Josh Richardson (Owned in 42% on Yahoo!/7% on ESPN) was hyped early on but then trailed off because he suffered a knee injury during the preseason. Since returning, however, Richardson has been an integral part of the Miami Heat. Over the last four games, specifically, Richardson is averaging 13.8 points, 1.5 3-pointers, 1.3 blocks, and 1.3 steals in 31.8 minutes per game. With all the injuries to Heat players right now, Richardson hasn’t been shy about getting his as evidenced by his 20.1 percent usage rate. Owners worried about Richardson’s long-term outlook, with Goran Dragic and company eventually returning, shouldn’t be. Richardson could spread the floor and is a better shooter than Justise Winslow, which should make him the third scoring option on the team even with everybody healthy. The best part of Richardson’s game is that he’s a pesky defender and has been ever since college. In his senior year at Tennessee, Richardson averaged over two steals and 0.5 blocks per game. He’s very much in that mold of a “three and d” player like Jae Crowder and Trevor Ariza but to a lesser extent. Notice Crowder and Ariza are two guys who were drafted between rounds four and six of Fantasy drafts because it’s so tough to find players who can contribute on both ends of the floor. Make sure to grab Richardson while he’s available, as he’ll help in the 3-pointer and steals categories while chipping in occasional blocks.
Vince Carter (Owned in 15% on Yahoo!/6.8% on ESPN) may be 39 years old but his recent hot stretch is impossible to ignore for Fantasy purposes. Over his last four games, Vinsanity is averaging 17 points, four rebounds, and two 3-pointers in 30.5 minutes per game. The minutes have been up due to injuries but honestly, his efficiency thus far has earned him a significant role in the rotation. It’s only been 10 games but his field goal percentage stands at an impressive 47 percent, while his effective field goal percentage is 57.7 percent. The problem with him is his age, which will eventually cause Carter to slow down and decrease his minutes. Carter will turn 40 in January, so natural regression is to be expected. In the meantime, Fantasy owners can enjoy the renaissance of a man we all loved to watch at some point in time. Carter is worth an add for those owners who need points and cheap 3-pointers in category formats.
Jamal Murray (Owned in 23% on Yahoo!/4.5% on ESPN) is still more of a stash pickup but if you want him, now is the time to snag him. While his minutes are inconsistent as a young rookie, he’s still displayed a ton of potential just 10 games into the season. He’s poured in double-digit points in three of his last four games, burying ten 3-pointers over that span. In last game against the Blazers, specifically, he dropped 19 points with five rebounds and five treys. This kid can flat out shoot. He averaged 3.1 3-pointers per game on stellar 40.8 percent shooting from beyond the arc in his only season at the University of Kentucky. It’s that type of shooting prowess that led him to being drafted seventh overall in this past year’s draft. Another reason to stash him is that he’s on the Nuggets. This Nuggets team has already suffered plenty of injuries from Gary Harris to Will Barton, plus Danilo Gallinari is on the roster. Gallinari is a great player but he hasn’t played more than 59 games in each of the past two seasons. He’s bound to pull up lame at same point and the Nuggets will call on Murray to provide outside shooting. The final reason to stash Murray, well, is because the Nuggets are flat out bad. This team could be out of it by January, which will provide more playing time for the youngsters to develop. Murray is one of the best stash options and could even contribute now at times for those in daily lineup leagues.
Bojan Bogdanovic (Owned in 49% on Yahoo!/16.1% on ESPN) is off to a hot start this season but he’s just carrying over what he did in the second half last year. In 25 games post All-Star break last season, Bogdanovic averaged 15.1 points on 43.9 percent shooting, 3.3 rebounds, and nearly 2.2 3-pointers per game. So far this season, Bogdanovic has notched double-digit points in eight of his 11 games, scoring 21 or more on three different occasions. In his most recent game against the Lakers, he went off for 29 points on 11 of 18 shooting with three rebounds, two treys, and two steals in 30 minutes of action. The most promising part of Bogdanovic’s game has been his aggressiveness driving to the basket. Normally known for just being an outsider shooter, Bogdanovic has been taking people off the dribble lately, even throwing down a ferocious dunk over Mozgov in that game against the Lakers. Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson does mess around with the rotation at times, but Bogdanovic seems like one of the safer bets to get 25-plus minutes per night. Don’t expect any defensive statistics but the Bog can provide points and 3-pointers in a hurry.
Jared Dudley (Owned in 18% on Yahoo!/5% on ESPN) has surprisingly been playing more minutes since he was moved to the bench in favor of rookie Marquese Chriss. He’s played 28 or more minutes in each of his last three games and while the Suns are pushing for a youth movement, they need to remain competitive early on and involve their veterans. In those three games, Dudley has averaged 16.7 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.7 three’s per game. Dudley is what he is, a spot-up shooter who plays solid defense and rebounds well for a small forward. When he is on like he’s been lately, though, he should be owned. Dudley is a player who can average close to two 3-pointers per game, when in for a prolonged period of time, with decent rebounding numbers as a complement. As long as the Suns are giving Dudley 25 minutes per game, he can provide some 3-pointers for those who play in category leagues. Also keep in mind he plays four games next week for those who play in weekly leagues and want to accumulate as many games as possible.
Lucas Nogueira (Owned in 35% on Yahoo!/18.4% on ESPN) is in his third NBA season yet, has only appeared in 35 games before this year. The 24-year old Brazilian seems to have finally cracked the team’s rotation, however, and is proving his worth on the defensive end. Nogueira is averaging 22.6 minutes per game over his last five and has recorded at least one block in each of those contests. In 26 minutes against the Knicks, he racked up five blocks and three steals to go along with 10 rebounds! Nogueira has credited his development to former teammate Bismack Biyombo and it’s easy to see why given their similar skill sets. Now, Nogueira did earn a ton of those minutes with Jonas Valanciunas banged up but he should be owned in deeper leagues as a handcuff or a stash based on his defensive potential alone. Another unknown part of his game is that he isn’t a terrible free-throw shooter like most other defensive centers in the NBA. It is a limited sample size but in his 11 games in the NBA D-League last season, he made 16 of his 21 free-throw attempts. If you’re looking for a big with potential that you can stash in all formats, Nogueira is your guy.
John Henson (Owned in 18% on Yahoo!/1.1 on ESPN) has been named the Bucks starting center but we should take that with a grain of salt since Jason Kidd constantly likes to tease Fantasy owners. Seriously, Jason Kidd would make a great stripper because he’s constantly giving owners a tease and once we fall in love, he reminds us why we hate him. Henson might just be another phase but as long as he’s starting, he should be owned in deeper formats. Henson’s numbers recently don’t wow Fantasy owners because he’s only playing 14.5 minutes per night, but on a per-game basis, he’s been impressive as usual. We’re talking about a player whose career per-36 in blocks per game is 2.9! This year, specifically his per-36 is at 1.9 blocks but the 13 rebounds prove his great rebounding ability. Take a flier on Henson in deeper leagues for rebounds and blocks in category formats.
ALL STATS USED BEFORE NOVEMBER 16 GAMES