Last night was wall-to-wall with NBA action with a baker’s dozen of games giving us plenty of fantasy basketball goodness. Since there were 13 games on the schedule, we’ll focus on players unowned in at least half of ESPN leagues in today’s edition of Box Score Breakouts where we look at emerging fantasy hoops contributors (archive here).
Some of these players listed here aren’t worth grabbing yet, but keep an eye on them to see what happens over the next few weeks. I’m running short on time, so the explanations may not be as complete as usual, but here’s a quick rundown:
Martell Webster-Washington Wizards
Webster continues to produce some scoring pop and a solid string of three-pointers for the Wizards. Washington has stepped up and won back-to-back games against the Clippers and Knicks and Webster has hit a handful of triples in each of those games. Last night he finished with 19 points, two assists, and two rebounds while playing 42 minutes. He’s averaged 3.6 three’s over his last five games while contributing 15.4 points over that span. He’s only owned in 12.5% of ESPN leagues, but if you need scoring and 3PM, he’s a good option. He doesn’t provide much peripherally, but is a solid scorer getting big-time minutes for Washington.
Harrison Barnes-Golden State Warriors
Barnes role for the Warriors is starting to include more scoring. In the last four games he’s played, he’s averaging 14.8 points after last night’s 19-point effort against the Thunder. He added a steal but doesn’t produce in many categories besides points and highlight-reel dunks (not a real category). Barnes is available in over 80% of leagues but could be in for a big second-half for the Warriors.
Marreese Speights-Cleveland Cavaliers
If you need steady production from your bigs, Speights is worth a look coming off the bench in Cleveland. Since joining the Cavs, he’s scored double-digits in all six of his games and has back to back double-doubles. Last night, Cleveland was so far ahead he only played 19 minutes but still managed to get 10 boards to go with his 11 points and a block. Speights is owned in 15.4% of leagues and can give you solid but not spectacular production.
Samuel Dalembert-Milwaukee Bucks
Coming off his 35-point outburst last night, Dalembert had a more realistic output against Utah finishing with 10 points, 11 rebounds, four blocks, and four steals in his 26 minutes. Dalembert is reportedly available on the trade market and has shown the last couple games that he can bring some value to a new team and fantasy teams if he gets time on the floor. If Larry Sanders misses more time or SamDale gets traded, look for his fantasy stock to rise as he provides bocks, boards, and scoring for his fantasy owners. Currently he’s owned in 10.8% of leagues.
J.J. Barea-Minnesota Timberwolves
Barea continues to find time in the Wolves crowded backcourt finishing last night with 15 points, three three’s, four rebounds, two assists, and a steal. Over the last 10 games he’s averaging 13.3 points, 4.5 assists and he’s hit at least one triple in each of his last 10. As a one-day fill in or a desperation play at point guard, Barea can definitely have value in the over 90% of leagues where he’s on the waiver wire.
Courtney Lee-Boston Celtics
Since Rajon Rondo’s injury, Courtney Lee has been starting for the Celtics. He had a pretty solid final statline last night despite missing all three of his three-point attempts. Lee had 15 points, three assists, and two rebounds. He’ll keep getting the time, so see if he can finish this season like he did last with a strong second-half. He’s owned in under four percent of ESPN leagues, so there’s no need to blitz the wire, but keep an eye on Lee’s production going forward.
Jeffery Taylor-Charlotte Bobcats
Taylor started and played 24 minutes against Cleveland last night. He had double-digit points for the third game in a row and hit both three-pointers he attempted. He’s nothing more than someone to monitor in deep leagues but he could have value since he’s now starting for Charlotte contributing scoring and threes.
Will Bynum-Detroit Pistons
Bynum continues to be a key contributor off the bench for Detroit despite the arrival of Jose Calderon. Last night Bynum played 20 minutes off he bench with 13 points (behind only Greg Monroe for the team lead) to go with seven assists and a pair of steals. While he’s only owned in 1.7% of leagues, Bynum has been sneaky good lately averaging 13.6 points and 5.6 assists in his last five games.
Reggie Jackson-Oklahoma City Thunder
Jackson is playing the backup point for the Thunder and has back-t0-back games with six assists after last night’s 19-minute performance. He added 12 points, a blocks, a steal, and three rebounds in a big win over Golden State but was unable to make a three-pointer for the first time in three games. The former BC Eagle is averaging over eight points and four assists in his three games this month and as the Thunder try to keep their core fresh for the playoffs he may start to see more playing time. He’s virtually unowned at this point, but keep an eye on him going forward especially in deep formats.
Enes Kanter-Utah Jazz
Kanter is owned in just 0.1% of leagues, but may be starting to earn some more time on the floor as the Jazz try to give their front-line bigs some more time on the sidelines. Kanter has played double-digit minutes in the last three games and last night had a nice line of 17 points, nine rebounds, a pair of assists, and a very impressive five blocks. Kanter could emerge as a big-man option if the Jazz give him the playing time, so monitor his minutes and be aware of his increasing role.
Arnett Moultrie-Philadelphia 76ers
Moultrie is another big man getting some increased playing time. Philadelphia had played him a total of ten minutes since the new year and he had yet to score before his two most recent games. Last night he played a season-high 21 minutes finishing with a career-high 12 points to go with three rebounds, a pair of steals, and a block against Indiana. The Sixers may give him more time developing or they may give him more playing time the rest of the way to see where he fits in their long term plans. Moultrie is unowned (0.0%) at this point so just be aware of his sudden minutes increase.