We have officially reached the second half of the season. The time for experimenting with your team is over. You must check your move maximum if you have one. You have to stick with your studs. Do not make any crazy drops out of paranoia. Your stars, even the ones who are not getting much attention from writers and reporters, are going to lead you right to the playoffs. If they have two bad weeks, do not give up on them. Keep looking at your waiver wire. As long as the season continues, there will always be short-term standouts that are waiting to be snatched up. Here are some more of those options.
Jamaal Tinsley, guard, Utah Jazz: Point guards are scarce but not impossible to find. Short-term solutions are always available. Tinsley has somewhat been able to revitalize his career in Utah. Why is a player who averages five assists per game owned in very few leagues? Tinsley is owned in just 3 percent of leagues polled. Tinsley has also stolen the ball 1.1 times this season.
Tinsley is not known for his scoring but helps you in other categories that are much harder to get contributions in. He will even grab you two rebounds per game. Tinsley plays over 21 minutes per game and is a worthwhile pickup.
Al-Farouq Aminu, forward, New Orleans Hornets: This is not the first time that Aminu has been on the waiver wire report. He has been a phenomenal for most of the season. Aminu has scored 7.2 points and grabbed 7.2 rebounds this season. Over the last two weeks, he has improved his rebounding numbers; he is grabbing close to nine per game. He has been shooting 49.2 percent from the floor. He has improved his shooting percentage over the last few weeks as he has been shooting 59.3 percent.
Aminu is owned in 21 percent of leagues polled. He has swatted 1.3 shots and stolen the ball 1.2 times per game over the last two weeks. Aminu has the ability to play both inside and outside and plays good perimeter defense. I see his average in playing time eclipsing the 30-minute mark by the end of the season.
Lavoy Allen, forward-center, Philadelphia 76ers: For the season, Allen has been playing just over 23 minutes per game. Over the last two weeks, he has been playing more than 30 minutes per game. His statistics have definitely improved during that time. He has grabbed 9.3 rebounds and blocked a shot per game. He has proven to be an impact defender in Philadelphia.
Allen has also scored 8.3 points while shooting 44.4 percent from the field over the last two weeks. For the season, he has grabbed 5.6 rebounds per game. The improved playing time and rebound statistics do correlate. Allen is owned in only 5 percent of leagues polled, and with Andrew Bynum (knee) still out he has taken advantage and filled the void for the time being.
Luke Ridnour, guard, Minnesota Timberwolves: Despite Ricky Rubio being back in the lineup, Ridnour still continues to see a lot of playing time. He has played 35 minutes per game over the last two weeks and has been a huge scoring threat. During that time, he has scored 16.8 points while shooting 52.3 percent from the floor. Ridnour has been playing over 31 minutes per game this season, proving that the Timberwolves do believe in him. Ridnour is owned in 50 percent of leagues polled, so there is a chance that he still is on your waiver wire.
Ridnour has also dished 3.9 assists per game this season, showing that he does know how to play both guard positions. When Rubio and Ridnour are playing at the same time, Rubio takes on the point guard role and Ridnour becomes the shooter. When Rubio is out, Ridnour switches to the point guard role. If you need scoring, Ridnour is the guy for you.
Jonas Valanciunas, center, Toronto Raptors: Valanciunas has taken Andrea Bargnani’s spot as the most impressive big man on Toronto. Over the last two weeks, in just 24 minutes of playing time per game, Valanciunas has grabbed 8.3 rebounds and swatted 1.3 shots per game. He has also scored 7.7 points per game while shooting 55.6 percent from the field over that stretch. Looking at the full season, Valanciunas has grabbed three rebounds less on average per game than in this two-week stretch.
Valanciunas is owned in 16 percent of leagues polled. Going into the season Valanciunas did grab attention of fantasy owners. Injuries slowed down his progress. With Bargnani hampered by injuries, Valanciunas could see more playing time as the season closes. Pick him up until his rebounds drop off again. He is definitely a good short-term solution.