Hoops demands we break down its players not just by stats, but by the time and place they occur. That’s not the case in fantasy hoops, though, where cold calculations rule the day and the matchup. Who are the Fantasy Doctor‘s choices for this week’s best pickups? Hit the jump to find out.
Thomas Robinson (36 percent owned in Yahoo!, 13 percent in ESPN)
Thomas Robinson was the biggest benefactor of Thursday’s trade deadline. In a shocking move, the Rockets were able to acquire the fifth overall pick from Sacramento, who gave up on him surprisingly quick. Fantasy wise, Houston is one of the best places Robinson could have landed. They were already thin in the frontcourt, and since they traded two big men for one in the deal, there will be plenty of minutes to go around for him. The Rockets love to push the pace, so expect great counting stats out of Robinson, who averaged 11.0 points and 10.6 rebounds per 36 minutes in Sacramento. However, he is a rookie who will go through his ups and downs, and his percentages leave much to be desired. Still, Robinson’s upside alone warrants an add in all leagues of 12 or more teams.
Gordon Hayward (55 percent owned in Y!, 79 percent in ESPN)
Gordon Hayward has been rock solid all season, especially in rotisserie leagues, but a recent shoulder injury caused his ownership to plummet. Hayward admits that the shoulder is still a little sore after games, but compares it to sore knees, which bother most throughout the year. He retuned after the All-Star break and plans to play through the discomfort, so expect him to put up his usual season averages of 13.8 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.2 treys, 0.7 steals and 0.6 blocks. Hayward won’t hurt you in any category and is one of the safer adds you can make.
Carlos Delfino (26 percent owned in Y!, 24 percent in ESPN)
Carlos Delfino has made our pickups list before, but only as a deep league three-point specialist. Now, Delfino has been thrown into the Rockets starting five, and has been thriving in the role. He has started and played at least 35 minutes in his last three games, while averaging 14.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 4.3 treys and 1.7 steals over that span. The Argentinian is a lock to average two-plus treys with at least a steal and above average rebounds if you use him in the shooting guard slot.
Mo Harkless (15 percent owned in Y!, 9 percent in ESPN)
The J.J. Redick trade has left the Orlando Magic roster void of any major scoring talent, meaning someone outside of Jameer Nelson and Arron Afflalo will have to step up and put the ball in the hole. One of the most eligible people to do that is Mo Harkless. Harkless was the 15th pick of this past year’s draft and possesses both the length and upside to average the hard-to-find steal, block and trey per game. Over his last four games, Harkless is putting up 16.8 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.0 treys, 1.0 steals and 1.0 blocks, and has played no less than 28 minutes. As Orlando continues along with the youth movement, expect Harkless’s time on the floor, as well as his fantasy ownership, to increase.
Al Harrington (28 percent owned in Y!, 5 percent in ESPN)
Al Harrington has yet to take the floor this season, but his return is close and the Magic’s scoring problem that we mentioned above plays right into his hands. We saw Harrington succeed on the Knicks rebuilding roster in the past, and now in a comparable situation, he should be able to succeed, at least in fantasy land. Sure, he’s three years removed from it, but he was able to put up 19.2 points and 2.2 treys in his two season in New York, and while he probably won’t approach that now, any threes you can get out of your power forward are pivotal for your team. Expect a bit of a slow start, but Harrington should eventually be able to find his groove. He’s simply too talented offensively not to.
These guys were mentioned in last week’s edition. Go grab them if they’re still around.
Made his debut on Saturday, but will need a week or so to work himself back into game shape.
Has been a go-to scorer off the bench for the Celtics since Rondo’s injury.
A rare three-point, rebound, and block threat.
Fantasy relevant until Pau Gasol returns.
These players will be out for an extended period of time, but are worthy of a stash.
Derrick Rose (should be back around mid-March)
Andrew Bynum (should be back in 2-3 weeks)
Kevin Love (should be back just in time for the fantasy playoffs)
Pau Gasol (check your league settings, out four more weeks but could be back for your fantasy playoffs)
Mo Williams (should be back in 2-3 weeks)
Kevin also writes for the brand new turnontheknicks.com. Catch them on Twitter at: @TurnOnTheKnicks
Who will be the key pickup coming down the stretch toward the fantasy playoffs?
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