Second-Half Fantasy Basketball Players to Watch-Eastern Conference

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The best pickup of the season from the waiver wire  could be Milwaukee Bucks center Samuel Dalembert depending on his playing time and situation for the second half. Find out who else can make a difference for your fantasy team right here. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

It’s back to work for the NBA tonight which means Fantasy basketball goodness all around as the NBA resumes its regular season with nine games tonight, 11 tomorrow, and 12 on Friday. If you’re looking to improve your fantasy hoops team for the stretch run or playing daily leagues on DraftStreet, FanThrowdown, or other daily sites, these are players to watch as the second half starts.

In this post, we’ll focus on the Easter Conference. The order of the players isn’t in order they should be claimed, but based on the current standings of the team. CLICK HERE for the Western Conference players to watch.

Miami Heat-Udonis Haslem

The Heat don’t really have much fantasy value outside of the big three. Haslem though has contributed when given minutes like his nine-point, 13-rebound game when Bosh was out two weeks ago. Haslem won’t hurt your percentages at all and does get rebounds. Unless Chris Bosh is out for an extended time period though, Haslem is only useful in ultra-deep leagues or as a final-roster spot bargain in daily leagues.

New York Knicks-Steve Novak

While his value is only in certain categories, Novak is a consistent three-point threat. Novak has hit multiple three’s in four of his last six games including a high of five three-pointers against Sacramento earlier this month. His value is fairly limited, but he’s got a decent chance of hitting three’s in any game if you need a boost in that category.

Indiana Pacers-Lance Stephenson

Stephenson is one of the more interesting names on this list. He’s played tons of minutes all year but just recently starting contributing at fantasy-relevant levels in several categories. Stephenson has dropped 11.4 points to go with 4.0 rebounds and 33 assists in his seven games this month. He’s always going to get minutes, at least until the return of Danny Granger, and could slide into a bigger scoring role off the bench.

Feb 11, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Reggie Evans (30) reacts to defeating the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Brooklyn defeats Indiana 89-84 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Brooklyn Nets-Reggie Evans

Evans is a specialist, but a useful one if you’re looking for rebounds. He’s averaged 9.2 boards on the year but  has picked it up as of late averaging 13.0 over his last five including a massive 22 rebounds last Monday against Indiana. Evans is only a 50% free throw shooter, so you’ll need to make sure you can take the hit in that category. For many teams though, it’s worth that liability to get the asset of his rebounds. He’s currently available in 95% of leagues, but can help you control the boards if he keeps getting big-time minutes.

Chicago Bulls-Jimmy Butler

After an impressive run in the starting lineup, Butler has been banished to the bench. Over his last ten games, he’s averaged 11.3 points, 1.3 steals, and 4.7 rebounds. He’s owned in only 6% of leagues and his value is closely tied to his role which is still to be determined on a constantly shifting Bulls squad. If he comes off the bench, his value is limited, but if he sees more minutes he can be a multi-category contributor.

Atlanta Hawks-Zaza Pachulia

Like many NBA followers, I doubt this team stays constituted the way it currently is after the coming trade deadline. Whether the Hawks move Josh Smith or not, Pachulia will likely overtake Anthony Tolliver and get more playing time as he recovers from his Achilles injury. He’s shown some signs of fantasy production in limited minutes playing an average of just 16.7 minutes but getting an average of 7.3 points and 2.3 rebounds. When he’s healthy and getting playing time, Pachulia can give you about ten points and ten boards a night. He’s most likely not going to set the fantasy world ablaze but can be a solid contributor if you need big-man numbers in one of the 99.7% of leagues he’s available in.

Feb 13, 2013; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics forward Jeff Green (8) gets fouled by Chicago Bulls center forward Taj Gibson (22) as he tries to dunk the ball during the first quarter at TD Banknorth Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Boston Celtics-Jeff Green

Green has been playing better as of late but is still owned in under 30% of ESPN leagues. He’s averaged 14.4 points in his seven games this month while adding almost two blocks and two assists to his four boards per game. His main value is in blocks and points and he has at least eight points in his last 11 games with 14 or more in five of his last seven.

Milwaukee Bucks-Samuel Dalembert

Dalembert is a solid source of points, boards, and blocks when he gets playing time. He had been virtually non-existent in fantasy leagues before the last five games when he exploded on the scene. He’s still unowned in 45% of ESPN leagues despite despite averaging 16.4 points, 11.2 rebounds, 2.6 blocks, and 1.4 steals over his last five. His playing time will be worth watching as he and Larry Sanders share time at Center in Milwaukee, and he’s also the topic of trade rumors heading toward the deadline. Depending on where he goes and how much he plays, Dalembert may continue this pace or blend back into the shadows. Make sure you’re watching the big man if you’re in the market for a center.

Keep Reading for seven more players to watch from the non-playoff teams in the Eastern Conference

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Tags: Eastern Conference Fantasy Basketball Fantasy Basketball Sleepers Second Half Waiver Wire