For the last few weeks I have been telling you to look at picking up players from teams out of the playoff races in their respective conferences. This does not mean to simply look at a player's team and see that he is the eighth man on the Miami Heat or San Antonio Spurs and move on. As teams clinch the playoffs, some of the more banged up ones will keep their stars on the bench for certain games. View all players individually, including offensive or defensive specialists. This is the time to sacrifice to get all of the help that you need.
With the 2012-13 season drawing near, let's look at those who were out for the majority of the shortened 2011-12 season and see who was able to rebound.
Rubio: starting to feel good
Jeff Green, forward, Boston Celtics: Green did not see any of the 2011-12 season but has bounced back nicely with the Celtics. He has scored 11.8 points per game and has shot 45.7 percent for the season. Green has also helped fantasy owners in some of the tougher categories to win. He has grabbed a steal, a block or both in the majority of his games this season.
The Celtics are old and hurt. Green has been a major spark in making sure they stay in position to make the playoffs. In the last two weeks he has scored 18.1 points per game and has been a major threat both inside and outside. He has shot 51.7 percent over his last seven games. The 6-foot-9, 235-pounder has also contributed 5.4 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.6 blocks and a steal per game during this stretch. Paul Pierce needs a second-in-command, and Green has answered the call.
Kenyon Martin, forward-center, New York Knicks: An athlete's character is a big selling point to team, or in Martin's case a red flag. Martin had not had any takers for his services until the Knicks signed him at the trade deadline in February. Since joining the Knicks, Martin has scored 8.7 points and grabbed 5.3 rebounds per game. With Amar'e Stoudemire (knee) and Tyson Chandler (neck) ailing and Rasheed Wallace (foot) done for the season, Martin has taken on the role of the enforcer. You can see by the way he is playing that he is in shape.
Martin has been a big reason why the Knicks have been holding opponents under 90 points in the last two weeks (eight games). During this stretch Martin has grabbed 6.5 rebounds, 1.4 blocks and a steal per game. He has also scored 10.9 points per game by shooting 63.9 percent from the floor. He has proven that he has a little left in the tank and will give you a lift in many fantasy basketball categories.
Dorell Wright, guard-forward, Philadelphia 76ers: The 76ers are fighting for the final playoff spot in the East and with Jason Richardson (ankle) out for the season, Wright has been a solid complement. He has helped fantasy owners a ton in his last seven games, particularly their shooting percentages. Wright has shot 43.8 percent from the field and 100 percent from the free-throw line. For the season Wright has shot 37.8 percent from long range.
When Jrue Holiday drives the lane, drawing multiple defenders, Wright is often left open. He has made 2.6 three pointers and has scored 13.0 points per game over the last two weeks. He has also stolen the ball 1.1 times per game during this stretch.
Ricky Rubio, guard, Minnesota Timberwolves: Rubio tore his ACL in 2012 and missed a couple of months of the 2012-13 season. It has taken awhile for him to return to full form. The Timberwolves have been bitten by the injury bug this season so Rubio had to get used to working with a lot of different players. Since returning to game action in December, Rubio has dished 7.3 assists, stolen the ball 2.3 times and grabbed 4.0 rebounds per game. He has been playing 29.4 minutes per game and the Timberwolves are being very careful with him.
One of the main areas Rubio has been struggling in is shooting (only 37.0 percent this season). Rubio seems to be stranded often and forced to take a shot. He's not fully up to speed, and because he has limited weapons you have to give him the benefit of the doubt. The point guard has been forced to create offense by himself, and if he cannot cut to the basket, he is forced to chuck up a fade-away jumper.
Over the last two weeks (nine games), Rubio has been scoring 14.1 points and shooting 44.9 percent from field. Now is as good of a time as any to turn a weakness into a strength.
Reggie Evans, forward, Brooklyn Nets: Evans scores 3.9 points per game and will get you a steal in most games while playing 23.6 minutes per game. Not so appetizing, right? Evans is a defensive specialist. He has grabbed 10.2 rebounds per game. He is also known as one of the best screeners in the league, and if you walk into him you will fall.
When you look at Evans' season statistics and you see his lack of scoring, blocks and assists and his 52.3 free-throw percentage, you want to stay away. Here is why (and I say it every week) you need to look at these statistics more in-depth. In his last five games Evans has shot 86.7 percent from the free-throw line and has grabbed a whopping 16.2 rebounds per game. He has been playing 30.4 minutes per game. I will not say any more except that you need to pick Evans up. He is owned in only 25 percent of leagues polled.
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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