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Sometimes a player comes into a league with great anticipation and expectations. Sometimes they fit the billing. Other times they are a flop. It’s early, but it appears that Minnesota Point Guard Ricky Rubio has the makings of a above average NBA point guard.
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His playing time has slowly grown from 26 minutes in his debut, to 27 to 31 last night.  He had his first double-double of his young career, scoring 12 points and dishing out 12 assists.
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On the year he’s averaging 8.0 points, 4.7 rebounds, 7.3 assists, and 0.7 three-pointers. One of the knocks on Rubio was his shooting ability. It’s obviously early, but he’s making 61.5 percent of his shots. He hasn’t taken many shots from downtown, but that should increase going forward. His 75.0 percent free-throw shooting isn’t great, but it isn’t hurting fantasy teams either.
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It’s not all roses for Rubio. He is averaging 2.7 turnovers per game, a number that will increase as his playing time increases. That is to be expected from a playmaker like Rubio that needs to have the ball. He’s going to make brilliant passes. Some of them won’t work. There should be enough good to outweigh the bad though.
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Rubio will be a popular guy on waiver claims today. Anytime someone drops that many dimes in a game, it grabs people’s attention. If he’s available in your league, act now. If you wait too long, he’ll be snatched up.
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You’ll have to deal with some inconsistency, and it is conceivable that he’ll hit a wall, but the potential is too great to pass up.
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MarShon Brooks, the rookie out of Providence, is a scorer. He averaged 24.6 ppg last year for the Friars, and has shown the ability to score at the next level as well. He had a quiet NBA debut, racking up half as many fouls (three) as points (six), but considering he played just eight minutes, it wasn’t so bad.
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He has earned more playing time in his past two games, 28 and 21 minutes respectively, and he has delivered by scoring 17 points in each game.
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On the year he’s averaging nearly a point per minute with 40 points in 57 minutes, giving him a 13.3 ppg scoring average.
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He’s been a fairly efficient scorer, hitting 44.1 percent of his shots. He could show some improvement from long distance (.286 percent from downtown), but he’s also hitting a solid 80.0 percent of his free throws.
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While his scoring is nice, he hasn’t done much in other categories. He’s averaging 2.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 0.3 blocks, 0.7 steals, and 0.7 three-pointers.
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The Nets are fairly crowded at the shooting guard position with Anthony Morrow, DeShawn Stevenson, Sundiata Gaines (who also plays point guard), and Brooks. While Brooks has showed the best scoring punch in the early going, he isn’t a lock to continue producing.
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Brooks is a player that I would keep tabs on for now. I can’t imagine that many players were drafted in standard size leagues that would be worth cutting for an unproven rookie that does little beyond scoring. If you are streaming a position, Brooks could be worth a look. Otherwise just monitor him.
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Sometimes you need a fantasy gem to be successful. Here is a list of LestersLegends’ under the radar players that could possibly pull out a win for you in Week 17.
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Josh McCown @ Minnesota:  McCown was solid last week (242 yards, TD, 2 INTs, 38 rushing yards) and should have another quality performance against a Vikings team that has allowed more passing TDs (33) than every other team in the league.
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Stevan Ridley vs. Buffalo:  Ridley has double-digit carries the past two weeks, which has allowed him to average 64.5 yards per game. The Bills have allowed the 28th most rushing yards (139.1 ypg) and tied for 28th in rushing TDs allowed (17). It’s conceivable that the Texans will limit Arian Foster against Tennessee, meaning Ben Tate could bounce back in a big way from last week’s disaster.
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Jerome Simpson vs. Baltimore:  Simpson has averaged 2.2 catches in has past five games for a mere 21.8 average. He has scored two TDs in his past three games though. Plus, he’s facing Baltimore who he torched for 152 yards on eight catches in Week 11. You may recall he destroyed the Ravens last year in Week 17 as well for 123 yards and a score on 12 catches. Titus Young @ Green Bay is averaging 51.8 yards and 0.5 TDs in his past four games.
