Hey guys, welcome back to Stashables! Each week I’m going to compile a ranked list of 10 season-long stashes who could make all the difference for your fantasy team down the stretch. This is still a relatively new article, so shoot me an email if you guys have any recommendations or other things you want to see.
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Here are the rules for this article:
1.) Each player must be owned in about 50 percent or less of all Yahoo leagues, but I’ll try to keep it as low as possible for those of you in competitive leagues.
2.) If a player graduates from this list to must-own status, I’ll be sure to mention it the following week.
3.) The players that I mention either have to be injured, on the fringe of the rotation (around 25 minutes or less), or simply just buried on the bench.
4.) I’m basing my rankings on standard 9-cat leagues.
1.) Stanley Johnson (56 percent owned) Previous rank: 6
The injury to Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (groin) opened the door for the rookie, and he looks poised to take on a massive role even when KCP returns. Previous guys on this list such as Aaron Gordon, Gorgui Dieng and Nikola Jokic have all turned into must-start players, and Johnson could be the next guy to have a significant impact in fantasy leagues. With averages of 14.4 points, 6.6 boards, 2.4 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.4 3-pointers over his last five games, you need to run to the waiver wire to make sure he’s not still available.
2.) Dennis Schroder (26 percent owned) Previous rank: 3
With the trade deadline just a little more than a week away, Schroder’s stock gets a slight boost this week. The trade rumors surrounding Jeff Teague are still flying around, so the possibility that Schroder could be the starting point guard in Atlanta is intriguing. His playing time has been trending down due to Teague’s recent play, but he still has solid averages of 10.4 points, 3.4 boards, 3.2 assists, 0.6 steals and 0.8 3-pointers in just 17.2 minutes per game. Those numbers could double if he became the full-time starter, so you might as well stash him at the end of your bench for another week to see what happens.
3.) Alex Len (30 percent owned) Previous rank: 4
Yes, I get it. His play has been very sporadic and Tyson Chandler is still hanging around, but the Suns didn’t fire their head coach so that they could make a playoff push. This is a team that is clearly going to tank, so Chandler’s role should shrink and Len’s should grow. He isn’t worth using in most leagues right now, but he is still one of the best stashes out there and is readily available in a lot of leagues. He’s averaging 6.2 points, 8.0 boards, 0.8 assists and 1.0 blocks in 18.0 minutes over his last five games.
4.) Archie Goodwin (34 percent owned) Previous rank: 5
Goodwin has been thrown into the fire by the Suns, and with all things considered he really has played pretty well. The turnovers have been high and he hasn’t been overly consistent, but keep in mind that he isn’t even a true point guard. He’s averaging 12.6 points, 4.8 assists, 3.6 boards and 1.0 3-pointers over his last five games, but his value has been held in check with 4.2 turnovers and a shooting percentage of 35.5 percent. Brandon Knight (groin) will eventually return according to coach Earl Watson, but he’s also a shut-down candidate down the stretch. Keep Goodwin stashed on your bench.
5.) Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (45 percent owned) Previous rank: 7
He has looked really good since returning from his shoulder injury, averaging 12.2 points, 7.0 boards and 1.4 assists in 31.2 minutes per game. The playing time has been there, but the supporting stats haven’t come yet. His blocks (0.2) and steals (0.4) numbers are pretty poor for a player that’s known for his defense, and he’s not a great 3-point shooter either. I still think he’s worth a flier, but he’s more of a low-end asset for now. Nicolas Batum has also been bothered by a toe issue for a while now, so that increases the appeal for MKG.
6.) Bobby Portis (8 percent owned) Previous rank: 9
Look who’s moving up the ladder again. Portis has disappointed me for a few weeks now, but he finally put together some solid performances last week and even scored 15 points in 28 minutes vs. the Wolves on Saturday. Nikola Mirotic (hematoma) has no timetable, Joakim Noah (shoulder) is out for the season and Pau Gasol (hand) is dealing with several nagging injuries, so coach Fred Hoiberg will have no choice but to ramp up the rookie’s workload. With the trade deadline coming up and the Bulls sliding down the standings, don’t be surprised if Gasol or Taj Gibson is moved. #FreeBobbyPortis is back.
7.) Terrence Jones (47 percent owned) Previous rank: N/A (He was owned too much)
My biggest mistake this offseason was that I expected a massive campaign out of Jones, but he lost his minutes to Clint Capela and Josh Smith and his head coach doesn’t seem to trust him. He is currently out of the rotation and is dealing with a concussion that will keep him out until the All-Star break, but there’s a significant chance that he is moved before the trade deadline because the Rockets have way too much depth at power forward for a team that plays a lot of small ball. If Jones sticks in Houston from here on out, I wouldn’t want anything to do with him.
8.) Brandon Jennings (22 percent owned) Previous rank: 10
He’s another candidate to be moved before the deadline, as Reggie Jackson is the future of the point guard spot in Detroit and Jennings is on an expiring contract. If you think about teams such as the Jazz, Knicks, Nets and Bucks, Jennings would have an easy path to the starting point guard spot if he was dealt to any of those places. This is all speculation, but stashing a PG with Jennings’ talent makes a lot of sense at this point in the season.
9.) Jerian Grant (3 percent owned) Previous rank: N/A
The Knicks fired coach Derek Fisher on Monday, so maybe it’s time for them to start looking towards the future. Jose Calderon is arguably one of the worst starting point guards in the NBA and the Knicks have almost no shot of reaching the playoffs now, so they might as well see what they have in Grant. The rookie has season averages of just 4.7 points and 2.4 assists in 15.7 minutes per game, but just think about the workload he would have if Calderon was benched and Carmelo Anthony (knee) was shut down. He’s worth a flier in really deep leagues, but you can wait until after the All-Star break.
10.) Jusuf Nurkic (30 percent owned) Previous rank: N/A
I hate seeing a player with so much upside on the wire, but Nikola Jokic has made Nurkic irrelevant in almost all leagues. The good news is that Joffrey Lauvergne might be traded before the deadline, so it’s still possible that Nurkic could have a decent role down the stretch. I’m obviously much higher on Jokic now, but it’s hard to forget what Nurkic did after the All-Star break last season.