The fantasy basketball season is quickly approaching the playoffs, but there is still time to sneak into the finals spots in your league. There were several players on the move at the trade deadline, and those moves will have a huge fantasy impact. We searched for the best eight, so good luck this week.
Nate Robinson, PG/SG, Golden State Warriors (Owned in 37% of standard leagues)
With Monta Ellis out of the picture and Stephen Curry likely out for the season, Nate Robinson could be a candidate for pickup of the year if he keeps producing like he has been. Ellis was the Warriors leading scorer and Curry was right behind him when he rarely reached the court, which leaves David Lee as the go to man in the Warriors offense. Robinson will see at least 35 minutes per game at the point, and when little Nate gets minutes he turns them into instant points. Even though he shot just 30% from beyond the arc in week 11, expect that number to be on the rise for the remainder of the season.
Gerald Green, SG/SF, New Jersey Nets (Owned in 8% of standard leagues)
I still watch the ridiculous dunk that Green threw down a week ago, but he has been a surprisingly solid pickup for the Nets. Green was extremely efficient as a scorer in week eleven, averaging 18.6 points in about 26 minutes per game. Apparently these performances convinced the Nets to sign him for the remainder of the season after two ten day contracts. The acquisition of Gerald Wallace could bring those scoring numbers back to the range of ten per game, but he is still worth a chance, as the Nets face the defensively challenged Bobcats, Cavs, and Wizards in week 12.
Jerryd Bayless, PG/SG, Toronto Raptors (Owned in 38% of standard leagues)
Jose Calderon suited up on Saturday night, but didn’t reach the court. He did witness another fantastic performance by Bayless, though. Fantastic performances from Bayless have been nothing uncommon over the past week. The young guard averaged 21.8 points and 7.6 assists in week 12, while shooting an astounding 57 percent from beyond the arc. With Leandro Barbosa heading to the Pacers, Bayless should be considered the Raptor’s starting off guard when Calderon returns to the point, because the Raptors are going to take a deep look at Bayless being their starting point guard next season.
Klay Thompson, SG, Golden State Warriors (Owned in 39% of standard leagues)
Yes, another Warrior makes my list. The departure of Monta Ellis comes as music to Thompson’s ears because he will get his chance to prove that he is the future off guard for the Warriors. Mark Jackson has high praise for the budding rookie, and Thompson is coming through so far, averaging 17.4 points over his last five games. Out of all the weeks left in this shortened season, week 12 might have the best set of games for Thompson to prove his worth. Portland, Sacramento, and Minnesota all give up at least 23+ points to shooting guards, landing these teams in the bottom four of the league. New Orleans isn’t so strong, either; they give up 21.9 points to off guards.
Ramon Sessions, PG, Los Angeles Lakers (Owned in 56% of standard leagues)
Sessions was shipped off to the Lakers before the trade deadline, and this will only benefit his fantasy value. He will go from backing up a rookie sensation in Kyrie Irving, to being the starting point for a contender. Sessions will learn the Lakers offense as he goes, which might cause him to struggle in his first couple of games in purple and golde, but the Lakers really don’t have any other options at that position. Even if he does struggle to learn the Lakers system, his assists numbers will only rise while playing alongside Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, and Andrew Bynum. Sessions should only be picked up in league with at least 14 teams for now.
Richard Jefferson, SF, Golden State Warriors (Owned in 37% of standard leagues)
Another player from the Warriors you may ask? The answer is yes, but Jefferson might be a riskier pickup then the other two Warriors on this list. The former Spur will be thrown into a mix with Brandon Rush and Dorell Wright at the small forward position. Wright has had the hot hand of late, but that could change at any time. Jefferson played 38 minutes on Saturday night, scoring nine points and seven rebounds, but shot 2-14 from the field. Playing 38 minutes is a positive sign, and we all know that Jefferson isn’t going to shoot 2-14 every night. The Warriors play Sacramento and Minnesota in week 12, both rank in the bottom 20 in deficiency rankings against small forwards. Jefferson should only be picked up in deep leagues for the moment.
Alonzo Gee, SG/SF, Clevelend Cavaliers (Owned in 37% of standard leagues)
Gee has been a pleasant surprise since being inserted into the Cavs starting lineup. He averaged 15.6 points and 6.4 rebounds to go along with 2.8 steals per game in week 11. Gee also played an average of 33.4 minutes in a starter’s role. I wouldn’t expect him to lose that role anytime soon with his recent play. It might be hard to imagine but Gee could easily put up 15 points and six rebounds per game as a starter, and week 12 has some decent matchups awaiting him. New Jersey and Orlando both rank in the bottom twenty of deficiency ranking to small forwards, while Phoenix in 19th in the league.
Mike Dunleavy, SG/SF, Milwaukee Bucks (Owned in 37% of standard leagues)
Dunleavy has been scoring the ball at a tremendously high rate of late, averaging 20.8 points in 31 minutes per game. Along with the efficient scoring, Dunleavy averaged about five assists in week 11. The arrival of Monta Ellis could cut into his minutes, but he could also shift over to small forward if need be. Picking up Dunleavy is a risky move, but if you are in a deeper league, pickup Dunleavy before anyone else does.