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Wired: Top Pickups for Week 20

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Wired: Top Pickups for Week 20
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The Bucks play 5 games in Week 20, giving fantasy owners a lot of options and potential headaches. NBA …

Games Played Week 20

5 Games: MIL

4 Games: BOS, CHA, DEN, GSW, LAC, MEM, MIA, PHI, PHX, POR, SAC, SAN, TOR, UTA, WAS

3 Games: ATL, BRK, CHI, CLE, DAL, DET, HOU, IND, MIN, NOP, NYK, OKC, ORL

2 Games: LAL

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Guards

Tony Wroten PHI – Wroten scored 30 points on Saturday and has hit double digits in scoring in four of his last five. He’s averaging 16.8 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.8 steals over that stretch, and looks like a great option with four games this week, despite coming off the Sixers bench.

Mo Williams POR – Williams is a good pick up right now for those of you planning ahead in your weekly leagues, as the Blazers go five times in week 22. They also play four times this week and four times the following week, and Williams has been playing fairly well. He struggles to score consistently due to his bench role, but is averaging 11.8 points, 3.2 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 1.6 3-pointers over his last five.

Marcus Thornton BRK – Thornton is showing signs of being ready to take off, while also showing signs of being a fantasy nightmare. He’s now scored 25, 3, 20, 4 and 27 points in each of his last five games. He went off for 27 points and five 3-pointers on 11-of-15 shooting on Sunday, securing one of the most inconsistent five-game runs you will ever see. I’m not sure I have the guts to start Thornton in any leagues right now, but he’s a cheap daily play and still has the potential to get it going consistently for the Nets before this thing is over. But the fact remains that he hasn’t put together a single hot streak all season, but it looks like he's dangerously close to doing so, scoring 20 or more in three of his last five games. 

Will Bynum DET – Bynum has scored in double figures in four of his last five games despite his bench role, but also had a 1-of-11, 16-minute dud on Wednesday against the tough defense of the Bulls. Despite that dog, he’s averaging 13.4 points, 2.2 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 1.2 steals over his last five. He’s only averaging 21 minutes a game recently, but he’s been getting it done.

Ramon Sessions MIL – Much like Bynum and Williams, Sessions is also making the most of his bench role by averaging 13.8 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 23 minutes over his last five. He’s not threeing or stealing much, but he’s shooting it very well from the field and free throw line. And the bonus is the Bucks play five games this week, which is crucial in weekly playoff leagues. Ersan Ilyasova, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Nate Wolters are also worth a look this week, even though I'm not breaking them down. 

Chris Douglas-Roberts CHA – CDR has been starting for Gerald Henderson, but it could all come crashing down once Henderson is back from a calf injury. He’ll be re-evaluated next week, so whether CDR remains relevant remains to be seen. He’s averaging 13.25 points, 3.5 rebounds, 1.75 steals and 2.2 3-pointers on 47 percent shooting over his last four games, and will be a worthy fantasy starter until Henderson is back.

O.J. Mayo MIL – Mayo’s been an absolute disaster and I cannot sit here in good faith and tell you to pick him up and play him, even with five games. But I also think it’s worth mentioning, in case you’re in a deep league and options are real limited.

Forwards

Khris Middleton MIL – Middleton is also in the five-game club and has been playing well for the Bucks. He’s clocking in at 15.2 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.4 3-pointers on 54 percent shooting over his last five. Like most Bucks, there is some danger in starting any of them, but Middleton has been reliable for a while now.

Jeff Adrien MIL – Adrien has been rebounding for a few weeks now and is actually playing better and more consistently than John Henson. Adrien’s scoring is always a roll of the dice, but he’s averaging 11.2 points, 8.8 rebounds, 0.8 steals and 1.2 blocks on 53 percent shooting in his last five games. And with five games on the horizon, I’m more comfortable throwing Adrien out there over Henson. Speaking of Henson…

John Henson MIL – Even with five games I don’t know if you can really trust Henson. He’s shown some signs of life recently, going for exactly 12 points, six boards and two blocks in each of his last two games, but he played just 17 and 23 minutes in them. And prior to that, he had scored 6, 6, 6, 0, 12 and 6 points in his six previous games. Start him if you want, but just be prepared for him to let you down.

