Greg Monroe, C – Detroit Pistons
This week the spotlight shines bright on a rookie center playing for the lowly Detroit Pistons. Monroe was taking a back seat to the 36-year-old Ben Wallace and his 3.2 points/6.5 rebounds per game average. That is until Big Ben went down with an ankle injury.
Monroe promptly stepped in and has been taking advantage of the extra playing time with Wallace’s absence. He posted four straight double-doubles highlighted by his 16-point/13-rebound performance vs. the Sixers last Saturday.
His field goal percentage has been on the rise since December, as well as his minutes played. In fact, he’s averaging a season-high 33 minutes/game in January after seeing increases each of the past two months. He has almost doubled his scoring and rebounding averages from December to January to a season high of 11.3 PPG and 9.1 rebounds/game this month.
The ex-Hoya had a polished game for a big man which is a major reason Detroit made him their seventh overall pick. After a rocky start to the season, Mr. Monroe is starting to pay dividends for the Pistons. He’s proving to be an integral part of the Pistons upcoming youth movement and rebuilding process.
Last week, Monroe was owned in only 20 percent of CBS leagues, but he tops the list of the most added players. His ownership has already risen to 51 percent. By next week, he is projected to be owned by 77 percent. So, strike while the iron is hot because it appears that young Greg Monroe has arrived.
Ryan Anderson, PF – Orlando Magic
Ryan Anderson is making it easy for the Magic to forget about Rashard Lewis and his bloated contract which was banished to Washington last month. Since that point, Anderson has become an integral part of Stan Van Gundy’s frontcourt rotation.
In Anderson’s last 12 games, he’s averaged over 20 minutes and has scored in double-digits in all but two of them. In the New Year, he’s averaging 13 PPG along with six rebounds.
What’s even more impressive is that he’s shooting 44 percent from three-point range while allowing the Magic to spread the court. Similar to how Lewis used to, but for a lot less money. Anderson has also mixed in a handful of assists, steals and blocks making him a contributor across multiple fantasy categories on any given night.
The former first-round pick of the New Jersey Nets was sent packing to Orlando in the Vince Carter trade in ‘09. Ironically, since that trade, the Nets have searched high and low for a quality PF.
Meanwhile, Orlando was thought to have a glut of front court players, until their recent roster makeover when they traded Marcin Gortat and Lewis, leaving them with little front court depth.
Anderson has quietly been making his case to wrestle the starting PF spot from Brandon Bass. And at this point, even though Bass is still the starter, the minutes are being split almost 50-50. It makes sense to jump on the Anderson bandwagon now while he’s owned in only 15 percent of CBS leagues.