Each morning, I’ll scour the previous night’s NBA games like a crazy person with a metal detector at the beach. I’ll be looking for players like the Celtics’ Jared Sullinger and the Grizzlies’ James Johnson, who may be just sitting there on your fantasy basketball league’s waiver wire waiting to be turned into fantasy gold.
As a brief explanation, I’ll suggest two guys who can help out — one of whom is owned in up to 75 percent of ESPN leagues — and a second, deeper cut, who is owned in less than 20 percent of ESPN leagues. Without further ado, here’s January 16th’s “All Wired Up”!
Jared Sullinger, PF/C, Boston Celtics (50.6 percent owned)
25 points (7/14 FG, 10/14 FT), 1 three, 20 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, 0 blocks, 0 turnovers
It’s amazing that Sullinger has been dropped in so many leagues over the past couple of weeks after his lean run at the start of January. Over a three game stretch at the start of the year, Sullinger was only getting 14 minutes of court time and caused many of his owners to panic.
Since then, however, Sullinger has double digit rebounds in each of the past four games, pulling in a mammoth 20 boards yesterday against the Toronto Raptors. He’s also scored over 20 points in two of those four contests and has been reinserted into the starting lineup for the past two games.
If you need scoring and big man help, Sullinger may just be the guy to help you over the line toward your fantasy championship. But act fast, as he’s going to be a hot commodity.
Deep League Diamond
James Johnson, SF/PF, Memphis Grizzlies (10.0 percent owned):
15 points (7/13 FG, 0/0 FT), 1 three, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, 6 blocks, 0 turnovers
Unbelievably, Johnson is the 31st ranked player for the entire season on a per game basis and the number six overall player based on per 36 numbers according to Basketball Monster.com. He is an absolute demon blocking shots, averaging 2.8 blocks a game in his last five games, which includes a six-block explosion against the Milwaukee Bucks.
He’s only started two games this season, but that doesn’t actually have any impact on his fantasy value as he is able to produce at a great rate in limited minutes.
One downside to his game is that he is not a prolific scorer. The 15 points last night was his highest scoring output for the season, but it’s the other stats that you want him on your team for.
Johnson has bounced around the league in his five NBA seasons, but his numbers this season are by far his best, registering a career-best 18.8 PER. He is actually owned in a couple of 10 team leagues I’m in, and I wouldn’t hesitate recommending him in almost any league.