Ronnie Brewer, Riip Hamilton worth adding

January, 26, 2012
Ronnie Brewer had a great game for the Bulls on Wednesday night against the Pacers while filling in for Luol Deng, and since Deng is going to be missing a significant bit of time, Brewer is someone you should consider adding in fantasy leagues. He always has shot a fairly high percentage for a shooting guard, but his real potential value is in steals, a category in which he has averaged better than 1.0 per game every year since his rookie season.

Elsewhere on the Bulls, Deng's injury probably means more minutes for Richard Hamilton as well, and Hamilton will definitely get his chances to score. He managed 17 points against the Pacers, but he led the team with 20 field goal attempts. If he can find his stroke, he could be a good source of points and 3s, and will probably chip in some assists and strong free throw shooting as well.

Looking Back

Tyrus Thomas is always a pretty good player to own when he's healthy because of his ability to rack up blocks and steals, and Wednesday night was no exception. Thomas had nine blocks and four steals against the Wizards, almost completely making up for his terrible shooting and rebounding numbers to this point in the season. He's never going to be a great all-around fantasy guy, but if you need help in the defense stats, he'll be worth playing as long as he remains healthy.

Austin Daye finally showed up for the Pistons in their loss to the Miami Heat, finishing with 28 points, six rebounds and four 3-pointers. Even with Daye's potential, I'd like to see him put together a few games like this before I make any major roster changes on his behalf.

Andrew Bogut sprained his ankle pretty badly in the Bucks' win over the Rockets, and given his injury history, it's reasonable to guess he might be out awhile. Certainly we'll have to keep an eye on his status until we hear something conclusive. His absence could mean extra minutes for Drew Gooden, who is a good source for rebounds when he gets playing time.

Andrea Bargnani had a big game with 25 points in the Raptors' double-overtime win over the Jazz, but he also reinjured his calf, and early indications are that he could end up missing quite a bit of time. If that's the case, you may want to look into adding Linas Kleiza, who also had 25 points for the Raptors on Wednesday night and could replace some of Bargnani's 3-point prowess.

Tiago Splitter has been carving out some effective minutes for the Spurs of late. After posting 16 points and eight rebounds in 20 minutes against the Hawks, he's averaging 14.6 points on 72.5 percent shooting to go along with 7.4 rebounds over his past five games. He's done some of that coming off the bench and some filling in for Tim Duncan, but I'm expecting he'll be able to produce reasonably well as long as he keeps playing more than 20 minutes per game.

Ty Lawson played just 15 minutes for the Nuggets before leaving with a sprained ankle in their blowout win over the Kings. No word yet on whether he'll miss any more time, but if he does, it goes without saying that you'll want to make sure Andre Miller is in your lineup, especially with the way the Nuggets have been rolling on offense of late.

Jimmer Fredette started for the Kings in place of Marcus Thornton, and Fredette could be a good source of 3-pointers (he made five against the Nuggets) with Thornton out a week or two because of a bruised left quad. On the other hand, the Kings got crushed with Fredette in the lineup, so maybe they'll look at other possibilities. If you don't need 3s, he's definitely not worth the risk.

Looking Ahead

Rajon Rondo is probable for the Celtics for Thursday night's game against the Magic, but with Ray Allen and Mickael Pietrus both out (and Keyon Dooling questionable), the Celtics will be thin in the backcourt. There's no one worth starting in their place on the Celtics roster, but in really deep leagues, it's worth noting that Avery Bradley had three steals against the Magic on Monday night and could certainly do that again Thursday.

Chauncey Billups has been absolutely terrible shooting the ball in the Clippers' last two games, going 2-for-17 combined. That's not going to get any better versus Tony Allen and the Grizzlies on the second night of a back-to-back. If you have anyone you could play instead of Billups, Thursday night would probably be the time to do it.



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