Isn’t it nice when everything falls into place? Like when you drive home from work and catch nothing but green lights all the way. I’m not sure what you call that feeling. I say I’m not sure, not because I can’t use a thesaurus, but because I don’t have those kinds of days anymore. I’m sorry to sound all doom and gloom but at this time of year, when I’m dropping one of my favorite players from my fantasy team – one that I followed for every game – I can’t help but react negatively. I know it’s not his fault, or the team, or even the ghost of David Stern. What, he’s not dead? If you say so. Really there isn’t any fault at all, besides the ghost obviously, I just needed more games or I’m not going to win my semifinals match-up. So if you are like me and you’re barely holding onto your last breath of hope in the semis here’s a handful of widely available players to get that last couple of points, or boards, or just whatever it’s going to take stay alive and play for the championship:
Jarrett Jack – PG/SG – Cle / Reggie Jackson PG/SG – OKC – Maybe if I put these two together there’s a better chance that one is available in your league. I’m not too sure it works like that but there doesn’t appear to be too many assists to be streamed for this weekend outside of these two. Jack gets Fri @Bkn and Sun vs Ind, Jackson gets Fri vs Sac and Sun vs Uta. Unfortunately both have very poor finals schedules and shouldn’t be owned past this weekend in most leagues.
Shaun Livingston – PG/SG – Bkn – Still getting 32+ minutes per game and still far too under-owned. Usually at this time in the week we’re looking for only a few specific stats to win the week. Livingston does not fit that role, what he does do is hit nearly every category with upside for a big game in each category but 3s. Fri vs Cle and Sun vs Min are two of the best opponents you could ask for. Even better is the 4-game week next week vs Hou, @NYK, vs Det, and @Phi.
Corey Brewer – SG/SF – Min – It feels like I’m cheating when I mention a guy twice but the last time I pushed for Brewer I said, “If I was desperately scouring the wire for steals this weekend Brewer would be my first choice.” Lo and behold he went out and had a 6 steal Sunday. Brewer is once again my first choice for streaming steals. Fri vs LAL and Sun @Bkn. I’ll set the over/under at 5.5 steals. Half a steal is when there’s a tie-up and instead of a jump ball the referee chops the ball in half like he’s Solomon. I might need to confirm that. I’ll ask JB is he has any replays of it.
P.J. Tucker – SG/SF – Pho – What a great story Tucker’s been this year. Fantasy wise he’s a top 100 9-cat player, a leading rebounder amongst guard eligible players, and just shy of 1.0 3s per game and 1.5 steals per game. And the match-ups? Friday vs NYK and Sun @LAL. And what about the finals? A 3-game week vs LAC, @Por, vs OKC, all on heavy schedule days. Well that’s a huge negative, but I wouldn’t recommend worrying about that until you make it through this week.
Terrence Ross – SG/SF – Tor – Ross has been in a slump as of late but the low minutes a few games back look to have been a fluke. If I knew I had to win 3s this week and I needed help Terrence is my first choice. He should chip in plenty of points and a couple of steals too but it’s not something we can rely on. Friday vs Bos and Sunday @Orl are both above average match-ups. Also a 4-game week next week including a Monday match-up @Mia means after this week Ross probably sticks on your team for the finals.
Al-Farouq Aminu – SF – NOP – Aminu is finally getting back to about 30 minutes per game and he’s back to doing what we expect. Solid contributions in boards and steals, doesn’t hurt us anywhere, and even delivers the rogue block and 3-pointer. Friday vs Uta and Saturday @SAS when the Spurs are playing the 2nd game of a back-to-back should produce some good stat lines. A 4-game week vs Sac, @Den, @Uta, and vs Por isn’t too bad either.
Caron Butler – SF – OKC – Caron is averaging 30ish minutes recently and delivering 3s, steals, 5 or so boards per game and barely turning the ball over. With games Fri vs Sac and Sun vs Uta there’s a real good chance he out preforms Terrence Ross this weekend. The 3-game week next week however makes Butler a weekend only play.
Chris Andersen – PF/C – Mia – We can’t expect too many minutes out of the Birdman but he’s been one of the better per minute bigs in the league all year. Since most of us don’t play with per minute stats Andersen hasn’t been reliable enough to own. But that doesn’t change that you may need to find some blocks this weekend. Fri @Det and Sat @Mil should only give 20 minutes per game but 4-5 blocks is still a reasonable expectation.
Reggie Evans – PF/C – Sac – How badly do you need boards because there aren’t many to be had this weekend? Evans is a tough guy to get behind since he’s such a specialist but if you need boards to win the week then you may not have a choice but to add Evans. Not such a ringing endorsement, huh? Fri @OKC and Sat @Dal aren’t even good match-ups but if you need boards then you need boards. Do what you need to do to win because really that’s all that’s left to do.
Chris Kaman – PF/C – LAL – With Pau Gasol ruled out already for Friday I guess we can trust Kaman. So do I? I’m pretty sure we’ve all learned our lesson by now. Absolutely not. But sometimes we’re down by so much we don’t have a choice but to go all in on the most upside. As for bigs this weekend Kaman is that guy. Friday @Min and Sun vs Pho are two teams that don’t play big heavy rotations. I don’t trust Kaman, I think I said that already, but if you need a miracle. Here it is. As for next week, I expect DNPs…
A word on setting up for the finals: It looks like no one plays Monday and Tuesday or Saturday and Sunday of next week. There’s no one or two players I can recommend. Your mission if you choose to accept is to see where you have days with open roster spots, which players give you the least amount of games played and stream 1, 2, or even 3 roster spots. The number of possibilities would be impossible to fit in this space but think about it this way, if you have a player with a 3-game schedule who will only give you 2 games and you drop him to stream for 5 games from multiple players then you are nearly guaranteed to have more ‘counting’ categories no matter the player dropped.