Last night the NBA had eight games on the schedule, and the Charlotte Bobcats generated a little buzz by handing the Celtics their first loss since Rajon Rondo was injured. The hero of that game for Charlotte and his fantasy owners was Byron Mullens who finished with 25 points, 18 boards, and four assits.
We’ve been on Mullens in this daily Box Score Breakout post (archive here) for about the last week since he came back as a nice option to add if you needed big-man help. Now it’s most likely too late to add Mullens, but there’s plenty of other options on most leagues waiver wires. Here’s the players who stepped up last night who could be the next big thing in fantasy hoops:
Bradley Beal-Washington Wizards
Showing no ill effects of his wrist injury, Beal come off the bench but led the Wizards in scoring with 28 points on 10-17 shooting including four three-pointers. He added four rebounds, a pair of assists, a pair of blocks, and a pair of steals for good measure. He’s only two games back off a five-game layoff, but the Wizards will look to get him plenty of time next to John Wall as they try to surge upwards in the standings and prepare for the future. Beal normally won’t contribute in many categories but when his shots are falling brings plenty of three’s and points to make him worth owning since he’ll be racking up the minutes going forward. Despite his potential, Beal is still available in 75% of ESPN leagues, but that won’t last for long with games like last night.
Nick Young-Philadelphia 76ers
Young dropped 29 on the Clippers last night in Philly’s loss to LA. He made four three-pointers, and added three steals, five assists, and two rebounds. He’s been contributing more in peripheral stats since being reinserted into the 76ers lineup, but still finds his main fantasy value as a pure scorer and three-point threat. He’s firmly locked into the Sixers lineup and can be helpful in your fantasy team’s if you can afford the occasional bad shooting night and the hit it will lay on your percentages. Young is currently owned in 26.3% of ESPN leagues.
Luke Ridnour-Minnesota Timberwolves
As the Wolves get healthier, Ridnour continues to showcase his versatility as he slides back to shooting guard. While it actually hurts his fantasy value a bit since he loses the assist numbers he was putting up, it helps his game as he’s showed the last three games scoring 20, 17, and 21 while dishing out at least three assists still in each game. He won’t hurt your percentages which is why he’s slightly more owned than Young, but he doesn’t have quite as high of a ceiling as Nick since he doesn’t chuck it up as much. Even with his recent success, Ridnour is owned in under 45% of leagues.
Reggie Evans-Brooklyn Nets
If you need rebounding, there’s really no better place to go than Reggie Evans. He’ll trash talk LeBron every once in a while to keep things interesting, but on top of that skill set Evans is an exceptional rebounds. He’s gotten big minutes lately for Brooklyn including 43 minutes last night in their overtime win over Indiana. The extended floor time allowed Evans to track down 22 rebounds while adding a pair of blocks, a steal, and eight points. He’s had double-digit boards in four of his last five and is averaging 13.8 over that span. Anything else he give you is just a bonus since the reason you would get him is strictly his rebounding. Because he is so specialized he’s owned in just 3.8% of leagues, but you can’t do much better if you’re looking for boards.
Danny Green-San Antonio Spurs
Green lives in this space as he continues to be a steady and underrated producer for the Spurs. He’s owned in just under half of fantasy leagues as he continues to stroke the three-ball and add some decent peripherals. Last night he had 18 points to go with three assists, six rebounds, and a steal while hitting three three-pointers in the Spurs win at Chicago. In his last 5 games, Green is averaging 18.0 points, 1.4 steals, 1.0 blocks, 2.0 assists, 3.4 rebounds, and an impressive 4.4 three-pointers a game. He’s a huge part of the Spurs recent success and can bring value to your fantasy team across the board as well.