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NBA Top Pickups: Week 3

Dose: Big Wednesday Preview

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Tuesday was a light night so Aaron Bruski dives head first into Big Wednesday, where 12 games await and …

Games Played for Week 3



2 Games: PHX

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Point Guards

Patrick Beverley Rockets – We’ve been pushing him pretty hard for some time now and he finally had his coming out party on Saturday, when he went off for 19 points, five boards, three dimes, four steals, two blocks and two 3-pointers on 6-of-13 shooting. Will he be this good every night? Probably not, but he has the potential to do it and I see no downside to owning him. Jeremy Lin will take a hit now that he’s back on the bench, but is also still worth owning in most leagues.

Jarrett Jack Cavaliers – I’ve been a Jack fan since he signed with the Cavs and he’s slowly but surely making his way back from knee surgery. Saturday was also his coming out party when he had 20 points, four boards, five dimes, three blocks, three steals and three 3-pointers in a season-high 37 minutes. It’s time to move on Jack.

Brandon Knight Bucks – Knight is finally back from his hamstring injury and while his performance on Saturday was anything but impressive, he’s only going to get better from here. If you’re holding Gary Neal or Nate Wolters, it makes sense to dump them for Knight.

Ramon Sessions Bobcats – Sessions quietly continues to do what he always seems to do. He’ll have the occasional big scoring game and consistently produce off the bench. He’s averaging 12.8 points and 3.8 assists in his last five games, but if you’re looking for steals or threes, you probably need to look somewhere else.

Jordan Farmar Lakers – I still contend that Steve Nash isn’t going to make it through the season in one piece and while Steve Blake is intriguing, Farmar is the guy I like. The Lakers play four times this week and Farmar is averaging 8.8 points, 4.0 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.0 3-pointers over his last five games, and those numbers would be better if is shot were falling more than 37 percent of the time.

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Shooting Guards

Danny Green Spurs – Green finally blew up on Wednesday with 19 points, five boards, two steals, four blocks and three 3-pointers, but outside of that game it’s just been an ugly ride for Green and his owners. So bad that even when you include that game, he’s averaging just 5.8 points over his last five games and shooting 36 percent. He can only go up from here and if our relentless bashing of him helped get him dropped in your league, you should pick him up. He started off Sunday’s game against the Knicks with a 3-pointer, so things might be looking up.

Dion Waiters & C.J. Miles Cavaliers – Waiters is hot, scoring between 17 and 24 points in four of his last five and averaging 17.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 2.2 steals and 1.8 3-pointers over that stretch. Those look like must-add numbers to me.

Miles is quietly averaging 12 points and 2.2 3-pointers over his last five, making him worthy of a close look as well.  

Alec Burks Jazz – Burks is playing OK basketball, averaging 12.6 points, 3.2 boards, 2.2 assists, 202 steals and 0.8 3-pointers over his last five. And he’s doing that while shooting just 34 percent from the floor, and I don’t see him shooting it that poorly on most nights.

Ben McLemore Kings – Mike Malone was ticked off after Saturday’s game and says changes are coming for the Kings lineup. Marcus Thornton is really struggling and McLemore is coming on, scoring between 13 and 19 points in three of his four last games. And in those three games, he hit three 3-pointers in each of them. I have no idea if he’s going to be starting soon or not, but I think there’s a decent chance he does, and he’s worth a flier in case it happens.

Jordan Crawford Celtics – Crawford has been starting for Boston and has hit double digits in four of his last five games, averaging 12 points, 2.4 boards, 3.6 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.4 3-pointers in that stretch. Until Rajon Rondo is back, Crawford should continue to play well as long as Brad Stevens sticks with him.

Small Forwards

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist Bobcats – Kidd-Gilchrist is suddenly playing like a top draft pick and has been very consistent over his last five games, scoring between 14 and 16 points in four of them and averaging 12.4 points, 5.8 rebounds, 0.8 steals and 1.8 blocks, while shooting lights-out at 56 percent. I’m taking a break from writing this in order to attempt to pick him up when waivers open in my ESPN league at noon, and you should do the same. Update: So much for that plan, as my buddy Jeff Snyder got to MKG just before I did. I ended up cutting Omri Casspi and Gerald Green (2 games, return of Goran Dragic) for Caron Butler and Jarrett Jack. Not bad, but I really wanted MKG.

Caron Butler Bucks – As I just wrote, I ended up picking Butler up today as he’s coming off his best game of the season. He had 19 points, 13 rebounds, three assists, two steals and three 3-pointers in 38 minutes on Saturday, and has scored in double figures in four of his last five games with 10 3-pointers over that stretch.

