Steve Alexander

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Wired: NBA Top Pickups Week 9

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Games Played for Week 9


5 Games HOU




1 Game BOS

Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $40,000 Fantasy Basketball league for Monday night's games. It's $25 to join and first prize is $6,000. Starts at 7pm ET on Monday. Here's the FanDuel link.


Point Guards


Aaron Brooks Rockets


Brooks hasn’t exactly killed it this season, but with Patrick Beverley out for the next month or two with a broken hand, and Jeremy Lin still banged up with a sore back, Brooks could end up being a must-own player. And when you consider the Rockets play five times this week, he pretty much is for now.


Brandon Knight Bucks


After an injury-filled and ridiculously slow start to the season, Knight is suddenly a beast for one of the worst teams in the league. He’s averaging 20.2 points, 6.2 rebounds, 4.4 assists, a steal and 2.0 3-pointers over his last five games, which includes a 36-point gem with nine rebounds and six 3-pointers against the Knicks last Wednesday.


Jordan Farmar Lakers


Farmar is hoping to play on Christmas after missing time with a hamstring injury and should immediately take over at point guard, where Kobe Bryant was filling in until his knee injury shut him down. Xavier Henry is out of position and running the point right now and while Farmar isn’t great, he should be very good until Steve Blake or Steve Nash ever come back to play. It doesn’t sound like he’ll play on Monday, so his four-game week should really be treated like a three-game week, and only then if he suits up for Christmas Day against the Heat.


D.J. Augustin Bulls


I remember getting a few questions about D.J. Augustin when he landed with the Bulls, but I just didn’t see him doing much. And I was wrong. With Kirk Hinrich dealing with back pain, DJA is easily the best point guard on the Bulls and could continue as such even when Hinrich is healthy. He’s averaging 12.0 points, 7.6 assists and 2.4 3-pointers over his last five games, and 16.5 points, 7.5 assists, 1.5 steals, and 3.5 3-pointers over his last two. The only problem is the Bulls play just twice this week, but then again, so do several teams.


Lou Williams Hawks


I still don’t really trust Williams, as his surgically repaired knee will probably cause him problems at some point down the line, and he’s had some really bad games mixed in with a few good ones. Maybe his nickname should be ‘Inconsistent Lou,’ as he’s scored 25, 2, 5, 27, 5, 8, 13, 3 and 10 points in each of his December games. But as his knee gets stronger, he should start scoring with more consistency going forward. He has hit six 3-pointers in two of his last four games, so he should be able to help you there if you’re in need of treys.  


Shooting Guards


Xavier Henry Lakers


Henry has been playing point guard since Kobe went down and is averaging 17.0 points, 3.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.5 steals over his last two games, while playing 36 and 42 minutes in those. He could be heading to the bench once Jordan Farmar is healthy and starting at point guard, but it’s not guaranteed to happen. Either way, Henry looks like a strong player to add right now, especially with a four-game week on tap.


Lance Stephenson, Danny Granger Pacers


Stephenson is hot, averaging 16.8 points, 7.8 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 0.8 steals and 1.2 3-pointers over his last five games, shooting lights-out at 56 percent over that stretch. Granger hit 1-of-7 shots for five points in 22 minutes on Friday, and while he’ll eventually cut slightly into Stephenson’s mojo, I think Stephenson is still a must-own player, even with Granger back. And as for Granger, own him if you want, but I just don’t see him making a big impact for one of the league’s best teams. And the chances of him being able to stay healthy going forward seem slim, at best.


Francisco Garcia, Omri Casspi Rockets


With five games this week, both players are worth a close look, especially with Sunday morning’s news that James Harden could miss more time with his ankle injury. If you own Harden, I still think you play him this week in hopes that he’ll give you at least three games, but it doesn’t sound all that likely that he will play in all five games. Casspi had 13 points, six rebounds, seven assists and a 3-pointer when Harden sat out on Saturday, while Garcia chipped in with 16 points, five boards, four assists, a block and four 3-pointers in the start. And if Harden misses more games, both players should produce in five games this week.


Tony Allen Grizzlies


Allen is playing well with Tayshaun Prince out with a knee injury, averaging 18.0 points, 8.7 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 2.3 steals on 21-of-43 shooting over his last three games. We don’t know when Prince will return, but as long as he’s out, Allen looks like a decent start for three games this week.


Gerald Green Suns


I have no idea what has gotten into Green over his last two games, but he’s hot. He’s played 28 minutes in each of his last two games, scoring 22 and 19 points with a total of 10 3-pointers. He’s also averaging 4.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.0 blocks in those two games, making him worth a look right now. He could easily disappear again at any time, or this could be the start of another hot run, as the Suns may be growing tired of P.J. Tucker’s inconsistency as the starting small forward.


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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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