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Category Strategy: Farmar Flier

James Anderson

James Anderson

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

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

Andray Blatche, PF, Nets
With Brook Lopez out for the season, Blatche becomes a must-add in all formats, as he clearly has the ability to step into an increased role and put up solid numbers. In six December games, he is averaging 15.0 points and 6.5 boards on 48.5 percent shooting in 25 minutes per game. His per-36 minute averages dating back to the start of last season are 19.3 points and 9.6 boards, with more than a block and a steal per game. In all likelihood, he won't see 36 minutes per night, but going forward, he'll see more than the 25 minutes per game he's been averaging of late, and thus his scoring contribution will be a valuable addition to most fantasy lineups. Blatche is owned in 36 percent of Yahoo! leagues and 38.3 percent of ESPN leagues. Nick Young, Reggie Jackson, Avery Bradley and Jon Leuer are also solid options.

REBOUNDS

Giannis Antetokounmpo, SF, Bucks
Since joining the starting lineup, Giannis has been a trendy add in deeper leagues, and for good reason. He contributes a little in every category, and when you watch him play, his potential appears limitless. However, rebounds are the category where he offers the most value. Over his last six games, he is averaging 6.7 rebounds in 31.9 minutes. For a guy who is eligible at shooting guard in many formats, that's a pretty elite number. For instance, Kobe Bryant's career-best rebounding rate was 6.9 per game in 2002-03. It's a small sample for the Greek Freak, but it's production that's tough to pass up if you need rebounding help, especially given the potential for increased production as he continues to become acclimated to the NBA game. He is owned in 17 percent of Yahoo! leagues and 6.4 percent of ESPN leagues.

ASSISTS

Jordan Farmar, PG, Lakers
I still like Farmar more than most options available in standard leagues. His return to the court was delayed slightly, but when he does finally get back out there, he will be running the show at point guard in an offense that really lends itself to racking up assists. Farmar is owned in just eight percent of Yahoo! leagues and 1.5 percent of ESPN leagues. If D.J. Augustin proves to be a solid add the rest of the way, I'm more than comfortable letting him do it on someone else's team. He is a career 39.9 percent shooter from the field, and has averaged 5.8 assists per-36 minutes in his time in the league. Don't buy into his recent success. As always, trading for someone to help with assists is probably the ideal move. A guy like Jeff Teague, who is shooting just 40.6 percent from the field is an excellent buy-low option. His eight assists per game are a career best, and he is a 44.5 percent shooter from the floor for his career, so his efficiency should trend up.

STEALS

Tony Allen, SG, Grizzlies
This is pretty boring, but he's a tried and true option here, and there isn't much on waivers that really comes close. He is averaging a career-high 2.1 steals per game, and since the 2010-11 season, Allen has averaged 1.7 thefts per game, so he's about as reliable as it gets. Allen has even stepped it up on offense of late, averaging 17.0 points, 8.7 rebounds and 3.3 assists over his last three games. Those numbers won't hold up, but it's nice to know he's capable of such spurts. He is owned in almost half of Yahoo! leagues, but he is available in over 90 percent of ESPN leagues.

BLOCKS

Brandan Wright, PF, Mavericks
Last week I said Wright would be a good add for those who need help in field-goal percentage. While that still stands (he is shooting 71 percent from the field through four games), he has also become a valuable source of blocks. His 2.3 swats per game will drop off as the season continues, but it's certainly possible that he continues to block at least 1.5 shots per game if he's seeing 20-plus minutes per game (right now he's at 21.8 mpg). In each of the previous two seasons, he averaged at least 1.2 bpg while seeing less than 20 minutes per contest. While the minutes may not suggest he offers much value, he's proving to be a capable contributor in several categories. Wright is owned in 26 percent of Yahoo! leagues and 7.6 percent of ESPN leagues. Wesley Johnson had three more blocks last week, so I still like him here too as someone who can help with blocks from the small forward or shooting guard spot.

THREE-POINTERS

Mirza Teletovic, SF, Nets
Teletovic downed six treys on 13 attempts in Friday's game while seeing almost 33 minutes of court time. This is a bit of a risky add, considering he played just nine minutes in the previous game, but in the five games prior to that, the 28-year-old Bosnian averaged two makes from downtown in 20 minutes per game, meaning his nine-minute outing was probably the outlier. He is owned in just five percent of Yahoo! leagues and 0.2 percent of ESPN leagues. Marco Belinelli is also a great option, although the ceiling is a little lower.