Trevor Ariza Wizards – Ariza’s season is off to a great start, but I worry about his shot disappearing at some point in the near future. And the fact he hit just 2-of-8 shots for five points on Friday doesn’t sit all that well with me. But prior to that dud, he had scored 15, 13, 12 and 28 points in four games, canning 13 3-pointers during the run. He’s also had double-digit rebounds twice this season and has recorded at least two steals in four straight games. Hopefully he’s not ready to cool off for the Wizards. 

Corey Brewer Timberwolves – Brewer is still starting for the Wolves, averaging 13.4 points and 1.4 steals over his last five games, and has scored 17 and 18 points in each of his last two games. But outside of the points and steals, he’s not doing much of anything else.

DeMarre Carroll Hawks – Carroll starts at SF for the Hawks and continues to get 30 minutes a night. He’s not a scoring powerhouse, but he is averaging 11 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.5 3-pointers in his last two games and is worth a deep-league look with four games this week.

Power Forwards

Markieff Morris Suns – Morris is really coming on, but the Suns only play two games this week. He’s averaging 22 points, nine rebounds and two steals over his last three games with two 3-pointers, while shooting lights out. It’s time to grab him.

Nene Wizards – I don’t trust Nene’s health further than I can throw him, but he’s playing and looking pretty good for the Wiz right now. In his two games since returning from a leg injury, Nene is averaging 15 points, 6.5 boards, 2.5 assists, a steal and 1.5 blocks, while hitting 12-of-22 shots. Now let’s just hope he can make it through all three games this week.

Jared Sullinger Celtics – Sullinger still isn’t starting for the Celtics (Brandon Bass is), but is starting to get more minutes. He’s hit double digits in scoring in four straight games and is averaging 11 points, 5.6 rebounds and 0.8 blocks over his last five. He’s been shooting the ball well over his last four and even hit two 3-pointers in a game last week. It’s time to pick him up if you need a rebounder.

Andrew Nicholson Magic – Nicholson is a deep-league special, quietly averaging 10.8 points, 8.2 rebounds and 0.6 blocks off the Magic bench over his last five. He’ll take a hit once Glen Davis is back, but for now, he looks like a sneaky add in deeper leagues.

John Henson Bucks – Henson is not a must-own player because he’ll come off the bench once Larry Sanders (thumb) and Ersan Ilyasova (ankle) are back in action. But when he gets the opportunity, he performs. He went on a three-game run last week where he averaged 14 points, seven boards and nearly two blocks per game, but as I said, he’s a shaky fantasy play when Ilyasova is healthy.


Andrea Bargnani Knicks – Say hello to the new starting center for the Knicks. Bargnani broke out in his center debut on Friday when he went off for 25 points, eight boards, three assists, five blocks and three 3-pointers on 11-of-25 shooting. Of course, this happened against Charlotte, who was without Al Jefferson (ankle), and Bargs is off to a slow start on Sunday against a much better Spurs team. Hopefully he gets it going in that one, but either way, with the Knicks so depleted up front, Bargnani is nearly a must-own player in all leagues.

Kelly Olynyk Celtics – Olynyk is now the starting center for the Celtics and you should drop Vitor Faverani to pick him (or someone else) up. Olynyk is averaging 9.6 points, 6.8 rebounds and 0.6 steals over his last five games while shooting just 36 percent from the floor. He’s not a shot blocker, but the minutes should be on the rise and he’s worth a close look now that he’s starting.

Steven Adams Thunder – Adams looks like a much better center for the Thunder than Kendrick Perkins and broke out on Friday with 17 points, 10 boards, three assists, a steal and three blocks on 7-of-10 shooting. Again, if you’re sitting on Faverani, drop him for Adams. Just don’t expect any miracles from Adams and pray that he eventually takes over the starting job for Perkins.

DeJuan Blair Mavericks – Blair has been quietly efficient off the Mavericks bench, averaging 8.2 points, 7.4 rebounds and 3.0 steals over his last five games on 54 percent shooting. He’s not going to score a lot for you, but the solid steals and occasional block may help make up for it.

Zaza Pachulia Bucks – Pachulia has gotten some starts for Larry Sanders (thumb) but has been solid off the bench this season, as well. He’s averaging 11 points, eight boards and more than a steal per game over his last five. He has just two blocks in that stretch, but more should be coming. Pachulia’s not a must-own player, but you could do worse if you need a center in a deep league.

Injury Stashes

It’s time to pick up and stash any of the following players if they’re sitting out there on waivers: Rajon Rondo, Trey Burke, Wilson Chandler and Tobias Harris.  I didn't write him up, but Shawn Marion should also be owned, while Boris Diaw is quietly producing for the Spurs. 

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