Wired: Top Pickups for Week 19

Andrea Bargnani is actually relevant again and with five games this week, is also a must-own, must-start player

Games Played Week 19



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Point Guards

Isaiah Canaan - Sixers - 25 percent owned in Yahoo! leagues – Canaan’s still not playing all that well as the new starting point guard for the Sixers, but he is averaging 11 points, 2.5 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.3 3-pointers over his last four games. His shooting has been much of his problem, hitting just 36 percent of his shots, while he’s also not stealing the ball. But as long as he’s starting for such a bad team, there’s a decent chance he’ll get hot at some point.

Ray McCallum - Kings - 6% - McCallum should start the rest of the way for the Kings and has scored in double figures in four of his last five games. He’s averaging 11.6 points, 2.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 1.2 steals and one 3-pointer over that stretch, but had 20 points and three assists on Friday night. With Darren Collison’s season over, McCallum has a shot at being pretty productive down the stretch.

Langston Galloway - Knicks - 26% - Galloway played just 26 minutes on Saturday, sharing time with Alexey Shved and Shane Larkin for the Knicks, but is still the starter as of now. Jose Calderon is out with an Achilles injury, but isn’t ready to shut it down for the season just yet. Galloway is averaging 12.8 points, 5.2 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.6 steals, 0.6 blocks and 1.6 3-pointers over his last five games, shooting 42 percent. He could continue to lose minutes to Shved and Larkin, but of the group, he’s the one I’d prefer to own as of now. He should also stay in the starting unit if Calderon ever returns.

Aaron Brooks - Bulls - 33% - Brooks has made a couple starts in place of Derrick Rose and should continue to do so up until the regular season is close to ending. He played 31 and 28 minutes in his two starts and is averaging 9.0 points, 2.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.5 3-pointers. He’s going to share time with Kirk Hinrich, but I do expect him to be better than he has been recently on most nights.

Matthew Dellavedova - Cavaliers - 1% - Kyrie Irving will miss his second straight game with a shoulder injury on Sunday and Dellavedova had 14 points, 10 rebounds, five dimes and two 3-pointers in 38 minutes against the Pacers on Friday. He’s worth a spot-start on Sunday, and could stay relevant if Irving misses more games.

D.J. Augustin - Thunder - 31% - Russell Westbrook isn’t expected to miss much time after facial surgery, but it’s possible he could miss a few games. If he does, DJA will quickly become relevant for the Thunder. Augustin is averaging 8.4 points, 2.8 boards, 3.6 assists, 0.8 steals and 1.2 3-pointers over his last five games, but those numbers should take a nice leap if Westbrook misses any time.

Shooting Guards

Rodney Stuckey - Pacers - 46% - Stuckey has been playing very well if you discount Tuesday’s five-point dud. He’s averaging 20.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 1.0 steals and 2.0 3-pointers over his last five games. He’ll take a hit once Paul George finally plays, but I still think he’s worth owning right now. As for George, he went through a full practice on Thursday and appears to be nearing a return, meaning now is the right time to stash him if you can.

Will Barton - Nuggets - 3% - Barton has been starting and has played very well in his last three games, averaging 20 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.7 3- pointers. He hasn’t had a steal in those games, but he’s hot and getting minutes, making him an interesting pickup right now. I’m a little surprised he’s only owned in three percent of Yahoo! leagues after his hot run.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope - Pistons - 36% - KCP only had five points in 23 minutes on Saturday, but was hot coming into that one, scoring in double figures in five straight games, with at least 19 in four of those. He’s averaging 16.6 points, 2.6 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.4 steals and 3.4 3-pointers on 44 percent shooting over his last five, and looks like a player to be owned.

Ben McLemore - Kings - 23% - McLemore doesn’t do much outside of scoring and hitting threes, but he’s been hot lately. B-Mac’s averaging 14.4 points, 1.8 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 1.0 steals and 2.0 3-pointers over his last five games.

Markel Brown - Nets - 2% - I’d be more excited about Brown if Jarrett Jack weren’t around, but he’s been starting and is averaging 9.2 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 2.0 steals, 1.0 blocks and 0.6 3-pointers on 40 percent shooting over his last five games. He’s only worth a shot in deep leagues with bare wires.

Small Forwards

Ersan Ilyasova - Bucks - 42% - I know it’s hard to believe, but Ilyasova has scored in double figures in four straight games, highlighted by 17 points, 12 rebounds, a steal and a 3-pointer on Friday against the Lakers. I trust him no further than I can throw him, but he might finally be ready to get it going for the Bucks.

Danilo Gallinari - Nuggets - 55% - Gallinari has scored in double digits in five straight games, and along with Ilyasova and Andrea Bargnani, is another player with potential, but hard to trust. Gallo’s averaging 16.2 points, 3.6 rebounds, 1.8 steals and 3.0 3-pointers over his last five games and should be grabbed as long as he’s healthy.

Tim Hardaway Jr. - Knicks - 20% - It’s taken most of the season, but Hardaway is finally starting to make some noise for the Knicks. He’s started in three straight games since Calderon went down and had 22 points, seven rebounds and two 3-pointers on Saturday night. He also scored 18 on Friday, and is averaging 14.4 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 0.6 steals and 1.6 3-pointers over his last five. It looks like he’s finally going to start putting up solid numbers for a team that has somehow won two straight games.

