If you asked me in the beginning of the season if the five
players discussed below would be considered "beasts," I would not
have said yes. On this list you have two sharpshooters, two inside-outside
players and the reigning NBA Defensive Player of the Year. When selecting
players for this article each week, I try to select two-way players - generally
the guys that provide assistance in multiple categories. Sometimes you have to
respect a player for exhibiting top results from their biggest attribute to the
Stephen Curry, guard, Golden State Warriors: I am
more impressed that Curry has been able to stay healthy for the most part this
season than I am over his stats. Before the
season, Curry was once again hindered by ankle problems, but has since been
able to power thorough and be the top scoring option on the Warriors. Curry has
scored about 19 points per game and is shooting 41.8 percent from the hardwood.
Curry has not been forcing up as many shots, taking 15 per
game and is starting to take more of a traditional point guard role and be the
distributor. He has dished 6.4 assists per outing. He swipes the ball 1.6 times
and even grabs about four rebounds per game. Curry always is a big help in the
free-throw shooting department, and he is shooting
about 90 percent from the line which is standard for him.
Jason Richardson, guard-forward, Philadelphia 76ers:
Richardson has proved thus far that he is not such a downgrade from Andre
Iguodala. I am not saying that Richardson is better than Iguodala. Richardson's
inside-outside play has allowed Jrue Holiday to
transition into more of a traditional point guard thus being able to keep the
Sixers more organized. Richardson has been contributing 12.7 points while
shooting 42.5 percent from the floor. He makes 2.5 threes per game and grabs
4.2 rebounds per game.
He plays 29 minutes a game showing how much confidence the
team has in him, considering they have a deep roster. He has stolen the ball
1.7 times per game, showing that he is still a prominent defender. He will even
block a shot for you every few games. He has been a major fantasy impact player
with all the help he provides.
Tyson Chandler, center, New York Knicks: Known as
being a top defender, Chandler sure has been tops on the offensive end as well.
He has been shooting a league best 71.3 percent from the field, scoring 12.2 a
game. He grabs about nine rebounds per game and will get you a steal and block
every few games.
My biggest fear with Chandler at the beginning of the
season was how much the Knicks would try to preserve Chandler's health. Even though he plays 29 minutes per game, he makes a
huge impact and always attacks the basket. On nights when the Knicks are
running an effective transition game, Chandler will be more active on the
offensive end. It almost makes you wish alley-oop completions were a category. He is always there for put-backs, as well, which gives
you both a rebound and points.
David West, forward, Indiana Pacers: Injuries hurt
as much as help fantasy teams. When one player goes down, another gets an
opportunity to shine. With Danny Granger out, West has been able to
re-establish himself as a top scoring option. He has been scoring 17.8 points
while shooting 49 percent from the floor. West has been able to fill not only
his role but also Granger's and be an effective combo-forward. He has been
helping on the rebounding end by grabbing 8.3
West has also been swatting 1.2 shots away per game. He
has been playing 34 minutes plus per game and even with the Pacers struggling
he has been able to flourish. He will even provide a few assists when receiving
the ball at the elbow. He contributes 2.5 assists per game.
Jamal Crawford, guard, Los Angeles Clippers: Who
thought this guy would be a top fantasy option? The Clippers have a ton of
backcourt depth and Crawford has been fighting for minutes since arriving in
training camp and due to amazing play. He has
been given about 29 per game. Crawford can play both guard positions, making him a more reliable option for coach Vinny
Crawford scores 17.6 points per game while shooting 44.5
percent from the field. He has stolen the ball at least once and makes at least
two threes per game. Crawford has also been
shooting 94.5 percent from the free-throw line. He is notorious for being a
streaky shooter and is known for disappearing for multiple games in a row. As
of now, he is a fantasy beast, but I would not be surprised if Crawford falls
off a bit in the next month or two.