Note: All players must have an ownership rate that does not exceed 25 percent on Yahoo!
Cody Zeller, F/C Charlotte Hornets (12%)
Al Jefferson (left calf strain) is going to miss at least another week of time, and that gives Cody Zeller three more games (at a minimum) to continue making a very favorable impression. The Hornets are desperate for a capable big man to emerge off the bench, and they may just already have that on the roster in Zeller.
Stepping in unexpectedly as the team’s starting center, Zeller is averaging 14.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.0 blocks on 52% shooting. After playing just 17 minutes against the Warriors on December 2, Zeller has played at least 28 minutes in each of his last two games, averaging 18.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.5 blocks.
Shane Larkin, PG Brooklyn Nets (11%)
Coming into Tuesday’s contest vs. the Houston Rockets, Shane Larkin had averaged 9.2 points, 2.2 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 2.0 steals and shot 46% from the field. Seeing 23 minutes per game over that stretch, Larkin’s playing time could tick even higher with Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (ankle surgery) now out of the picture.
One thing working against Larkin’s case is his size because Jarrett Jack isn’t exactly Shaquille O’Neal in the backcourt, but should the Nets decide to move on from the veteran point guard, Larkin would stand to be the most clear and obvious benefit. There is no threat to his job as the backup point guard.
Darrell Arthur, F/C Denver Nuggets (6%)
It was only a matter of time until Darrell Arthur again battled knee soreness, but hopefully the latest episode will not prevent him from staying on the floor. The former first-round pick has finally found a rhythm in Denver under Mike Malone—who absolutely loves him—and it appears Arthur is going to have a consistent role in a crowded frontcourt.
Coming into Tuesday’s game, D.A. was averaging 13.3 points, 3.7 rebounds, 1.7 steals, 1.3 blocks and 1.7 3-pointers on 56.7% shooting. Arthur isn’t going to stay consistently that hot with all the bodies down low, but you should take advantage of his production while he’s offering it regularly.
Allen Crabbe, SG Portland Trail Blazers (3%)
Before Tuesday’s game where Crabbe again provided a solid line with 14 points, three boards and a triple on 6-of-11 from the floor, the Cal product was averaging 14.8 points, 2.0 rebounds, 0.8 steals and 2.5 triples on 55% shooting. Those are numbers that should be getting more attention.
Raymond Felton, G Dallas Mavericks (4%)
It’s pretty weird that the same exact version of Raymond Felton from last season—you know, the one that wasn’t good enough to grace Rick Carlisle’s court—has now played 33-plus minutes in four straight games, but what’s done is done and we’re focused on projecting the future.
Felton, who shot 40.6% last season, is shooting exactly 40% this time around. In 2014-15, Felton connected from distance at a 29.4% rate. This year? He’s hitting at a 29.8% clip while launching 2.6 3PA per game, and he continues to get more opportunity. In four December contests, Felton is averaging 10.8 points, 5.0 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 1.5 steals, 2.5 turnovers and a triple on 42.9% shooting.