Under the Radar
By Kevin Payne
RotoWire Staff Writer
As the last couple of weeks of the NBA season are upon us, it is important now as ever to watch the waiver wire. Teams out of the playoff hunt will start giving minutes to bench players, to determine if they have a future with their team. Stars dealing with nagging injuries will be shut down to protect them for next season. This will open up playing time for someone who should be hungry after sitting the bench most of the season. Players will be called up from the D-League and be given a two-week audition to see if they are ready to contribute next season.
The addition of a free agent for the last couple weeks could mean the difference between winning your league or moving up a spot or two in the standings. Now is also a good time to evaluate prospects for your draft next season. Despite where you finish, you know you'll be back for next year.
This week the injuries to Baron Davis, Kevin Garnett and Stephen Jackson has opened up playing time for some of their teammates, ready to contribute to your fantasy squad. Take a look below to find out who's taken off the warm-ups.
Now onto our weekly look at minutes, categories and player eligibility.
Here is the list of players who have seen an increase in playing time the last few games or expect to see an increase in the upcoming schedule.
Anthony Morrow, G, GSW - Morrow will be counted on to pick up the scoring slack now that teammate Stephen Jackson has been shut down for the year with a toe injury. Morrow has played at least 35 minutes the last three games and should continue to see time the final nine games of the season. He's averaged 19 points and three treys per game over those last three. Anthony has riden the bench most of the season, so he should still be fresh for the stretch run. Just realize he is not going to contribute to other categories.
Glen Davis, F, BOS - Davis has done his best to fill Kevin Garnett's big shoes while the All-World forward has been sidelined with a knee injury. News came out Tuesday that Garnett will miss at least the next four games and be eased back into the lineup the last few games of the season. Davis has done an admirable job, averaging 14.6 points and 10 rebounds per game over his last three. He's averaged 36 minutes a night in the last week and will continue to be a double-double threat with KG on the mend.
Mike Taylor, F, LAC - Taylor has been running the point while Baron Davis is nursing a calf strain and stomach ulcers. Taylor has made the most of his opportunity, averaging 23 points, 4.6 rebounds, four assists and a steal per game over his last three. He knocked knees with Yao Ming last game, so check the injury report for his status. It sounded like it's only a bruise as he would be an adequate fill-in as long as Davis is out.
Chris Douglas-Roberts, G, NJ - Another former Memphis star played well Monday night in a blowout loss to the Bucks. He scored 14 points, grabbed four rebounds and handed out three assists. Chris's playing time has been sporadic to say the least, but he has games of 14, 14 and 18 points over the last two weeks. Coach Lawrence Frank could reward him with a longer look these last few games, so grab him as a darkhorse if you have an open spot on your bench.
This is a list of players who can help your fantasy squad in specific categories.
Will Bynum, G, DET - Bynum has been fantastic lately for the Pistons, both as a starter and a spark off the bench. During two games that Allen Iverson missed last week, he totaled 45 points and 20 assists. Iverson has returned to the lineup, but Bynum has earned himself a bigger role for the remainder of the year. He's also someone to keep in mind as a sleeper for next season.
Jeff Foster, C, IND - With Troy Murphy out, Foster has filled in nicely for the Pacers. He's not going to score a lot, but he's one of the best rebounders in the league. Over his last three games, he's averaged 14.3 boards, including a game against the Bulls where he had 18. With Indiana playing out a lost season, Foster may continue to post these numbers if Murphy shuts it down. Keep in mind that he's a one-trick pony in the fantasy world.
Rodney Carney, G, MIN - The former Memphis star has been lighting it up from long distance as of late. He's hit 11 threes over his last three games and has scored double-digits in four of his last five. On the season, he's shooting a career-high 35.5 percent from beyond the arc. Carney played a season-high 32 minutes on Sunday night, and should see significant playing time down the stretch.
The following players have received eligibility at a new position in the NBA.