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.
Battier seeing more trey opps
As soon as he can rid himself of a lingering elbow injury, Kirk Hinrich of the Chicago Bulls could become a consistent dime dropper. Hinrich has only made two starts in the last five games but recorded 10 or more assists each time. In his most recent outing, Hinrich scored 11 points and drained three of his five three-point attempts. He also added 11 assists, six rebounds, one steal and one block.
A knee injury to Jameer Nelson has the Orlando Magic using E'Twaun Moore and the newly acquired Beno Udrih to man the point. As the second-worst team in the East, the Magic should be in no rush to get Nelson back on the floor.
In four games without Nelson, Moore is averaging 6.8 assists in 30.8 minutes a night as the starter. Meanwhile, Udrih has registered 8.0 assists while coming off the bench in three games since being traded to the Magic.
Still available: Andre Miller of the Denver Nuggets has seen his average of assists per game climb with each month: 5.1 in November, 5.8 in December, 6.2 in January and now 6.4 in February. This month, he recorded a minimum of five assists in all but one contest as a key reserve.
Still available: Jermaine O'Neal appears to have discovered the fountain of youth while coming off the bench for the Phoenix Suns. Over his last seven games, O'Neal has pulled down 12 or more rebounds five times. During that time, he also averaged 12.1 points and shot 52.3 percent. The 34-year-old O'Neal is also contributing 2.3 blocks. The time warp is unlikely to last, so use him while you can.
In a dozen February games, Reggie Evans collected double-digit rebounds in six contests for the Brooklyn Nets. He's a non-existent scorer but capable of adding a steal or two each night.
John Salmons has been an assassin from beyond the arc over the last three games. The Sacramento Kings swingman has made a ridiculous 13 of his 16 long distance attempts, seemingly out of nowhere. Prior to going on this recent tear, Salmons had scored fewer than nine points in 14 of his previous 16 starts.
There are concerns over his elbow, but Carlos Delfino will continue to launch threes at will for the Houston Rockets. In the eight contests since he missed two straight games with the aforementioned ailment, Delfino averaged 7.6 long distance attempts per game. However, he's struggled with his stroke, shooting just 36.4 percent on 11 shots a night.
Still available: Another banged up three-point specialist is the Miami Heat's Shane Battier (hamstring). He was recently held out of a game Tuesday night, which opened the door for Ray Allen to go five of 10 from three-point land. The more consistent Battier finished the month by making 2.8 of the 5.2 three point shots he attempted.
Robin Lopez has recorded two or more blocks in three straight games. If the New Orleans Hornets sit their ailing rookie swat machine Anthony Davis (shoulder), Lopez may continue to see a slight uptick in chances to supply rejections to the opposition.
Iman Shumpert is coming off a game in which he recorded half a dozen steals in just under 22 minutes of action for the New York Knicks. Returning from a torn ACL in the last year's playoffs, Shumpert has made 17 consecutive starts but has not been particularly effective. However, after averaging 1.7 steals per game as a rookie last year, this sudden performance could indicate his defensive prowess is returning.
Still available: Despite some recent flashes of improved scoring, Thabo Sefolosha of the Oklahoma City Thunder is still widely available. His primary fantasy value continues to be stealing the ball, though. Sefolosha has registered two or more steals in 14 of his last 22 games, averaging 1.8 swipes a night during that time.
About Eric McClung
Eric McClung has been profiled by the FSWA for covering the fantasy sports spectrum and is a three-time award finalist. Over the years, he's 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. He's also captured the fantasy football championship in the KFFL staff league twice.
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