Sometimes owners will use the final spots on a fantasy basketball team for one-dimensional contributors to pad a single statistic. This approach can be particularly useful in deeper formats. The players offered here as suggestions for that purpose are expected to be found on the waiver wire in more than half of standard fantasy leagues.
Cleaning the glass
On Tuesday night, Nate Robinson was limited to six points and one assist in only 17 minutes of action as a reserve due to Kirk Hinrich returning to the Chicago Bulls starting lineup. However, the ongoing issues caused by an elbow infection required Hinrich to miss yet another game Thursday. As a starter this season, Robinson is averaging seven assists a game, two threes and two steals. However, he's coming up with fewer than 3.5 assists as a substitute. Another Hinrich absence will restore Robinson's dishing contributions and fantasy relevance.
Still available: Since the calendar flipped to 2013, veteran Andre Miller of the Denver Nuggets is averaging 6.2 assists a night over 23 games. He's also chipping in with 9.4 points on nearly 50 percent shooting from the floor. Miller is among the worst three-point shooters of all time, but has attempted one in eight straight games, making three over the last four contests.
With Marcin Gortat struggling, the Phoenix Suns have been using Jermaine O'Neal as key reserve. Over the last five games, O'Neal is averaging 11.4 points per game on 56 percent shooting to go with 10.4 rebounds and 2.2 blocks. As the worst team in the West, it's unclear how committed Phoenix is to the 34-year-old and this could have been a failed attempt to showcase O'Neal prior to the trade deadline.
Still available: Over his last seven games with the New Orleans Hornets, Al-Farouq Aminu has pulled down nine rebounds a game, but has failed to score five or more points on three occasions. However, Aminu has rejected a pair of shots in three of his last four. The scoring comes and goes, but Aminu's rebounds are starting to stabilize once again.
Despite playing inconsistent minutes for the Brooklyn Nets, Reggie Evans is averaging 10.3 rebounds a game in the 24 games he's played so far in 2013. With Kris Humphries and Andray Blatche wrestling for minutes off the bench, Evans could have used a trade or two to lock in more playing time for himself. Despite the warts of low scoring and limited blocks, Evans is a glass cleaning weapon, collecting the third-most rebounds in the league over the last two weeks.
Prior to Thursday night's blowout defeat against the San Antonio Spurs, Chauncey Billups blew up during a back-to-back heading into the All-Star break. After missing much of the season with a foot injury, Billups made nine of his 14 field goal attempts from long distance over the course of those two nights. The Los Angeles Clippers opted to keep backup point guard Eric Bledsoe, so Billups, who's well versed at playing the point, will continue to hoist threes and hopefully see an uptick in minutes as the team's starting two guard.
Still available: Over the last two weeks, Shane Battier of the Miami Heat is tied for the second-most threes made in the league. In fact, Battier has sunk nothing but threes over his last seven games. He's been moved in and out of the starting lineup, but is becoming highly productive from beyond the arch in either role.
Over the last 21 games, Bismack Biyombo is swatting away 2.2 shots a night for the Charlotte Bobcats. Biyombo is nonexistent as a scorer but is averaging better than eight rebounds a game this month.
Tony Allen of the Memphis Grizzles is getting nearly two steals per game this month. Over the last five games, he's swiped two or more balls four times.
Still available: Thabo Sefolosha saw his consecutive streak for steals draw to a close at 14 games, but it happened to come during a big scoring outburst. On Wednesday night, Sefolosha registered 28 points thanks to half a dozen threes, setting career bests in each category. Despite not being known as a scorer, Sefolosha has now taken six or more threes in five of the last seven games.
About Eric McClung
Eric McClung has been profiled by the FSWA for covering the fantasy sports spectrum and is a two-time award finalist. He's also 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.
Don't miss these great reports....