Second-Half Fantasy Basketball Players to Watch-Eastern Conference

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Feb 09, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard Nick Young (1) shoots a jump shot under pressure from Charlotte Bobcats guard Gerald Henderson (9) during the third quarter at the Wells Fargo Center. The Sixers defeated the Bobcats 87-76. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia 76ers-Nick Young

Since being reinserted into the Sixers lineup, Young has paid off scoring points in bunches. He’s a shooter, so there will be nights where he’s off and will hurt your percentages. On the other hand though, he can pile up points and three’s when his shot is dropping. He’s had double-digit scoring in nine of his last 11 games including four games of 20 or more. He’s averaged 15.3 over his six games this month with 1.3 steals, 4.2 rebounds, and 2.0 assists. He’s knocked down six three’s in his last two games and has proven to be a streaky shooter throughout his career, so if you need points and three’s he’s a nice pickup with a high ceiling. He’s worth the pickup in the 73% of leagues he’s available in if you can afford the occasional hit in FG%.

Feb 13, 2013; New York, NY, USA; Toronto Raptors point guard John Lucas (5) puts up a shot over New York Knicks power forward Amar

Toronto Raptors-John Lucas

So far this month, Lucas is averaging 10.3 points coming off the bench for Kyle Lowry who is averaging just 9.9 points per game. Lucas doesn’t normally provide much more besides scoring and three-pointers in his current role as backup point guard, but that could change if Lowry struggles with injury in the second half like he did in the first half. Right now, Lucas is only owned in 0.1% of leagues.

Detroit Pistons-Kyle Singler

Early on in the season, Singler was a popular pickup, but then he struggled through the middle part of the first half. Recently, the Duke alum has been back to pouring it on scoring double-digits in seven of his eight games this month including a career-high 20 on February 1. In his eight games this month, he’s averaged 12.4 points, just under a three-pointer, 5.6 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game. Singler has been playing big minutes which should allow him to continue to produce decent numbers going forward for Detroit.

Cleveland Cavaliers-Marreese Speights

Speights has been a huge pickup for the Cavs giving them a boost when their young bigs need a break. He’s still owned in less than 15% of ESPN leagues, but he’s been Cleveland’s third-leading scorer this month averaging 13.0 points and 6.9 rebounds. Points and boards are hard to come by, but Speights brings solid production while shooting a tidy 77% from the free throw line and 43% from the field.

Feb 15, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Team Chuck guard Bradley Beal (3) of the Washington Wizards dunks the ball against Team Shaq during the 1st half of the rising stars game at the 2013 NBA All-Star weekend at the Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Wizards-Bradley Beal

Beal is one of the best pickups for the second half since Washington is going to give him plenty of playing time next to John Wall the rest of the season. Beal has only played three games since returning from his wrist injury, but he’s already made an impact scoring a career-high 28 points in his second game back. Beal has averaged 1.5 three-pointers, 13.2 points, and 2.5 assists in his 44 games this season playing 31 minutes per game. He should be able to keep scoring and pouring in three’s for the Wiz in the second half.

Orlando Magic-Andrew Nicholson

Along with Beal, Nicholson is a rookie who could be in for a big second half if his team gives him big minutes. Nicholson has started six of Orlando’s seven games this month and reached double digits in scoring in five of those games. He’s averaged 11.7 points, 5.7 rebounds, and a block per game over that span.  While Glen Davis is out, look for Nicholson to keep getting the minutes, and I think he’ll make them payoff and have a nice next few weeks. Nicholson is owned in just 0.6 percent of ESPN leagues, so in most formats you can still watch and wait to see how he plays to start the second half.

Charlotte Bobcats-Gerald Henderson

The Bobcats aren’t known for their fantasy production, but Byron Mullens, Kemba Walker, and even Ramon Sessions have been usable this season. It looks like they’re being joined by Gerald Henderson as well who has stepped things up averaging 15 points and over four boards, a steal, and two and a half assists in his last five games. He’s not hitting his shots with a high percentage yet but is still contributing. He should be a decent source of scoring and some decent peripherals as long as he keeps playing 30+ minutes a game.


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