Non-Starters worth Starting in Fantasy Hoops
I know, I know. You’re hesitant to use any non starters on your fantasy teams because their production is usually inconsistent. One night, they can get 30 minutes and fill the stat sheet, and another night, their numbers can look as horrifying as Quentin Richardson’s (is some random look-a-like just wearing his jersey and jacking up threes?). There’s some non starters however, that you should consider as starters on your fantasy team. Fewer minutes means less turnovers, right?
Jamal Crawford (NY – G) 6th man J.C. is exactly that: a savior, coming off the bench to fill the stat sheet and impact the game. Isiah Thomas’ nightly prayers have been answered as some consistency in the play of the guards has developed, and winning has ensued. Crawford has finally become an excellent 6th man. In his last ten games, J.C. has averaged 21 pts, 5 rebounds and 4 assists while shooting 46% from the field and 81% from the stripe. But the best part? He’s playing about 37 minutes a game. Looks like Isiah’s job in New York is safe for now. Let’s just hope he doesn’t trade the farm for say…Mark Blount. If Crawford is still available, or if he's riding your bench, start this guy now.
Earl Boykins (Den – G) The Earl of Denver or Earl ‘I’m not a little’ Boykins can certainly play with the big boys. He’s something like 3’6 but he makes up for it with his unmatched quickness. For a non-starter, Boykins averages 30 minutes and seems to always be in the game when it’s on the line. The Nuggets like going small, and because of this, and the fact that Denver does not rely on strong play from their 2 guards, Earl plays a large role in the offense. In his last ten games, Boykins has averaged 18 points and 4 assists, while shooting a stellar 49% from the field and 97% from the stripe. Though he comes off the bench and is shorter than you are, Boykins should get the nod in your fantasy line up.
Mike Miller (Mem - G) Sure Memphis has the league’s worst rotation for fantasy basketball, but in spite of this, certain Grizzlies have proved to be fantasy studs. The rotation has decreased some after Might Mouse went down, allowing players like Mike Miller more playing time. Miller has flourished of late, putting up ridiculous numbers and even notching a triple double. In his last ten games, Miller has averaged 16 points, 6.8 boards, and 3 assists. His shooting numbers are nice as well: 48% from the field and 89% from the stripe. Not bad for a Grizzly 6th man.
Ruben Patterson (Por - G/F) The self proclaimed Kobe stopper can not stop Kobe, but he can certainly come of the bench and fill the stat sheet. Ruben rode the bench early on, as if his shorts were super glued to it, but when rumors of possible trades broke out, Ruben was given time to showcase his talents. Now, there were no takers simply because of his awful attitude but coming off the bench, Ruben’s been putting up some noteworthy stats. (Side note: The only offer a team countered with was Ruben Patterson for a bag of Doritos. After long and touch consideration, Portland turned it down). Over his last ten games Ruben has averaged 15 points, 4 boards, and 1.5 steals while shooting an awesome 51% from the field. If you need steals and good fg%, the Kobe non-stopper might be worth consideration for your team.
Andres Nocioni (Chi - F) It’s strange but Nocioni actually plays better coming off the bench. His points and his percentages are both up after becoming a sub. In his last five games, Nocioni has been playing like a stud for the baby Bulls, averaging 18 points and 7 rebounds while shooting almost 60% from the field and 88% from the stripe. Maybe the Bulls should start all their sorry players and have their solid one’s come after the bench. Well, that would mean starting Tim Thomas so I guess that’s a bad idea. Grab Nocioni now if he’s still available and ride him while he’s hot.
Speedy Claxton (No – G) He’ll kill you with his fg%, but if you’re in need of assists and steals, this 6th man is worth consideration. Over his last ten games, the speed freak has averaged nearly 30 minutes a game, giving him enough time to score 13 points, dish out 5 assists and pick 2 pockets. Here’s the bad news. His fg% in those last ten games has been under 40%. If you’re looking for steals and assists and you’re pretty strong in fg%, Claxton is your man.
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