Note: All players must have an ownership rate that does not exceed 25 percent on Yahoo!
Rather than highlighting just a handful of names, I’ve chosen to provide a longer list after gathering some feedback from selected readers.
Gary Neal, G Washington Wizards (7%)
Bradley Beal (leg) is out of the lineup, and will face restrictions upon his return. In December, Neal is averaging 14.0 points and 1.9 3-pointers on 51.9% shooting while turning it over just 0.9 times while averaging 26 minutes. You’re adding him if you’re desperate for triples.
Ramon Sessions, G Washington Wizards (3%)
Like Neal, Ramon Sessions has seen his role grow with Beal out of the lineup. I actually prefer Sessions to Neal for those looking for more than just triples. Over his last three games, Sessions is averaging 15.0 points, 3.7 assists and 2.0 turnovers on 58.3% shooting.
Doug McDermott, SF Chicago Bulls (5%)
Doug McDermott’s role is growing in December, and it’s not by accident. With Mike Dunleavy’s return date from back surgery a giant question mark and the Bulls seemingly very unwilling to play Nikola Mirotic, Pau Gasol and Joakim Noah in tandem, McDermott is a necessary part of the plans.
Averaging 9.7 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.4 3-pointers in 25.5 minutes per game this month, McDermott has taken 26 shots over his last two games combined. He’s a speculative addition for those in deep (at least 14 teams) formats fishing for triples.
Andrew Nicholson, PF Orlando Magic (4%)
Andrew Nicholson has been on this list before, but he might not be on it again since his time to shine is right around the corner. It’s hard to see Channing Frye sticking in the starting five over Nicholson for too much longer, and eventually I’m betting Scott Skiles sees it the same way.
In December, Nicholson is averaging 10.7 points, 5.9 boards, 1.0 triples and 1.4 turnovers on 57.4% shooting in 23 minutes per game. Since the month began, Nicholson has exactly one game where he shot sub-50% from the field.
Gerald Green, G/F Miami Heat (15%)
Luol Deng’s (hamstring) return hasn’t changed much about Gerald Green’s role. Enjoying an incredibly productive month with Miami, Green has rebounded from his obscure off-the-court incident nicely with averages of 12.3 points, 2.3 rebounds, 0.7 steals, 0.7 blocks and 1.3 3-pointers on 47.2% shooting.
Green has played at least 24.5 minutes every game dating back to November 25, and he’s scored 10-plus points in four straight games. He should be on more rosters.
Nikola Jokic, C Denver Nuggets (8%)
I’m just not as concerned as others about how Joffrey Lauvergne or Jusuf Nurkic could potentially impact Nikola Jokic. It’s going to take some time and there will be ups and downs, but Jokic’s upside is simply undeniable.
After almost everyone was ready to throw him back onto the wire, Jokic has averaged 14.0 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and a steal on 8-of-13 (61.5%) over his last two games while playing 20-plus minutes in each. Stay patient.
Bismack Biyombo, C Toronto Raptors (13%)
Jonas Valanciunas (hand) won’t be back until at least January, meaning Bismack Biyombo lives on for at least another two-to-three weeks. Over his last five games, Double-B is averaging 8.8 points, 10.2 rebounds and 1.2 blocks on 58.3% shooting. Unless you’re stacked in those categories, Biyombo likely helps your roster.
Jameer Nelson, PG Denver Nuggets (16%)
I’m not really sold that Emmanuel Mudiay (ankle) is day-to-day when he himself said that it was similar to what he experienced in China when an injury knocked him out form December through February. I don’t expect Mudiay to be out for that long, but as much as 10 days to two weeks certainly wouldn’t be surprising.
Without him, Jameer Nelson is going to play all of the minutes he can handle, and he’s averaging 15.0 points, 5.5 rebounds, 7.0 assists, 1.0 steals and 3.0 triples in the last two since Mudiay went down. He’s a solid short-term plug-and-play.