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Here are your hot pickups of the week for Week 9 of the fantasy basketball season. Players such as Jarrett Jack, Jordan Crawford, Robin Lopez, Shawn Marion and Jared Dudley are owned in most ESPN leagues and most of them have been discussed in previous pickups columns. Therefore, they will not be discussed here, but if they are available all should be owned in standard leagues.
If you are planning to pick up a hot FA, here are some guys I have no issue dropping: Patrick Patterson, Ersan Ilyasova, Kris Humpries, Jason Terry, Steve Novak and Michael Beasley.
Kawhi Leonard (SA) - After being dropping in a lot of leagues when out with a knee injury, Kawhi rejoined the starting lineup for Sunday's game scoring 17 points with 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 three pointers and 5 steals. He's a great source of rebounds, threes, and steals from the SG position, so he's a great add if he's still available.
Bradley Beal (WSH) - Beal was discussed in Week 7 as well, but after missing a few games, he is now owned in just 37% of ESPN leagues. He returned Saturday to play 44 minutes so the injury is clearly behind him. His shooting percentage is still abysmal, but he has the all around fantasy game that makes him a pretty valuable player.
Ed Davis and Amir Johnson (TOR) - With injuries to Andrea Bargnani (torn ligament in elbow) and Jonas Valanciunas (broken metacarpal), these two young big men step into heavy minutes for the suddenly surging Raptors. Both have been extremely productive lately, averaging at least 7 rebounds, a steal and a block with excellent percentages over the last two weeks in only 27 and 25 minutes respectively. While Bargnani and Valanciunas are out, these two bigs should see more than 30 minutes per game so there is great fantasy potential for at least the next couple weeks.
|Ed Davis and Amir Johnson will get major minutes for the banged up Raptors|
Shannon Brown (PHX) - After entering the season with high expectations, Brown fizzled to start the year, but has been extremely effective in 10 December games, averaging almost 16 points, 3 rebounds, 1.7 steals and 1.5 threes in 33.5 minutes per game. Michael Beasley has been in the doghouse and is getting less than 16 minutes per game over the last 2 weeks, so he should continue to get significant run while he's starting for the Suns.
Matt Barnes (LAC) - Despite being the 7th most productive SF over the last 15 days, Barnes is still owned in less than 20% of ESPN leagues. Over the past month, Barnes has scored in double digits in all but two games, while averaging over a steal, block and three per game. Based on his career numbers, there is little reason to expect this seasons' FG (49%), steals (1.3) and blocks (0.9) to be sustainable for the rest of the season, but Barnes is a solid pickup for a long as he's hot.
Deeper Leagues (10% of leagues or less)
Gustavo Ayon (ORL) - Glen Davis is out 4-6 weeks with a sprained shoulder, and since stepping in as the starting PF, Ayon has has been a good source of scoring and rebounding averaging a double-double in his two starts. He played 37 minutes on Sunday so it appears that his job as starting PF is pretty safe.
|Gustavo Ayon is the staring Power Forward now that Glen Davis is out and should continue to average a double-double|
Jamaal Tinsley (UTA) - Mo Williams is out indefinitely with ligament damage in his thumb leaving Tinsley as the starting PG for the Jazz. He scored 11 points, with 3 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 three pointers and two steals. Tinsley has been the clear option over Earl Watson whenever Williams has missed time this season, and he can provide decent production for teams in need of threes, assists and steals.
Tyler Zeller (CLE) - Anderson Varejao has missed the last three games with a knee injury, which has enabled Zeller to get major minutes as the starting center. He has averaged 14.3 points, 6.7 rebounds, 0.7 steals and 0.7 blocks in his three starts, and should continue to be productive as long as Varejao is out.