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Jeremy Shockey @ New Orleans: Shockey only has six catches in his past three games, but half of them went for TDs (one each game). Could he make it four straight against his former team?
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Indianapolis Colts @ Jacksonville: It’s not easy to rely on a 2-13 team but they have won consecutive games, holding the Titans and Texans to a combined 29 points. The Jags beat them in Week 10, but were held to 17 points and 251 total yards.
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Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
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Brandon Rush has had some moments of brilliance in his young NBA career. He averaged 13.1 points, 3.7 rebounds, 0.9 assists, 0.4 blocks, 0.7 steals, and 2.1 three-pointers in 15 games last December.
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In March of the 2009-10 season he averaged 12.6 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 0.8 blocks, 0.8 steals, and 2.1 three-pointers in 16 games. In March and April of the 2008-2009 season he averaged 12.6 points in 21 games.
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The potential is there, as you would expect from the 13th pick of the 2008 NBA Draft.
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The question is whether or not he can sustain the success. We’ll see if the change of scenery from Indiana to Golden State helps.
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So far he’s liking his new digs. Through three games Rush is averaging the kind of numbers that he puts up when he’s had his best moments. He won’t blow you away in any category, but his averages of 12.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 2.0 blocks, 1.3 steals, and 1.7 three-pointers can certainly help fantasy teams.
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The Warriors aren’t the same team as they have been in the past. They have yet to hit the century mark and are averaging just 92.3 ppg. As long as he’s playing around 27 minutes per game, that shouldn’t matter.
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For starters, Rush is going to knock down three-pointers. He’s averaging 1.3 per game in his NBA career, making more than 40 percent of his attempts. He doesn’t provide many assists, but he gives you a solid number of rebounds at the guard position.
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He’s a solid defender so the blocks and steals should continue to come.
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If you have an expendable bench player, it might be worth your while to give Rush a chance.
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Click here for more fantasy basketball free agents finds.


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Here’s a look at LestersLegends sit and start advice as you set your lineups for the 17th week of the NFL season.
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Quarterbacks
Start:
Ryan Fitzpatrick @ New England: In the first meeting the Bills knocked off the Patriots behind Fitzpatrick’s 369 yards and two TDs. The Patriots (ranked 32nd with 294.7 ypg allowed) have yet to solve their secondary woes.
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Sit:
Matt Moore vs. New York Jets: In the other AFC East showdown I would look to sit Moore despite throwing for five TDs in the past two weeks. In the first meeting he completed 16 of 34 passes for 204 yards and two picks. He was sacked four times and recorded a dismal 41.8 passer rating. The Dolphins are clearly a better team now, but Moore’s splits concern me. He’s averaging just 164.6 ypg at home (221.7 on the road).
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Running Backs
Start:
Toby Gerhart vs. Chicago:  When Toby has received ten plus carries in a game, he has delivered. He has four games in the past five with double-digit carries and he has averaged 103.5 total yards with a pair of scores. Even sharing the load with AP in Week 15 he had 58 total yards and two TDs.
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Sit:
LeGarrette Blount @ Atlanta:  Raheem Morris sat him last week because of a fumble. You should sit him this week. Atlanta is going to hang a bunch of points on the Bucs. They will be forced to abandon the run. That’s when Blount watches from the sidelines.
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Wide Receivers
Start:
Malcom Floyd @ Oakland:  Floyd is hot, averaging 82.0 yards with three TDs in his past four games. Oakland ranks25th with 247.5 passing yards allowed per game and tied for 30th with 28 passing TDs allowed.
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Sit:
Andre Johnson vs. Tennessee:  The Texans are locked in with the #3 seed. Johnson will look to get some reps, but won’t play a lot of snaps in a meaningless game. You’ve made it this far without him, you might as well roll with the WRs that brought you there.
