The seasoned fantasy basketball daytrader buys and sells early and often. There’s no need to keep a player once he is no longer useful to you for a potential hot run down the road. Sure, we all want to find a long-term waiver wire pickup like a John Henson or a Martell Webster but many of the guys we grab off the waiver wire are only useful for a week or two. Once their hot streak runs out, it’s time to go. Let’s take a look at some guys whose production has dried up and some guys to invest in while they’re burning up the court.
Alec Burks: Burks has been playing his best ball of the season over the last couple of weeks, putting up double-digit points in eight straight games. Over that stretch, he’s averaging 16.6 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and shooting 52 percent from the floor and a ridiculous 69 percent from downtown. That long-range shooting is clearly unsustainable but he’s playing nearly 30 minutes per game and has definitely shown an ability to score when given double-digit field goal attempts. He gives you a bit of rebounds and assists as well, making him worth owning universally.
Steve Blake: The shooting still isn’t there but he’s put up 9+ assists in five of his last six games and in 10 of his last 13. Over those 13 games, he’s averaging 9.6 points, 9.4 assists, 3.5 rebounds, and 1.5 three-pointers per game. He’s only shooting 40 percent from the floor over that stretch but we need him for his assists and we’re willing to swallow the weak scoring because that category is more at a premium than any other stat category in fantasy.
Brandon Bass: I’ve been up and down on Bass all season and he’s exactly the type of guy I mentioned earlier. When he’s hot, you pick him up. When he’s playing pedestrian ball, feel free to cut him loose immediately. He’s playing very solid ball right now, putting up double-digit points in five straight games. Over his last eight games, he’s averaging 12.5 points, 9.5 rebounds, and two blocks per game while shooting a serviceable 46.4 percent from the floor. If he continues to rebound and block around this rate (and he rarely has in his career), we can live with the fairly low scoring.
Jason Smith: Smith is definitely worth a grab until Anthony Davis returns. Though his scoring tends to be inconsistent, he is rebounding like a demon of late, averaging 13 rebounds per game over his last four. He’s playing 37 minutes per game over that stretch, adding another 12.5 points and a block per game. He should continue to see a healthy dose of minutes as long as Davis is out.
Terrence Jones: Jones has had a few bad games here and there but they’ve been littered throughout an otherwise impressive breakout season. He has put up double-digit points in 10 of his last 12 games, and is averaging 13.5 points, 8.4 rebounds, and nearly two blocks per game over that stretch while shooting a strong 54.5 percent from the floor. He’s also notched double-digit rebounds in back-to-back games, blocking a total of eight shots against the Warriors and the Magic.
Channing Frye: Frye is another guy worth owning while he’s hot but now it’s time to drop him since his hot streak appears to be inevitably over. After averaging 17.5 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.3 steals, 1.0 block, and 3.3 three-pointers per game over six games at the end of November, he’s averaging just 8.8 points, 5.3 rebounds, 0.3 blocks, and 1.3 threes in four games since. Feel free to drop him (though I just benched him for now in my own league) until he resurfaces again.
Miles Plumlee: Although he’s still in the starting lineup, he is averaging a mere 19.9 minutes per game over his last three and putting up a mere 6.3 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. The rebounds are still there but nowhere near the level they were at earlier in the season and he simply isn’t worth owning in a 20 minute per game role.
Enes Kanter: Kanter got to start four games in place of an injured Derrick Favors and was solid, putting up 14.3 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks per game. Favors returned to the starting five on Wednesday, forcing Kanter back to the bench. He played a mere 17 minutes against the Kings and has been in that type of role ever since he was benched for Favors at the end of November. He’s certainly not worth owning in a 13-18 minute per game role.
Ben McLemore: There’s a reason it’s best to stay away from rookies in fantasy basketball, no matter how good. McLemore has shown some scoring ability and is playing a ton of minutes but his production is too inconsistent. After putting up 16.3 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.7 steals, and 2.3 threes per game over three games to start the month, he has shot just 2-for-15 over his last two games, putting up a mere three rebounds and one three per game. There’s definitely some scoring ability there but it’s too inconsistent and, most nights, he gets by on volume alone.