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Wired: Week 13 Top NBA Pickups

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Ryan Knaus examines Average Draft Position and position-eligibility to help you build a winning team …

This deep into the season some of the same characters keep showing up on the list. Why Terrence Jones isn't owned in 100 percent of fantasy leagues is beyond me, while there still appear to be several point guard options available in many leagues. 

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Games Played for Week 13

5 Games - POR

4 Games – ATL, BOS, BRK, CHA, CHI, CLE, DAL, DET, HOU, IND, LAC, LAL, MIA, NOP, NYK, OKC, ORL, PHI, SAC, TOR, WAS

3 Games – DEN, GSW, MEM, MIL, MIN, PHX, SAS

2 Games – UTA

Point Guards

Darren Collison LAC 60% owned in Yahoo! leagues

Averaging 14.0 points, 4.4 rebounds, 6.8 assists and a 3-pointer per game over his last five (scoring in double figures in all of them), the only question is, why is Collison not owned in more leagues? Chris Paul isn’t expected back before the All-Star break, so I can’t think of any reason Collison should be available in your league.

Kendall Marshall LAL 55%

If four straight double-doubles, averages of 13.75 points and 13.25 assists over his last four games to go along with 11 3-pointers aren’t enough to make you pick Marshall up, I don’t know what is. Yes, some of those old Lakers point guards are eventually going to be ready to play again, but that’s no reason to ignore Marshall until it happens.

D.J. Augustin CHI 25%

Augustin has been pretty hot over his last three games, scoring between 19 and 16 points in them, and is averaging a very solid 16.2 points, 7.6 assists, 1.4 steals and 2.2 3-pointers over his last five. And unlike the aforementioned players, he doesn’t have anyone coming back to steal his job this season. It’s time to own DJA, regardless of whether he’s starting or coming off the Bulls bench.

Brian Roberts NOP 14%

While Roberts isn’t quite as appealing as those guys, Jrue Holiday is still a ways out from returning to action and Roberts is averaging 10.8 points, 3.6 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 1.2 3-pointers over his last five. He’s hitting just 39 percent of his shots during that span, but that could improve quickly if he gets hot.

Ramon Sessions CHA 12%

Not only has Sessions hit double digits in scoring in three straight games and handed out five assists in each of his last four, but starting point guard Kemba Walker went down on Saturday with a nasty ankle injury. I’d be shocked if he plays at all this week and Sessions should be a strong play until Walker is back. Just don’t look for many steals or 3-pointers from him, as they are not his strong suit.

Shooting Guards

Randy Foye DEN 54%

Foye has been scooped up in a lot of leagues recently, but he’s still available in about half of them. He’s been on quite a tear, scoring in double figures in 11 straight games, and is averaging 17.0 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 0.7 steals and 3.2 3-pointers in his nine January games. And if you look at his last six games, his 3-pointers go up to 4.2. Go get him.

Shaun Livingston BRK 9%

Livingston might have been dropped in your league recently due to Brooklyn’s one-game week, but they play four times in Week 13. Deron Williams is due back soon, but Livingston has been playing a lot of shooting guard and is averaging 11.6 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.2 blocks on 48 percent shooting over his last five. He doesn’t dig the long ball, but it doesn’t matter if he’s going to board, steal, block and hit shots for the Nets.

Jodie Meeks LAL 49%

Meeks is enjoying life without Kobe Bryant, scoring in double digits in all eight of his January games, averaging 19.3 points, 3.6 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.5 steals and 2.3 3-pointers on 45 percent shooting this month. He looks like a very solid player to own going forward.

Courtney Lee MEM 9%

Tony Allen has been out with a hand injury, allowing Lee to make some noise. He had 17 points on Friday and is averaging 14.6 points, 3.4 boards, 1.2 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.6 blocks and 1.0 3-pointers on 52 percent shooting over his last five games. Yes, Allen’s return will eventually hurt Lee, but he’s worth a look as long as he’s starting for Memphis.

Luke Ridnour MIL 8%

Yes, I’m trying to get out of the “recommending Bucks” business, but Ridnour is at least worth a mention. Larry Drew has been starting him at shooting guard and he’s responded with 12.0 points, 2.8 rebounds, 6.8 assists and 2.6 3-pointers over his last five games. Who knows how long it will last, but Ridnour’s been more productive than most of his teammates who are owned in a lot more leagues than he is.

Small Forwards

Gerald Green PHX 52%

Eric Bledsoe is still out after knee surgery and Green is rolling, averaging 14.2 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.8 blocks and 1.2 3-pointers over his last five games. That includes a 4-point dud in which he missed all seven 3-pointers last Monday, and he could be poised for a big Week 13. 

Wes Johnson 22% & Nick Young 57% LAL

Johnson is starting for the Lakers and will do so as long as Kobe is out, and is averaging 14.8 points, 5.2 boards, 2.2 assists, 1.6 steals, 0.8 blocks and 1.8 3-pointers on 45 percent shooting over his last five games. He even had a double-double with 11 points and 11 boards, to go along with a steal, two blocks and three 3-pointers in his last game on Friday.

Young’s suspension is over and he’s averaging 16.0 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 0.0 steals and 1.0 3-pointers in seven January games, although he’s shooting just 42 percent from the floor. He’s coming off the bench behind Meeks and Johnson, but should still be a good source of points and threes off the Lakers bench.

