Who's Got Next: The Young One
Nick Young, where have you been all season long? After hearing both Flip Saunders and Sam Cassell rave about Young's work ethic in the offseason, I quickly bought into the idea of the third-year swingman being a nice fantasy sleeper this season. Alas, Young played a grand total of 45 minutes in the first 12 games. His fortune turned, however, once Mike Miller went down with a strained calf -- expected to miss the next four weeks -- Young got the call at the two-guard position. In his first two starts, he's paid off going for 21 points, five rebounds, four assists, and a three per game.
Young was a streaky scorer last season with his best performance coming in March of '09 where he dropped double-digit scoring totals in 10 straight games. There's one thing for certain, the kid loves to shoot the rock -- Friday night he led the Wizards with 23 shot attempts. He's a jump-shooter, for sure, with 61 percent of his shot attempts in 2008-09 coming by way of the two-point jumper. The problem is, Young is a bit one-dimensional. His peripheral stats are almost non-existent. Though that's no reason not to take a flier on him, especially in the coming week as the Wizards play four times, including two games against the defensive deficient Toronto Raptors -- they've allowed 100-plus points in eight straight.
Hakim Warrick, F, Bucks - The secret is out on Ersan Ilyasova, and we're all pretty excited about the young Turk. But that doesn't mean you should ignore Warrick, Milwaukee's sixth man. With Andrew Bogut out, the Bucks have at times played "small" and that seems to be boding well for Warrick. He's posted three straight relevant fantasy lines averaging 15.6 points, 7.6 rebounds, 0.7 steals, while shooting 59.3-percent from the floor. The Bucks are just one of 10 teams who play four times next week, making him a useful add.
Robin Lopez, F/C, Suns - A fairly decent debut on Friday night for the "other" Lopez brother -- eight points on 4-of-5 shooting, seven rebounds, a steal and two blocks in 15 minutes. Remember, before Lopez had surgery on his foot in the preseason he was touted as the "defensive" center in Phoenix, with Channing Frye providing the offense at the 'five'. The Suns could certainly use his size in the middle and tenacity on defense -- though he does need to be mindful of picking up fouls early on. The Suns play four times this week -- at New York, at Cleveland, vs. Sacramento and at LA Lakers. If you're playing in a deep league, you should definitely look at Lopez in the middle.
Jrue Holiday, PG, 76ers - OK, we can forgive the rookie for his 1-of-8 shooting performance on Friday night. It was just the second career start for the 19-year old. He has shown flashes, dishing 11 dimes over the past two games, but his shots just aren't falling. He's also starting to prove to be more competent on defense as he logs extra minutes. Holiday may be a risky start with three road games this week, but desperate times call for desperate measures. Things could open up for him once Elton Brand returns to the lineup, keeping the defense honest and opening up a drive and dish game. There are a few fringe fantasy point guards with two games this week -- Jason Williams, Darren Collison, and Andre Miller -- so starting Holiday this week might actually play into your favor, given the extra game he plays. Then again, if the 76ers bring in Allen Iverson next week that will change everything.
Jarrett Jack, G, Raptors - The Raptors continue to find ways to use Jack in their rotation and it's starting to pay off. Two 18-point, 5-assist performances over his last three. And with DeMar DeRozan maxing out at 20 minutes per game, Jack has been playing both backcourt positions running alongside Jose Calderon. The Raptors have one of the more favorable schedules this week, with four games on the docket. As I said earlier, there are a number of fringe point guards playing twice this week, making Double-J a nice option.
Donte Greene, F, Kings - His game on Friday night wasn't very helpful in making the case for picking up Greene. Though before owners drop him outright, just remember that we all knew about how inconsistent his game is. Greene will continue to get minutes, whether it's in the starting lineup or coming off the bench. He will have nights like Friday, but he will also provide help in scoring, threes, and, surprisingly, in blocks. The Kings play three games next week against the Heat, Pacers and Suns, all of whom sit in the bottom half of the league in opponents three-point shooting. Maybe Greene can get going against the Suns and Pacers this week. Worth a shot in deep leagues.
Of course, I continue to suggest you add Anthony Morrow, Ersan Ilyasova, Kenyon Martin, Will Bynum, Carl Landry and even Larry Hughes. They're all nice starts this week. I just didn't want to come off sounding like a broken record each week.