Exactly a week has passed since the NBA season has started. That means that fantasy basketball is already a week in as well. Therefore, you are already regretting that seventh round sleeper pick on Rodney Stuckey. Didn’t really work out for you, did it? Well, we have a few answers for you at Pick and Pop. Answer number one comes from a sharpshooter who is finally getting a chance to spread his wings. If he is available, get J.J. Redick in your lineup.
Redick has been a steady shooter off the bench for the Magic throughout his career, but hasn’t had much fantasy value unless you are looking specifically for three’s and FT%. With other, more complete players ahead of him(specifically on the defensive side of the ball), there hasn’t been as many minutes for Redick to light it up. That is, until now.
With Dwight Howard gone, guys on the Magic are going to get more chances, and more stats. We have already seen that with Glen Davis, who is 4th in the league in scoring after a week’s worth of games.(If you own Davis, congratulations on a great first week, but I would bet the Celtic’s 24-point comeback in the 08′ finals that he doesn’t finish Top 20.). J.J. Redick is going to reap the benefits as well, and already has. While we know this is an extremely small sample size, take a look at these stats with Howard gone and Jameer Nelson injured(Nelson may not return until the weekend, and even then Redick will see great minutes.)
Career: 20.6 MIN/gm, 8.5 PTS/gm, 1.7 REB/gm, 1.6 AST/gm, 42/40/85 FG/3PT/FT %
12-13(2 Gms): 34 MIN/gm, 22.5 PTS/gm, 2.5 REB/gm, 6 AST/gm, 64/75/77 %
Again, we know this is a small sample size, but J.J. Redick is finally getting the minute he deserves. While his TO’s will go up a bit, and his shooting percentage will come back down to earth, Redick is going to help you. He has the ball in his hand more often, and is dolling out assists higher than he ever has before. With that, he is getting more open looks as he hasn’t been simply running off screens all game long. Drives to the hoop have him taking 2.5 more free throws a game, and his minutes have him taking twice as many shots. Redick is going to be a low risk guy for you who can get you starter like production. Pick him up now if he is available in your league(which he still is in 20% of ESPN leagues).
Here are some other guys who have more of a role than you might have originally thought and can help you this week:
Mike Dunleavy, MIL: It has become obvious that Dunleavy is going to be one of the first two guys off the bench for Milwaukee. On a team that is run and gun and loves to shoot, he could be a good play when needing points and FG%. While he isn’t going to score you 29 every night, getting 12-15 from one of your utility guys is a good night.
(Editor’s Note: I’m disgusted with myself for just talking positively about two Dukies.)
Dion Waiters, CLE: Waiters is going to score points for Cleveland whether they are good or not. The Cavs however, might be better than we thought. Kyrie Irving has shown that he is already in all-star form, and has been setting up Waiters left and right. Sooner or later the word on Waiters as an all around player(and freakish athlete) is going to get out, so pick him up now.
Chris Kaman, DAL: Kaman is back from the calf injury which kept him out of Dallas’s first two games. With Dirk out, and Elton Brand and Brendan Wright as the other (dependable)big men in Dallas, Kaman is going to get alot of minutes. While the rebound numbers will come(only 10 total in his first two), getting 16PTS/gm from what would most likely be your backup center is pretty good. Kaman also shoots at a high percentage (Career 48.4%).
Jared Sullinger, BOS: Sullinger is one of those guys who should pick up now for returns later. His numbers aren’t impressive whatsoever at this point(4PTS/5REBS), and isn’t really worth a start yet. With Brandon Bass struggling, however, and Doc giving Sully the start against the Wizards on Saturday night, Sullinger could see bigger minutes. Rondo and Garnett have both been gushing about Sullinger, who could help you late when the veteran’s on the Celtics need some rest.
Kemba Walker, CHA: Even those Ramon Sessions is still the starter, Walker has been playing more. He is going to have good games and bad games(30PTS one game, 10PTS another), but this is another great fantasy situation where you have a player on a bad team who is going to put up stats. Walker is the perfect example of an average NBA player could be a good fantasy player.
Next week, we will start letting you in on players that you need to send to the Ex-Files(Yes, it is an extremely cheesy name for players who you need to drop). For this week, however, we will let those players slide. Well, except for one.
More to come tonight, but until then, remember to vote and here is your NBA YouTube Clip!