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By Brian Cho
Fantasy Basketball Staff Writer
We are nearly halfway through the 2012-13 NBA season and there have been some very interesting story lines over the past few weeks. The Lakers keep losing (though they beat the Cavs on Sunday) and might not make the playoffs, while the Boston Celtics are continuing their surge to get back into the mix, winning their last five games. However, the biggest headline was on January 9, 2013 when reports went viral stating that Kevin Love re-fractured his third and fourth metacarpal in his right hand. With the Love Machine out for at least eight to ten weeks, the Wolves need to rely on their other forwards, Derrick Williams and Dante Cunningham.
Many of the players discussed in recent pickups columns (Week 9, Week 10, and the discussion of the Lakers injuries and Scott Skiles firing) are still available in a lot of leagues so check those articles out as well.
Now, let's check out some hot pickups for this week.
Glen Davis, ORL: Big Baby may have been dropped in your league awhile back because of his sprained shoulder. If he was, do yourself a favor and pick him up as he returned for Monday night's game and will quickly return to his normal role. He was maintaining eighth or ninth round value before the injury and should continue to pick up where he left off. The minutes will still be there for the power forward.
Dante Cunningham, MIN: With Kevin Love out, Cunningham is, at least, worth a look if you need a forward. His upside is limited because of the timeshare he has with Derrick Williams, but he will produce low end value at best. Over the last week, Cunningham averaged 8 points, 6 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.5 steals, but he's shooting 37 percent from the floor and 56 percent from the charity stripe. If you pick him up, keep your expectations low.
Derrick Williams, MIN: Here’s the true beneficiary due to the Love injury. While Love is out, Derrick Williams has yet another chance to prove to the Wolves that he is not a bust. Unfortunately, it is not going too well for the former second overall pick. Throughout the last week, Williams averaged 12 points, 5 rebounds and a three pointer in 24.5 minutes. I'll take him over Dante Cunningham since Williams has more upside given the fact that he shoots from beyond the arc. However, with Cunningham in the mix, don’t expect Williams to suddenly break out.
Spencer Hawes, PHI: With Bynum still out of the picture, the Sixers need help in the rebounding department. Now enter Spencer Hawes. Here is another inconsistent player who’s been quietly returning mid-round value over the last month. Hawes is averaging 26 minutes, 12 points, 6 boards, and almost two blocks. He provides some upside (threes) while Bynum is out. and is worth a pick up for now if you’re in need of a center.
Landry Fields, TOR: Fields has been in the starting line up since the 9th of January and didn’t look too bad. He’s had back-to-back eleven rebound games coming into Sunday’s matchup against the Bucks where he had a dud performance (3 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists and 1 turnover on 20% fg). He is not the most consistent player, but his ability to grab down boards gives him enough upside to be owned in most leagues. Dwane Casey seems content with his new line-up after replacing Pietrus with Fields so feel free to pick him up now that he’s back in the starting five.
Randy Foye, UTA: The Utah Jazz need to figure something out with respect to the point guard position. Mo is out indefinitely and it's clear that Tinsley and Watson are not the answer. Foye, however, is starting to heat up again. Over the last week, Foye’s been returning fourth round value with averages of 15 points, 1.5 rebounds, 2 assists, 1.5 steals, 3.5 treys in 35 minutes. His minutes will stay consistent as he's playing some PG in addition to his normal SG role so if you need treys and points, Foye's a solid add.
Ben Gordon, CHA: The Bobcats shooting guard is torching it up right now despite averaging just 26 minutes per game. Over the last two weeks, he averaged 19 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal and 1 three pointer while shooting 53% from the field. He's always been a streaky player, so while he cannot maintain this production throughout the rest of the season, ride him while he’s hot.
Mike Dunleavy, MIL: The Bucks have a deep rotation, but Dunleavy is a reliable fantasy player because of his consistent minutes and well rounded game. Dunleavy is not going to get the prettiest lines, but he does get enough to pass as a decent pick up. In 27 minutes per game over the last two weeks, he’s had averages of 12 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 threes on 50% field goal shooting and 100% free throw shooting while chipping in some blocks and steals as well. He’s definitely worth a look especially while his shot is on point.