By John Aubin This is our weekly column on players that have weekly favorable matchups and number of games. These are also players who are under 50% ownership in standard fantasy leagues. We base these pickups on a nine-category league with the following categories: points, rebounds, assists, steals, blocks, three-pointers made, turnovers, free-throw percentage and field-goal percentage.
In Week 3 we have multiple teams playing four games with 19 total. There are 10 teams playing three while the Nets have just two games in for the week which makes their players less desirable.
Week 3: Oct. 30 – Nov. 5
Four Games: MEM, NYK, IND, SAS, LAL, PHO, MIA, NOR, BOS, MIN, TOR, UTA, HOU, ORL, POR, DAL, CHA, DEN, LAC
Three Games: DET, ATL, PHI, WAS, CLE, MIL, CHI, OKC, SAC, GSW
Two Games: BKN
Jameer Nelson New Orleans. Nelson was recently picked up by the Pelicans after getting waived by the Nuggets. The 35-year-old has filled an immediate need at guard for the team that has been depleted by injuries. Over his first three games with New Orleans, Nelson is averaging 30 minutes with 11 points and 4.3 assists. The veteran is definitely someone that could help a fantasy team struggling to find assists and add depth at point guard. His minutes will go down when Rajon Rondo gets back but that will not be for awhile as Rondo recovers from a hernia injury. At 9% owned Nelson should be available in most leagues.
Tyreke Evans Memphis Grizzlies. Evans is on a minutes restriction for the Grizzlies for the foreseeable future. And despite averaging just 23 minutes a night the veteran swingman is able to put up some solid numbers. Evans is averaging 12 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.8 assists a game to start the year. Evans looks good out on the court and as his minutes rise so will his numbers. Evans has always been a fantasy friendly player and at 30% owned fantasy owners should jump on him before he gets picked up in all leagues.
Al-Farouq Aminu Portland Trail Blazers. It looked like the Trail Blazer’s small forward position would be a mix of players with Evan Turner, Moe Harkless, and Aminu all looking for playing time, none of which would be able to make a fantasy impact. But Aminu has come out and staked claim to the position. The 27-year-old is off to a great start and is making an impact in fantasy. Aminu is seeing 29 minutes a game with averages of 10.6 points, 9.4 rebounds, 1.2 blocks and 2.0 three-pointers. These are numbers worthy picking up in all fantasy leagues. And at 50% owned, Aminu will not be available much longer.
Alex Len Phoenix Suns. This is more of a speculative add with Len. Entering his fifth season the former lottery pick has yet to show he is a full-time starter in the NBA. But with new leadership in Phoenix, Len may get a chance to show what he can do and may start to see more time on the court then veteran Tyson Chandler. On Thursday, Len received 30 minutes of playing time and finished with 13 points and 13 rebounds. While it is one game it shows that Coach Jay Traino may have a bigger role in mind for Len. If the big man can finally win a starting job he could be useful to fantasy owners needing rebounds and blocks.
Taj Gibson Minnesota Timberwolves. Gibson is more of a pick up for 12 team fantasy leagues and deeper. The veteran big man has found himself a starting role on the Timberwolves this season and has been averaging 28 minutes a game. Gibson can get you some solid numbers as shown by his 8.2 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 0.7 blocks. They are not worth a pick up in standard leagues but deeper leagues can find those numbers useful. He is well liked by Coach Tibs and should have a home in the rotation and will continue to see plenty of time on the court.
Jerryd Bayless Philadelphia 76ers. Bayless who missed most of the last season with the Sixers has worked his way back into the rotation. The 29-year-old guard is averaging 29 minutes a game to start the season. Bayless could lose some playing time when rookie Markelle Fultz comes back from his shoulder issues which Fultz is currently listed as being out for three games but will more than likely be out for a longer period of time. Even though the Sixers are playing just three games in Week 3, Bayless is a good short-term add for fantasy owners needing someone that can hit threes on their roster.