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Struggling teams are a fantasy daytrader’s best friend. Just about one-eighth of the season in, we are already seeing major lineup re-shuffling in Washington, Cleveland, and Phoenix. With every new starter comes a good chance of strong fantasy production and a chance for your fantasy team to snatch up a bargain. Let’s take a look at who’s snatching up starting roles and minutes (and who’s losing them):
John Henson: Solid Buy – With Larry Sanders slumping and losing time, the rookie out of North Carolina is getting a chance to show what he has to offer. Playing his first serious time in 2012, Henson scored 17 and grabbed 18 boards over 27 minutes against the Heat on Wednesday.
Jeremy Pargo: Strong Short-Term Buy – Pargo just edged out Donald Sloan to take over Kyrie Irving‘s starting point guard job but probably cemented his role with a 28 point-5 rebound-4 assist effort over 39 minutes vs. 76ers. Look for him to have plenty of scoring opportunities in a weak Cavs lineup until Irving returns.
Patrick Patterson: Solid Buy – Marcus Morris and Terrence Jones eat into his minutes some games but Patterson played 38 minutes on Wednesday against the Bulls and scored 20 while grabbing 8 boards. The non-scoring stats are inconsistent but he has 14+ points in five of his last six games with occasional good rebounding nights.
Kevin Seraphin: Solid but Risky Buy – The Wizards benched Emeka Okafor for Seraphin and he responded with a 21 point-10 rebound-2 block game vs. Atlanta on Wednesday. The Wizards are constantly fiddling with the lineup so it is unsure how much time the inconsistent Seraphin will get game-to-game but he definitely has value as a starter.
Jonas Valanciunas: Solid Buy in Deeper Leagues – I’m not a huge fan of the first-year Lithuanian center but he is starting to show some of the skills that prompted the Raptors to draft him fifth-overall in 2011. The minutes have been wildly inconsistent despite starting every game so far but with back-to-back double-doubles this week he may be worth another look.
Jordan Crawford: Potentially Solid Buy in Deeper Leagues – Another Wizard getting a shot in the struggling lineup, Crawford has started the last three games over Bradley Beal. Although his shooting percentage is miserable most nights, he put up two 20-point games last week and has shown that kind of ability in the past.
Jose Calderon: With Kyle Lowry back from injury Calderon has returned to the bench and put up just 7 points, 4 assists, and 3 rebounds over 24 minutes on Wednesday vs. Bobcats. It’s a shame since Calderon had been playing such great point guard, dishing out 30 assists in his last two starts but his role is hugely diminished with Lowry back to playing 35 minutes per game.
Larry Sanders: His production and minutes have been much lower in the last five games. Worse, he was ejected after just six minutes of court time on Wednesday vs. Miami which allowed above mentioned rookie John Henson to get some serious minutes and put up a monster game. Looks like Sanders’ role is going to be 20 or less minutes off the bench most games.
Jared Dudley: After struggling to get any kind of consistency, the Suns have benched Dudley for Shannon Brown. He has played just 37 combined minutes over the last two games and scored just 8 points on 30% shooting.
Isaiah Thomas: After stringing together some nice looking double-digit games he has struggled to get shots, lost his starting job, and is now looking at just 15 minutes per game off the bench. If you haven’t dumped Thomas yet, now may well be the time.
Ersan Ilyasova: I thought Ilyasova would benefit from simply having a starting role but instead he has become the rare starter that only plays 15 minutes per game. With just 31 minutes and 8 points combined over the last two games (and despicable shooting numbers all season), not to mention a sudden disappearance of any rebounding ability, time to cut him loose.
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