Apr 1, 2012 Blog
There’s four weeks left in the regular season and everyone should be starting their playoffs this week or already be into their second round of playoffs. I’ve got a few teams that barely limped into the playoffs and are facing top seeds and the list of players below are some guys who are longshots, but could produce some big nights to help you defeat those powerful top seeded playoff opponents.
Baron Davis (NYK) – Jeremy Lin’s Cinderella run came to a quick end with a serious knee injury that will probably knock him out for the rest of the season. Davis has been patiently waiting his turn and will likely give it some extra effort now that he’s playing for a team where the games actually mean something.
Donald Sloan (CLE) – Kyrie Irving missed Saturday’s game with a shoulder injury and Sloan got the start. He put up a decent line going for 10 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists. Keep an eye on Irving’s injury status and give Sloan a play if Irving misses more time.
Gilbert Arenas (MEM) – Mike Conley missed Saturday’s game with a shoulder injury and Arenas got 17 minutes of run, putting up 4 points, 6 rebounds and 2 assists. I don’t think he’s going to get more than 25 minutes of action in any game, but if you are desperate for a PG, Arenas has the ability to get hot and turn in the occasional big night.
Iman Shumpert (NYK) – I’ve actually seen Shumpert still floating around on a few wires, but he should be grabbed with the loss of Jeremy Lin. If Baron Davis goes down and injury, and he probably will, then Shumpert will be the man in the backcourt.
George Hill (IND) – Hill is either all or nothing. He’s scored 9, 4, 0, 0 and 24 points in his last five games and reached 30 minutes in two of them. The best thing he offers is the ability for across the board stats, especially steals. He won’t hurt you in any category and he helps in just about every one.
Anthony Morrow (NJN) – How aggravating is Anthony Morrow? He’s been one of my most inconsistent plays, but he has such a high upside that he’s worth the gamble if you need a huge night to save your playoff round. He went for 24 points Saturday, making 6 three pointers. If you need to make up ground in the three category, Morrow is a must play.
Randy Foye/Nick Young (LAC) – These two are locked into a timeshare, but I get the feeling that Foye will soon win this battle, which is a little surprising.
Avery Bradley (BOS) – As long as Ray Allen remains out, Bradley is a must pickup for the fantasy playoffs. Even when Allen returns, I expect that the Celtics will continue to be really careful with him, which means Bradley will probably still be getting decent minutes.
Alec Burks (UTA) – Burks is a great pickup for guys in keeper leagues and he can also provide some playoff help with his scoring ability.
Landry Fields (NYK) – With Amare Stoudemire out of the lineup, Carmelo Anthony is being asked to spend some time at PF, which leaves Fields with the opportunity to slide into the SF spot for some decent minutes. He’s a sneaky source of rebounds who also qualifies at the guard spot.
Chase Budinger (HOU) – Budinger is still sitting around the 20-22 minute per game mark, but he’s one of those guys who can get really hot and put up a big line in a short amount of time. He’s also a great source of threes if you need help in that category for this week’s playoff matchup.
Derrick Williams (MIN) – Michael Beasley is out with toe injury and Williams is back in the starting lineup. He’s had a games of 39 and 41 minutes in his last five, so the potential is there for a big line.
Terrence Williams (SAC) – The Kings are trying to work Williams into the rotation to see what he can do. He’s getting around 20 minutes and could possibly get more this week depending on the health of Tyreke Evans and John Salmons.
Richard Jefferson (GSW) – Jefferson doesn’t offer much, but he does have the ability to help you in the three point category this week.
Jason Smith (NOR) – The Hornets have some serious injury issues with Chris Kaman, Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza all out right now. Gustavo Ayon and Carl Landry also picked up DNP’s last night, which left Jason Smith and Lance Thomas playing some big minutes. Keep an eye on both guys, but Smith is the guy you want to gamble on.
Kevin Seraphin (WAS) – The Wizards have been giving Seraphin some good run lately with 35, 21, 26 and 37 minutes in his last four games. That’s pretty good opportunity for a guy on just about every waiver wire.
Al Harrington (DEN) – Harrington is getting good minutes and is a guy who could help you in the three point category from a position where threes aren’t the norm.
JJ Hickson (POR) – Hickson probably isn’t going to be left on any competitive team league wires, but double check it just to make sure. He’s got the starting PF spot with LaMarcus Aldridge out and has been posting some huge lines.
Tiago Splitter (SAS) – Splitter is back in action and he’s put up two impressive lines in his last couple of games. He had a 15 minute performance where he went for 7 points, 6 rebounds and followed that up with a 16 minute performance where he went for 10 points and 7 rebounds. While that really isn’t all that helpful, what you are really looking for is the game where the Spurs rest Tim Duncan and Splitter jumps to the 25 minute range, which could mean a huge line.
Byron Mullens (CHA) – Mullens is a huge gamble on most nights, as evidenced by his scoring of 20, 4, 0, 18 and 17 points in his last five games. He’s a play for the guys who are definitely going to need extra help in their first round playoff matchup.