Mike Dunleavy - 33% & Tony Snell - 9% - Bulls – Dunleavy has been kind of useless for most of the season, but blew up for 21 points, eight rebounds, two blocks and five 3-pointers on Saturday night. With Derrick Rose out for the next month or so, the Bulls are going to need someone to step up, and Dunleavy might be the guy. Snell has been hot, scoring in double figures in three straight games, averaging 14.0 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.7 3-pointers. He’s not really assisting, blocking or stealing much, and I don’t trust him coming off the bench. But with Rose out, Snell has played well enough lately to be worth a look in deeper leagues.

Henry Walker - Heat - 3% - Walker has played in four games this season and has scored in double figures in all of them. He’s averaging 11.8 points, 3.0 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 2.8 3-pointers on the season in 28 minutes a game. The Heat are thin without Chris Bosh, so Walker should continue to see nice minutes.

Power Forwards

Terrence Jones - Rockets - 75% & Kenneth Faried Nuggets 88% - I’m not going to get into their numbers because they’re both owned in so many leagues, but Jones is really heating up and Faried had a nice bounce-back game on Friday night. Both players should be owned until further notice.

Andrea Bargnani - 17% & Lou Amundson - 2% - Knicks – Bargnani’s another guy who’s hard to trust right now, but he had 25 points, 12 boards, a steal, a block and a 3-pointer on Friday, and has scored in double figures in five straight games. He’s averaging 16.6 points, 6.4 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 0.8 blocks and 0.4 3-pointers on 45 percent shooting over that stretch. Given the lack of depth and quality players in New York, Bargs should continue to play well until his body finally breaks down again (as we all know it will). As for Amundson, he double-doubled on Friday and is averaging 11.8 points, 5.2 rebounds, 0.8 steals and 1.2 blocks over his last five. And if he sticks in the starting lineup for the Knicks, he’s going to put up some decent numbers going forward.

Jae Crowder 13% & Jonas Jerebko 5% Celtics – Crowder has scored in double figures in four straight games and has been getting about 28 minutes off the bench. He’s averaging 14.4 points, 6.2 rebounds, 0.8 steals and 2.4 3-pointers over his last five. Jerebko has found knew life in Boston and has been very nice in two straight games. He’s averaging 18 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 3.5 3-pointers in them, despite playing just 21 and 24 minutes. If he does it again on Sunday, he looks like an automatic pickup to me, although coach Brad Stevens can be annoying with his inconsistent rotations.

Quincy Pondexter - 1% & Dante Cunningham - 1% - Pelicans – Both of these guys are getting extended minutes with Anthony Davis and Ryan Anderson out, and neither player has a timetable on a return. Pondexter is playing small forward and had 25 points, five boards and four 3-pointers in 40 minutes on Wednesday, and then backed it up with 18 points, three boards and a block in 33 minutes on Friday. Cunningham is starting at power forward and is averaging 8.2 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.0 steals and 1.0 blocks over his last five, and has scored 10 and 13 points in his last two. He double-doubled on Friday with 10 points and 10 boards, and is worth a look in deep leagues.


There's some chatter on Saturday night about Nikola Pekovic's ankle being in pain, which is not surprising given the heavy minutes he's been playing. I'm not going to feature Gorgui Dieng this week, but if you own him, hold onto him, and if he's available, grab him.

Jordan Hill - Lakers - 69% - Hill’s been back from his injury for four games and is averaging 13.0 points, 6.8 rebounds, 0.8 steals and 1.0 blocks during that stretch. He’s not available in many leagues, but I thought he was at least worth mentioning.

Joffrey Lauvergne - Nuggets 2% - You know you’re in a deep league if he’s already owned, but his ownership should be on the rise this week. Jusuf Nurkic is out indefinitely with an ankle injury and Lauvergne is had 11 points, nine boards, a steal and a block on Wednesday, and added nine points, six boards and a block on Friday. He also hit a 3-pointer in each game, and he could continue to start for several more games.

Tyler Zeller - 29% & Kelly Olynyk - 47% - Celtics – Zeller has been struggling with consistency lately, but he’s also been in a lot of foul trouble. He checks in at 11.4 points, 6.6 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.2 blocks over his last five games, shooting 48 percent. He’ll take a hit once Olynyk is back from his ankle injury, but we’re still not exactly sure when that will be. I do expect him to play this week, and he’s averaging 11.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1.0 steals, 0.7 blocks and 0.9 3-pointers on the season.

Alexis Ajinca - Pelicans - 8% - With Davis likely out another week, or longer, Ajinca is worth holding. Especially after he went off for 24 points, eight rebounds and three blocks on 9-of-10 shooting on Saturday night. He won’t shoot it that well on most nights, but he’s averaging 16.7 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocks in his last three.

If you pick him up, just be prepared to move on once Davis is back.

Mitch McGary - Thunder - 5% - Enes Kanter was out on Friday due to a thigh contusion and we still don’t know if he’ll miss more games or not. McGary scored 20 points with nine rebounds and a steal on 10-of-13 shooting in a loss to Portland, and if Kanter’s going to miss more games, McGary could stay hot.