Fantasy Basketball: Single-category solutions

by Eric McClung on February 1, 2013 @ 18:17:36 PDT

 


Sometimes owners will use the final spots on a fantasy basketball team for one-dimensional contributors to pad a single statistic. The players offered here as suggestions for that purpose are expected to be found on waiver wires in more than half of standard fantasy leagues.

Assists

Taj Gibson, Chicago Bulls

Kirk Hinrich should remain the starting point guard of the Chicago Bulls until Derrick Rose returns after the All-Star Game. Rose is coming off ACL surgery and may play limited minutes at first. In the meantime, Hinrich is capable of putting up assists. Over his last 20 games, he's averaging nearly five dimes a game. On seven occasions, Hinrich recorded seven or more assists. While he's only averaging 7.5 points a night, Hinrich is shooting just a hair above 40 percent. Hinrich is also getting nearly a steal per game and a surprising 0.6 blocks.

Beno Udrih put up 11 assists the other night during a blowout against a hapless Detroit Pistons team and is now averaging five assists in the month of January. On the downside, his minutes aren't consistent since the Milwaukee Bucks can use Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis at point guard. In addition, Udrih only scored 7.8 points a game in January and rarely gets steals or blocks.

Rebounds

The frontcourt of the Toronto Raptors is undergoing changes. Andrea Bargnani is expected to return soon from a sore elbow, and Ed Davis was just moved in the trade for Rudy Gay. Staying put is Amir Johnson, who in January averaged 13.1 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.5 blocks and 1.1 steals. His scoring has taken a recent hit, though. Johnson failed to crack double-digit points in five of the last eight games. However, replacing Davis with Bargnani (a very poor rebounder) will have Johnson working even harder to clean the glass.

Still available: Al-Farouq Aminu averaged 9.4 rebounds a game in January for the New Orleans Hornets. His scoring has become inconsistent, but Aminu has exceeded double-digit rebounds in four of his last six games. The rebounding figures would be even better if not for a recent game in which he picked up four fouls in just 16:39 minutes of action.

Threes

Over the last six games, Martell Webster of the Washington Wizards is taking five threes a game and converting 50 percent of them. In that time he's made three or more of those attempts on four occasions. Webster is also coming off a season-high nine attempts from long distance.

Still available: Houston Rockets bench shooter Carlos Delfino is making nearly three triples a night on 6.4 attempts, which puts him among the league leaders in both categories.

 

Blocks

If Carlos Boozer's hamstring causes him to miss more games, Taj Gibson should become a swat machine. Even though he's averaging fewer than 24 minutes of action, Gibson is rejecting nearly two shots a night. In addition to the blocks, Gibson could challenge for a doubles-double with points and rebounds on a nightly basis if he were given starter's minutes.

Still available: Among all players that have suited up for more than 35 games, Andre Drummond's 3.92 blocks per 48 minutes ranks seventh so far this season. The rookie reserve is averaging 2.1 blocks per game during a streak of 14 games with at least one rejection.

Steals

Thabo Sefolosha of the Oklahoma City Thunder has registered two or more steals in seven of the last 10 games. He's also averaging 1.1 threes during that time but has only scored in double digits twice.

Still available: Tony Allen of the Memphis Grizzles has averaged 1.6 steals per game over the last 14 contests. Allen saw his scoring pick up slightly in the beginning of January but is averaging just 7.8 points a game over the last six, while rarely attempting anything from behind the arc.

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About Eric McClung

Eric McClung has been profiled by the FSWA for covering the fantasy sports spectrum and is a three-time award finalist. Over the years, he's made several appearances in print and on radio. McClung began contributing to KFFL in 2008 and currently serves as one of KFFL's featured fantasy NASCAR experts. He's also captured the fantasy football championship in the KFFL staff league twice.

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