This week’s pickups list comes with some good and bad news. Let’s just get the negative stuff out of the way first. You could probably do better than this edition’s Fresh Pickings. After having such a thick waiver wire for the last couple weeks, things have slimmed down, and will probably stay that way until the trade deadline opens up opportunities for more players.
On the positive side, there are plenty of legitimate options under Last Call. All six of those players listed could easily wind up sticking on your team for the rest of the season, and if you include Al-Farouq Aminu, who was a member of Last Call last week, you should be able to find what you need. Also, this is the least amount of players we’ve had on the injured list all season. The stars that started the year banged up are paying dividends for patient owners who waited on their returns, helping them gear up for fantasy’s stretch run.
*** *** ***
The loss of Rajon Rondo hurts his fantasy owners just as much as it does the Boston Celtics, but just because you lost your stud point guard doesn’t mean you have to throw in the towel on your championship aspirations. The easiest alternative is to pick up Avery Bradley, who should be taking on the bulk of newly available minutes. He’s shown flashes of fantasy relevance before and should earn Doc Rivers’ trust with his defensive tenacity. Despite averaging only 8.2 points, 1.7 rebounds and 0.9 assists with 1.1 treys, 1.2 steals and 0.4 blocks in 24 minutes so far, Bradley presents the most upside out of the players eligible to excel in Rondo’s absence, so if you’re going to add a Celtic, Bradley is your guy.
Toronto’s roster is filled with young scorers, and lately it’s been Alan Anderson with the hot hand. Over his last six games, Anderson is putting up 16.5 points, 3.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists with 2.2 treys and 1.2 steals. His game his predicated solely on scoring, but if you are lacking in that department, Anderson could be poised for a big second half.
Jimmy Butler has filled in admirably for the hurt Luol Deng, perhaps carving himself out a decent role when Deng returns in the process. While starting the last five games, Butler is averaging 14.2 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.6 assists with 0.4 treys, 1.2 steals and 0.4 blocks. Tom Thibodeau loves what he brings on the defensive end of the floor, evidenced by the fact that he hasn’t played under 43 minutes over that stretch. Fantasy-wise, Butler has immediate value as a rebounder, but unless Deng remains out for a long time, won’t hold his value for long.
These guys were mentioned in last week’s edition. Go grab them if they’re still around.
There will surely be a readjustment period with a few new faces coming back from injury in New York, but Felton is as solid as they come. If someone cut him during injury, definitely scoop him up.
With Lou Williams done for the season, it’s up to Harris to provide some punch in the ATL.
Despite Denver’s depth, Chandler has been producing in a limited role. If he ever sees more time, he will be a must own.
He’s certainly not in his prime anymore, but this is the most fantasy relevant Brand has been in years. Grab him while he’s hot.
Wide open trey after wide open trey.
Bledsoe will barely be fantasy relevant when CP3 returns, but his upside warrants a speculative add.
These players will be out for an extended period of time, but if an impatient owner cuts them and you can afford to sit on an injury for a while, they are well worth the wait.
Derrick Rose (should be back in a few weeks)
Andrew Bynum (should be back around the All-Star break)
Danny Granger (should be back around the All-Star break)
Kevin Love (out for 6-8 more weeks)
Andrea Bargnani (should be back in a few weeks)
Which current players are you keeping tabs on right now?
Follow Kevin on Twitter at @DaOtherKevSmith.
Follow Dime on Twitter at @DimeMag.
Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE.