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Category Strategy: Fishing with Leuer

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.

CATEGORY STRATEGY

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

POINTS

Jon Leuer, PF, Grizzlies
Leuer has scored 15 or more points in four straight games heading into Sunday, and is proving himself as a legitimate NBA scorer at the four. The Grizzlies are a sneaky candidate to do some tanking in the second half, which might involve trading Zach Randolph, at which point Leuer could start seeing even more steady minutes. There aren't a lot of guys on waivers who can steadily score close to 20 points when they're given the minutes, so while there is some risk of regression here, it's a risk worth taking if you're desperate for scoring. Leuer is available in 85 percent of Yahoo! leagues and 90 percent of ESPN leagues.

REBOUNDS

Al-Farouq Aminu, SF, Pelicans
I covered Aminu last week, but it bears repeating. You aren't going to find better rebounding numbers from a small forward unless you own Kevin Durant or LeBron James. He has averaged 11.8 boards, one block and 1.4 steals over his past five games, and is seeing a whopping 37 minutes per game over that stretch. I think trying to flip Aminu right before Anthony Davis comes back might be wise, but for now, you'd be hard pressed to find a better option for rebounds on the waiver wire. He is only owned in 13.1 percent of ESPN leagues and 19 percent of Yahoo! leagues.

ASSISTS

Jordan Farmar, PG, Lakers
Farmar could be a very sneaky add in most category leagues if assists are what you need. He is out with a hamstring injury right now, but he's close to returning, and the Lakers don't have another healthy point guard on the roster right now. Steve Blake will be out for at least six weeks with an elbow injury, and Steve Nash won't be playing starter's minutes if he does indeed take the court again in his career. Kobe Bryant has a history with Farmar, and would undoubtedly be in favor of sharing the backcourt with him, over guys like Xavier Henry and Nick Young. Now is the time to move on Farmar, before he rejoins the starting lineup, as he's owned in less than five percent of leagues.

STEALS

P.J. Tucker, SF, Suns
Tucker won't wow you with athleticism or a silky smooth jumper, but he hustles every night on both ends of the court, which has allowed him to see major minutes this season. The one category where he can be a difference maker is steals, as he's averaging 1.4 per game this season while earning a reliable 31.5 minutes per game. He's been especially useful of late, averaging two steals per game over his last four. Tucker, perhaps because of his bland style, is available in 95 percent of ESPN leagues and 84 percent of Yahoo! leagues. Marvin Williams, Patrick Beverley and Tony Allen are also all solid options here.

BLOCKS

Wesley Johnson, SG, Lakers
This is probably the weirdest suggestion I've made in this space this year, or at least the one that caught me the most by surprise. Johnson is averaging 1.4 blocks per game this year on the wing, while seeing just 25.7 minutes per game. Over his last two games, he is playing 35 minutes per game, and appears to be a part of the Lakers' plans going forward with Kobe Bryant, and if he continues to see big minutes, there could be even more blocks ahead. He has blocked at least one shot in nine of his last 10 games, and getting that production from a non-traditional position is very valuable. I don't think I'm the only one who has taken this long to catch on to what's going on with Johnson, as he's only owned in 13 percent of Yahoo! leagues and 6.5 percent of ESPN leagues.

THREE-POINTERS

Terrence Ross, SG, Raptors
The go get Terrence Ross hype might be a little overblown. The Raptors, in all their wisdom, gave John Salmons 28 minutes off the bench Saturday against the Bulls, so that could prove troubling. But one thing that I think we can safely say is that Ross will still be a reliable source of long-range shooting. He has averaged 5.5 three-point attempts over his last four contests, and is shooting 37.5 percent from downtown this season, so a couple treys per game seems like a reasonable expectation. Ross is owned in 19 percent of Yahoo! leagues and 6.4 percent of ESPN leagues.

FIELD-GOAL PERCENTAGE

Brandan Wright, PF, Mavericks
Wright will probably be a hot waiver option in the coming days, especially after he scored 19 points in 19 minutes in his season debut after missing the first six weeks with a non-displaced shoulder fracture. I love the skills. He would be a guy I'd be looking to add in every league if I knew the minutes would be there. Unfortunately coach Rick Carlisle has proven that he sees Wright as a reserve option, and at times the role he plays off the bench is pretty minimal. He has started just 47 games in his first five seasons and has never averaged 20 minutes per game for a season. That said, the one thing we know about Wright is that he's extremely efficient on offense. He was able to score 19 points in limited minutes Saturday because he was 9-of-10 from the field. Wright's a 57.6 percent shooter for his career, and he even posted a 61.8 percent rate in 2011-12. He won't take 10 shots every night, as the Mavs were without Dirk Nowitzki in Wright's debut, but he'll make most of the shots he takes, and in deeper leagues, that definitely has value.