Now that we are a couple weeks into the season, its a good time to take a look at some potentially solid players who might be available in your league(s).
JR Smith – Denver’s up tempo system is going to lead to a lot scoring. Carmelo and Iverson are obviously going to get the bulk of it, but Denver needs a third scorer to step up. With JR out suspended, Linas Kleiza was that third option. But no that Smith is back, it looks like the Nuggets are going to be giving more minutes to Smith and less to Kleiza and Yakhouba Diawara. The first sign of life for Smith was 29 points, 7 3-Pts, 4 ast, 4 stl on 10-13 shooting against the Cavs on Monday night.
Kelenna Azubuike – If he’s still available, grab him up. Azubuike is averaging 18.8 pts, 1.4 3-pts, 5.2 reb on 53% shooting. Even with Stephen Jackson coming back, Azubuike should still get minutes and looks.
Antoine Wright – This sparkplug off the bench got his first start of the season on Monday night, with Vince Carter out indefinitely with a grade-one ankle sprain. Wright is a great play until at least Vince comes back. I actually like Wright a lot as a player and wouldn’t be surprised to see him take a bigger role on the Nets even after Carter returns.
Ronnie Brewer – The second-year Brewer, locked in as the starting SG for the Jazz, is averaging 15.0 pts and an amazing 3.0 stl on 58% shooting in the first 8 games of the season. If he is still available in your league, grad him immediately. While he probably won’t average 3 steals all year long, he should be up near the league leaders in this category while also providing nice points and threes with a decent FG% for a guard.
Jarrett Jack – Had an awful start to the season and was benched last week. In the three games since the demotion, Jack has averaged 16.7 pts, 4.3 reb, 3 ast, 1 stl on 55% shooting. Jack, who just turned 24, was on a good career projection heading into this year and I believe his numbers will end up closer to his recent form rather than his struggles of the first three games.
Rashad McCants – McCants, only 23, looks to be the number two option (after Al Jefferson) on a very poor Timberwolves team. He is instant offense, averaging 15 points in only 22 minutes so far this year. He won’t fill up all categories, but he should provide some help in points and threes. Also keep your eye on T-Wolves rookie Corey Brewer, who does have the potential to fill up all fantasy categories.
Mike Conley, Jr. – If you’re in a deep league or looking for some long term help, Conley might be worth a flyer. Junior has received increased playing time over the past three games and it wouldn’t surprise me to see that trend continue. Neither Damon Stoudamire nor Kyle Lowry is the long term answer at PG for the Grizzlies so why not just throw Conley to the fire now? Once he start getting minutes, look for him to help with assists and steals in addition to some points and threes.