An unlikely source of fantasy production has emerged in Atlanta, following the season ending injury to Al Horford. Old man Elton Brand is playing some of his best basketball in years and you should be able to reap the benefits.
In today’s edition of “All Wired Up”, I’ll delve into the fantasy strengths of potential waiver wire gold like Brand and the Phoenix Suns’ Ishmael Smith for deeper leagues.
» Elton Brand, PF/C, Atlanta Hawks (11.9 percent owned on ESPN.com)
13 points (4-6 FG, 5-6 FT), 0 three-pointers, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal, 2 blocks, 1 turnover vs Suns.
Elton Brand is playing like a man possessed at the moment. An afterthought in the free agency market, Brand quietly signed onto the Hawks and was not expected to play a big role with the Hawks rostering a plethora of young, athletic big men.
But as has seemed to be the case this season, injuries have struck and struck hard. First, down went the Hawks’ best player, starting center Al Horford.
Finally, All-Star big man Paul Millsap has missed the last four games and we don’t have a concrete timeline on his return.
This leaves Brand, along with second-year man Mike Scott, as the only active big men on the roster. He has been absolutely superb, starting the past six contests, averaging 9.7 points, 8.7 rebounds and 2.3 blocks. These numbers rank him 45th on Basketball Monster.com.
Of particular note are the blocks Brand has been able to provide. He’s had at least two blocks in each of the last five games and although he’s started only nine games all season, he’s still managed to average 1.3 swats.
Although Ayon and Brand are ruled out for the season already, Millsap and Antic should return fairly soon, but we can’t say for certain when that will be. Even when they do return and Brand returns to a bench role, he will like still get over 25 minutes a game and provide those oh so valuable blocks and boards.
I’d add him in all leagues at this stage, with a consideration to dropping when Millsap and Antic return, but even then, you may not need to.