Fantasy Basketball: Single-category solutions

by Eric McClung on March 15, 2013 @ 18:27:23 PDT

 


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 or to gain an edge in a weekly head-to-head matchup. The players offered here as suggestions for those purposes are expected to be found on the waiver wire in more than half of standard fantasy leagues.

Assists

Dorell Wright, Philadelphia 76ers

In his first significant action in months, Portland Trail Blazers backup point guard Eric Maynor dropped a dozen dimes back on March 2. While he's only topped four assists once in the ensuing five games, Maynor has an opportunity to collect assists and other statistics by sheer volume during the upcoming week. As noted in the Weekly Planner, the Blazers will be the third and final team to draw five games in a week this season. Head-to-head owners take note.

Jeff Teague of the Atlanta Hawks just missed the first game of his career with a sprained ankle. In his absence, Devin Harris recorded seven assists to give him six or more helpers on four occasions this month. Harris is sometimes used as a shooting guard, so his assist totals have varied. However, if Teague continues to be hampered, Harris will continue to see more opportunities to man the point.

Still available: Each night, Andre Miller flirts with double-digit scoring and half a dozen assists as a key reserve for the up-tempo Denver Nuggets. Miller comes up empty from long range but shoots at an otherwise high percentage. Assists like this aren't easy to find, mining for them this late in the season starts in the Mile High City.

In the last four games without Kirk Hinrich (foot), Chicago Bulls guard Nate Robinson averaged 5.8 assists as the starter. Robinson is now averaging 6.3 assists in his 20 starts this season, compared to just 3.3 as a reserve. Hinrich is expected back soon but has been brittle all year having missed 20 games thus far.

Rebounds

Kosta Koufos is another beneficiary of the Nuggets recent surge. Through seven games in March, Koufos is exceeding his top monthly averages in both scoring (10.3) and rebounding (8.4). Koufos has recorded double-digit boards in two straight games while reserve big man JaVale McGee has played fewer than 25 minutes in 12 straight contests.

Still available: Reggie Evans has averaged double-digit rebounds in three consecutive months and currently on season-high of 13.4 boards over seven March contests. Evans brings absolutely nothing else to your lineup, but consider his 94 total rebounds over the last two weeks put him second to only Dwight Howard.

Threes

Martell Webster has hit four or more three pointers in three straight games and is averaging 2.6 treys a night since the break. This month, Webster taking a season-high 6.6 attempts from long distance while recording 14 points a night over the last seven games for the Washington Wizards.

Still available: Over the last 13 games, Dorell Wright of the Philadelphia 76ers is averaging 11.8 points and 2.5 threes while coming off the bench. Wright has now made three long-distance shots in seven of the last 10 games. Most of that production came with Nick Young nursing an ankle injury, so Wright's playing time could take hit now that Young has returned.

Blocks

Derrick Favors, the front-court player of the future for the Utah Jazz, has recorded four or more blocks in three of the last five games. Al Jefferson is back from a bum ankle, but Paul Millsap is making a slower return from his bruised knee. Enes Kanter is another young big that impressed while the vets were out and is another long-term fixture for the team. Getting enough minutes to stay relevant will become a chief concern for Favors once Millsap is back to full strength.

Steals

Corey Brewer is grabbing nearly two steals a game over the last dozen contests for the Nuggets while scoring 13.1 points. On eight occasions, Brewer notched multiple swipes as an energetic swingman off the bench.

Still available: Over the last 26 games, Thabo Sefolosha has averaged 1.8 steals while failing to record a single swipe in just two contests; 17 of those games came with multiple thefts.

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About Eric McClung

Eric McClung has been profiled by the FSWA for covering the fantasy sports spectrum and is a two-time award finalist. He's also 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.

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