With some leagues being in the first round of playoffs, understand that you have not succeeded yet. Making lineup decisions are still just as crucial. I strongly encourage you to spend the extra time setting your lineup if you have a Monday deadline. For those who had Kobe Bryant (ankle) in their lineups Monday understand what I am saying. It was not announced until close to game time that Bryant would be inactive. There are certain situations in which it is OK to bench an injured star, like Bryant. You might have a player or one of these players listed below capable of filling Bryant's spot in your lineup.
Isaiah Thomas, guard, Sacramento Kings: I have been very critical on Thomas all season because I thought Aaron Brooks deserved the starting role when he was on the team. Thomas has found a way to get his 10.1 shots per game. He has had a strong scoring season by averaging 13.3 points a night and has shot 44.3 percent from the field, which matches last season's percentage. What has sold me on Thomas this season has been his quickness on offense. He is always willing to drive the line.
Over the last two weeks, Thomas has been more than helpful to fantasy owners. He has scored 20.2 points per game and is shooting 93.9 percent from the free-throw line. His driving ability has brought him to the line multiple times per outing. During this stretch, Thomas has also contributed 5.5 assists and 1.5 steals per game.
George Hill, guard, Indiana Pacers: Despite the Pacers fans recently booing Hill, he has done his fair share of work to keep the Pacers in first place in the Central Division. Hill scores 14.6 points and dishes 4.8 assists per game on the year. He also records a steal, on average. Hill has shot a career-high 38 percent from three-point range.
Hill is the type of combo guard that helps out a little bit in every category. He makes 1.8 three-pointers and grabs 3.8 rebounds per game. He has shot 45.2 percent from the floor. Hill also goes to the free-throw line multiple times per game, where he shoots 80.7 percent.
Amir Johnson, forward-center, Toronto Raptors: I have said it before and will say it again: The Raptors made a smart decision dealing Ed Davis in the Rudy Gay multi-team trade, because Johnson has been a huge inside presence for them. In the last two weeks, he has been grabbing 11.3 rebounds per game. This is a reason why I always tell you look at the statistics as closely as you can. If you just looked his rebounding statistics for the season you would see that he has grabbed 7.6 per game. His current rebounding clip is not only better, but the timing makes it that much more valuable.
Johnson has been playing 28.1 minutes per game this season but has seen more time lately (34.1 minutes per game over the last two weeks). Johnson has averaged 10.3 points and is shooting 56.3 percent from the hardwood this season. Johnson has also contributed 1.1 steals and 1.3 blocks per game.
Carlos Delfino, guard-forward, Houston Rockets: You can count on Delfino for minor production in just about every category. This is the type of player who has been under utilized in fantasy leagues. He might only play 25.3 minutes per game that does not take away the fact that Delfino makes 2.5 three-pointers per game and is shooting 38.7 percent from behind the arc.
Delfino has scored 10.8 points per game. I can see fantasy players being slightly intimidated by Delfino's 40.8 shooting percentage. As long as the percentage does not dip below 40, you should not fear starting him in your lineups. Delfino also grabs 3.3 rebounds and dishes 2.1 assists per game. He will also post you a steal per game. Delfino is owned in only 28 percent of leagues polled. There is still time to pick him up.
Gerald Henderson, guard-forward, Charlotte Bobcats: After being hampered by lower-body injuries to start his 2013 campaign, Henderson has regained full form and has been a very effective shooter. Henderson has scored 14.3 points per game for the season but has averaged 21.3 points a night over the last two weeks.
During this stretch, Henderson has shot 92.2 percent from the free-throw line. He has also contributed 3.3 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game. Henderson has shot 43.8 percent from the field this season. He has been able to stand out on a guard-dominated Bobcats team. Henderson will also contribute a steal in just about every game. When healthy, Henderson is very reliable night in, night out.