With just over one month to go in the NBA regular season (and even less time remaining for a lot of fantasy leagues), it’s time to focus on players who can help improve your make-believe basketball teams right now. Here’s a look at some intriguing options owned in less than 15 percent of Yahoo leagues:
Kyle O’Quinn (8 percent): His game is 60 percent grit and hustle, 22 percent skill and 18 percent beard. And though his minute count doesn’t jump off the screen, his per-minute production does. So far in March (six games), O’Quinn has posted 9.8 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 1.0 spg and 1.7 bpg in just 21 minutes per game. Having started the last three games at power forward – including 10 points, eight boards and two blocks in 27 minutes on Wednesday – O’Quinn is well worth a look even if his playing time is stuck in the 20’s right now.
Pero Antic (13 percent): The aggressively tattooed big man from Macedonia has started 10 games for the Hawks, averaging 11.9 ppg, 5.6 rpg and 2.1 3s in those games (prior to a Thursday night matchup against the Bucks). He won’t help you much in defensive stats (0.6 spg, 0.3 bpg in his 10 starts), but a light smattering of points and boards along with a heavy dose of 3s is not the worst combo from a waiver wire center, especially with the Hawks having four-game weeks the rest of the way.
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Ryan Kelly (12 percent): I’ll be surprised if he’s still posting useful numbers a week from now, but Kelly has some intrigue as a daily play at the moment after posting a stout (and nowhere close to sustainable) 18.0 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 4.5 apg, 1.0 spg, 1.5 bpg and 3.0 treys in his last two games. I’d guess he has a small handful of good games left before Mike D’Antoni gets bored and starts giving heavy minutes to someone else.
Tim Hardaway Jr. (14 percent): He’s hot at the moment (25.0 ppg, 4.0 3s in his last two games), but Hardaway comes with a big inconsistency caution flag. In the four games before this recent two-game run, Hardaway averaged just 5.3 ppg. Because of those erratic numbers I wouldn’t want to start him for any prolonged stretch, but he makes sense as someone to throw into the lineup for a game or two if you need to make a quick impact in points and 3s. Just be aware that in addition to being inconsistent, Hardaway does very little outside of points and 3s. He has averaged just 1.7 rpg, 0.5 apg, 0.6 spg and 0.0 bpg in his last 12 games.
Marcus Morris (11 percent): He has hit double figures in scoring in seven consecutive games, a stretch that has seen him average 13.7 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 2.0 apg, 0.7 spg and 1.9 3s in 29 minutes per game. That run is slightly skewed by Morris getting a season-high 38 minutes with P.J. Tucker suspended on Wednesday, but Morris was already producing before Tucker took a seat.
Henry Sims (4 percent): In seven games as the Sixers starting center, Sims has averaged 10.6 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 1.0 spg and 1.0 bpg, highlighted by a too-good-to-be-true 20-point, 10-board, 3-assist, 3-steal, 2-block game against Sacramento on Wednesday. We obviously can’t expect Sims to do anything like that often (and perhaps not ever again), but one steal and one block per game from a starting center makes him worth considering in deeper formats.
Draymond Green (3 percent): You can probably find a more exciting option. You should aspire to find more exciting options. But if you can’t, Green is at least capable of cranking out some versatile numbers. Last six games: 9.0 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 3.0 apg, 1.8 spg, 0.7 bpg and 1.3 treys. Starting him in fantasy leagues probably falls somewhere between “sneaky” and “not advisable,” but at the moment I’d lean toward the former.
Other notable names owned in less than 15 percent of Yahoo leagues:
Jerryd Bayless (8 percent): Since late January (19 games), he has posted 10.8 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 3.5 apg, 0.8 spg and 1.1 3s in 27 minutes per game. Those numbers obviously aren’t going to do a lot for you over a prolonged stretch, so Bayless is another player I’d much rather stream for shorter stretches and hope you catch some of his better games.
Ramon Sessions (13 percent): I can understand why people started him this week with the Bucks playing five times, but overall I’m not all that excited about Sessions. His scoring numbers have been respectable since joining Milwaukee (13.2 ppg in 10 games), but the rest of his stats are otherwise bland: 2.8 rpg, 3.3 apg, 0.5 spg and 0.5 3s.
Shaun Livingston (9 percent): He’s playing plenty of minutes (an average of 29 in seven games so far this month), but is basically just a steals specialist with Deron Williams healthy right now. Despite a rare versatile line against the Heat on Wednesday (13 points, seven boards, four assists, three steals and a block), Livingston is averaging an uninspiring 10.6 ppg, 3.4 rpg and 2.4 apg (with 2.3 spg) this month, and has only hit one trey all season.
Aaron Brooks (2 percent): With Randy Foye suddenly running cold (6.3 ppg his last three games), Brooks has made some noise off the bench the last three: 13.3 ppg, 3.7 apg, 1.7 3s in just 22 minutes per game. We can’t expect him to keep up that pace in such limited playing time, but he’s an interesting flier right now in deeper or daily formats.
Will Bynum (4 percent): Despite limited minutes, he has quietly been reliable in points and assists over the last month (12.4 ppg, 5.4 apg in his last 14 games). The only problem: Bynum is averaging just 0.6 spg and 0.4 3s during that stretch, which severely limits his value outside of deeper leagues.