Basketball demands we break down its players not just by stats, but by the time and place they occur. That’s not the case in NBA 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.
Here are this weeks 5 best pickups:
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JARED SULLINGER, Boston Celtics (32 percent owned in Yahoo!, 26 percent in ESPN)
I have already mentioned Sullinger as a pickup, but now that he has hit the starting lineup, his ownership should increase even further. He has picked up his rebounding since becoming a starter, averaging 10.3 per game, to go along with 15.9 points, 0.7 treys, 0.7 blocks, and 0.7 steals. With Kelly Olynyk missing time with a sprained ankle, Sullinger has even seen some minutes at the five. After all the dust has settled, he looks to be the Celtic big man to own.
KIRK HINRICH, Chicago Bulls (27 percent owned in Y!, 17 percent in ESPN)
Hinrich ownership should be on the rise as Derrick Rose goes under the knife once again. Last year, Nate Robinson took on a bulk of the minutes in the former MVP’s absence, but without his services this year, it will be Hinrich who sees extended run. In the game Rose went down, Hinrich put up 13 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 assists, but his stat lines will get better as he gets more comfortable in his new role. If you’re in need of a point guard, he’s definitely worth a look.
HARRISON BARNES (68 percent owned in Y!, 78 percent in ESPN)
While Andre Iguodala waits out an unpredictable hamstring injury, Barnes will take on a ton of production. On Saturday night, he played 45 minutes, putting up 13 points, 4 rebounds, and 5 assists. He may not be the most polished fantasy basketball player, but until Iggy returns, he’s in line for plenty of run.
GLEN DAVIS (19 percent owned in Y!, five percent in ESPN)
Big Baby returned to the Magic rotation this past weekend, averaging 13.0 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 2.0 steals on 54 percent shooting from the field over two games. The return of Tobias Harris means he’ll have to share some minutes, but for the near term, he looks to be a solid play. A trade is even possible, as Orlando continues the youth movement, but for now, it’s worth taking a shot on Davis.
KOSTA KOUFOS (13 percent owned in Y!, one percent in ESPN)
Last on the injury front is Koufos, who will take over Marc Gasol’s minutes in Memphis. There isn’t a ton of upside here, but he should be safe for around eight rebounds and a block a game until last year’s Defensive Player of the Year returns. Ed Davis is in the mix too, but shouldn’t interfere with too many center minutes, at least initially.
These guys were mentioned in previous editions. Go grab them if they’re still around.
Jones is proving his worth to the Rockets organization, and is making a case to continue starting even if they trade Omer Asik for a stretch four.
As long as Hill is starting in an up-tempo offense, he deserves to be rostered.
He may be facing a minor suspension after getting in to it with Andrew Bogut the other night, but he’s especially useful if you need dimes from a shooing guard.
Even upon Steve Nash’s return, Blake is the point guard to own on the Lakers.
Tobias should be back this week, and although he might not get as much burn as he did at the end of last year, he can still do it all.
Until Rajon Rondo returns, Crawford is the number one guard to own in Boston.
Stephenson has been the surprise of the year so far, and should be rostered in every league.
Thomas continues to give the Kings no choice but to split the point guard minutes between him and Grievis Vasquez.
Plumlee is a very reliable source of blocks and rebounds, and will be for the rest of the year.
Bargnani is in for tons of run until Tyson Chandler returns from a broken leg.
His rebounding numbers have fallen off a bit, but his shot blocking keeps him fantasy relevant until Larry Sanders returns.
Waiting on injured players is tough, especially when the zeros start piling up. However, this is the time of year to do it. If you start slipping too much in the standings, you can go ahead and drop these guys, but for now, they’re worth the stash. This list is limited to guys that are sidelined for an extended period of time, so keep your eye out for players that are day-to-day too.
Kobe Bryant (practicing)
Rajon Rondo (no timetable for a return yet)
Tyson Chandler (out for 3-5 more weeks)
Larry Sanders (out at least 4 more weeks)
Marc Gasol (out for 6-8 weeks)
Derrick Rose (out indefinitely)
Andre Iguodala (out indefinitely)
What deals are you looking to make?
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