January 26, 2010

As the dog days hit the NBA, we go in search of a few new tricks to keep your fantasy hopes interesting

Corey Brewer, Timberwolves (42% owned in Yahoo! leagues): Brewer was my No. 2 pickup last week when he was owned in just 35 percent of Yahoo! leagues. Now that number is up to 42 percent, which is still too low. If you're avoiding him because you think he's still going to kill your field-goal percentage, then read about him in the Top Last Round Picks article and think again.

Carlos Delfino, Bucks (32% owned): Luke Ridnour and Ersan Ilyasova have had their time to shine in this section, and now it's Delfino's turn. The Argentine has finally put together a string of strong games, averaging 18.8 points, 8.2 boards, 2.0 steals, and a whopping 3.6 treys on 52% FG shooting over his last five games. He's red hot and should now be considered if you need a shooter, just don't expect too much.

Matt Barnes, Magic (40% owned): My No. 5 pickup last week is up to being owned in 40 percent of leagues, but that should be higher. Barnes had an impressive 10-point, 16-rebound, 6-assist, 3-steal game last week vs. Indiana, and he continues to start and get plenty of touches. Don't wait any longer if you need an all-around utility guy.

Rudy Fernandez, Blazers (22% owned): First of all, if Martell Webster is available, go GRAB HIM NOW. But if all of the above guys are gone, then consider picking up Fernandez instead. He's been rather quiet since returning from his back injury, but exploded for 19 points in 21 minutes on Saturday, going a perfect 10-10 from the line. With Brandon Roy ailing, the Blazers need Fernandez's scoring prowess now more than ever before.

D.J. Augustin, Bobcats (12% owned): Augustin has been one of the biggest disappointments of the year thus far, but he had his best game of the season on Saturday, scoring 22 points and dropping 5 treys in 30 minutes off the bench. Raymond Felton and Flip Murray are still playing, but Felton is nursing a sore ankle and Murray is shooting just 33 percent over his last five games. Larry Brown has surely been waiting for Augustin to step up, and now might be the time for him to do so.

Goran Dragic, Suns (2% owned): Leandro Barbosa is undergoing wrist surgery on Monday and will be out for a month or so, meaning Dragic should be in line for more minutes. He dropped 20 points in 26 minutes vs. the Warriors on Saturday, and Alvin Gentry was already starting to use a Steve Nash/Dragic backcourt more often. If you're in a super-deep league and he's available, I suggest snagging him ASAP. On a sidenote, Jason Richardson should also get more PT now, so don't give up on him.

Keyon Dooling, Nets (1% owned): Surprise, surprise, Devin Harris is hurting again. The PG missed Saturday's game with a wrist injury, and it sounds like he's going to miss more time. Dooling started in his place and had just 3 points in 19 minutes, but the Nets got blown out by Utah and facing Deron Williams is never fun. Keyon has made just 4 of his last 22 shots from the field so it's hard to recommend him, but as long as he's starting he's got some value.

Anthony Tolliver, Warriors (2% owned): Anthony who? The undersized center has seemingly come out of nowhere to drop back-to-back double-doubles. He had 19 points and 11 boards on Saturday, and has even made a three in two straight games. The fact that Ronny Turiaf has returned, but Tolliver is still getting quality minutes shows that Don Nelson really likes the guy. We know this could change any day now, but Tolliver is at least a decent speculation pickup right now.

Nicolas Batum, Blazers (2% owned): I hope Blazers fans realize that Portland has zero chance of doing damage in this year's playoffs. As a result, they should start thinking about the future, even if they do make the postseason. Part of their future is the long and athletic Batum. He hasn't played a single game yet this season, but could return to action in a week. He won't get big minutes right away, but the kid is talented and has lots of potential.

DeAndre Jordan, Clippers (1% owned): He won't help you much right now, but Jordan could prove to be very useful a month from now if the Clippers trade away Marcus Camby. If it happens there will be a mad dash to add the big man, so you might as well grab him now if you're in a really deep league.

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