The NBA season is nearing its end, which means another fantasy basketball season will soon be in the books.
That doesn’t mean that it’s time to give up, though.
Pay attention, because now’s not the time to be pulling punches. The aggressive owners are the ones who take home the trophies.
» D.J. Augustin, PG, Chicago Bulls: Augustin had a torrid month of March. The 26-year-old point guard averaged 16.8 points, 4.2 assists, and 1.9 treys while shooting 88.2 percent from the free throw line. He scored in double-digits in 14 of 16 games and has been a key member of the Bulls’ bench unit. It’s hard to believe the Raptors flat-out released this guy back in December.
» Dion Waiters, SG, Cleveland Cavaliers: Waiters has endured an up and down season — he’s dealt with injuries, ineffectiveness and some disciplinary issues as well. It’s his play over the past eight games, though, that has really turned some heads. When Kyrie Irving injured his biceps, Waiters assumed the lead scoring and playmaking role on the team. The second-year guard has averaged 22.0 points, 5.1 assists, 1.0 steal and 1.4 3-pointers during that span, but owners may need to temper expectations a bit, as Irving could return as soon as Wednesday. Waiters is a hold right now, but if Irving comes back strong, the former Syracuse stud becomes borderline waiver-wire fodder once again.
» Omer Asik, C, Houston Rockets: Dwight Howard has been tentatively ruled out for at least the next four games. While D12 is traveling with the team, expect them to take an extra-cautious approach with their big man, especially after losing point guard Patrick Beverley for the next two weeks with a torn right meniscus. Omer Asik has proven to be a very capable fantasy center with Howard out, scoring 11.3 points, grabbing 8.8 boards, and blocking 2.0 shots in the four games he has started over the past two weeks. Asik is still available in 62.7 percent of ESPN.com fantasy basketball leagues.
» Dwyane Wade, SG, Miami Heat: We knew all year it would come to this, which is why it was imperative to sell high on Dwyane Wade when he was going through one of his hot streaks. With the Heat having already clinched a playoff spot, the team has no reason to play their ailing star, and they’ve done just that, sitting him in five of their last eight games. His numbers have been great when he actually plays (19.2 points, 4.6 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 1.5 steals, a career-high 54.6 FG%), but the Heat could conceivably keep him sidelined for the remainder of the season. It’s time to drop him and spare yourself the misery of his countless game-time decisions.
» John Henson, PF/C, Milwaukee Bucks: Poor John Henson. The kid is talented. He showed that in the first half of the season, posting a line of 11.9 points, 8.0 boards, and 2.2 blocks before the All-Star break. Unfortunately for Henson (and his fantasy owners), he happens to be coached by Larry Drew — one of the most fickle and stubborn coaches in the game — who has left owners guessing as to which night he’ll give Henson minutes in the Bucks rotation. Ersan Ilyasova has been ruled out for the season, and Henson has played a little bit better of late (9.2 points, 6.6 rebounds over last five games), but apparently Drew would rather showcase a has-been like Zaza Pachulia (25 mpg in March) than play a budding star like Henson. This situation is far too volatile. Avoid Henson in anything but the deepest leagues.