Out From the Shadows – NBA Players That Could Take Off
The NBA is full of players with loads of talent who never get a chance to really shine. Perhaps it’s the system they are in. Perhaps they are buried in the depth chart. A successful fantasy basketball player must be able to recognize those players and act quickly if something changes in their favor. Luckily for you, I am going to do the dirty work for you.
Michael Beasley, Miami - There are rumors that Shawn Marion could be on his way out of Miami, with Cleveland as a possible destination. If The Matrix were to move on, Beasley would slide into that starting Small Forward role. He is currently averaging 14.1 ppg in 26.7 minutes so an increase to 32-37 minutes could easily bring Beasley’s average up to 20 ppg along with 7-8 rebounds per game.
Aaron Brooks, Houston - Rafer Alston is sidelined with a strained hamstring. While the injury isn’t serious (Alston is day-to-day), it is an injury that has a strong likelihood to reoccur if not given the time to fully heal. In Alston’s absence against Denver Brooks had 18 points and 6 assists. Alston missed two games in November in which Brooks averaged 10 points, 5 rebounds, and 2.5 assists. He was in foul trouble both of those games though as he had to deal with Chris Paul in one game and the Spurs in the other. If Alston were to miss a significant chunk of games, fantasy owners would covet Brooks.
Lou Williams, Philadelphia - With Elton Brand out a month, Lou should see an increase in his scoring load, much like the 25 he put up the game Brand separated his shoulder. Without their big man, the Sixers should play more Small Ball giving Williams an opportunity to shine. He is quite capable of shouldering more of the load, as he is currently Top 20 with 27.7 points per 48 minutes.
Marreese Speights, Philadelphia – Williams isn’t the only one who should improve with Brand out as Speights also appears in line for a bigger role. The 6’10″ rookie out of Florida will be a hot commodity on the waiver wire in the coming days. Foul trouble limited him to 19 minutes on Wednesday when Brand got hurt, but he still finished with 12 points and 7 rebounds, which are nearly double his season averages. There may be growing pains at first, but Speights should be a bigger factor over the next month.