One of the key things a good fantasy daytrader has to look for is minutes. At the end of the day, most players who get around 30 minutes per game will more than likely provide some fantasy production. At the same time, some guys use their minutes much more effectively. Let’s take a look at some players who are using their minutes to their advantage and a few guys who are just wasting time.
Tristan Thompson: Strong buy. With Anderson Varejao out for about two months, Tristan Thompson stands to be the biggest beneficiary. Not only is he playing 35+ MPG and getting double-digit shot attempts each game, he is averaging 13.5 PPG and 12.5 RPG over his last nine contests. If he is still available in your league, snatch him up immediately.
Tyler Zeller: Solid buy. Varejao was having such a monster season that more than one guy has to pick up the slack. Zeller has been starting in Varejao’s place and will remain the starter through March. The rookie won’t light it up—but with 11 PPG, 7 RPG, and a block per game since becoming the starter he is respectable for a backup fantasy center.
Ersan Ilyasova: Solid buy. With Scott Skiles moving on and Ekpe Udoh taking a bench role, Ilyasova is fantasy-relevant once again. He put up 25 points, 12 rebounds, 4 blocks, and 2 steals over his first two starts and I expect him to continue to be a consistent double-double candidate nightly if he stays in the rotation.
Gordon Hayward: Strong buy. He won’t add much in the other stats categories but Hayward is averaging 17 PPG over his last seven and 14 PPG on the season. He has a wicked three point shot that he has really turned on lately and could be useful in any fantasy format.
Amir Johnson: Strong buy. Johnson made his first two starts of the season this week and responded with 38 points, 21 rebounds, and 4 blocks over those games. He also played about 40 minutes in both games and should continue to put up double-double numbers if he stays a starter.
Metta World Peace: Strong buy. I thought Antawn Jamison would benefit from injuries to Pau Gasol, Dwight Howard, and Jordan Hill but it’s World Peace who has moved into a 40 MPG role. In his last two games he has scored 47 points and has a ridiculous 11 steals, not to mention 14 rebounds. He’s inexplicably still available in almost 30% of leagues, if you are in one of those you need to go get him.
Omer Asik: The Turkish center spent his November and December dominating the glass, pulling down 14-18 rebounds a game like it was nobody’s business. Suddenly he is averaging seven rebounds over his last five games and under 5 PPG over his last three. Worse, he is only playing about 25 MPG. I don’t know if I would get rid of him but he simply isn’t putting up the numbers we saw in the first two months of the season.
Michael Beasley: A few years ago, Beasley was the second-overall pick and grew into a 19 PPG player for the Heat and T’Wolves. After starting for the first month of the season for the Suns, Beasley has now seen his role reduced to regular healthy-DNPs and complete ineffectiveness on the field. He has only played in five of the team’s last ten games and is playing under 10 minutes when he does play (shooting 37% from the floor). He is still owned in over half of fantasy leagues and it’s definitely time to get rid of him.
Amar’e Stoudemire: We knew Amar’e wouldn’t be back to his old role for a while, if ever, but it looks even worse than expected. The Knicks tested him with 28 minutes on the floor Monday against Boston and he failed the test, tweaking his knee and getting a 20-minute cap from team doctors. He hasn’t been at full speed and hasn’t contributed anything aside low double-digit points since returning, now it looks like he will have no fantasy value longer than hoped.
Brandon Knight: I’ve been down on Knight for a while but he is still owned in 77% of leagues which means you guys aren’t listening. His points have fallen to 11 per game and he seldom contributes anything else. His minutes are still good but his shot attempts are down and is shooting a miserable 36% over his last nine games.