It's not the easiest thing to trust Milwaukee Bucks for fantasy purposes, especially when we're talking about the support players. Head coach Scott Skiles likes to shuffle the starting lineup and rotation – minutes come and minutes go, often without any warning or pattern. And a host of players are battling through nagging injuries, the type of issues that will probably result in missed time sooner or later.
Those disclaimers out of the way, I'm always looking for ways to churn the back of my bench in any fantasy sport, and I'm not afraid to try someone who might be a short-term rental. With that in mind, let's see what a couple of Bucks – Mike Dunleavy and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute – might be able to do for our fake teams.
Dunleavy is the more established name, of course. He returned to action Tuesday after missing six games with a knee problem, but he didn't look any worse for wear (26 minutes, 17 points, six rebounds, two blocks). He's always been the type of heady, versatile player I look for in any roto league, across all sports; the quiet, multiple-category contributors are often undervalued or overlooked.
While Dunleavy has been a dedicated reserve since he arrived in Milwaukee last year, he's still averaging over 26 minutes of action per night this year and he qualifies at two Yahoo! positions (shooting guard, small forward). Sounds like someone who should be owned in more than 32 percent of Yahoo! leagues. I added to the Dunleavy ownership tag Wednesday morning, using one of my four Yahoo Friends & Family acquires of the week. Welcome aboard, veteran.
The timing on the Mbah a Moute story is a little surprising – he admitted in the second week of December his surgically repaired knee is still bothering him, and yet since that admission he's been starting for the Bucks and playing inspired basketball.
Mbah a Moute went for 10 points and 10 rebounds in Tuesday's win over Indiana, adding two steals and a block to the mix. He joined the starting lineup four games ago and useful averages have followed: 11.8 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.8 steals, 54.8 percent shooting. According to Basketball Monster, Mbah a Moute is the No. 66 fantasy commodity per-game over this sample, albeit it's a tiny one (and a cherry-picked one, at that).
In shallow and medium leagues, maybe you can ignore the UCLA product. He's far from a finished product offensively (this isn't someone you run your offense through), and his biggest role for the Bucks comes on defense. That said, production is production, and in deeper pools it might be time to kick the tires. Mbah a Moute is only owned in five percent of Yahoo! leagues.
If the immediate schedule is a deciding factor for you, both of these guys make sense as volume plays. Milwaukee plays three games in the next four days (at Memphis, at Boston, home for Cleveland). Playing a total of four games in five days might take a toll on the club, but here's hoping the stat accumulation will make up for any fatigue and efficiency gaps. Keep an open mind, amigos.