Note: All players must have an ownership rate that does not exceed 25 percent on Yahoo!
Brandon Bass, F/C Los Angeles Lakers (4%)
I wrote about Brandon Bass before the calendar turned to 2016, and he’s really established himself as an important contributor in a rotation that includes both Julius Randle and Larry Nance Jr. Before suffering a corneal abrasion that forced him to miss Sunday’s loss to Utah, Bass had averaged 9.0 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.5 dimes, 3.0 steals and a block while playing 30.5 minutes per game. Working in Bass’ favor is the fact that the Lakers are looking for players capable of giving consistent effort, something the veteran always does regardless of whatever role he’s playing.
Steven Adams, C Oklahoma City Thunder (12%)
It’s not Steven Adams’ fault that he’s forever tied to James Harden, and those who insist on viewing the center’s career through the Harden lens should have their prescription changed. With a double-double in two of his last four games, Adams is enjoying arguably his best mini-stretch of the first half, averaging 12.0 points, 7.8 rebounds and a block on a scorching 77.3% from the field. Although Adams won’t be a difference-maker for your team, this Kiwi is officially in season.
Dennis Schroder, PG Atlanta Hawks (20%)
I don’t care what Mike Budenholzer says: There is no way that playing Shelvin Mack over Dennis Schroder gives the Atlanta Hawks the best chance to win any basketball game. The good news is that Schroder’s trip to the doghouse was very much temporary, and the 22-year-old point guard has come off the bench blazing hot while definitely looking to make a point to his coaching staff and anyone else watching. The gap between Schroder and Jeff Teague isn’t as great as some want to make it out to be, and I’d argue that Schroder could do more than Teague if given equal time on the floor. Averaging just 20 minutes per game since reentering the rotation, Schroder is checking in with 13.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 7.0 assists, 2.0 steals and 2.0 triples. Over that same stretch, Teague has averaged 9.5 points, 5.0 assists, a steal and a 3-pointer in 23.5 minutes. It’s a joke that Schroder is only owned in 20% of Yahoo leagues., and it’s a bigger joke that he was benched for Mack.
Wesley Johnson, G/F Los Angeles Clippers (2%)
Blake Griffin (quad) is still looking at an uncertain timetable for his return, and that’s going to give extended life to Wesley Johnson as the Clippers turn to small-ball lineups on a more regular basis. The well-traveled former No. 4 pick has seen his role grow since Christmas, playing at least 20 minutes in seven straight games. He’s produced across the stat sheet over his last four, averaging 8.8 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.5 steals, a block and 2.3 3-pointers. In a league with at 14-16 teams, those type of numbers are worth having on the roster. Just remember that Johnson can go cold as quickly as he can heat up, so don’t get too attached to him.