Normal Sized Leagues
I guess the definition of a normal-sized league, at least in my mind, is one consisting of 10 to 12 teams with rosters somewhere around 12-15 players. That should cover a majority of the fantasy hoops leagues in existence.
If your league is any smaller than that, the waiver options are endless and it's just too difficult to try to figure out whether you should pick up Kevin Garnett, Luol Deng, or Jason Richardson. While it's nice to have those kinds of options available, it can drive you nuts on a daily basis trying to figure out if you should change your roster, so I'd suggest adding a few teams to your league next year.
Chris Douglas-Roberts G/F Nets – Chances are that CDR has already been grabbed in your league after his last two games, when he set career highs in points, averaging 29 and 11 boards. But it remains to be seen how things are going to shake out in New Jersey once they're finally healthy.
There was a lot of hype on both CDR and Courtney Lee coming in, but CDR sure looks like the real deal as Lee continues to recover from a groin injury. I'm planning on starting CDR in a few leagues with four games next week.
Let's hope the last two games weren't the top of the mountain for him, and that he'll continue to produce once Lee and Devin Harris are back in action. He should come in around 15 points, 5-6 boards, two assists and a steal per game when it's all said and done.
Drew Gooden F/C Mavericks – Gooden has taken over for injured Erick Dampier and put up some very solid numbers over his last several games, posting double-doubles in three straight after doing almost nothing for the first two weeks of the season. I thought Gooden would play over Damp coming into the season, and he may now that Dampier is out indefinitely with an unknown illness.
Ersan Ilyasova F Bucks – Ilyasova quieted down in his last game, his first start of the season, with nine points, eight rebounds, a three and a block. However, he is starting and his previous line of 19 points, 12 boards, four 3-pointers and two steals was eye opening. My guess is he keeps it going and ends up being a serviceable forward in most leagues.
Larry Hughes G/F Knicks – Most of you know I'm not a Hughes fan but even a hater can't ignore the numbers. He's at 14.2 points, 4.3 boards, 4.6 assists, 2.2 steals and 1.2 three-pointers on the season, despite not even playing in the first two games.
He also nearly triple-doubled in his last game, which was easily the best of the season for him. He looked to be taking a hit with the arrival of Allen Iverson, but that surprise party has been canceled. If Hughes is out there, you have to pick him up. Just don't be surprised if the monster stats subside in the near future.
Jason Williams PG Magic – J-Will is starting for the Magic and got off to a slow start with four points, four boards, five assists, a steal and a three-pointer in 29 minutes Wednesday. Rashard Lewis somehow had nine assists in that one, but Williams should be the man for the next month or so. Give him a couple more games before judging him.
Rudy Fernandez SG Blazers – Rudy is going to get more minutes with Travis Outlaw shelved for the next couple months. He was hot against Atlanta on Monday, going for 19 points, four boards, four steals and a three in the loss, but had just six points, four assists and no threes in the next one. He might be inconsistent, but I'm guessing he becomes one of the more reliable reserves in Portland going forward.
Marco Belinelli G Raptors – Belinelli has been shooting lights out and burying threes lately. In fact, he's scored in double figures in five of his last six games and drained 15 three-pointers over that stretch. If you need threes, go get him.
Dahntay Jones G/F Pacers - Jones has had an amazing year thus far and I sincerely hope he will continue to start once Troy Murphy returns from his back injury. For that to happen, he'll have to get the nod over Brandon Rush, who has been as big a disappointment as Jones has been a surprise.
He's averaging 17.4 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.1 blocks thus far. Those numbers will eventually come down, but if he can continue to start, he'll be a solid option in four-game weeks. Same goes for Detroit's Will Bynum.
Deeper leagues are generally going to have 14 to 16 teams and go deep enough that most starters are not available on waivers. These players may not even be available in all deep leagues, but are generally available in many normal-sized leagues.
Carlos Delfino G/F Bucks – Delfino started for the Bucks in his last game, scoring 21 points, adding six boards and four assists, as well as draining four 3-pointers. There was a chance that Luc Richard Mbah a Moute was going to start in his place that night, but he was out with a foot injury. Delfino is still a bit risky, as this was really his only solid line thus far, but more could be coming if he keeps the starting job.
George Hill G Spurs – Hill was poised to get more playing time before Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili got dinged up (again), but is currently starting for Parker. I doubt Parker's out for long, but Hill is going to get run either way. He had 18 points, two assists and a three-pointer on Thursday, and should be a source of all three of those things going forward.
Terrence Williams G/F Nets – Williams has three double-doubles in his last five games, but those other two were duds. He's going to be inconsistent, but qualifies at multiple positions and has proven he can do anything but block shots. His season highs this year (usually in different games) are 20 points, 12 boards, 9 assists, 4 steals, and 2 threes.
I think he's a good guy to pick up in deep leagues, but I am concerned about how he'll be used once the Nets are back at full strength (which is close to happening).
Toney Douglas G Knicks – Douglas was terrible in his last game against the Pacers, as Wilson Chandler got hot, and the Knicks went with vets down the stretch to get a win. But prior to that one, he had scored 15, 23, 21, and 16 points over a four-game stretch. With Iverson not going to New York, there's still hope that he plays a role in the rotation.
James Harden G Thunder – Harden finally broke out with 24 points, three boards, three assists and six 3-pointers in his last game. He's coming off the bench behind Thabo Sefolosha, but could earn a starting gig at some point this season. His numbers weren't great before the last one, but he's probably worth a roster spot in deeper leagues.
Anderson Varejao F/C Cavaliers – Varejao lost his job to J.J. Hickson and has been dumped in many leagues, but the Cavs may still need his defensive skills. He still has double-double potential and can block shots and get steals. If you need a big man, give him a look. He's iffy right now with a hip injury, but should be back near full strength next week.
Wesley Matthews G/F Jazz – Matthews is starting for the Jazz and should hold the job if he starts performing. He hasn't done much yet, but might be worth stashing to see if he starts putting up numbers.
Others To Consider
Earl Watson, Luke Ridnour, Joel Przybilla, Ramon Sessions, Thabo Sefolosha
Extremely Deep Leagues
Dan Gadzuric F/C Bucks – With Andrew Bogut out, could get some nice run, points, boards and blocks.
DeAndre Jordan C Clippers – With Marcus Camby gimpy, Jordan could see an increased role and grab a lot of boards and block shots. Watch out for those free throws.
Marcus Williams PG Grizzlies – Mike Conley's not getting the job done in Memphis and could eventually lose him job to Williams, who had nine points, six dimes and a three in his last one. Just keep a close eye on him, and get ready to pounce if plays well on Friday.
Jonas Jerebko F Pistons – Jerebko is starting for the Pistons and averaging nine points, four boards, a steal, and nearly a block per game. He'll take a hit when Rip Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince return, but is worth a look in deeper leagues.
Donte' Greene F Kings – Greene had 24 points, five boards and two threes in his last one, but Andres Nocioni was out with a hip injury. He hadn't done much prior to that one, but could end up playing a nice role in the Kings' rotation.
Eric Maynor G Jazz – Maynor struggled in his last game, failing to score, but played very well when Deron Williams was out last weekend. He's going to get some run even with Williams healthy and might be worth a shot in a very deep league. Assists are his specialty, but he has only hit one three and collected three steals on the season.
Rodrigue Beaubois G Mavericks – Beaubois has started in four straight games with Josh Howard out and is averaging 11 points and a three-pointer over that stretch. With Howard out for the foreseeable future, RB is worth a look as long as he continues to start.
Others To Consider
Jason Maxiell, Jeff Foster, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Josh Boone, Goran Dragic
Normal Sized Leagues