The NBA returns tonight from its All-Star break hiatus which means fantasy basketball will be back in full swing. 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 Western 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 Eastern Conference players to watch.
San Antonio Spurs-Danny Green
Green has stepped it up in scoring and three’s lately while adding some nice steal numbers as well. So far this month, he’s averaging 3.7 three-pointers made per game helping him to 15.7 points per game while averaging just under two steals and two assists per game. Green’s value is primarily his scoring and three-point shooting, but he can definitely help out if you’re looking for those categories in one of the 35% of leagues he’s available in.
Oklahoma City Thunder-Reggie Jackson
While most of the Thunder production will come from the big names, Jackson is started to see more playing time off the bench. In the last five games, he’s averaged 19.4 minutes per game while twice reaching his career-high of 12 points. He’s added an average of three assists and three rebounds per game. He won’t tear it up percentage-wise, but it’s worth noting his increased role. As the Thunder look to keep Russell Westbrook fresh, Jackson could have some nice games in the second half. He’s owned in only 0.2% of EPN leagues right now.
LA Clippers-Chauncey Billups
Billups has only played four games this season and only limited minutes. When he has been on the floor though, he’s shown he has plenty left in the tank scoring 19 and 21 points in his last two games while hitting a total of nine three-pointers. Billups is an obvious injury-risk, but he can be a huge asset when healthy and could be the missing piece for the Clips and your fantasy team if you can add him in one of the 58% of the leagues he’s available in.
Memphis Grizzlies-Tony Allen
Although he’s well-known, Allen is still only owned in 25.7% of ESPN leagues. He’s stepped up his scoring a bit since the Rudy Gay rade and has had 17 or more points in two of his last three. If you’re looking for steals, there’s probably not a better option on the wire as Allen has averaged 1.8 in the last five games and 1.6 on the season. Normally, Allen won’t hurt your averages but also won’t contribute big-time points, but if he can maintain his other stats and increase his scoring, he’ll be a huge pickup.
Denver Nuggets-Corey Brewer
The Nuggets tend to go with the hot hand and lately that’s been Brewer who has averaged over 24 minutes per game this month. He’s scored 12.4 points while adding 1.4 steals over that seven-game span. He’ll have his off-games, but he can be a bargain at times as well. He’s scored nine points or more in each of his last four games while adding five steals, six rebounds, and six assists total in those four games. Watch his minutes and see how Coach George Karl works his rotation since Brewer can contribute when he gets things going.
Golden States Warriors-Andrew Bogut
The big Australian is expected to be back to full strength after the All-Star break including playing both halves of back-to-back games. He has only been able to play 22.5 minutes per game in his 10 games back but has averaged 7.7 points and 9.0 rebounds over the Warriors last five games. If Bogut can truly take the training wheels off, he should return to double-double status and pick up his blocks numbers as well.
Utah Jazz-DaMarre Carroll
Carroll is quietly starting to score some points for the Jazz as he sees his playing time increase. He’s averaged 26 minutes per game over the last five games while putting up 10.6 points and 4.2 rebounds. Carroll is only deep-league material at this point, but if Gordon Hayward remains sidelined he’s a solid option who won’t kill your percentages and is a nice cheap add in many daily formats.
Houston Rockets-Patrick Patterson
This former UK Wildcat is notoriously streaky, and has lived up to that reputation to this point in the season. This month he’s been pouring it on scoring 15.6 points per game while adding 5.3 boards. He’s scored in double-figures in 11 of his last 12 games and is one of the better pickups if you need points and boards. Right now, Patterson’s owned in just 26% of leagues, and many owners may be hesitant to pull the trigger after picking him up early only to have him go silent in the middle part of the first half.