Fantasy Basketball: Week 14 Free Agent Finds
Guards Jerryd Bayless, PG, SG (MEM)--After receiving increased minutes after solid play and an injury to Mike Conley, Jerryd Bayless has now become a solid pickup in standard fantasy leagues. Over his last five games, Bayless is averaging 32.4 minutes-per-game to go along with 15.8 points-per-game and 5.8 assists-per-game, helping the Grizzlies with three out of their last five contests. Even though Conley is not expected to miss a significant amount of time, Bayless is still expected to stay in the fold, especially with the roster shift the Grizzlies have gone through over the last few weeks. Those looking for depth at either the point guard or the shooting guard position should give Bayless a look, considering we may not have seen the best of him yet this season. Isaiah Thomas, PG (SAC)--Although the Kings are struggling once again this season, there are still some players on their roster that suggest a turn around could be in their future. Over the Kings last 10 games, Isaiah Thomas has put together solid production, averaging 10.5 PPG, 4.4 APG and 1.1 STLPG as the team's starting point guard. His playing time has finally become consistent, averaging 27.8 MPG over that time frame, which is up almost five minutes compared to his season average. His field goal attempts have also given reason to make him a solid pickup, considering he has taken at least 10 shots in seven of his last 10 games, which indicates that he is comfortable in the team's offensive scheme. While it is hard to gauge the direction management plans to take the Kings, one thing is for sure, Thomas will be in the mix for the remainder of the season making him a solid add in all fantasy formats. Derrick Rose, PG (CHI)--There probably aren't many fantasy leagues in which Derrick Rose is available, but with the latest news on his injury, he belongs in this week's column. The Bulls have announce that Rose is now participating in full contact drills at practice, which is the last step in his recovery from knee surgery. There is a slim-chance that Rose returns prior to the All-Star Break, but a return shortly after is the worst case scenario. His minutes will likely be limited early on, considering the last time he played a game was last April, so his production will take a hit early on. Those fantasy owners looking to make a playoff push should strongly consider picking up Rose, if available, as he may be the missing piece to a championship run. Forwards Nick Young, SG, SF (PHI)--An increase in playing time due to the injury of Jason Richardson has helped Nick Young become return to fantasy relevance for the first time as a member of the Sixers. Prior to the month of January, Young's minutes were limited due to the depth at both the shooting guard and small forward positions, but now that a spot has opened up in the starting lineup, he has taken full advantage. Over his last five games, Young is averaging 16.6 PPG on 42.6 percent shooting from the field while playing over 30 minutes in each contest. Young, who is known for his shooting ability, is also averaging 2.2 three-point field goals-per-game over his last five games, which he is connecting on 42.3 percent of his shot from that range. Richardson was examined in Colorado to determine the extent of damage to his left knee, but the results have yet to be released. If the tests reveal serious damage, Young will likely have a starting gig for the foreseeable future, which means his fantasy value will stay at its current level. Those in need of a player that can classify at both guard and forward positions should give Young a look. Michael Beasley, SF, PF (PHO)--Since the coaching change in Phoenix, Michael Beasley has seen an increase in playing time, which has brought his fantasy value to the level of past seasons. Prior to the departure of Alvin Gentry, Beasley wasn't featured in any permanent role as the team try to figure out how to use him, but the new regime in in the desert has used Beasley a lot more. Over his last five games, Beasley has scored in double-digits four times, including a 27-point performance against the Lakers on Tuesday. His shot attempts has increased significantly over this time frame, averaging 14.6 shots-per-game, which he has connected on 53.4 percent of them. Although he continues to come off of the bench, there may be a spot for him in the starting lineup if he continues to trend upward. In terms of fantasy, Beasley will be a solid contributor in scoring categories and rebounding, with his downfall being his inability to share to ball. Those looking for a boost in scoring categories should give Beasley a long look as it appears the best has yet to come from. Thomas Robinson, PF (SAC)--Rookie players are sometimes hard to gauge in the fantasy game, but if you can catch them while they are on a hot streak, these players can be of great assistance throughout the course of the season. Over the last five games, Thomas Robinson has seen an increase in minutes as the Kings try to make something out of yet another disappointing season. Averaging 23.0 MPG over his last five games, Robinson has been able to translate that into 9.2 PPG and 7.0 RPG on 52.8 percent shooting from the field. His increase in playing time has come at the expense of Jason Thompson, who doesn't seem to fit into the team's future plans, so minutes should continue to fall Robinson's way, at least until be stops producing. Considering his surrounding cast, Robinson's shot attempts are going to be limited, but if he can continue to connect on or around half of his shots, anyone willing to take a gamble on him will not be disappointed. Currently, Robinson is owned in less than 25 percent of leagues throughout fantasy sites, so if in need of a power forward, take a shot on him. Centers Marreese Speights, PF, C (CLE)--Sometimes all it takes is a change of scenery to make an impact, and that is certainly the case for Marreese Speights since joining the Cavaliers. Last week, the Grizzlies sent Speights packing for Cleveland as the team continued to trim salary for next season, and the move has helped out his fantasy value through his first three games with his new team. Since joining the Cavaliers, Speights has been given steady playing time and has scored in double-digits and has recorded at least five rebounds in each contest. He is in a reserve role like his days in both Philadelphia and Memphis, but he is an offensive-first player that can contribute no matter how much playing time he is given. Due to the lack of depth on the Cavaliers front line, Speights will likely continue to see increased minutes as he becomes more comfortable in his new offense, so his best days may still be ahead of us. He classifies at both power forward and center on most fantasy sites, so those in need of depth at either position may want to consider picking him up before his stock increases even more. Andrea Bargnani, PF, C (TOR)--The Raptors have announced that Andrea Bargnani will return to action sometime next week after missing almost two months with an elbow injury. Injuries are nothing knew to Bargnani, who has missed significant time in four of his seven years with the team, but when he plays he contributes across the board. With the trade of Ed Davis to the Grizzlies, Bargnani is guaranteed a starting spot in the Raptors lineup upon his return, so his fantasy value should return to the same level prior to his injury. As of now, Bargnani is owned in less than half of fantasy leagues throughout the major sites, so there is a chance players looking for help at the center position can pick him up. It would be wise to stash him prior to his return, in case he returns to a high level of play sooner rather than later. To make setting your Fantasy Basketball lineup easy, be sure to utilize RotoInfo.com’s new NBA Lineup Grids. Matthew Beck is a Fantasy Sports Columnist for Rotoinfo.com. If you have any questions or comments feel free to e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also follow him on Twitter @MatthewRBeck for up-to-date Q&A and fantasy information.And, to make setting your Fantasy Basketball lineup easy, be sure to utilize RotoInfo.com’s new NBA Lineup Grids.
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