Fantasy Basketball: Catch These Slumpers on the Rebound

John LorgeSenior Writer IJanuary 19, 2009

It's rare for a player to go through a season without some poor performances.  Occasionally players string out a majority of their poor performances over the course of three to five weeks. 

As fantasy owners, we are quick to make the moves that will help our teams win now.  When someone isn't performing, we want them axed, and replaced with someone who deserves the valuable roster spot.

Over the last 30 days, three star-caliber players have been performing well-below their potential.  These guys will bounce back, and if you can get them while their price is low, they will pay handsome dividends in the future.

Caron Butler, SF, Washington Wizards

At the end of December Butler sprained his ankle and he hasn’t been the same since.  Through nine games in January Butler has averaged 14.9 points 4.8 rebounds, and 3.7 assists while playing his season's average of 38 minutes per game.

When Butler is healthy we know him as the 20-point, seven-rebound, and five-assist All-Star forward who is one of the leagues best defenders.

Caron Butler has shown flashes of his old self, with 25 points against the Knicks on Jan. 14 followed with 11 points against those same Knicks on Jan. 16.

Butler has been logging close to 40 minutes a night, and we all know the Wizards need his production.  It's not uncommon for a player to take some time getting back in the flow after sustaining an injury that affects their cutting and jumping ability. 

Treat Butler as the top-20 fantasy player that he is; attain him with a slightly lesser player who's hot, or in a 2-for-1.

Rudy Gay, SF, Memphis Grizzlies

Gay is healthy and hasn't listed any notable complaints with the coaches or ownership.  Chalk up his 14.1 points per game in January as a pure slump.

Gay has been a slightly above average three-point shooter his first two seasons in the NBA.  In January he has shot 3-19 from behind the arc, coming after a 41.7 percent December.

During the slump, Gay has struggled to get himself involved on both ends of the court, as his rebounds have also seen a dip.  His steals are up in January however, so he is still giving effort on the court.

Last season, January was Gay's most productive month. With no notable issues, he should get back to his potential All-Star form. 

With the emergence of O.J. Mayo, Gay is no longer the one-man show in Memphis, so quickly take him off the hands of an owner who feels he isn't getting what he paid for.

Andrew Bynum, C, Los Angles Lakers

Bynum has had in interesting reversal of roles in the month of January.  His points are up to 13.8 per game, while his rebounds are down t 6.5 and blocks to 1.3 per game.

How does a player who is scoring more and earning more playing time, see a drop in rebounds and blocks?

Simple, matchups with Dwight Howard, Tim Duncan, and Yao Ming.  That has been Bynum's lineup over the past three games and he had seven rebounds and three blocks in the collective meetings.

The increase in playing time is very positive for Bynum who, if he can avoid foul trouble, should see over 30 minutes per game.  His offensive production keeps coming along nicely, and as long as Kobe Bryant continues to push, the Lakers it will create opportunities for Bynum to get easy buckets.

Most owners who drafted Bynum expected a breakout year.  He hasn't been a disappointment, but he is below last year's averages.  If you are looking for a center and don't want to pay top-dollar, Bynum is a great option on the second tier.