With Tyler Hansbrough missing the last seven games for the Toronto Raptors, Patrick Patterson has moved into a bigger role, averaging 13.0 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game with five double-figure scoring games over that span. Amir Johnson has continued to start at power forward for Toronto, and even though his overall production has been solid this season (10.7 points, 6.9 rebounds and 1.3 blocked shots per game) but he has made less than 42 percent of his shots from the floor over his last nine games and is averaging 8.2 points per game over that stretch.
Patterson was acquired from the Sacramento Kings as part of the trade that sent guard Rudy Gay to the Kings, and in 17 games for the Raptors he has averaged 9.1 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game. In the same number of games for Sacramento earlier in the season, including six starts, he averaged 6.9 points, 5.8 rebounds and one assist per game in only slightly more playing time (24.4 minutes per game, 21.9 minutes per game thus far with Toronto). He is not yet an elite option, but should fantasy basketball owners be paying attention to Patterson?
Prior to a poor game Wednesday night against the Boston Celtics, when he had just two points (1-for-3 from the floor) with four rebounds and two assists, Patterson averaged 14.8 points, 6.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game over the previous six games over nearly 25 minutes per game. That most recent game could be a sign of a good run being over, but it may also just be a bump in the road with Hansbrough still banged up and Johnson struggling right now.
Patterson is not a must-add across the board in fantasy leagues, but he is widely available (13 percent ownership in Yahoo! leagues) and is still worth a speculative add in deeper leagues. If Hansbrough misses another game Friday night, I think Patterson is a solid under-the-radar choice in daily contests against a Minnesota Timberwolves’ team that is allowing opponents to make a league-worst 47.6 percent of their shots from the floor and the sixth-most points per game (102.7).