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NBA Midweek Report: Week 19

Some Fantasy Basketball highlights from Week 19 in the NBA...

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Will Andrea Bargnani (top) come crashing back down to earth?
Will Andrea Bargnani (top) come crashing back down to earth?
Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

Secret weapons.

Just when your opponent thinks she's won, you reveal your trump card.

Sometimes it's a player you've been stashing, sometimes it's simply knowing that you have an expendable player on your roster that can be purged at any time.

I had Larry Sanders and Kobe Bryant stashed in a couple dynasty leagues, but just bounced them for win-now options - as I'm currently fighting for the 6th and final playoff seeds in a couple of competitive dynasty leagues.

Like I always say: Better to try and win this year than play for next season. Once you're in the playoffs, everybody is on equal ground. I've won many championships in all Fantasy sports with a team that JUST squeaked into the playoffs the final week of the regular season...

Let's reveal these weapons, shall we?


Andrea Bargnani, NY, PF/C (24% owned in Yahoo leagues)

No, this is not a sick joke.

Mostly a product of Carmelo Anthony's season-ending injury, Bargnani has become the #1 scoring option on a team of terrible offensive players.

While I'm not high on Andrea in dynasty/keeper leagues, he's definitely worth rostering in standard leagues for the rest of the season.

Check out his stats over the last 7 days: 18.0 PPG, 50.9 FG%, 82.4 FT%, 1.0 3PM, 4.8 REB, 3.0 AST, 1.0 BLK.

I believe these are sustainable numbers. For this year anyway.

Let's not forget that Andrea Bargnani has spent most of the last couple/few seasons being injured, but when healthy, this is a productive offensive player. His latest hot stretch is not too far off his career numbers. Throw in an injured Melo, Andrea becomes the top dog by default. It's even possible the numbers could continue to rise as he gets more comfortable in the offense, but I won't count on that.

But I believe this is the Andrea Bargnani we're going to experience for the rest of this year's lost Knicks season. Enjoy his meaningless stats. They could really make a difference in the Fantasy playoffs for you...

Ray McCallum, SAC, PG (8% owned in Yahoo leagues)

Another player taking advantage of a starter's injury, McCallum became Fantasy relevant at precisely the moment Darren Collison went out for 6 weeks. For Fantasy Basketball purposes, that means he's out for the year.

McCallum has been solid in Collison's absence: 11.1 PPG, 47.1 FG%, 81.8 FT%, 3.6 REB, 4.0 AST, 1.1 STL.

He's a bubble player in standard leagues, but in deep leagues, there is value here. He's got lots of usage for the duration of the season, so I'm signing off on him in leagues of 14 or more...

Will Barton, DEN, SG (11% owned in Yahoo leagues)

Barton's opportunity did not come from injury, it came from the NBA trade deadline.

While Arron Afflalo has become a bench player for the contending Portland Trailblazers, Barton came over in the deal. He has surprisingly become a very productive player - after having virtually no statistical track record on the Blazers. He's coming off the bench, but he's producing wildly.

Check out his career stats on Denver: 14.6 PPG, 48.6 FG%, 1.3 3PM, 5.1 REB, 2.0 AST, 1.1 STL.

A 2nd round pick in the 2012 draft, there is upside here in keepers/dynasties.

He's a definite grab in leagues of 14 or more, and he may even sustain value in standard leagues for the duration of the season.

Since none of his current production could realistically be predicted, I consider him a volatile asset. But a young asset that could be a good get in the long term...


Jimmy Butler, CHI, SG/SF

Allocate this one to the 'buzzkill' department.

Having an MVP type season, JB is out for 3-6 weeks. There is a BIT of ambiguity regarding his timeline, but all indications are that he's out for the rest of the Fantasy Basketball season.

I hate having to advise dropping one of the best players in Fantasy Basketball for the duration of the season in standard leagues, but I'm going to do just that.

You can't replace him. Let's just get that out of the way.

Nikola Mirotic has been beasting in Butler's absence, to the tune of 20 points and 7 rebounds a game over the last 7 days. With both Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler missing significant time, lots of usage is opening up on the Chicago roster. Mirotic is the get here (although it's probably too late to find him anywhere), but also grab Aaron Brooks if you can. Tony Snell is another Bulls player with elevated Fantasy value over the next few weeks...

In summation, it's time to play for blood.

While we all need to have a life, the hottest FA pickups are gonna be gone moments after they break out. If you CAN, follow nightly box scores in real time. If you're fighting for a playoff spot, you need every advantage you can get.

You can do this.

I have faith.

Now go implant Twitter into your brain.

You'll be glad you did.

You complete me.