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Category Strategy: Player B

James Anderson

James Anderson

James Anderson is a University of Minnesota graduate, with allegiances to the Packers, Brewers, Bucks (sigh) and Gophers (double sigh). He is an editor and scribe at Rotowire.com, primarily focused on basketball and baseball. In 2013 he was a FSWA finalist for Fantasy Basketball writer of the year.

So your team was sailing along smoothly en route to a top seed in your fantasy playoffs and a cake first round matchup. And then, all of a sudden, the boat capsized.

March is a fickle month that has laid waste to some of the best laid plans of fantasy basketball domination.

Consider the past two weeks for these two players:

Player A: 22.9 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 5.9 APG, 1.5 SPG, 1.1 BPG, 49.3 FG%
Player B: 19.1 PPG, 8.6 RPG, 1.6 APG, 2.4 SPG, 0.4 BPG, 62.2 FG%

Depending on what else was on your roster, these players probably offered similar value to fantasy teams over the past two weeks - a crucial stretch in many leagues.

Player A is LeBron James. Player B is Thaddeus Young.

There are plenty more examples like this out there. There are also players like Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony, Al Jefferson and DeMarcus Cousins, who have failed to live up to their high standards recently because of injury.

If you drafted Andrew Bynum or Kevin Love, you're probably reading a fantasy baseball article right now.

If you were feeling clever about drafting Tony Parker, you probably came up short in the regular season.

If you were feeling clever about drafting Kyrie Irving, you'll probably come up short in the playoffs.

The lesson here is to enjoy the ride. Don't take your league too seriously. Draft guys you want to root for; have fun on your league's message board; maybe place some in-season side bets and get together with your league mates to watch some games and have some drinks. Because only one person will take home the hardware, and a lot of what determines winning and losing is out of your control.

Now, on to the stuff you can control.

CATEGORY STRATEGY

Each week, this article highlights players who are widely available in standard leagues that can help in specific roto categories. While each player highlighted can help in a specific category, there's no guarantee for production in other areas.

POINTS

Martell Webster, SF, Wizards - Yahoo!: 36% ESPN: 45.2%
Last week, I highlighted Gerald Henderson here, and he's probably been snatched up in most leagues after scoring 73 points in three games last week, but if he's still out there, he's still my number one choice. Webster, however, has taken advantage of injuries to Bradley Beal and Trevor Ariza, and is averaging 21.8 points over his last five games. That won't continue once the Wizards are at full strength, but he's their hottest scorer and they're 4-1 over that stretch, so it's not like he's going to go away.

REBOUNDS

Reggie Evans, PF, Nets - Yahoo!: 15% ESPN: 12.5%
I know we've been over this before, but Evans should really be nearing universal ownership in mid-sized roto leagues. Over the last two weeks, he is averaging 14.6 boards per game, sandwiched between Dwight Howard (15.5 rpg) and Omer Asik (12.7 rpg). Rebounds seem to be the least glamorous stat, and Evans compounds that problem by being a pretty unexciting option. He doesn't have Kenneth Faried's braids, or Dennis Rodman's green hair and nipple piercings, but he will win you rebounds ... in the playoffs. I don't know what people are missing here. I know he padded those stats with a 24-rebound game against the Wizards, but who's to say he doesn't go get another 20-plus boards this week against the Suns? If he's already gone, Kosta Koufos is another option.

ASSISTS

Nate Robinson, PG, Bulls - Yahoo!: 40% ESPN: 46.1%
Draft assists, that's my Captain Hindsight advice. All the options in this category on waivers are flawed in some way. Even though Kirk Hinrich is expected to return on Monday, he's had a really hard time staying healthy, so Robinson still figures to see plenty of minutes at point for the Bulls, and he has averaged six assists over his last five games.

STEALS

Moe Harkless, SF, Magic - Yahoo!: 13% ESPN: 4.4%
Harkless has been killing it with 15 steals in his last five games, while seeing almost 30 minutes per night. Plus, you'd get to change your team name to Moe Money, Moe Problems.

BLOCKS

Brandan Wright, PF, Mavs - Yahoo!: 11% ESPN: 13%
Chris Kaman is averaging just 10.6 minutes per game over his last five, and Shawn Marion (strained calf) won't be returning in the short term, so Wright will get plenty of run. It's surprising that it took this long for him to become a bigger part of the Mavs' rotation, given that whenever he plays, he's the model of efficiency. He has averaged two blocks over his last five, while also shooting 65.9 percent from the field, making him the number one pick up for field-goal percentage as well. Jermaine O'Neal is another solid option for blocks.

THREE-POINTERS

Matt Barnes, SF, Clippers - Yahoo!: 30% ESPN: 23.9%
Even though Caron Butler will be rejoining the starting lineup, pushing Barnes to the bench, he is still a great option, as he was doing most of his damage as a reserve. Over the Clippers' last five games, they're 2-0 when Barnes hits more than two three-pointers and they're 0-3 when he does not. He has an important role on this team, and it's hitting corner threes. He's averaged three makes from long distance over his last five games and should continue to produce. Webster and Dorell Wright are also good options here.

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