The All-Star break is in its final day and now it’s time for fantasy owners to embark on the final third of the season. There isn’t much time to make up ground, especially in head-to-head leagues where the playoffs are quickly approaching, so we’ll need to ride some streaks to move up the standings. Let’s take a look at some hot fantasy basketball waiver wire targets and where they can help you gain ground against the competition.
Brian Roberts (Owned in 17 percent of Yahoo leagues): With Jrue Holiday still nursing a leg injury, we should definitely ride the Brian Robert train as long as we can. In his last five games, Roberts is averaging 16.4 points, 4.6 assists, 3.2 rebounds, 1.8 steals, and 1.8 threes on 31 minutes per game. He’s also shooting 48.4 percent from the floor and a ridiculous 69 percent from downtown. If you need any more convincing, check out XN’s Bogar Alonso’s latest piece on Roberts.
Kyle Singler (6 percent): Singler has now played 32+ minutes in seven straight games, starting his last five. Over that stretch, he’s averaging 11.6 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.6 steals, and 1.7 threes per game. We’d like to see an improvement in that 38.5 percent shooting but he’s a strong three-point shooter and is shooting a passable 44.5 percent on the season. As long as he’s starting or playing 30+ minutes a game, he’s worth rolling out at guard.
Khris Middleton (37 percent): Middleton has been inconsistent but, when it comes to fantasy, we only really care about averages. Despite his inconsistency, he’s scored double-digits in 11 of his last 12 games and is averaging 14.2 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 2.0 threes, and 1.3 steals over that stretch. He’s also shooting a strong 50.4 percent from the floor and 50 percent from deep so, while the efficiency comes and goes, he certainly makes up for it when you average it all out.
DeMarre Carroll (40 percent): Carroll has been dealing with some hammy problems but will have had seven full days to recover heading into Atlanta’s next game against the Pacers. Carroll has now scored double-digits in 14 of his last 16 games and is averaging 14.9 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 2.0 threes, and 1.7 steals per game over his last 10. He’s also shooting a fantastic 57 percent from the floor and 51 percent from deep so we should ride this one out as long as he will take us.
Alec Burks (23 percent): Like Middleton, Burks has struggled with inconsistency but that has largely depended on usage. For the most part, he’s a 22-28 minutes per game guy off the bench. Despite all that, he has now scored 20+ points in three of his last five and is averaging 16.4 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 1.8 steals over that stretch. He’s also shooting a solid 50 percent from the floor of late and is worth a pickup despite the limited minutes. Don’t count on much more than points and steals, and the occasional good rebounding night, though.
Kendall Marshall (53 percent): It’s pointless to try to make sense of the Lakers injury picture so you may as well ride Marshall out as long as possible. The scoring comes and goes but the assists are huge. Over his last 10 games, Marshall is averaging 11 points, 10 assists, 3.2 rebounds, and 1.9 threes on 33 minutes per game. He’s a must-have for any guard/assist needy owners right now.
Taj Gibson (58 percent): Although he’s in and out of the starting lineup, Gibson has been putting up big numbers consistently and should be owned universally. He has now scored double-digits in 12 of his last 13 and is averaging 16.5 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.7 blocks, and 1.0 steal on 33 minutes per game. If you need a big man you don’t need to look much further, snatch Gibson up if he’s still available.