Sometimes you just gotta throw stuff at the wall to see what sticks.
Finding high upside options in the FA pool at this point in the season is tough.
But let's try anyway.
If you aren't comfortably ahead in the standings, you're gonna have to hit a home run.
Let's swing. (That's not what I meant.)
Nikola Pekovic, MIN, C
While I hyped him up as a sleeper this season, it was conditional on Nikola being healthy.
He hasn't been.
So let's consider him an in-season, post-hype sleeper.
While Gorgui Dieng has been great in Pekovic’s absence, Nikola makes $12 million/year. You don’t let an asset like that wither away and die…
In Pekovic’s return last night, he played 23 minutes. Dieng played 25. Nikola Pekovic scored 14 points on 5/11 shooting – including 4/4 from the line. He also got 4 rebounds.
On the season, Nikola has a disappointing field goal % of 42.6. But considering Nikola is a career 53% from the field – and has literally never had a season field goal % below 51.7, he’s a good bet to finish the year as a more efficient scorer (health permitting).
While a minutes reduction may be in the cards for Pekovic (with the emerging Dieng needing time on a rebuilding squad), a return to efficient shooting could put him in the 15 & 8 range – assuming he maintains about 25 MPG of playing time. While those aren’t All-Star numbers, his positives in points, rebounds and field goal % should help most Fantasy Basketball squads.
If he’s floating around in your FA pool, I would advise you to pick him up.
Langston Galloway, NY, PG (14% owned in Yahoo leagues)
This undrafted rookie came out of nowhere (also known as the D-League), and has put up impressive numbers in his 6 NBA games: 11.8 PPG, 1.5 3PM, 39.1 3PT%, 3.3 REB, 3.2 AST, 1.2 STL.
Now I’m not saying these numbers won’t completely disappear tomorrow, but if you’re looking for upside, here it is.
The Knicks are in a perpetual state of flux, so throw all the rotation logic out the window. But for a team looking for production at a discount, this 10-day contract turning into a rotation player could have some legs…
With that said, proceed with caution when rostering any Knicks this season. Shane Larkin had his month, Amar’e looked like a beast for awhile, and Tim Hardaway Jr. has been added/dropped more times than a Kardashian’s husband.
But for now, I’m signing off on Galloway in standard leagues.
Deep league option:
Jerami Grant, PHI, SF (1% owned in Yahoo leagues)
Dynasty league owners, take note: Jerami Grant is an athletic freak.
A 2nd round pick in the 2014 draft (39th overall), Jerami played 2 years at Syracuse before jumping ship to the NBA.
He was scooped up everywhere this morning – mostly due to the 8 BLOCKS he got against the Knicks last night.
While his college numbers don’t indicate he’s really a block specialist, I’ve had my eye on Jerami for a couple weeks now. The kid is super athletic, and has a bit of an edge. He could really get run on the forever-rebuilding Sixers, so he’s gonna get a chance to play…
8 blocks aside, he belongs more in the ‘hunch’ category. He’s only an add in leagues of 16 or more, but if you’re in a 14-team dynasty league say, he might be an interesting stash…
Upside is difficult to find in Week 13 of the NBA season. Things can change in a hurry, but if you’re in a league of any level of competition, the free agent pool has certainly been scavenged thoroughly by now.
It’s time to jump at the first sign of upside.
I know there’s a joke there somewhere, but I can’t find it.