Ryan Kelly LAL – Kelly is starting over Kent Bazemore right now and racked up 12 points, five boards, eight assists, a steal, two blocks and two 3-pointers in 37 minutes on Sunday. He also had 24 points, 11 boards, a steal, a block and four 3-pointers on Friday. The Lakers only play two games this week, but it looks like Kelly should be owned in all leagues at this point.

Moe Harkless ORL – Harkless has been starting for the Magic as Victor Oladipo and Jameer Nelson have missed time, and even got the nod over Tobias Harris on Saturday. He’s scored in double digits in six straight games and is averaging 12.8 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.2 steals, 1.4 blocks and 1.6 3-pointers over his last five. Arron Afflalo and Nelson are back, and Oladipo could be soon so there is some risk involved with using Harkless. But he’s also played well enough to be owned in all leagues right now.

Boris Diaw SAN – Diaw came off the bench in his last game and played just 22 minutes, finishing with eight points and eight rebounds. He’s averaging 11.6 points, 7.4 rebounds, 3.8 assists, a block and a 3-pointer over his last five games, and is shooting 64 percent from the floor. He can’t stay that hot with his shooting going forward, but whether coming off the bench or starting, Diaw is having a pretty good season for the Spurs. He’s one of those guys you’ll want to look at once the week is wrapping up, as he can be a little messy if you watch his numbers from night to night.

Caron Butler OKC – Butler is starting to come on for the Thunder and gets a boost with Thabo Sefolosha’s season possibly over due to a calf injury. He was great on Thursday with 14 points and four 3-pointers, but scored a total of six points his two other games with the Thunder. He’s averaging 26 minutes a game for his new team, and while he’s not tearing it up yet, the minutes are there and he could start producing any day now.

Drew Gooden WAS – Gooden has suddenly emerged as a factor in Washington, scoring 12 and 13 points on 12-of-16 shooting in his last two games. With Nene’s season possibly over and Kevin Seraphin still out with a knee injury that won’t go away. And as long as Seraphin is out, Gooden could continue to see an increase in minutes and be productive. He’s only played 17 and 19 minutes in his last two games, but if you’re in a deep league with a barren waiver wire, he’s worth a look.

Centers

Amir Johnson TOR – It was announced on Sunday that Patrick Patterson would miss at least the next week with an elbow injury, clearing the way for Johnson to get all the power forward minutes in Toronto. Add in the fact the Raps play four times a week for the next four, and he’s a must-own player. He’s averaging 10.4 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.2 blocks over his last five, but I suspect those numbers are going up significantly with Patterson out, as the two were basically in a timeshare.

Kelly Olynyk BOS – Olynyk is playing well for the Celtics and is averaging 16.7 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.7 blocks over his last three games (including Sunday, which is still in progress). Blocks are mysteriously missing from his lines lately and he’s a fouling machine, but he’s playing well enough to be picked up in most leagues right now. Kris Humphries also played very well on Sunday, so he's worth a look as well. Just know he's been a model of inconsistency in both production and playing time, so I'm having trouble fully buying in. 

Zaza Pachulia MIL – Another five-gamer, but Pachulia’s far from a must-start player this week. He’s averaging just 6.4 points, 4.6 rebounds and 0.4 blocks over his last five games, but has played 29.5 minutes in his last two games. If you’re in a weekly league, he’s worth a look, but you have to calculate what he’ll do over those five games, and you may very well get more from a better player with three games.

Kosta Koufos MEM – Koufos, despite playing just 19 minutes in four straight games, is averaging 12.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and a steal over his last three. He’s stuck behind Marc Gasol, but has been able to produce despite the limited run. I don’t trust him, but if you’re in a deep league and need a big man, he might be able to keep it going this week.

Chris Andersen MIA – Andersen is averaging a whopping 5.0 points over his last five games, but went off on Sunday with 13 rebounds and six blocked shots in a loss to the Bulls. He’s averaging 7.0 rebounds and 2.6 blocks over his last five games and if you can live without the scoring punch, he might be worth a deep-league look. 

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