Contributed by Mike Gallagher
If tomorrow is the last day of your season, then there is absolutely no way your team should be short on the game max. If there is no max moves, then basically you should be cutting even guys like Blake Griffin because he doesn’t play on Sunday.
If your league ends on Wednesday, then there is really only one way to go about adding player. That is adding guys that not only play on Sunday(nine games), but also play on Tuesday (three games). Let’s go over the first group that needs to be added as soon as the roster turn over:
New York Knicks
Shawne Williams: Amare Stoudemire is out for Sunday and he should be considered slightly doubtful for Tuesday’s game with the Bulls. The Knicks have no player that can fill in the paint and they’ll have the unenviable of doing just that against Noah, Boozer, and Rose (assuming they’re not resting).
Landry Fields: He has been downright awful as of late, but he has enough value since he plays on Tuesday to be added and started with some confidence on Sunday. He should provide decent rebounds and with some chance to crack double-digit points with some threes.
Toney Douglas is really a must-own in all formats.
Desperation ranks: Jared Jeffries, Ronny Turiaf, Shelden Williams, and Bill Walker.
Sam Young: While Tony Allen has carried the torch on the wing, Sam Young hasn’t been terrible. He is basically the second player I’m planning to acquire when the rosters turn over.
O.J. Mayo: Mayo is probably owned on name value, but if he isn’t, he should be scooped. Beware of the ugly field goal shooting though.
Shane Battier: Battier took a tumble from being a top-70 option in Houston to being off the radar in just about all formats. He can fill the tough categories like blocks, steals, and threes and should be a nice pick up.
Darrell Arthur: Arthur won’t be any press for being a low-caliber option for the season since he comes off the bench. However, he was a top-140 player for the season and is almost always a threat to score in double figs.
Desperation ranks: Basically, take any of those Knick players before even taking a shot at someone like Leon Powe.
Taj Gibson: The Bulls have the top spot sewn up and with Boozer and Noah both a possibility to go down at an instant, Gibson could be in line for some minutes. If defense or boards are your pleasure, order a Gibson.
Ronnie Brewer: Brewer was really high on my rankings a couple months ago for his skills as a thief. He has two or more steals in four of his last five games and has been a huge part of Chicago’s transition offense. There will be better options for just about any other category though.
C.J. Watson: If for some reason Derrick Rose sits down, Watson could really have a huge game. That upside alone makes him a player to be scooped up for Sunday night. If you can help it, try not to start him on Sunday. Coach Thibodeau did say that the Bulls are expected to play down the stretch so they can get better for the playoffs. This could be true or it could be smoke in mirrors. If there is any doubt Rose plays, Watson becomes an elite play.
Kyle Korver: Korver is your man for threes. Similar to Watson, he really shouldn’t be started for Sunday.
Kurt Thomas: The ol’ man is a key part of the rotation, so it’s a bit unlikely he’d pick up too much slack to keep him fresh for the postseason as well.
Desperation ranks: Keith Bogans and Omer Asik
Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers run a small rotation for players that contribute in fantasy and Phil Jackson has to figure out how to win a game. The bottom line is that no players figure to gain enough value that aren’t already owned (assuming Artest is owned since he has been playing well).
Desperation ranks: Derek Fisher, Matt Barnes, and Steve Blake
Just to be clear, if there is an elite option on the wire for Sunday, then make no mistake and pick him up instead. Most of those guys listed above aren’t exactly locks to have big games. You know your league better than me, so there should be some pretty clear options on which player should perform. Let’s just hit on some players that are a bit of false-positive options based on the past week or so:
Gilbert Arenas: Agent Zero was scalding hot in his last game thanks largely to how Jason Richardson sat out. His game is starting to get back together, but don’t expect too much with Richardson ready to suit up.
While we’re on the subject of the Magic, Brandon Bass and Ryan Anderson are not false positives and they are both absolute must-start players.
Chris Wilcox: I don’t trust him and I’d much rather take my chances on a gamble like James Johnson instead. I’d take him over someone like D.J. White though. He could be solid though, just not elite.
Corey Brewer and J.J. Barea: Brewer has been hitting on all cylinders lately. The bad news? Jason Kidd should return which will downgrade just about every player in the backcourt. Barea is still worth starting in deeper formats for those hunting for helpers.
Willie Green: I’d much rather have a guy with four solid games than one that is coming off a career-high in points during an April game. The guy did make his first 12 shots. Not happening again.
Here’s a quick list of other must-start options that could be available in shallow leagues:
Jerryd Bayless, Ed Davis, Jordan Farmar, Sasha Vujacic, Kwame Brown (not a joke), Gerald Henderson, Jared Dudley, and Aaron Brooks.
Good luck and if you have any sort of player question, I’d be happy to help. Send your emails to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for reading!