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Category Strategy: New Faces for Wizards

Kevin Payne

Kevin Payne

Kevin has worked for Rotowire just under a decade and has covered basketball, baseball and football. A glutton for punishment, he roots for his hometown Bills, Sabres and the New York Yankees. He hosts the RotoWire SiriusXM show every Wednesday and Friday and you can follow him on Twitter @KCPayne26.

MINUTES

Each week we'll look at players who have received increased minutes. An uptick in minutes doesn't always translate into improved fantasy stats but it at least offers some players to put on the radar.

Jan Vesely, F, Kevin Seraphin, F, WAS
A few new faces are getting significant minutes for the Wizards these days thanks to deadline trades and injuries. Vesely started the last two games for the injured Trevor Booker, playing 35 and 39 minutes. He totaled 24 points, 11 rebounds and four assists in those two contests and should continue to see a lot of floor time while Booker is out. Last year's No. 6 overall pick is shooting a solid 53.9 percent from the floor this season but only 52 percent from the charity stripe. Seraphin has filled in for the injured Nene Hilario, Seraphin also made his second straight start Monday and has played 33, 35 and 35 minutes, respectively, over his last three contests. He's had a little more success than Vesely, averaging 15 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.3 assists. Seraphin is also a solid shot blocker, avering 1.2 blocks per game this season despite averaging only 17.1 minutes per contest. Don't expect the Wizards to rush anybody back with the team competing for draft pick position, so both players could continue to see 30-plus minutes per game.

Terrence Williams, G, SAC
In a bizarre game Monday night that saw Luke Ridnour and Marcus Thornton leave due to injury, Williams posted 12 points, 12 rebounds, three assists and two steals. The third-year pro out of Louisville who started the season with the Houston Rockets has been stuck behind Thornton and John Salmons, which is why he hasn't made an impact until Monday night. With Thornton slated to be out for Tuesday night's tilt, Williams will start and have another chance to prove himself. If Thornton's injury proves significant, Williams could get some solid run through the end of the season.

J.J. Barea, G, MIN
Going back to the "bizarre" game from Monday night, it appears Luke Rudnour will be out indefinitely with a calf injury and will miss at least Wednesday night's game. As a result, Barea could return then and take over starting point-guard duty. Barea has been dealing with a thigh injury and missed the last six games. Before being sidelined, Barea had consecutive games of double-digit points and assists, including a triple-double, speaking to his upside when healthy. Ridnour has been banged up most of the season, and if Barea can return and be productive, the Timberwolves might give him extra time to heal. Barea is worth a speculative add at least to see if the Ridnour injury is more serious than the Wolves are letting on.

CATEGORIES

Each week we'll look at players who can help your fantasy team in the standard nine categories. Remember, while each player highlighted can help in a certain category, there's no guarantee he will contribute in other areas.

Scoring

Courtney Lee, G, HOU
With both Kevin Martin and Kyle Lowry on the mend, Lee has seen plenty of court time. The guard out of Western Kentucky averaged 40.2 minutes over his last four games and scored in double digits in each of those contests. Lee has nine steals and five blocks during that time and contributes a handful of assists and rebounds as well. If he doesn't tire from the increase in minutes, he's a viable option for consistent scoring.

Assists

Delonte West, G, DAL
The Mavericks couldn't have gotten West back at a better time with Jason Kidd showing how much he's entered the twilight of his career. Kidd, who is out the next week with a "strained groin," averaged 5.3 points and four assists in his previous four games. Kidd is shooting a career-low 34.6 percent from the floor and averaging 5.2 assists per game, down three assists from last season's 8.2 APG mark. There likely will be a new starting point guard in Dallas come next season. Back to West, who has nine assists in his last two games and started Monday in place of Kidd. While Roddy Beaubois is in the mix, it appears West will handle the bulk of point-guard duty while Kidd is out. Keep in mind that West has the ability to fill the stat sheet with his skillset and could be in line for the bulk of point-guard minutes even after Kidd returns.

Rebounds

Byron Mullens, C, CHA
Mullens started in favor of the underachieving Tyrus Thomas on Saturday and rewarded his coach's decision with 20 points, nine rebounds, two steals and two blocks. At this point there shouldn't be any question that Mullens should be starting for the rest of the season given his success vs. Thomas'. Mullens should be a reliable source of "big man" stats, and his 85.5 percent from the free-throw line this season is an elite stat among centers in the Association.

ELIGIBILITY

Always check your league's eligibility rules to make sure a player qualifies.

Cartier Martin, WAS
Now eligible at guard