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Tight Ends
Start:
Jared Cook @ Houston:  Cook is averaging 8.5 catches for 136 yards in his past two games. He’s sizzling hot right now and should be in lineups that don’t have no-brainer options ahead of him.
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Sit:
Owen Daniels vs. Tennessee:  Like Andre Johnson I would avoid Daniels. He could see a reduced snap count. Plus, he hasn’t scored since Week 4 and is averaging just 37.4 yards in his past seven games.
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Defenses
Start:
Philadelphia @ Washington:  The Eagles are on fire. The have held the Dolphins, Jets, and Cowboys to an average of 12 points during their three-game winning streak. They had three INTs, forced four fumbles, and collected 16 sacks to bring their season total to an NFL high 49.
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Sit:
Green Bay vs. Detroit:  They lead the league with 29 INTs, but they have nothing to play for. The Lions have averaged 33.3 points during their three-game winning streak. Stafford has nine TDs and no INTs during that stretch.
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Here’s the LestersLegends’ Week 17 2011 fantasy football kicker rankings.
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1. David Akers @ St. Louis
2. John Kasay vs. Carolina
3. Stephen Gostkowski vs. Buffalo
4. Matt Bryant vs. Tampa Bay
5. Robbie Gould @ Minnesota
6. Mason Crosby vs. Detroit
7. Dan Bailey @ New York Giants
8. Alex Henery vs. Washington
9. Mike Nugent vs. Baltimore
10. Steven Hauschka @ Arizona
11. Jason Hanson @ Green Bay
12. Nick Novak @ Oakland
13. Sebastian Janikowski vs. San Diego
14. Rob Bironas @ Houston
15. Ryan Succop @ Denver
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David Akers set the NFL record last week with his 42nd field goal of the year. He has 18 more points (even more in fantasy) than the next closest kicker. There really isn’t a debate as to who the top kicker in the league is this year.
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Some other kickers that should be solid this week are from high-powered offenses. Kasay, Gostkowski, and Bryant will likely have their offenses score 30+ points. They are nice options because their floor is low. Even if they only kick one FG, they should have multiple PATs to give them a solid number.
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Arizona (33), Denver (32), Washington (32), and Minnesota (31) are the four teams that have allowed 30+ FGs. Having allowed an average of 2+ FGs per game makes them solid options for opposing kickers.
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Here’s a list of some fantasy basketball players that may have went undrafted and are off to good starts.
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Ryan Anderson, PF, Orlando Magic:  Anderson had a terrific 2011-12 debut with 25 points, ten rebounds, two steals, and six three-pointers. He came back to Earth with eight points, five boards, and two treys. As long as he’s playing around 30 minutes a game, he’s going to give you a fair amount of rebounds and a huge three-point bonus for a big man.
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Marcus Camby, PF/C, Portland Trail Blazers:  Don’t expect the assists to last (5.5 apg), but he’ll give you a fair amount of rebounds (11.0 rpg) and blocks (2.0 bpg) as long as he stay healthy.
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Udonis Haslem, PF, Miami Heat:  Don’t expect steady scoring from Haslem, but he’s a hard enough worker that he should get you about 8.0 ppg. His value comes in his rebounding prowess. He’s averaging 13.0 rpg after two games and should be able to average double-digits.
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Troy Murphy, PF/C, Los Angeles Lakers:  He’s an injury risk, but he is hitting the boards early and has one more chance to deliver before Bynum returns from his suspension. If you need a plug-and-play for rebounds, Murphy should have a nice total against the Knicks tomorrow night. His numbers will dip when Bynum returns, but keep him on speed dial in case Bynum’s annual injury doesn’t coincide with Murphy’s.
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Hedo Turkoglu, SF, Orlando Magic:  Turkoglu was on the opposite page as Ryan Anderson. He had a modest start (eight points, three rebound, four assists, two steals, two three-pointers) and a big second game (23 points, six rebounds, four assists, three three-pointers). His scoring will fluctuate, but he’ll give you a solid across the board (particularly assists) numbers.

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