Y’all, the pickins continue to dwindle. Steph Curry is now out for the rest of the regular season (probably). If Curry’s on your team, then you’re now desperately seeking scoring. Here are 10 players who are widely available in ESPN leagues who can help you stream some points, along with other valuable counting stats, to help make up for losing Steph.
(All numbers and stats courtesy of NBA.com, ESPN.com, and Basketball-Reference.com. Thank you!)
DE’ANDRE HUNTER, ATL, SF/PF, 12.7% ROSTERED (ESPN LEAGUES)
LAST 15 DAYS: 18 Points Per Game, 2.4 Rebounds Per Game, 1.1 Assists Per Game, 2.1 3-Pointers Made Per Game
The 24-year-old Hawk’s on a bit of a streak lately. Hunter’s scored 20+ points in his last two games, and he’s playing the second-most minutes on Atlanta (after Ice Trae Young, natch). Trae’s out with a quad injury (fingers crossed it isn’t serious!), so Hunter could see a heavier load on offense in the near term. If he’s available in your league, add him and enjoy the scoring, especially since it’s possible that the young Hawk’s blossoming into some of the potential that made him such an intriguing fantasy player. Could be he’s a sneaky good dynasty add, as well as a useful player for the rest of this season.
KENTAVIOUS CALDWELL-POPE, WAS, SG/SF, 19.4% ROSTERED
LAST 15: 17.7 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 3 APG, 1.3 Steals Per Game, 2.7 3PM
Y’know, only 27 players are averaging 3+ boards, 3+ dimes, 2+ treys, and 1+ thefts per game on the season, and ALLA those players are highly rostered in fantasy. KCP hasn’t done that on the season, but he’s providing those counting stats now. He’s averaging the second-most minutes and the third-most shots per game for the Wizards recently. He’s not yet 30, and he could be a useful fantasy player for several more years, especially if he gets to play off of Kristaps Porzingis and Bradley Beal next year. As for this year, with Beal out, KCP and Kristaps are the premier perimeter scoring threats on the Wizzle-Wazzles, while Kyle Kuzma, Flint’s Finest, continues his impressive campaign in Washington.
LONNIE WALKER IV, SAS, SF/SG, 6.7% ROSTERED
LAST 15: 17.3 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 1.7 APG, 2.9 3PM
Walker the Fourth can give you duds some nights, especially since he’s mainly just a scoring threat, but when he’s on, he’s FIRE. He’s had THREE 20+ point games in a row. If you’ve lost Curry, then you need pure scoring off the waiver wire. Walker won’t give you much else besides points, but who cares? You need points! You can find the peripheral counting stats elsewhere.
DARIUS BAZLEY, OKC, SF/PF, 18.5% ROSTERED
LAST 15: 15.9 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 2.1 APG, 1 SPG, 0.9 Blocks Per Game, 2.1 3PM
Listen, I know you’re not watching Thunder games, and that’s okay. But, there’s fantasy value on bad teams, ESPECIALLY when there are good players on those bad teams. Only 21 players are averaging 15/6/2 and 1 SPG this season, and only SEVEN are doing that with 0.9 BPG, too. Bazley’s line on the season isn’t included in those groups, but he’s delivering those counting stats recently. He’s third in minutes and shots on the Thunder the past two weeks, and now Shai Gilgeous-Alexander may be out with an injury, which will only increase Bazley’s role. Getting a near STOCKS guy (1+ SPG and 1+ BPG) is fantasy gold, but when you combine it with some solid scoring and some nice rebound production, you’ve got yourself a platinum player. Take advantage of a good situation: Bazley’s getting volume on a team with very little competition for those minutes and shots. He’s been a top 50 player in basic fantasy the last two weeks. Time to pick him up.
DORIAN FINNEY-SMITH, DAL, SF/PF, 24% ROSTERED
LAST 15: 15.5 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 1.8 APG, 3.2 3PM
DFS has been a top 100 player on the season, and he’s been nailing those threes recently. Finney-Smith is shooting 54% from the floor the past two weeks, and he’s benefiting from Reggie Bullock’s continued absence. DFS is a solid player on a playoff team, providing nice counting stats for fantasy teams. The plethora of perimeter shots will tail off, but his efficiency may maintain. I prefer some of the other players on this list more, but DFS’s role as the best perimeter defender on the Mavericks means his minutes are secure. He’s a safe streamer, in other words.
LAURI MARKKANEN, CLE, PF/SF, 45.5% ROSTERED
LAST 15: 15.1 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 1.1 APG, 1.1 SPG, 2 3PM
The Finnisher is closing out the season strong, which is nice for the Cavaliers since their players keep dropping like flies. 15 and 6 is good fantasy production off the wire no matter what time of season it is, especially with the 3PM. Markkanen’s role on offense is even more important with Jarrett Allen out indefinitely (especially since Rookie of the Year candidate Evan Mobley is now in the paint at Center).
IMMANUEL QUICKLEY, NYK, PG, 6.5% ROSTERED
LAST 15: 14.5 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 4 APG, 1 SPG, 1.8 3PM
Well, the Knicks still aren’t starting him, but Quickley’s getting volume off the bench, so much so that he’s been a top 50 player in fantasy the past two weeks. Getting nearly six boards from a guard is HELLA useful, and combine that with his scoring and his dimes, and you see why Quick’s been rated so highly. There’s a chance, A CHANCE, that Tom Thibodeau relents and starts Quickley down the stretch over Alec Burks, but even if Quickley remains on the bench he’s proved that he can still be a great fantasy player. He’s 22 years old, by the way.
CAMERON PAYNE, PHX, PG, 40.2% ROSTERED
LAST 15: 14.1 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 9.8 APG (!!!!), 1.3 SPG, 1.8 3PM
Nearly TEN assists per game simply can’t be left on the waiver wire. If CamPayne is available in your league, ADD HIM RIGHT NOW, RIGHT THIS VERY MINUTE. The Suns are averaging MORE assists per game with Chris Paul out! Payne’s one of the reasons why. He’s the sort of player that can help you win fantasy championships, no doubt. If you lost Curry and/or CP3, then CamPayne is your winning ticket. His rostership should be double what it currently is. He’s been a top 50 player recently, and he’ll stay that way for the rest of the season. Again, PICK HIM UP RIGHT NOW.
MONTE MORRIS, DEN, PG, 32.6% ROSTERED
LAST 15: 13.5 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 4.9 APG, 1 SPG, 1.6 3PM
Morris is another top 50 player who’s widely available. He’s dishing dimes as the Nuggets continue to ascend in the standings, and he’s absolutely worthy of being on your fantasy team for the rest of the regular season. He’s another player you just can’t allow to languish on the wire, he’s been too valuable in fantasy recently to be ignored.
ANDRE DRUMMOND, BK, C, 48.6% ROSTERED
LAST 15: 11.9 PPG, 9.1 RPG, 1 APG, 1.1 BPG
This is a no-brainer: the Nets NEED Drum’s production in the paint, so he’ll continue to get his minutes. The scoring won’t impress you, but the boards sure will. If he can keep his blocks up, too, then he’s a really nice option for a big man as we wind down the regular season. Nine rebounds per game doesn’t usually just materialize at this point in fantasy, so add him before your playoffs start, just so that no one else can benefit from his counting stats.