Fantasy Basketball 2012: Ranking Hottest Pickups at NBA's Quarter-Season Mark
As the NBA season matures and minutes become available in different situations, more players are becoming relevant in the fantasy basketball realm.
Guys you may not have ever heard of, like Kevin Seraphin of the Washington Wizards, can help your fantasy team in the short term based on their recent production.
Marco Belinelli, Corey Brewer, Jeff Green and Jarrett Jack are all extensively accessible fantasy options at this stage of the game. Each will provide his own statistical fingerprint on a lineup for a certain period of time—and should be pursued accordingly—but there is an order of priority that should be assessed to them in a vacuum.
All of the players on this list are available in at least 55 percent of ESPN.com fantasy basketball leagues.
All statistics are accurate prior to games played on Dec. 11, 2012.
5. Jeff Green, SF/PF, Boston Celtics
Percentage Owned: 8.1
Jeff Green isn’t getting 30 minutes a night (24.2 over his last five), but he has gotten 23 in four of his last five games.
His efficiency is enough to make him relevant for fantasy, though. He has shot 54.4 percent from the field on double-digit shot attempts and been perfect from the line since Nov. 25.
As a result, Green’s scoring average has jumped to 16.0 over his last five in addition to 4.2 boards and 1.0 steals. You may have to worry about his turnovers, which are a bit excessive (2.2 per game) for his lack of assist (1.0) and minutes totals.
4. Kevin Seraphin, PF/C, Washington Wizards
Percentage Owned: 44.6
The Washington Wizards are enjoying a productive season from third-year big man Kevin Seraphin, and fantasy owners may stand to benefit from his numbers as well.
In his last three games, Seraphin has averaged 30.7 minutes while shooting 60.0 percent from the field on 13.3 field-goal attempts and 50.0 percent from the line on just two total tries from the stripe.
Seraphin’s counting stats are as follows: 16.3 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 1.0 APG, 1.3 BPG, 0.0 SPG and 1.3 TOPG. If you need cheap help in the typical big-man fantasy stats, Seraphin is your guy.
3. Corey Brewer, SF, Denver Nuggets
Percentage Owned: 9.3
Corey Brewer is averaging 24.0 minutes per game in December, but he’s had more shot attempts per contest in his last four (14.8) than Paul Pierce (14.7) is seeing this season.
He’s hitting a lot more of them too: Brewer’s 55.9 percent field-goal shooting is the driving force behind his 18.3 PPG December average.
Brewer can still help fantasy owners from deep. His accuracy (25.0 percent this month; 35.3 percent on the season) leaves a little to be desired, but Brewer has hit multiple threes in four of his last seven games.
He’s also a skilled thief—Brewer has recorded a steal in nine consecutive games. He had two or more in three of them, including four in two separate contests.
2. Jarrett Jack, PG/SG, Golden State Warriors
Percentage Owned: 16.5
Jarrett Jack has played at least 23 minutes in each of his last 10 contests. His accuracy from the field has been good for a guard this season; he’s knocked down 46.3 percent of his field goals on the year.
He’s usually good for a three per night too, averaging 0.7 per game.
In the month of December (six games), Jack has topped 30 minutes three times and is shooting 50.0 percent from the field and 91.7 percent from the line while adding 12.5 points, 5.0 assists and 1.2 steals.
His Golden State Warriors are 5-1 in that time.
1. Marco Belinelli, SG, Chicago Bulls
Percentage Owned: 2.8
Marco Belinelli played 40-plus minutes for the Chicago Bulls in each of the last three games. That alone should make you want to go get him, but he’s been getting buckets at a respectively efficient rate on top of the playing time.
Belinelli shot 48.8 percent from the field in his last three starts—including eight made threes—and is averaging 20.3 points, 3.3 boards, 1.3 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.7 turnovers per game.
He’s also been a knock-down free-throw shooter, converting 91.7 percent of his four attempts per game. Belinelli’s career free-throw percentage is 80.0.
He’s averaged 41.7 minutes per game over the last three.
For more fantasy basketball analysis, follow Jamal on Twitter: Follow @StatManJ