Working the Wire
By Charlie Zegers
RotoWire Hoops Editor
Beno Udrih (SAC) - We've gotten a lot of questions recently that start like "I'm fed up with Udrih. Should I drop him for…" That tells me he might be available in a lot of leagues. Udrih has been fairly awful to start the season. But he was hampered by a hip injury at the end of the preseason, and his coach, Reggie Theus, is reportedly experimenting with having Kevin Martin initiate the offense more. In other words… there are perfectly reasonable explanations for the slow start, and he could break out of this mini-slump at any time.
Steve Blake (POR) - It's easy to overlook him in favor of flashier teammates like Brandon Roy or Rudy Fernandez, but the steady Blake is producing some credible numbers this season - particularly after you average in his surprise 20-point game against Orlando on Sunday. He won't generate huge assist totals, but he'll compensate with good three-point shooting.
Tony Allen (BOS) - As an "instant offense off the bench" player, Allen has the potential to put up very good numbers on occasion - 23 points, five boards and two steals against Detroit on November 9, for example. Of course, the next night he was scoreless in 13 minutes against the Raptors. He might not generate big scoring numbers on a consistent basis, but he's just a hair under 10 points per game on the season, and he's generating 1.5 steals a night.
Juan Dixon (WAS) - Dixon has been elevated to the starting lineup in Washington. That's worth noting - remember, both Antonio Daniels and Roger Mason were valuable fantasy contributors while running the Wizards' offense in Gilbert Arenas' absence last season.
Chris Quinn (MIA) - Quinn is getting significant minutes off the bench for Miami and making his presence felt, particularly from long distance. Quinn is 10-of-15 from three in the Heat's last three games.
Mario Chalmers (MIA) - Like Quinn, Chalmers should be a good source of threes. Unlike Quinn, he's also an adept thief, averaging 2.4 steals per game.
Sebastian Telfair (MIN) - Back in the lineup after serving a league-imposed three-game suspension to start the season, Telfair is averaging 10 points and seven assists in three games. He should continue to produce if given around 25-28 minutes a night, which seems like a reasonable estimate.
Some players to consider at other positions:
Nick Young (WAS) - Young has exceeded all expectations this season, scoring 16.6 points per game and shooting 55 percent from the floor through Washington's first five games. He's earned a bigger role in coach Eddie Jordan's rotation.
Marquis Daniels (IND) - Daniels is making the most of Mike Dunleavy's absence, averaging 14.8 points, 6.3 boards, 3.0 assists and 1.3 steals through Indiana's first six contests. The Pacers still don't know when they'll get Dunleavy back on the floor, so Daniels should retain his value for a little while longer.
Trevor Ariza (LAL) - Ariza has emerged as a valuable player in Phil Jackson's rotation and a key part of the Lakers' outstanding defense. He's scoring just under 10 points per game, grabbing five boards and two steals and shooting over 48 percent from the floor. (But watch out for his free throw shooting.)
Darrell Arthur (MEM) - Arthur, you may recall, was projected as a late lottery pick… but a story about a kidney ailment - which turned out to be incorrect - sent his stock dropping faster than General Motors. All those teams that passed on the Kansas star are kicking themselves today. Splitting time at the four spot with Hakim Warrick in Memphis, Arthur has already posted two double-doubles and has scored in double figures in three straight games.
Andrea Bargnani (TOR) - Point totals for Bargnani through Toronto's first seven games: zero, 19, zero, 12, nine, 18, 2. If you play him every other game, you're golden. Joking aside, Bargnani is a major threat from long-range - he's shooting better than 50 percent from three this season. He's also much-improved in the paint, with 1.6 blocks per game - more than triple his average from last season.
Article first appeared on 11/12/08