Now completely over his ankle injury from earlier this month, the Toronto Raptors’ Amir Johnson is back starting and putting up some extremely relevant fantasy lines.
In today’s edition of “All Wired Up”, I’ll delve into the fantasy strengths of potential waiver wire gold like Johnson and the Milwaukee Bucks’ O.J. Mayo.
» Amir Johnson, PF/C, Toronto Raptors (47.4 percent owned on ESPN.com)
16 points (5-10 FG, 5-8 FT), 1 three-pointer, 9 rebounds, 0 assists, 1 steal, 2 blocks, 1 turnover vs Wizards.
Sometimes, players north of the border don’t quite get the level of recognition they deserve. That’s happened this season with Amir Johnson of the Toronto Raptors.
Firmly ensconced with the top 100 of Basketball Monster.com’s rankings, Johnson deserves to be owned in a much bigger percentage of leagues than currently is the case.
There was a stage when Patrick Patterson, who replaced Johnson as the starter when he missed games with a sprained ankle, was putting up some nice lines. A lot of people, yours truly included, wondered out loud whether the Raps would be better served by starting Pat-Pat.
But Dwayne Casey stuck with his game plan and re-inserted Johnson as his starting power forward. Since then, Johnson has been really productive from a fantasy perspective.
In those four games, Johnson has averaged 10.3 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 0.8 steals and 1.5 blocks, while shooting 50 percent from the field. He’s also been able to add a three-point shot to his game this season, hitting 0.3 per game up from 0.1 last season.
Johnson is a not a volume scorer by any means, and his main strength lies in his ability to grab boards and block shots, but his contribution in the points category can be quite handy.
Perhaps somewhat shockingly, Johnson has been the better fantasy basketball player than his more highly touted teammate, Jonas Valanciunas.
While Valanciunas has struggled (ranked 171st on Basketball Monster.com), Johnson has been very consistent and is a very reliable guy to have on your fantasy roster. I think he should be owned in leagues, particularly if his strengths match up with your team’s needs.