20 Fantasy Basketball Players to Pick Up Before All-Star Weekend
Fantasy Basketball: Post All-Star Weekend Pickup Targets
The NBA All-Star Weekend is quickly approaching as evidenced by the recent announcement of this year’s All-Star starters. In the West, the starters will be Chris Paul, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin and Dwight Howard. In the East, Rajon Rondo, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James and Kevin Garnett will start.
The All-Star Weekend is often viewed as the halfway point of the season. By this point, teams get a clearer picture of whether they’re contenders or pretenders for the playoffs. This weekend is also a great time to assess the status of fantasy basketball rosters.
While owners will not find All-Star quality players on the waiver wire, there are always valuable players available. From guards who are great scorers providing assists and steals to forwards and centers who have a great field goal percentage, collect rebounds and block shots. Whether there are players who are valuable in one or two categories to great all-around contributors, now is a great time to look for players to pick up.
When thinking about players to pick up, it is very important to pick out the right players to add. At this time of the year, owners sometimes make irrational decisions and drop players that later play well in the second-half of the season. Whether they’re players who have recently struggled or injured stars with great long-term future value, there are many options and ways to improve a team. Consider these 20 fantasy basketball trade options as players to pick up before All-Star Weekend.
20. SF/PF Earl Clark, Los Angees Lakers
Clark has recently seized his opportunity to play in place of Pau Gasol after doing little on the bench. Now an important part of the Los Angeles Lakers’ rotation, he could be a nice fantasy performer in the second half of the season.
19. SF/PF Lamar Odom, Los Angeles Clippers
Struggling to find his place in the first part of the season, Odom is starting to find his niche on a deep Los Angeles Clippers roster. Given his abilities, he could be worth the risk in the coming months.
18. PG/SG Rodney Stuckey, Detroit Pistons
Despite his skill level, Stuckey has had a disappointing year. A well-rounded contributor when on the top of his game, he will continue to have opportunities to produce in Detroit.
17. PG/SG Austin Rivers, New Orleans Hornets
While Eric Gordon’s return cuts into some of his playing time, Rivers has actually started to play better in his rookie season. If Gordon were to suffer any setbacks, he would certainly reap in the rewards.
16. PF Jared Sullinger, Boston Celtics
Sullinger has shown spurts of solid production. Seeing about 25 minutes a game recently, this amount of playing time can help him remain a productive fantasy option for the rest of the season.
15. PF Kris Humphries, Brooklyn Nets
Supplanted by Andray Blatche in the starting lineup, Humphries is still a key bench player and a great rebounder. Just on rebounds alone, he can be a good fantasy provider. If he can bump up his scoring off the bench, he could certainly provide great value to owners after the All-Star Weekend.
14. SG Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards
Fully taking advantage of Jordan Crawford’s injury, Beal has played well in his first games alongside John Wall. With little going well for the Washington Wizards, his role in a dynamic backcourt with Wall could really boost his production.
13. SG/SF Corey Brewer, Denver Nuggets
Brewer has really developed a nice role with the Denver Nuggets. Shooting the ball better than he’s had than most of his career, he’s a versatile player who could hold value past the All-Star break.
12. SG/SF Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs
More suitable for deeper leagues as a well-round option, Leonard makes the most of his minutes. Despite not seeing a great deal of minutes on any given day, he’s particularly valuable as a selective shooter with good defensive numbers.
11. SG/SF Landry Fields, Toronto Raptors
Fields has yet to fully acclimate to his new team. After half a season in Toronto, now may be the time for him to break out and put up some of the numbers he achieved with the New York Knicks. He’s an excellent rebounder for a guard.
10. PG/SG Luke Ridnour, Minnesota Timberwolves
The Minnesota Timberwolves are one of the most battered teams of the season. With various injuries all over the roster, Ridnour has been one of the few constants on the team. The injuries provide a reliable fantasy opportunity for him.
9. SG Dion Waiters, Cleveland Cavaliers
As with many rookies, it takes time for them to get acclimated to the pros. Waiters appears to be reaching that point. Similar to Beal in Washington, Waiters has a similar situation alongside Kyrie Irving, another great, young point guard.
8. PF/C Anderson Varejao, Cleveland Cavaliers
Also in Cleveland is an injured big man who was playing great prior to his significant injury. Varejao has been dropped by many owners and will certainly be a huge contributor for owners when he does return.
7. PF/C Andrea Bargnani, Toronto Raptors
Another injured center-eligible player is Bargnani. Expected to make his return right before the All-Star Weekend, adding him now will give owners a nice upgrade regardless of who he replaces on a fantasy roster.
6. PF/C Amir Johnson, Toronto Raptors
Bargnani’s replacement, Johnson has displayed few weaknesses in his game this season. A solid scorer, plus rebounder and very good defender, he could be a good second-half option if he continues to receive playing time.
5. C Andew Bynum, Philadelphia 76ers
The biggest injury story of the season, Bynum has shown favorable progress recently. If he’s able to make a return this year, adding this once-dominant star could pay off big dividends for owners.
4. PG/SG Avery Bradley, Boston Celtics
From surgeries during the offseason to setbacks in his return, there has been little to judge Bradley on this season. That being said, he is there starting shooting guard when healthy and has good potential relatively available in most fantasy leagues.
3. SG/SF Wilson Chandler, Denver Nuggets
Another wing player dealing with injuries this season, Chandler provides a nice spark for the Nuggets in his recent return. Coming back from a hip injury, he will see more minutes in the second half of the season and gain more fantasy value.
2. PG/SG Iman Shumpert, New York Knicks
Continuing the trend of injured players on this list, Shumpert has only recently made his debut. In good physical condition, his rookie season production is a promising sign for this solid defender.
1. SF/PF Derrick Williams, Minnesota Timberwolves
With Kevin Love out for most of the rest of the regular season, Williams has more than just opportunity in Minnesota. As the No. 2 pick of last year’s draft, he has so much promise from a fantasy standpoint and could see a big rise in production after the All-Star Weekend.