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Category Strategy: To The Point

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).


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.


Darren Collison, PG, Clippers
The Clippers have won 10 games in a row, and 13 of their last 15. An under-the-radar reason for that is the stellar play from Darren Collison over that stretch, as injuries to Jamal Crawford and J.J. Redick have allowed him to step into a major role alongside Chris Paul. In seven March games, he's averaging 16.3 points (on 49.4 percent shooting) with 3.4 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.3 three-pointers in 35.6 minutes. Upon Jamal Crawford's return from injury, it's doubtful he'll be able to be quite as effective, but he's certainly proven to be among the Clippers top five or six players, so he should remain a major part of the rotation. He is owned in 50 percent of ESPN leagues and 38 percent of Yahoo! leagues.


P.J. Tucker, SF, Suns
Tucker has 48 rebounds over his last five games, which is pretty special coming from the small forward spot. At this point in the season, everyone knows what Tucker is good at -- rebounding and solid steals totals (1.3 per game on the season) -- and people should also know that he's not going to help a ton in any offensive categories. But given how productive he can be on the glass, he should be owned in more than the 26 percent of Yahoo! leagues and 20 percent of ESPN leagues in which he's rostered.


Kendall Marshall, PG, Lakers
I pointed Marshall out in this spot last week, but I've been seeing him dropped in some of my leagues, despite the fact that he remains a great source of assists, even if he provides little else. He is really struggling with his shot right now, but it hasn't affected his playing time, and shooting slumps can end. The most important thing to remember is that he's averaging 9.6 assists over the last two weeks, which is third in the entire NBA over that span, behind Ty Lawson and Chris Paul. That kind of production shouldn't be widely available, and Marshall is available in 60 percent of Yahoo! leagues and 35 percent of ESPN leagues.


Shaun Livingston, PG, Nets
Livingston has been on a defensive tear lately, averaging 2.4 steals in 31 minutes over his last five contests. The Nets seem to be resigned to the fact that playing Livingston, Paul Pierce, Joe Johnson and Deron Williams together could be their best lineup, and in that scenario, Livingston can get matched up against slower players who he can really pester defensively. He's a bit of a specialist, as he doesn't contribute much in scoring, but he's good for three-plus rebounds and assists per game, which is somewhat useful. Right now, he's owned in less than 15 percent of Yahoo! leagues and just over five percent of ESPN leagues.


Kyle O'Quinn, PF, Magic
O'Quinn has two-plus blocks in four of his last five games, averaging 2.4 swats over that stretch. He's only seeing 20.8 minutes per game of late, but that seems to be trending up, ever so slightly. He's not a major contributor elsewhere but won't hurt you either, as he doesn't get to the free-throw line, and he's a 50 percent shooter from the field. He's available in 91 percent of Yahoo! leagues and 97 percent of ESPN leagues. Chris Andersen is another solid option here.


James Anderson, SG, Sixers
The key thing here is that Anderson is averaging 6.6 three-point attempts in 34.2 minutes over his last five contests. He's only averaging 2.2 makes on 33.3 percent shooting from behind the arc over that stretch, but the attempts and minutes suggest little variance going forward, as long as he stays a key member of the Sixers' rotation. He's owned in 22 percent of Yahoo! leagues and 11.3 percent of ESPN leagues.