Pick up C.J. Watson for this final week

April, 12, 2009
C.J. Watson, Warriors: 38 points (16-16 FT), 9 assists, 7 rebounds, 2 3-pointers at Utah.
Ben Gordon, Bulls: 39 points (13-25 FG), 7 3-pointers versus the Bobcats.
Richard Jefferson, Bucks: 35 points (13-21 FG), 9 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals versus the Thunder.
Dwight Howard, Magic: 7 points (2-7 FG), 8 rebounds, 4 blocks at New Jersey.
Gerald Wallace, Bobcats: 13 points, 3 rebounds, 2 3-pointers at Chicago.
Kevin Love, Timberwolves: 5 points (2-8 FG), 6 rebounds versus the Suns.

I know it's Easter, but my mind has drifted to another holiday. I'm thinking of the scene in "It's a Wonderful Life" when George Bailey and his guardian angel, Clarence, are in the bar, and George is puzzled by Nick the bartender's hostile attitude.

Clarence responds, "You'll see a lot of strange things from now on."

And that's where fantasy hoops owners are in these final days of the NBA regular season. It's like Pottersville, sans the bleakness. We're looking around, and we're not quite sure what we're seeing.

I mean, was that really C.J. Watson, in just his fourth start since December, carving up the Jazz for 38 points Saturday in Salt Lake? Is Sebastian Telfair, the 39-percent career shooter, really connecting at a 55-percent rate in April? Is Will fantasy's best Bynum over the next four days?

If you're still in the running for a fantasy championship, embrace this new, alternate reality. Between now and Wednesday, players like C.J., Bassy and Will Bynum could make a big difference in closely contested leagues.

Under the boards

After struggling with his shot for much of the season, Hedo Turkoglu ran off a nearly nine-game stretch of 49 percent shooting. I say "nearly" because Turkoglu sprained his left ankle in the fourth quarter at New Jersey and didn't return. The injury doesn't appear serious, but it's unlikely he'll play Monday at Milwaukee. Owners should probably cut ties with Turkoglu. … Here's my quick list of top free agents for the remainder of the season. And I'm emphasizing the word "free" here: Each of these players is available in more than 90 percent of ESPN.com leagues.

  1. C.J. Watson, PG, Warriors -- With Jamal Crawford sidelined by back problems, Watson has started the past two games. Fantasy owners could find him especially helpful in free throw percentage. Watson is a perfect 33-of-33 over his previous five games, including Saturday's robotic 16-of-16 performance. One caveat: Watson's minutes could slip slightly if Marco Belinelli returns for the final game or two.
  2. Lou Williams, SG, 76ers -- Williams is averaging 17.2 points and 1.8 steals since Thaddeus Young went down. Get him in your lineup for Tuesday, even if it is against Boston. That Sixers-Celtics game is one of only three on the schedule that night.
  3. Keyon Dooling, PG, Nets -- Devin Harris probably won't return this season, so Dooling (12 points and 10 assists Saturday) could get you some good numbers against the Bobcats and Knicks this week.
  4. Sebastian Telfair, PG, Timberwolves -- Telfair is indeed on a great run over his past five games: 18.2 points, 4.0 assists, 1.6 3s and 1.2 steals.
  5. Will Bynum, SG, Pistons -- Bynum isn't getting a ton of minutes (just 21 in his 16-point, 6-assist showing at Indiana), but his 20-plus attempts per 48 minutes this season shows he's not reluctant to put it up.
  6. Brandon Rush, SG/SF, Pacers -- Since returning to the starting lineup, Rush has turned in the occasional big game, like Saturday's 21 points and five triples versus the Pistons.
  7. Rodney Carney, SF, Timberwolves -- After missing two games with a hip injury, Carney returned with 17 points and six rebounds against the Suns. If you need 3s, the 25-year-old has shown he can sink them in bunches.
  8. Ronald Murray, SG, Hawks -- Tuesday's three-game slate also includes Atlanta hosting the Heat. It's a good time to roll the dice on Flip, since Miami surrenders the fifth-most 3-pointers.
  9. Jared Dudley, SF/PF, Suns -- This is a guard-heavy list, but with the Suns resting their regulars now, Dudley could contribute from the forward position. Surprisingly, Dudley is averaging 2.4 3s over his past five.
  10. Rob Kurz, SF, Warriors -- Kurz hadn't played much until Saturday, when he logged 38 minutes -- and scored 21 points with four treys -- at Utah. Even if he is one of only seven (maybe eight) healthy Warriors, it's hard to count on him. But if you need 3s, he's a tempting play when Golden State closes out the season at Phoenix on Wednesday.



You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?