We are getting to the point where you cannot generalize anymore and you must look for trends in statistics! Instead of checking players statistics over the whole season, look at monthly and even biweekly statistics. What you should be looking for are players who have an increase in playing time. As I say every week, you must also look at depth charts. Another indicator, especially for points, is looking for consistency in shots attempted per game. You can generally tell how involved a player is in an offense by seeing how many shots they are taking over a period of games. Here are some more fantasy basketball beasts that have been getting the job done in multiple categories.
Tony Parker, guard, San Antonio Spurs: We know how good of a floor general Parker is, but as a shooter he has been outstanding. Parker has scored 19 points while shooting 50.5 percent per game. He also goes to the free-throw line a few times every game, because of the way he attacks the basket, and shoots 82.8 percent from the line. Consistently good point guards are hard to come by, and Parker proves year after year that he gets the job done.
He has dished 7.2 assists per game showing that he is not a ball-hog. It is always nice to see point guards contributing on the rebound front and has grabbed over three per game. If the Spurs run away with the division or conference, I expect the Spurs to rest Parker a bit in the middle of the season. Owners should not worry, though, because when Parker is on the court he always makes an impact, so they will not be sending him home for a month.
Nikola Vucevic, forward-center: Orlando Magic: There is not much to cheer about in Orlando, but Vucevic has been one of the brighter spots to the rebuilding franchise. Like Parker, Vucevic has been shooting over 50 percent from the field. He has also grabbed 9.9 rebounds while scoring 10.4 points per game. Vucevic has also blocked a shot per game, showing his dominance inside. He has been playing 30 minutes a game.
Vucevic has even stepped it up in the last couple of weeks and has been scoring 12 points and grabbing 12 rebounds per game. In that time period, he has been shooting about 60 percent from the field. As the Magic continue to develop, Vucevic will be even more involved in the offense, and I expect his rebounding totals to continue to increase.
Jose Calderon, guard, Toronto Raptors: Calderon really drew the short end of the stick when the Raptors brought in Kyle Lowry after not being able to find a team to take Calderon due to a high asking price. With Lowry (triceps) injured, Calderon has taken advantage and has put up impressive numbers. Calderon has been dishing 7.5 assists per game. He has played 28 minutes per game and has been scoring 10.6 points while shooting 44 percent from the field. He also shoots 88 percent from the free-throw line.
Calderon will grab a couple of rebounds per game and a steal in a decent amount of games. If Lowry comes back strong, the Raptors will test the trade market for Calderon, who has proven that he is more than capable of starting in the league. If he is traded to a team and becomes a backup point guard, it is the only way I see his value decrease at this point. In that case, he would have to work in a new system, while potentially getting less playing time.
Nikola Pekovic, center, Minnesota Timberwolves: As the Timberwolves continue to climb the ranks of the Western Conference, credit must be given to Pekovic for filling in while Kevin Love was hurt. Now, Love and Pekovic have meshed to make a deadly frontcourt combo. Pekovic has been playing more inside, while Love has been playing outside of the paint. He has grabbed 8.3 rebounds per game. He will also get you the occasional steal and block in a game.
Pekovic's scoring has also helped fantasy owners, because he has scored 16.2 points while shooting 50 percent from the field. He plays over 32 minutes per game and will even dish a few assists for you. He is a good sell-high candidate at this point, especially if you have a lot of depth in scoring and rebounding. He has proven thus far that even playing next to a superstar has not affected his statistics.
DeMar DeRozan, guard-forward, Toronto Raptors: DeRozen is finally transitioning into a top scoring option. With scoring options limited due to injuries, DeRozan has stepped up and has scored 18.1 points while shooting 44.4 percent from the floor. DeRozan is a very balanced player who will help you in many categories. He has grabbed five rebounds and dished two assists per game.
DeRozan also swipes the ball once per game. Over the last couple of season's he has been good at helping out in the minor categories, but this year DeRozan looks a lot more matured and even is a minor threat from the outside. He is the No. 1 scoring option with Kyle Lowry (triceps) and Andrea Bargnani (elbow) out. He has been playing over 37 minutes per game.