, and you can see his total numbers for the scoring period.


Jon Leuer Grizzlies 15% owned


A good friend of mine, Mike McCollow, has spent a lot of time working with Leuer on his game over the last few years and I have gotten a few earfuls of how good he is. I don’t know that I believe that Leuer can really stay this hot going forward, but over his last five he’s averaging 14.8 points, 7.4 rebounds, 1.0 steals and 1.0 3-pointers on 52 percent shooting. He’s been helped by the absence of Marc Gasol and Ed Davis, but may have carved out enough minutes going forward to be held all season. Gasol appears to be nearing a return, but Leuer should be worth owning until it happens.


Derrick Williams Kings 21% owned


Despite coming off the bench behind Rudy Gay and Jason Thompson, Williams has been rolling, averaging 19 points, five rebounds and two steals over his last three games, when he’s also hit five 3-pointers and has been shooting lights-out. He’s playing well again on Sunday and should be owned in most leagues as long as he is getting 25-30 minutes per game.


Trevor Booker Wizards 6% owned


Booker has been filling in nicely for Nene (day-to-day), who remains out with a variety of nagging injuries. Over his last three games he’s averaging 16 points, 11 rebounds and a block per game. The walls could come crashing down once Nene is healthy again, but for now, Booker simply looks like a sneaky play in all formats.




Marc Gasol Grizzlies 91% owned & Tyson Chandler Knicks 70% owned


Both of these centers are nearing a return and it’s time to grab them if you want them. As you can see, they’re owned in most leagues, but are still floating around out there in a few of them.


Jordan Hill Lakers 27% owned


Along with Ross, Hill is the other guy I’ve been targeting heavily in my leagues. Hill is starting again (for now) for the Lakers and is averaging 10.4 points, 7.6 rebounds and 0.6 blocks in just 19 minutes over his last five games, but most of those came off the bench. He started on Saturday and had 15 points and nine rebounds, and he’s shooting 70 percent from the floor over his last five games. As long as Mike D’Antoni keeps Hill in the starting lineup, he should be owned in fantasy leagues.


Jonas Valanciunas Raptors 76% owned


Valanciunas has been up and down all season, but is finally starting to live up to the hype. He’s double-doubled in three of his last five games and two straight, and is averaging 11.4 points, 8.8 rebounds and 1.0 blocks on 47 percent shooting over his last five games. Maybe losing Rudy Gay was just what JV needed to get it going.


Brandan Wright Mavericks 11% owned


Wright finally made his debut on Saturday after missing the start of the season with a shoulder injury and hit 9-of-10 shots for 19 points and six rebounds in just 19 minutes of action. He’s the most talented center the Mavericks have and comes in with a lot of hype. Whether he can live up to it remains to be seen and he won’t hit 9-of-10 shots every time out, but if you need a big man, he should be one of the guys near the top of your list.


Andray Blatche Nets 22% owned


Blatche has arguably been the most consistent Net all season and benefits from playing with Brook Lopez’s bad feet and Kevin Garnett’s bad knees. He’s rolling again, going for 20.5 points, and 10.5 rebounds over his last two games, both off the bench, and is averaging 16 points and 9.5 rebounds over his last four. He’s usually a safe play and should be owned in more leagues than he currently is. 

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.
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