The fantasy basketball rosters we drafted to begin with are rarely–if not, impossible– to stick to until the end. Injuries, players caught in the shuffle, and some other factors do happen, and in the NBA’s ‘next man up’ philosophy, we should always be on the lookout for emerging players in the short-and long-term.
Ish Smith, New Orleans
Smith is viewed is one of the shorter term options because until Jrue Holiday is up for his usual dose of minutes, he should be playing on a reserve role from that point forward. But until then, you couldn’t have found a better alternative.
The diminutive guard is averaging 18.0 points, 10.7 assists, 6 rebounds, and 1.3 steals in the past seven days. There’s no way he can keep the production up, but 11-13 points and 7-9 assists looks like the norm for Smith if his playing time hovers near the 30-minute mark. He is still available in 42% of ESPN leagues and 45% in Yahoo.
Ben McLemore, Sacramento
B-Mac has not fallen into coach George Karl’s graces until only recently. McLemore has posted a really solid 10.8 points along with 2.3 rebounds and 1.8 assists. It’s not much but hes been playing under 26 minutes a night, while Karl was working on a much shorter rotation.
In deep leagues, McLemore is already a must-add but in 12-teamers, he is worth a tap in the Watch List just to see how far he can go.
CJ Miles, Indiana
The Indiana Pacers has moved on from its lumbering, half-court setting lineup from a couple of years ago to a more free-flowing offense. The result? Not only are they currently No. 3 in the East (9-5) but a number of players are having career seasons, especially CJ Miles.
Miles has scored in double-figures in the past four games and torched Washington with 32 in the latest one. In the past 15 days days, he is good for 19.5 points, 1.3 steals, 1.7 assists, 2.2 rebounds and a ridiculous 3.7 connections from deep.
Robert Covington, Philadelphia
Another one of those versatile swingmen with multi-category potential, Covington is just finding his touch in the Sixers offense. He hasn’t found it yet, but still manages to contribute six rebounds, 2.4 steals, 1.1 3’s and almost a block per game.
Mason Plumlee, Portland
When Meyers Leonard went down with a dislocated shoulder, we knew this is Mason Plumlee’s time to shine. Plumlee has reached double-doubles in each of his last three games, ending the Chicago outing with 11 points, 17 rebounds, and two blocks. Leonard’s return may cut some of Plumlee’s minutes and his season numbers are just 10.4 points and 9.6 rebounds, so the run could be over anytime. But before that happens, make sure to find a flexible enough roster spot for him.
Jordan Hill, Indiana
The center spot is slim pickings so in the deep leagues, you may want to look at Jordan Hill. Hill has seen more run lately, topping at 28 minutes versus Milwaukee last Nov. 21. In the past seven days, he is good for 13 points, eight rebounds, 2.5 steals, and hitting an insane 78.6% of his shots. Except for his rebounding numbers, none of these stats are sustainable but since he is in the middle of this solid run, he is worth a go if you’re short on rosterable big men,
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