Never shy away from picking up a player. It does not matter if you are in your championship or in competition to win your rotisserie league. If anything, if you have extra bench spots: Play some fantasy defense and pick up players on hot streaks so that your opponent or competition does not swipe them and gains new life.
Your team does not have to look the same as it did on draft day. You get no extra points for making zero moves throughout the entire season. Plenty of people have won fantasy leagues without making a single pick-up. Protect yourself from losing a lead. I do not care how big your lead is at this point. Here are some players who can make an impact on what's left of your fantasy season.
Beno Udrih, guard, Orlando Magic: It is always a good sign when a point guard who is contributing a ton of assists can be found so easily on your waiver wire. Udrih, known for being scrappy and a true point guard, is owned in 17 percent of leagues polled. Even though he has been able to dish 4.3 assists per game, he has turned it up in his last seven games and has contributed 7.1 assists and 1.7 steals per game. That is great value, and he would definitely help your team in the championship.
Udrih has also helped fantasy owners in other categories during his last seven games. He has scored 12.9 points and has grabbed 3.3 rebounds per game. As I have been saying all season, a point guard who grabs rebounds is an aggressive point guard. At this point in the season, minor help in categories is a major help to your overall score, and finding a scrappy point guard this late in the game can only help you. Udrih is a proven veteran who is trying to earn a contract next season, and Orlando is letting him control the offense.
Lance Stephenson, guard, Indiana Pacers: While most of the Pacers' season focus has been centered on Paul George becoming a star in the league and waiting for Danny Granger (knee) to return, Stephenson has been playing very hard to earn his spot and playing time. Stephenson has scored 11.8 points and has shot 50.9 percent from the floor in his last two games. Stephenson has grown a lot this season as he has learned to be patient and wait for his shot. Stephenson's improved shot selection has resulted in him scoring more.
Stephenson has also contributed 4.3 rebounds and 1.2 steals in his last seven games. He has been playing 32.4 minutes per game during this stretch and is owned 7 percent of leagues polled. If you need a big scoring boost, Stephenson is your guy, and he will not hurt your field goal percentage.
Jonas Jerebko, forward, Detroit Pistons: When healthy, Jerebko is a dangerous combo forward who can hurt you both inside and outside. Some of his season statistics are not too impressive as he has scored 7.3 points and grabbed 3.6 rebounds, so why even bother?
Jerebko has scored 11.6 points per game over the last two weeks. He has shot 56.6 percent from the field. Jerebko has also improved his defense lately as he has stolen the ball 1.4 times and grabbed 4.6 rebounds per game. He is owned in only 5 percent of leagues polled and will not hurt you in any category. Jerebko is a minor threat from three-point range as he has hit one every other game on average for the season. Jerebko has scored 15 or more points in three of his last four games. Pick him up while he's hot.
Carl Landry, forward, Golden State Warriors: You do not even need to look at the statistics in depth to see that Landry is a solid fantasy player. Landry has scored 10.8 points and has grabbed 6.0 rebounds per game this season. He has shot 54.1 percent from the field and 82.2 percent from the free-throw line. Those are four categories that Landry can help you win.
Landry plays only 23 minutes per game, which can be seen as a negative. Guess what? You are running out of season on which to judge a player, so do yourself a favor and pick Landry up to stash on your bench. He is owned in 31 percent of leagues polled, and there is still time to find him. The Warriors have a deep front court and Landry is the odd man out, but that does not change the fact that he is still a very valuable fantasy asset.
Kyle O'Quinn, center, Orlando Magic: O'Quinn is on this list because he can provide help in many categories and has seen his playing time increase over the Magic's last seven games. O'Quinn has played 10.4 minutes per game this season. He has played 22.5 in his last 7 games. When you see a major playing-time increase from a team out of playoff contention, it is a great indicator that he has impressed the coaching staff.
O'Quinn has scored 8.9 points and grabbed 6.9 rebounds per game in the last two weeks. He has blocked a shot in every other game and has been shooting 60 percent from the field. O'Quinn plays right under the basket on both ends of court, and if he stays aggressive, he will see even more playing time. What I like best about O'Quinn is that he never gives up on a rebound. He will tip the ball five times if he has to in order to gain possession. That is the type of center you should want on your fantasy team, and he is owned in just 2 percent of leagues polled. Could he be the best-kept secret at center for the remainder of the season? Pick him up and find out.
About Justin "Fensty" Fensterman
Fensterman covers fantasy basketball for KFFL and joined the team in 2012. He is a Sports Radio Producer on SiriusXM's Fantasy Sports Radio channel, the first channel dedicated solely to fantasy sports. An avid fantasy basketball player, Fensty's biggest accomplishment in the fantasy sports world was in 2004 when he had an undefeated season in a Yahoo! Sports Fantasy NBA league and was ranked in the top 30 among all players in the world.
A native from Oyster Bay, NY, Fensty left New York to study Broadcast Journalism at American University in Washington D.C. in 2005. Fensty has previously worked for MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM, NBC Sports, Fox Sports, MTV and News 12: Long Island.
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