The Specialists: Perkins and Dampier Have Real Value
Each week The Specialist will give you options, both short- and long-term, to help you weather the storm in specialized categories so you won't fall too far behind in the standings. This week we'll talk blocks, steals and three-point specialists who are still more than likely available in your league. Next week we might switch it up and talk rebounds, free-throw shooting and feelings.
Kendrick Perkins is tied for the league lead in total blocks with 14 on the season. He's won't give you much more than nine points and eight rebounds as a big, but he'll provide a major boost with two-plus blocks per game and as an added bonus he'll shoot close to 60-percent from the floor. Still available in just over 50-percent of Yahoo! leagues, Perk can fit in as a third center on teams in dire need of blocks.
Erick Dampier, the other center with 14 blocks on this young season, has been on fire of late. He has 12 blocks, 36 rebounds and 32 points over his last three games. So much for Drew Gooden coming in and parking Dampier on the bench. Gooden is day-to-day right now with an injured rib, but with the way that Damps is playing I don't think it really matters if Gooden comes back this weekend or not. This production isn't going to last -- we see this every year from Dampier where he goes on a tear for a stint and then comes back to earth -- but it's worth riding it out in hopes that he'll continue to block three shots per game.
Roy Hibbert through his first four is averaging 10.8 points, 10.2 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks per game. He's much more than a blocks specialist, but for some reason owners are still a little reluctant about adding him. He's the best long-term option of the three guys listed and should be universally owned, especially now that Troy Murphy might miss some time with a bruised back.
Chuck Hayes is eligible all over the place -- small forward, power forward, and center. That's a good thing. That means you can move him around as needed. Right now Hayes is averaging 2.4 steals per game and is one of just two center-eligible players averaging more than 1.6 steals per game -- Anderson Varejao being the other at 1.8 per. In his last two Hayes is averaging 13 points, 11.5 rebounds and shooting above 75-percent from the field -- against the Jazz and the Lakers. His defense has never been in question, so add him as a filler in the middle and you'll benefit nicely from his active hands.
Corey Brewer is picking off 2.6 steals per game in his first five. Welcome back, sir. He's still figuring out just how to put the ball in the basket, though. Sure the 12.8 points per look nice, but his 36.4 field-goal percentage, 53.3 free-throw percentage and 0-for-6 showing from the three-point line have really hurt his owners. This is where you just man-up, take what he has to offer -- the third highest steals total -- and call it a day. Brewer will find his efficiency, but until then you're at least going to get a major boost in steals.
Derek Fisher is what you would call a steals specialist this season. He's picking 2.0 per game through the first five, but other than that he's not so attractive as a waiver flier. The one thing you like to see, though, is that he's playing just over 32 minutes per game, meaning that the opportunities are there for him. He'll have some nights where he breaks out from the floor, but at the very least it looks like you can count on him for steals.
Ryan Anderson has dropped 15 treys this season, averaging out to three per game. He's taken over for Rashard Lewis as the team's three-point specialist, and should remain as such for at least the next five games -- until Lewis returns. Anderson is a nice short-term option. I still think he can play at a high-rate well into the season, but a healthy Vince Carter and the return of Lewis might push him back to the waiver wires.
Eddie House has become a fantasy household name thanks mostly to his three-point shooting. House has dropped two treys per game this season, making 48-percent of his attempts. He's been efficient from the floor and the free-throw line, which makes him easier to own. Don't expect much more than threes from House, but he shoots the ball well enough to possibly finish the season in or near the top 100.
Quentin Richardson is making the case for being much more than a three-point specialist, but since he's dropped nine over his last two games he has to be mentioned as prime add from this category. He's much more attractive now as he's upped his game, posting 18.5 points and 9.5 rebounds over the past two games. Q-Rich provides a wealth of value from the arc and it's possible that he might provide more than just long-range bombs going forward.