By: Kento Kato
It is that stretch of the NBA season in which things just seem to be kind of a dull. While some teams have found their groove, there are also some teams are doing whatever it can to just hobble into the All-Star break. This can make for some one-sided and boring games and it is also the time of the year when fantasy basketball players can start to get a bit lazy. Your team may be underperforming and that may be because the injuries are piling up, or it could be that player you expected to post some good numbers, has been disappointing.
You may find yourself staring at your computer screen and scrolling through the free agents. Or, you may simply just be praying for your team to get it together. Regardless, stay in there. The season is still just a bit over half the way mark and all it takes is for an injury or a breakout player, or a trade to change your fortunes. With that in mind, here are some fantasy storylines and players to keep an eye on that may turn your season around.
Khris Middleton- Middleton was a huge part of the Bucks’ team last year posting strong numbers as a three and D player, emerging into a two-way star. He is coming off of a long hiatus and has only played in two games so far. And because of that, he will be eased back into the rotation so it could be until March until he puts up numbers that make him worth owning, but if you have a huge margin, or have nowhere to go but up, with an injury reserve spot in your league, he may be worth a pickup. While he has been getting looked at by many, he is still only owned in 67% of leagues so there is a chance that he is available in your league.
Matt Barnes- This one is not as a major change to the lineup, but with Rudy Gay out for the rest of the season with a torn Achilles, Barnes is worth a look. He may not win you a league by himself, but if you have someone to cut, he can be solid addition giving you a little bit of everything. Since January 31st, he has posted averages of 10.3ppg, 9.1rpg, 3.7apg, .6spg, and .6bpg and should continue to at least put up decent numbers as he is averaging 32.3mpg.
TJ McConnell- McConnell is another one of those players that may not turn your season around immediately, but with the ability to get you anywhere from 5-10 points, assists, and rebounds on a nightly basis with a few steals, he can definitely help your team out if you need someone to do a little bit of everything. He has been the stating point guard for much of the 76ers recent success so look for him to continue to run the point going forward. In his last 10 games, he has provided his owners with 8th round value, which is very good for someone who is available in 51% of leagues on Yahoo.
Frank Kaminsky- Frank the Tank is only owned in 30% of leagues on Yahoo so he should be available in your league as well. He is very solid, giving you points, rebounds, steals, 3’s, and even a couple assists here and there. He started as the Hornets’ center last night and scored 12 points and had 11 rebounds to go along with 2 assists, 1 steal, and 3 blocks. While he didn’t necessarily shoot great, he has averaged 15.7ppg, 7rpg, 2.7 triples, 3.7apg, and 1.3spg in his last three starting at the center position. Cody Zeller is currently out right now so Kamisnky looks to be a good pick up right now.
Nik Stauskas- The Sauce, as he is called in Philadelphia, has strung together a few strong games now. He has scored in double-digits in each of his last 4 with 2.5 triples a game and he has been getting at least 5 rebounds in 3 of those 4, and even picking up 17 assists in that span as well. While the assists may not always be there, he is a good perimeter shooter and he should continue to get a lot of minutes for the Sixers. Even if you do not pick him up now, definitely keep an eye on him. He is owned in only 7% of leagues oh Yahoo and he is certainly trending upwards.
James Johnson- I’ve actually had Johnson for the last month or so and he has been pegged as one of the key reasons the Heat have been playing very well recently. On the season, he is a mid to late round player and is averaging 12.4ppg, 4.9rpg, and 3.3apg. He is owned in 64% of leagues but if he is available in your league, definitely pick him up.
Kelly Olynyk- Olynyk has now scored in double-digits in three straight and has been playing very well recently. In February, he is averaging 13.8ppg on 59.5% shooting with 1.4 threes. He is also contributing 6.6rpg, 2apg, .6spg, and .6bpg as well. His role, as well as his play, is a bit inconsistent and there is a chance that the Celtics are active during the trade deadline, so he isn’t a sure thing going forward, but if you want a big man that is shooting the lights out, he may be a good pick up for you.