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Roundball Stew

Stew: Barea Breakout

by Matt Stroup
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

With some pretty typical late-season silliness going on – recent example: Austin Rivers (32), Darrell Arthur (24), Luke Babbitt (22) and Al-Farouq Aminu (28) averaged 26.5 ppg on Thursday night, with Rivers and Aminu recording career-highs, Arthur tying his highest scoring output and the esteemed Babbitt coming up two short – I’m not going to try to make much sense of what’s going on in box scores at the moment. Instead, I’m just going to highlight a few things that are taking place that I think could be relevant if you’re still out there trying to win your league at this insane time of year.

(Note: I’m trying to focus here on players who are owned in 15 percent or less of Yahoo leagues*.)

J.J. Barea, PG/SG, DAL (38 percent owned)

Recent Stats: 16.9 ppg, 5.6 apg, 0.4 spg and 2.3 3s on 50.0 percent from the field in his last eight games.

Analysis: *I did say “trying” to focus on players owned in 15 percent or less of Yahoo leagues, but as you’ll see as we scroll further down the page, we needed a couple names on this list with at least a moderate amount of credibility. As for Barea, 38 percent is a pretty high number, but his numbers lately have been good enough – and Deron Williams is injured enough – to make it worth an immediate look to make sure he’s not still available.

Upcoming Schedule: two games this weekend (Friday, Sunday); three games next week.

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John Henson, PF/C, MIL (29 percent owned)

Recent Stats: 14.5 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 0.8 spg, 2.8 bpg in his last four games.

Analysis: Another player above the 15 percent plateau, but Henson may actually be available in a fair number of leagues given that he was out from late January until the middle of March, and only started putting up compelling numbers last week.

Despite his inconsistency, Henson has a pretty solid track record as a shot-blocker – since the start of last season, he’s at 2.0 bpg in just 18 minutes per game. The main issue has been getting enough playing time, but he has now played 20-plus minutes in four consecutive games for the first time all season. Yes, that’s a somewhat random number, but at this point it’s hard to be too greedy. If you expand the trend to cover his last seven games, Henson has averaged 2.7 bpg during that run.

Upcoming Schedule: two games this weekend (Friday, Sunday); three games next week.

Hollis Thompson, SG/SF, PHI (22 percent owned)

Recent Stats: 13.4 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 2.1 apg, 0.7 spg, 0.6 bpg, 2.4 3s in his last nine games.

Analysis: Thompson has actually been contributing in points and 3s for a while now (12.3 ppg, 2.3 3s in his last 18 games). The problem is that he doesn’t shoot well (39.4 percent from the field during that stretch), and doesn’t typically contribute much outside of those two categories (4.6 rpg, 1.9 apg, 0.6 spg and 0.3 bpg in his last 18 games). However, he has been putting up some better defensive stats lately (0.8 spg, 1.0 bpg in his last four), and if you’re able to live with some really shaky shooting (4-of-21 combined his last two games), there is at least the potential for a good all-around line on any given night.

Upcoming Schedule: two games this weekend (Friday, Saturday); three games next week.

Jordan Farmar, PG, MEM (4 percent owned)

Recent Stats: 10.8 ppg, 3.6 apg, 1.4 spg and 1.6 3s in five games with the Grizzlies.

Analysis: There’s not a ton of intrigue here, but given the Grizzlies’ PG situation, there’s not much downside either. If Barea is already gone and you need a PG, go add Farmar.

Upcoming Schedule: two games this weekend (Friday, Sunday); three games next week.

Darrell Arthur, PF/C, DEN (10 percent owned)

Recent Stats: 10.4 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 0.6 spg, 1.3 bpg and 1.3 3s in his last eight games.

Analysis: In the middle of the season I’d say be careful about chasing Thursday’s 24-point outburst, but if you’re scrounging the waiver wire at this point, chances are you’re willing to take gamble on even a flicker of upside. Arthur isn’t likely to approach 24 points again, but he has been pretty consistent in 3s and blocks lately.

Upcoming Schedule: one game this weekend (Saturday); three games next week.

Steven Adams, C, OKC (14 percent owned)

Recent Stats: 10.5 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 1.4 spg and 1.3 bpg in his last eight games.

Analysis: I’ve spent most of the season ignoring Adams in the majority of my leagues, but his recent production on defense – along with the possibility that OKC could opt to rest players during a Tuesday/Wednesday back-to-back next week – makes him at least worth a look if steals and blocks are a clear area of need.

Upcoming Schedule: one game this weekend (Sunday); three games next week.

Andrew Nicholson, PF, ORL (5 percent owned)

Recent Stats: 14.0 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.3 3s, 0.1 spg and 0.9 bpg on 55.8 percent from the field in his last eight games.

Analysis: I’m not that high on Nicholson because I’m not that high on most of the players on this list – especially the ones this far down. Also playing against him are low minute totals (19 minutes per game in his last eight), and the lack of steals you see above. With that said, the Magic have won three straight with Nicholson playing well (16.3 ppg in 23 minutes per game), so it’s certainly possible he keeps contributing in points, FG percentage and 3s.

Upcoming Schedule: two games this weekend (Friday, Sunday); three games next week.

Jordan Hamilton, SF, NOP (1 percent owned)

Recent Stats: 11.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 2.8 apg, 1.3 spg and 1.0 3s in four games with Pelicans.

and

James Ennis, SG/SF, NOP (1 percent owned)

Recent Stats: 12.0 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 3.5 apg in two games with New Orleans.

Analysis: Is this really happening? Yes, it’s happening. If Luke Babbitt (22) and Toney Douglas (20) can be the top two scorers in a game your team actually won, then it’s certainly possible for Jordan Hamilton and James Ennis to have some fantasy relevance at this time of year. Overall, I would put Hamilton (who has played 30-plus minutes in a starting role each of the last two games) slightly ahead of Ennis, and overall I would also say that the presence of Hamilton and Ennis in this column means it’s time to end this exercise immediately.

Upcoming Schedule: one game this weekend (Sunday); four games next week.

Other Random Thoughts: Paul Millsap is finishing the year on a pretty stellar defensive run. In his last four games, he’s at 2.3 spg and 4.0 bpg, with at least three blocks in each of those games. … For a guy who has only topped 30 minutes one time in March and has only hit double figures in points three times in his last 20 games, Ed Davis is posting some intriguing (and pretty useful) numbers overall. Last seven games: 8.9 ppg, 9.0 rpg, 1.7 spg and 1.7 bpg in just 22 minutes per game.