Ranking The Hottest NBA Fantasy Pickups Still on the Market

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistDecember 17, 2012

Ranking The Hottest NBA Fantasy Pickups Still on the Market

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    Whether your fantasy hoops team is struggling or thriving, there's always room on the roster for some quality waiver-wire pickups.

    A slew of injuries has owners searching for short- and long-term answers, and surprisingly, there are plenty to be had.

    Now, with owners scrambling, some players that many never expected to see logging minutes for their teams are contributing in big ways.

    Here are the hottest fantasy basketball pickups right now.

    Note: All stats accurate as of Sunday, December 16th.

8. Danny Green

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    Danny Green isn't one to stuff the stat sheet, but he does offer consistency. The San Antonio Spurs' starting small forward has come on over the past two weeks, namely through his steady three-point shooting and perimeter defense.

    On the season, Green is shooting 39.5 percent from beyond the arc en route to 12.4 points per 36 minutes, per Basketball-Reference.

    In addition to a reliable outside jump shot, Green has continued to boast the title of pesky defender, averaging 1.4 steals per 36 minutes.

    According to ESPN, Green's ownership has jumped 19.9 percent over the last seven days to 33.1 percent, so scoop him up as a stash option for your bench.

7. Bradley Beal

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    Bradley Beal's NBA career got off to a nightmarish start thanks to some horribly inconsistent shooting and an undefined role on a team lost in basketball purgatory.

    Now that the Washington Wizards have found at least minor success (three wins), Beal's role as the team's starting 2-guard is becoming more clear.

    While his shooting averages (35 percent and 31 percent from three) are still miserable, Beal's production over his last five games indicates a turnaround in terms of overall production.

    Posting a line of 15 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.4 assists over his last five, Beal appears to be on the right track, and it's encouraging for owners that he's still available in 49 percent of leagues, per ESPN.com.

6. Rodney Stuckey

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    Rodney Stuckey is hardly efficient, but the good news for owners of the erratic Detroit Piston is that standard five-category leagues don't account for PER.

    Stuckey's production has picked up over the last week, as the Eastern Washington product is averaging 16 points and 4.6 assists over his last five games, although he's knocking down shots at a weak rate of 37.7 percent.

    Stuckey has very little to offer owners in terms of three-point shooting, but he's a volume scorer who needs ample opportunities to meet his scoring quota.

    According to NBA.com, Stuckey isn't shooting better than 50 percent from any one spot on the floor, excluding his 51 percent mark from the restricted area (which is still putrid).

    So while Stuckey's efficiency is borderline disgraceful, he's becoming a decent reserve option for fantasy owners. Currently owned in 90 percent of leagues (per ESPN.com), Stuckey will be one of the more sought-after names on the waiver wire in the coming days.

5. Andray Blatche

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    The days of Andray Blatche being a running joke may be over. That's sad for fans, but good for fantasy owners who were smart enough to take a flier on the Brooklyn Nets' big man.

    Seeing extended minutes due to Brook Lopez's foot injury, Blatche turned up his game, posting a line of 14.6 points and 5.4 rebounds over his last five games.

    Blatche's per 36 minute stats (per Basketball-Reference) are even more impressive (20.1 points and 10.7 rebounds), and have contributed to his meteoric rise in fantasy circles.

    Now owned in 84 percent of leagues (per ESPN), Blatche has a chance to be one of the season's biggest surprises should he sustain this level of production over the next few months.

4. Ersan Ilyasova

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    Overshadowed by the play of Larry Sanders and Ekpe Udoh throughout much of the early season, Milwaukee Bucks forward Ersan Ilyasova has ramped up his efforts to regain his starting role in recent weeks.

    While Ilyasova's shooting struggles continue to plague the Bucks (40 percent from the field), he's averaging 8.9 points and 5.5 rebounds per game, which is solid enough production that owners can begin to take him seriously.

    Although he likely won't live up to his draft position after a stellar 2011-12 campaign, Ilyasova's recent play has been enough to instill hope in the minds of owners.

    Ilyasova continues to go unclaimed in 20 percent of leagues (per ESPN), so owners would be wise to make a play for the versatile Milwaukee big.

3. Jason Kidd

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    Fantasy basketball owners love players who can distribute numbers across multiple categories, and that's something New York Knicks point guard Jason Kidd has been doing for 18 years.

    Starting in place of the injured Iman Shumpert, Kidd and Raymond Felton have established a chemistry that has led the Knicks to a brilliant 18-5 start to the season, as well as some surprising numbers.

    Kidd has been a beneficiary of the Knicks' impeccable ball movement and floor spacing, as he's hit his stride from beyond the arc.

    Kidd is shooting a career-high 48 percent from three-point range in his first season with the Knicks, which has helped contribute to his output of 11.1 points per 36 minutes.

    In addition to some steady scoring, Kidd has been dishing out 4.9 dimes per game to go with 4.7 rebounds.

    Kidd's ownership has jumped 26.5 percent in the last week (per ESPN.com), so owners who have been plagued by injuries at the point guard position would be wise to snag the Knicks' versatile guard.

2. Ed Davis

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    It's about time Ed Davis got going. Filling in for the injured Andrea Bargnani, Davis has looked particularly strong, posting numbers that fantasy owners can get excited about.

    According to Basketball-Reference, Davis is on his way to a career year, averaging 14.4 points and 12.2 rebounds per 36 minutes, pouring in 57.4 percent of his attempts from the floor. 

    Unlike Bargnani, Davis gets his work done down low on the blocks, as he's currently shooting 70 percent from the restricted area (47-of-67), per NBA.com.

    As Davis' playing time increases with Bargnani out, expect his numbers to balloon.

1. Jordan Crawford

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    If you're playing in a league that doesn't take field-goal percentage into account, then by all means, go ahead and pick up Jordan Crawford.

    Crawford has been handed the keys to the offense in John Wall's absence, which is great news for fantasy owners, although not the best for Washington Wizards fans.

    In his last five games, Crawford is averaging 16.2 points, 5.6 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game as the team's most willing and irrationally confident shooter.

    However, if you haven't snagged Crawford by now, you may have a tough time doing so. Crawford is owned in 93 percent of ESPN.com leagues, up 52 percent from one week ago.