J.R. Smith NYK 71%

Smith is slowly but surely crawling out of the doghouse in New York and the Knicks need him with another slew of injuries. He had 24 points and three 3-pointers on 9-of-18 shooting on Friday, and has scored in double digits in four straight games. He’s averaging 15.0 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.5 3-pointers over his last four games. If he was dumped in your league, it’s time to pick him up.

Matt Barnes LAC 4%

Barnes runs hot and cold, but has big-game potential and is seeing a lot of minutes at both wing spots off the bench. He had 25 points, seven boards and five 3-pointers on Wednesday, but generally has trouble scoring. Over his last five games he’s averaging 9.2 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.2 3-pointers, but can help in most categories if he gets hot.

John Salmons SAC 2%

Salmons is really starting to cut into the productivity of Terrence Ross and is averaging 9.0 points, 2.0 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.8 3-pointers off the bench in his last five games. He’s been getting about 22 minutes per game off the bench recently and should continue to have some good games as long as the minutes are there. He disappeared on Friday with two points in 10 minutes due to back spasms and is questionable for Sunday because of the injury. But if he plays on Sunday, he’s worth a look in many leagues.

Power Forwards

Terrence Jones HOU 59%

Jones is having a great season and showing no signs of giving up his starting job. He’s absolutely on fire right now, going off for 36 points and 11 rebounds on Saturday, and is averaging a whopping 21.6 points, 12.2 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 3.0 blocks on 58 percent shooting over his last five. He’s hitting just 64 percent from the line during that stretch, but the free throw woes can be overlooked as long as he’s playing like a mini Dwight Howard for the Rockets. He should be owned in 100 percent of fantasy leagues, in my opinion.

Channing Frye PHX 59%

Frye was on fire until Friday, when he hit just 2-of-6 shots for six points and seven rebounds, and is still averaging 13.4 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1.0 steals, 0.6 blocks and 2.0 3-pointers over his last five games. Markieff and Marcus Morris are also worth a look, but Frye appears to be the most consistent option of the three. Prior to Friday’s dud he was averaging 15.25 points and 2.5 3-pointers in his previous four games.

James Johnson MEM 20%

Johnson has been interesting ever since signing with Memphis and while he’s not going to score many points, he does do a little bit of everything. I feel like he’s on this list every week, but considering he’s only owned in 20 percent of leagues and is averaging 8.4 points, 4.2 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.6 steals, 2.8 blocks and 0.8 3-pointers per game over his last five, he should be.

Al-Farouq Aminu NOP 14%

Jason Smith is the latest Pelican to fall, joining Ryan Anderson on the “out indefinitely” list due to a knee injury. AFA has yet to blow up, but is seeing enough minutes and doing enough in most categories to warrant a pickup in most leagues. Over his last five, AFA checks in with 9.2 points, 9.2 rebounds, 0.4 steals and 0.8 blocks on 36 percent shooting. He’s better than what these numbers represent and if his shot starts falling, I suspect the rest of his game will follow.

DeMarre Carroll ATL 16%

The Hawks’ one-game week is now behind them and Carroll should be ready to roll again after the birth of his daughter. He’s not a must-own player, but is averaging 10.3 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.0 3-pointers, which is essentially what he’s been doing all season.

Centers

Robin Lopez POR 72%

He’s already owned in most leagues, but this is just a heads up that he’s a must-start in most weekly leagues with five games.

Enes Kanter UTA 71%

Kanter is also owned in most leagues and has been playing well again, but fell back to earth on Saturday with four points and one rebound in just 13 minutes. There was no injury, but Kanter is susceptible to this type of night as long as he’s coming off the bench. But the reason he should be owned in all leagues is for the chance that the Jazz finally come to their senses and put him back in the starting lineup over Marvin Williams or Richard Jefferson. Pick one and do it already, please.

Andrea Bargnani NYK 62%

Mike Gallagher is not a Bargnani fan and I’m not a Giannis Antetokounmpo fan, at least as far as him being a starting fantasy player right now. But even Gallagher can probably see that with both Kenyon Martin and Amare Stoudemire going down and set to miss “several” weeks, Bargs is going to continue to be forced into action, despite a lack of defense, as well as overall game. He’s averaging 9.4 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.2 blocks over his last five games, but with so few big men for Mike Woodson to choose from, those numbers simply have to go up.

Pero Antic ATL 4%

Anti is ready to roll after his one-game week and had 11 points, five rebounds, a steal and a 3-pointer in his loss to the Nets in Europe. He’s averaging 9.8 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.5 blocks over his last four games, but I suspect he’ll have a better four-game run in Week 13.

Samuel Dalembert DAL 40%

Dalembert appears to be back for the Mavericks after losing time to both Brandan Wright and DeJuan Blair, and looks like the best player of the three to own. That might not be saying much though, as he has scored four or fewer points in three of his last five games. However, he also blew up for 20 points in one of those, and is averaging 7.4 points and 7.0 rebounds over his last five. He’s blocked just one shot over that stretch, but more should be coming. As long as he continues to get the 19 minutes he’s been getting recently, he’s at least worth a deep-league look.

Alexis Ajinca NOP 1%

With Jason Smith and Ryan Anderson out indefinitely, someone is going to have to play more big-man minutes off the Pelicans bench, and it might be Ajinca. His numbers aren’t even worth mentioning, so I’ll spare you, but if you’re in a deep league and need a center, put him on your watch list, starting now. 

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