I’ve got a little story to tell you today.¬† I think I’ll call it a parable.¬† Here it goes…¬† A few days ago I was at the gas station and I was approached by a guy who claimed he couldn’t afford gas to get home.¬† If you have ever seen a meth addict in their 20’s it isn’t a pretty sight.¬† He was packing something into his cigarette and I didn’t stop to question what it was.¬† Was I a little disgusted, sure.¬† Would I be enabling him if I helped him with a couple of bucks for gas? Probably.¬† In the end I walked inside and payed $5 for him to have some gas.¬† He was incredibly grateful and I felt pretty good that I could help.¬† In the end sure I lost a couple of bucks but I was able to offer assistance and for me that was more important at that time.¬† This is how I see most fantasy teams.¬† Most managers see how many points a player is scoring and feel like they can’t be without it.¬† Meanwhile they regularly lose the assist category.¬† If we could all be a little less of a meth addict, I mean a points addict, and gain a few assists we usually find that we will win more categories, more frequently.
The problem then arises of where to find those assists.¬† To be Frank, Gallagher, finding those assists isn’t easy.¬† It’s a category dominated by top tier players that you aren’t going to find on your list of free agents.¬† With a few constructive add/drops the assist category can be quickly swung in your favor.¬† To some the curse word to describe this strategy is ‘streaming’.¬† Dun dun dunnnn! For those of you playing in the new Yahoo Pro-$100 and Pro-$20 leagues the strategy of streaming will take you to the playoffs and more often than not into the money.¬† Here are a few players I believe, if utilized correctly, can help ease your concerns about the assist category.
Disclaimer: This strategy is for H2H purposes only.¬† Please use responsibly.
Dennis Schroder PG-Atl (2% owned) Hailing from Germany, standing 6’2″, weighing in at a robust 168 lbs, Dennis ‘The Nuisance’ Schroder.¬† Something doesn’t sound quite right there.¬† In dynasty leagues Schroder was drafted and will be a big piece of that manager’s future.¬† In redraft however he’s out there on the free agent list putting up 4.3 assists per game in only 19 minutes.¬† He has a defined role on the team and he looks like the future PG in Atlanta.¬† I know Jeff Teague is young and playing well.¬† But this is the Hawks we’re talking about and they are perennially rebuilding.¬† What Schroder does well is what coaches look for out of an assist first PG.¬† His ability to create a shot for others off his dribble and dare I say, pinkie to mouth, menacing defense has people comparing his game to that of Rajon Rando.¬† Obviously he’s nowhere near that yet, but unlike Rondo there are other things Schroder does well.¬† Most blatantly is that Schroder is already a capable spot up shooter from 3 point range.¬† Finally, onto the reason your reading this, what can we expect from Schroder right now?¬† I’m going to go out on a limb and say he gets more minutes, closer to 24 per game.¬† In 24 minutes I think he can average .420/.780/0.7/10.0/3.0/4.5/1.0/0.1/2.0.¬† I don’t doubt you’re unimpressed.¬† Remember the purpose of this exercise is to play him for a few days in a row, maybe 3 times in 4 days when the schedule allows and move on.¬† Note: If there is an injury or trade of Jeff Teague then Schroder would immediately be worth owning in any size league.
Steve Blake PG-LaL (5% owned) 4.4 Assists in 29 minutes. Blake has started every game and has always been a good bet for 4-5 assists per game.¬† The addition of 2.0 3PTM and 0.8 Steals is not far off his per 30 minute career average.¬† Does he continue to get 30 minutes?¬† Probably not, after all he plays for D’Antoni.¬† As long as he is getting those minutes I don’t think you will find a better 2 to 3 game option for assists on your free agent list.
J.J. Barea PG-Min (4% owned) 3.3 Assists in 20 min. Barea has always helped with scoring off the bench and he can do the same for your fantasy team.¬† 9.0 points, 1.0 3PTM are reasonable nightly expectations.¬† His current 1.0 steals is high and 0.5 steals is closer to his career average.
Norris Cole PG-Mia (4% owned) 3.0 Assists in 22 minutes.¬† Cole is currently adding 8.4 points, 0.8 3PTM, and 0.8 Steals to his assists.¬† While his FG% is far higher than his career average I think his other numbers are reasonable expectations.
Mike Miller SG/SF-Mem (3% owned) 2.8 Assists in 24 minutes. Miller is helping other areas with 1.3 3PTM, 7.0 points.¬† The benefit here is getting assists from a forward.¬† I doubt he stays healthy so 24 minutes per game feels like all he’s got left in the tank.
Shaun Livingston PG/SG-Brk (1% owned) 3.5 Assists in 20 minutes. Livingston doesn’t offer much else but the assists and doesn’t shoot 3’s at all.¬† He can however block the occasional shot which is a category that is usually closely contested.