Fantasy Basketball: Do You Believe in Amir Johnson?

Ryan LesterSenior Writer IJanuary 10, 2012

DENVER, CO - MARCH 21:  Amir Johnson #15 of the Toronto Raptors prepares to take a free throw against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center on March 21, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The Nuggets defeated the Raptors 123-90. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

I was going to title this article “Do You Believe in Amir-acles?” but decided the cheese factor would be just to high.

What isn’t cheesy, though, is the way that Amir Johnson has been playing for the Toronto Raptors. With back-to-back double-doubles, he won’t last long on the waiver wire. He’s currently owned in about 60 percent of fantasy leagues, so you better act fast.

We’ve long heard about Amir’s potential, but he has struggled to deliver. Last year he topped the 25-plus minutes per game threshold, but failed to consistently put up big numbers.

He finished the year shooting 56.8 percent from the floor, which is a category he absolutely excels in (58.7 career mark). That was the only plus category he had.

He shot well from the line (78.8 percent), but that didn’t move the needle much in the category. Neither did the 6.4 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 0.7 steals or 9.6 points per game. His block numbers (1.2 per game) were solid, but he wasn’t confusing anybody for Mt. Mutumbo.

Amir’s sudden hot streak doesn’t mean he’s going to be a double-double threat the rest of the year, but he's turned some heads with his  three-game averages of 13.0 points and 11.7 rebounds. He's also impressed with his five double-digit rebound games in only nine games.

Amir is playing a career-high 28.1 minutes per game, which certainly is a contributing factor to his success. He’s shooting 61.8 percent from the floor and 73.3 percent from the line. He’s averaging career highs in rebounds (7.8), assists (1.3) and steals (0.9). He’s matching last year’s block numbers (1.2) and is scoring 8.8 PPG.

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