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NBA Fantasy Pickups of the Week: Jefferson, Hill, Barbosa

Buy Low Candidate Al Jefferson Utah

Al Jefferson’s numbers have taken a little bit of a hit in Utah. Some of this can be explained by him being surrounded by a strong supporting class underneath  in Andrei Kirkilenko and Paul Milsap. He also had to learn a completely new offensive system. However, in the last couple of games he, and most importantly Deron Williams, finally look to be on the same page.

Williams and Jefferson’s play as of late has started to emulate the days of Stockton and Malone. Okay, that may be a bit of a stretch, but still. Jefferson’s numbers have continued to rise getting back to his usual 18 points, 9 rebounds, 2 blocks and I would not be surprised to see his numbers continue to rise as the season progresses. The more time he gets in Sloan’s offense, the more likely he ends up being a top 15 fantasy player.

Sell High Candidate – Rajon Rondo (BOS)

Rajon Rondo has been a tremendous fantasy player when he is on the court. The problem of late has been actually staying on the court. With his style of play in attacking the basket, he leaves himself vulnerable to hard fouls. With the hard fouls, come a greater chance of picking up different knocks and injuries throughout the season. With the Celtics huge bench they can afford to give Rondo the night off against lesser opponents. The Celtics have done this in the past couple seasons giving Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce  in preparation for the playoffs. The Celtics’ main goal is to get to the playoffs with a healthy roster. Much like how Indianapolis Colts players have become terrible options come fantasy football playoffs, the Celtics stars are similarly bad options for the fantasy basketball playoffs. Late in the year when a 3-seed or greater is wrapped up for the Celts, you can expect Rondo to sit even more.

Waiver Wire

PG George Hill (SA) 26.5 min/ 11.0 PTS/ 2.3 AST / 2.6 REB / 1.2 STL

The point guard position right now has a bevy of options for fantasy owners. George Hill can be added to the growing list of players. He has been a solid contributor of points this season with only three games of single digit point totals. He also manages to fill up the stat sheet most nights by adding a couple rebounds, some assists and bring in some steals. With both Tony Parker and Manu Ginobli not known for being able to stay healthy for an entire season, Hill becomes a even better bench option.

SG Leandro Barbosa (TOR) 25.3 Min/13.3 PTS/ 1.8 3pm/ 2 AST/ 3 REB

Barbosa has managed to stay below the fantasy radar this season as he comes back from a wrist injury. As he recovers from his injury, his minutes and his shooting touch have been lacking. When he gets fully back he should once again turn into a solid fantasy contributor. His numbers in seasons past have been limited as he sat behind Steve Nash, but yet he still managed to produce solid numbers. With almost no real option in front of him in Toronto, you have to suspect that Barbosa’s minutes/production to continue to rise, making him a mid-season steal.

SF Brandon Rush (IND) 30.0 MIN/ 9.4 PTS/ 1.9 3PM/ 1.4 AST/ 4.2 AST

Going into this season Brandon Rush was known more for his defense, than any of his offensive skills. But since being named a starter in the Pacers lineup his offensive production has really taken off. His extended minutes have allowed his point total to skyrocket. In his past seven games he is averaging 20.7 points and four three-pointers a game. Now I would not expect Rush’s numbers to continue to stay at that point throughout the season, but even if his numbers regress to a more likely 2.5 three point made and 15 points a game, he could still be a major lift for many fantasy players.

PF Brandon Bass (ORL) 23.8 MIN/ 13.8 PTS/ .600 FG%/ .800 FT%/ 5.3 REB/ 0.8 BLK (Avg Last 15 Games)

Brandon Bass’ relevance has continued to rise with the Magic. He started the season as a two-bit player, but his play has inspired Stan Van Gundy to continually increase his minutes. He has managed to be a complimentary number 2 interior player behind Dwight Howard and his point production has been a by product of him taking advantage of mismatches and teams constantly double teaming Howard. As of late, Bass also has been a force in blocking shots, getting at least one in his last four games. If this trend continues he could eventually give you everything you could possibly want in the power forward position.

C Demarcus Cousins 24.3 (SAC) 11.3 PTS/ 6.9 PTS/ .401 FG%/ .698 FT%/0.7 BLK

The King have finally decided to unleash Cousins and give him a spot in their starting lineup and he has rewarded them with some solid play. He has managed to increase his rebound total to a respectable level and is managing to get double digit points each night. Another encouraging sign has been his increased rebound and assist totals in his last seven games, these totals have risen to 8.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists, respectively. The only real downside to Cousins right now is the fact that the blocks have yet to come, but with the athleticism that he has, you have to believe that should be right around the corner. Cousins’ number are already respectable so grab him now and reap the benefits when he finally start to reach his full potential.


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