The NBA had a lighter schedule last night with just five games on the schedule but there was definitely plenty of fantasy goodness to go around. The Rockets were the primary provider of firepower as they tied the NBA record for three-pointers on their way to 140 points. Since most of their scoring was done by regular fantasy contributors and last night’s output is the definition of an outlier, you won’t find any Rockets here though.
As we do every day in our box score breakouts (archive here), we’ll focus on the players who are widely available in fantasy basketball but are contributing to the owners that have them. If you need a boost, these are the guys to look for on the waiver wire:
Jerryd Bayless-Memphis Grizzlies
Bayless has been touted repeatedly on this site (here, here, and here). I’ve said he could be the most important pickup of the rest of the year, and there’s still time to get in on the action since he’s available in 60% of ESPN leagues. The big reason people have shied off of Bayless is they’re afraid he’ll be relegated to a bench role with Tayshaun Prince in town and they wondered if that would diminish his value. Last night it sure didn’t. Bayless came off the bench and scored a career-high 29 points hitting three triples while adding two boards, two assists, and a steal. He won’t score or shoot like that every night to be sure, but he’s averaged 19.6 over his last five and usually contributes assists (4.8 over the last five) and steals (1.2 over the last five). Bayless is pickup who can be a big part of your roster for the rest of the season.
Earl Clark-LA Lakers
Clark got his third double-double in a row last night finishing with 14 points and 12 rebounds along with a block and a steal in the Lakers win at Brooklyn. In his last five games he’s averaged 13.8 points and 10.4 boards. He’s playing big time minutes with the Lakers injury issues and should continue to be a useful fantasy player even when all the Lake-show is back in action. He’s owned in 41.5% and is a great short-term pickup in most formats.
Lance Stephenson-Indiana Pacers
All of the sudden, Stephenson has become a consistent contributor for the Pacers and his fantasy owners. Stephenson had 14 points last night and has averaged 15 points over his last five and 10 over his last 10 games. He’s also contributing rebounds and assists. Last night he had six boards and three assists while averaging 6.4 rebounds and 4.2 assists over his last five. He hasn’t been spectacular in any one game or category, but has been a steady option and is owned in just 11.3% of leagues.
Samuel Dalembert-Milwaukee Bucks
The Bucks big man came off the bench and blew up going for a career-high 35 points on 17-21 shooting with a dozen rebounds, two assists, and a block. He got a start last Friday with Larry Sanders out and scored a season-high 14 points before going scoreless in Saturday’s game. Sam-Dale could be in for a start again tonight since Sanders left injured from last night’s contest. If Dalembert gets floor time, which he hadn’t been until recently, he can contribute rebounds, blocks, and occasionally scoring. Don’t expect 35 again this season, but he’ll be a double-double threat ever time he plays 20+ minutes. Currently, Dalembert is owned in 19.4% of ESPN leagues.
Corey Brewer-Denver Nuggets
Brewer’s numbers can be inconsistent coming off the bench but he’s been putting up better numbers lately with Wilson Chandler being limited with a strained groin. He had 20 points last night against the visiting Bucks to go with two steals, four rebounds, and an assist. He knocked in a triple for the fourth game in a row and has averaged 13.2 points, 2.2 rebounds, 1.2 three-pointers, and 1.6 steals over his last five games. He’s owned in just 2.4% of ESPN leagues but could be useful in fantasy hoops if he continues to have games like last night.
P.J. Tucker-Phoenix Suns
Tucker is playing major minutes for the Suns with 29 or more in the last seven games. His numbers haven’t been huge, but he’s a player to monitor. He finished last night with nine points and seven boards with a three-pointer and a pair of steals. If you are desperate for help with steals he’s averaged 2.0 in his last three and has several three-steal games. Tucker’s unowned and can stay that way outside of the deepest formats, but is a player to know since he’s seeing so much time on the floor.