If you enjoy occasionally taking a minute (or an hour) out of your day to stare at NBA game logs, you’ll probably agree that Aaron Brooks’ recent run is a pretty interesting (and turbulent) case. Take a look at his last 10 games heading into a Friday night matchup against the Grizzlies:
3/15 @ ATL: 7 pts, 7 ast, 2 stl, 2 blk, 1 3-pointer (26 minutes)
3/17 vs LAC: 3 pts, 5 ast, 2 stl (17 minutes)
3/19 vs DET: 27 pts, 6 reb, 17 ast, 1 3-pointer (47 minutes – Note: Ty Lawson did not play)
3/21 @ DAL: 6 pts, 2 ast (21 minutes)
3/23 vs WAS: 13 pts, 7 ast, 1 stl, 1 3-pointer (25 minutes)
3/24 @ OKC: 5 pts, 3 ast, 1-of-8 shooting (28 minutes)
3/26 @ SA: 25 pts, 5 reb, 8 ast, 4 3s (31 minutes)
3/28 vs SA: 8 pts, 3 ast, 1 stl, 1 3-pointer (30 minutes)
3/31 vs MEM: 10 pts, 6 ast, 1 stl, 2 3s (29 minutes)
4/2 vs. NO: 24 pts, 3 reb, 1 ast, 2 stl, 2 blk, 6 3s (30 minutes)
If you reduced that 10-game run to one word descriptions, it would go: Good, Bad, Dominant, Awful, Solid, Gross, Great, Bland, Decent, YAHTZEE.
Obviously there are quite a few emotional swings involved there, and if you’re in a daily league streaming players, it’s very possible that you’ve gotten only bad games from Brooks – or only great ones.
However, if you look at Brooks’ last 10 games in terms of averages, you get a much more serene-looking 12.8 ppg, 5.9 apg, 0.9 spg and 1.6 3s. And with that in mind, I see this as a case where sitting through a bad game or two will ultimately continue to pay off, because Brooks is playing enough (28 minutes per game in his last 10) that he should continue mixing in good games off the bench. The Nuggets play twice this weekend (Friday and Sunday), and just three times next week, but with the added motivation of back-to-back games against his former team (the Rockets) on Sunday and Wednesday, this is a hit-or-miss player I fully endorse.
Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting its one-day $1.2 million Fantasy Basketball Championship on Friday night. The Championship has a $120,000 first place prize. You can buy in directly for $200. Starts at 7pm ET on Friday. Here's the FanDuel link.
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Some other late-season options to consider…
Kent Bazemore (16 percent owned in Yahoo leagues): I don’t trust Mike D’Antoni, and will continue to not trust Mike D’Antoni, but I am a believer in Bazemore’s all-around ability. He’s currently on a run of playing 30-plus minutes in five of his last six games, a stretch that has seen him average 15.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 3.8 apg, 1.7 spg and 1.5 3s. It’s also a stretch that has probably seen him disappear from the waiver wire in most competitive leagues, but owners in daily formats or shallower leagues should keep Bazemore’s name in mind.
Draymond Green (6 percent): Already a solid low-end contributor, he’s now in an ideal situation with Andrew Bogut and David Lee both sidelined. Last four games: 8.3 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 3.0 apg, 0.8 spg, 1.8 bpg, 0.8 3s in 35 minutes per game.
Zaza Pachulia (9 percent): If you’re willing to stomach some ugly box scores, Zaza has quietly been on a surprising assist binge for the horrendously awful Bucks. Last 12 games: 8.7 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 3.8 apg and 1.2 spg, including a lofty 10.0 ppg, 14.5 rpg and 5.0 apg in his last two.
Timofey Mozgov (13 percent): He’s as maddening and unpredictable as fantasy options get, but the minutes and production have been there lately (last five games: 14.2 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 0.6 spg, 1.4 bpg). Mozgov has a tendency to unleash a smelly burp the second he lands in your lineup, but he’s done enough lately that taking a chance on starting him makes some sense.
Jeff Withey (1 percent): For those of you who play in leagues where the Bazemores, Greens, Pachulias (and Mozgovs) of the world are already gone from the waiver wire, we will now dive to much lower depths. There are no guarantees of anything here obviously, but Withey has emerged as an intriguing late-season flier while posting 10.5 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 1.0 spg and 4.5 bpg (in an average of 29 minutes) his last two games.
Jarvis Varnado (1 percent): To be clear, the Sixers backup center is only a play if you’re desperate to make a run in blocks. In the last four games, he has piled up 12 of them (including a 6-block game last Saturday), a stretch that has seen him average 5.8 ppg, 4.3 rpg and 3.0 bpg while statistically calling to mind Michael “Yogi” Stewart, who in 1997-98 averaged 4.6 ppg, 6.6 rpg and 2.4 bpg, including a glorious nine-block game for which he was actually in my fantasy lineup. And I have now spent more time than planned talking about Jarvis Varnado (and Yogi Stewart).
Jan Vesely (0 percent): It’s possible that the last paragraph ran a little too long because I was trying to delay this as long as possible. To be clear, I will not be adding Vesely in any fantasy leagues, and I almost can’t believe I’m writing a paragraph about him, but he did have a nice line in a blowout win on Wednesday (10 pts, 5 reb, 2 ast, 2 stl, 2 blk), and has posted 7.7 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 1.0 spg and 2.0 bpg in his last three games. Seriously, don’t add him. Unless you have to. In which case I either applaud your savvy maneuver, or agree with you that it was a horrible idea, depending on the outcome.
Thanks to a well-timed injury to Andrew Bogut, and some big stats from the aforementioned Aaron Brooks, I won Week 1 of the 30-Deep finals over Rotoworld’s Ryan Knaus, giving me a chance to close out the championship this week. In addition to losing Bogut, Ryan has also had the bad luck of an injury to Kyle Lowry, who missed his first game of the year on Wednesday. And as much as I’d like to say that I wish our teams could be facing off at full strength, I think his roster at its best is slightly better than mine, so rather than pretend to be a perfect sportsman I’m going to take my good fortune and run as far as I can with it.