With nearly half the league making this week’s injury report, there are suddenly plenty of new starters around the league worth a pickup heading into the fantasy playoffs. There’s also Pau Gasol who is currently available in nearly half of all fantasy leagues. With guys like Kobe, Kyrie Irving, Marcin Gortat, and Andrea Bargnani opening huge holes in many fantasy lineups, let’s take a look at some pretty good looking pickupsyou need to jump on sooner than later.
Jonas Valanciunas: Strong Buy. With Andrea Bargnani out for the season with an elbow injury, Valanciunas will take over the bulk of the Raptors’ front court work moving forward. He’s averaging 34 MPG, 10 PPG, seven RPG, and one block in two games since Bargnani went down. He looked even better last time Bargnani was hurt and should be a great add in most leagues heading into the end of the season.
Pau Gasol: Strong Buy. All accounts seem to have Gasol as a lock to return to the Lakers next week and he is expected to start immediately. Even though this is an off season for him, he was averaging 13.4 PPG, eight RPG, 1.3 BPG, and 3.6 APG before he hurt his foot and is a great pickup for the fantasy playoffs.
Andrew Bogut: Solid Buy. Although he is barely scoring at all, Bogut has been attacking the glass better than we’ve seen from him in a long time. Since returning from his back injury he is averaging 9.5 RPG, 1.5 BPG, and 1.7 SPG and can be a huge help in defensive categories in the final weeks.
Martell Webster: Short-Term Buy. While Bradley Beal continues to recover from his ankle injury, Martell Webster is having a late-season surge as he’s taken over Beal’s shot attempts. Over his last three games he is averaging 19 PPG, 4.3 3PPG, four RPG, and one steal. With A.J. Price and Trevor Ariza also banged up Webster could still have solid value even once Beal returns.
Gerald Henderson: Solid Buy. Henderson has had the hot hand with double-digit points in six straight games. He is averaging 18.3 PPG over that time and getting a steady dose of around 14 FGA each game. He won’t add but a couple rebounds and assists but if you need scoring this is the guy to get it from.
Shaun Livingston: Solid Buy. Livingston is getting the chance to start every day with Kyrie Irving out until mid-April. In his first start he put up 12 points, six assists, three rebounds, a steal, and a block. Expect low double-digit points and some decent assists and steals until Irving comes back.
Jodie Meeks: Speculative Buy. With Kobe Bryant out indefinitely with a badly sprained ankle, Meeks figures to be the biggest beneficiary. Last time Meeks got serious minutes he put up some good double-digit games and a few rebounds, assists, and steals and should be a solid pickup with the Lakers badly needing offense in Bryant’s absence.
Ben Gordon: Solid Buy. With Ramon Sessions down with a sprained MCL, Gordon is finally seeing real minutes and making the most of it. He has scored double-digit points in five consecutive games and is averaging 16 PPG and two 3PPG. He won’t contribute much outside of scoring though so he is an offense-only buy.
Gerald Wallace: When Gerald Wallace put up 13 points against the Hornets on Tuesday it was the first time he had contributed double-digits since February 11. That’s exactly a month. Over that time Wallace is averaging just 6.7 PPG and 5.1 RPG while shooting a miserable 32% from the floor and 21% from three-point range. I wouldn’t count on him heading into the playoffs.
DeAndre Jordan: I was pretty much done with Jordan earlier in the season when he was the only one not contributing to the Clippers’ 17-game win streak but he’s still owned in most leagues and absolutely shouldn’t be. Over his last 10 games he is playing just 20 MPG while averaging 7.7 PPG, 4.9 RPG, and 1.3 BPG. There are plenty of guys that play real minutes and contribute a lot more than Jordan who is averaging just 6.9 RPG on the season.
Al Harrington: I was lightly optimistic that Harrington may find some opportunities playing for Orlando but he just doesn’t have it since returning from the knee injury that kept him out over four months. Since returning he is averaging just 12.5 MPG, 5.7 PPG, and shooting just 35% from the floor. No point on expecting a sudden turnaround this late in the fantasy season.
Marcin Gortat: While some reports say Gortat will miss three to four weeks with a sprained foot, it looks more likely that he is done for the season. A four week absence pretty much makes him useless fantasy-wise so take a look at some of the big men buys to replace Gortat’s 11 PPG, 8.5 RPG, and 1.6 BPG.