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Category Strategy: Three-Point Darkhorse

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.

The big basketball news from Tuesday was the rumor that Carmelo Anthony could be headed to the Lakers for a deal that includes Andrew Bynum. Late reports said the rumor was false, as the Lakers believe Bynum is the future of the franchise. First, I'm beyond sick of the Anthony rumors that have been happening far too frequently. I understand that the trade deadline (Feb. 24) is looming and that rumors will be rampant, but the Anthony stuff has gone on for months. If you had to take a side of where 'Melo ends up, would you take the Knicks or the field at this point? Going back to Andrew Bynum, I see his upside, honestly. The Lakers do too, and with the dearth of quality big men in the NBA, it makes sense to hold him in such high regard. However, he's starting to strike me as Greg Oden-lite as far as the knee injuries are concerned. Including this season, he's missed significant time the last four years with knee injuries. I just hope as a fan of the game he stays healthy and doesn't become Mr. "what-if" when you think about his per-36 minute stats.

-- He's owned in more leagues than not, but should Ty Lawson be sitting on your waiver wire? Throw him on your bench immediately as Carmelo probably won't be the only Nugget headed out of town. Generally speaking, if you have a deep bench take a proactive approach as trade rumors start to swirl. When trades finally go down, don't just look at where a player lands but how it impacts his teammates left behind.

-- With All-Star weekend coming up quickly, any predictions about the following? Between Ray Allen, Kevin Durant, Daniel Gibson, James Jones, Paul Pierce or Dorell Wright, who do you like for the three-point contest? Durant is only shooting 34.7 percent from beyond the arc this season, so he's out in my book. I like Ray Allen but being a jump-shooter could tire him out. If he does win, it'll be the 10th anniversary of his first title in the contest. I'm actually going to go with darkhorse Daniel Gibson. In the dunk contest, I'm sticking with the guy who's made the highlight reel more than anyone else in the Association this year with Blake Griffin. I'm curious to see what DeMar DeRozen has up his sleeve.


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 at the very least offers some players to put on the radar.

Raja Bell, G, UTA
Bell has found his shooting touch for the Jazz lately, averaging 13.7 points in 36.5 minutes per game over his last four. At 34, he's not the same player he was in his prime with Phoenix, but he's surrounded by enough talent to see enough open shots. He averages more than a three-pointer made per game and will chip in a few assists and rebounds if he sustains this kind of playing time.

Sonny Weems, G, TOR
Weems averaged 31.6 minutes in his last three games, filling in for the injured Linas Kleiza. During that span he's averaged 10.7 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists, which, while not eye-popping, suggests some upside. See if he continues to grow in his new role and can improve enough to put himself on the fantasy radar.

Christian Eyenga, G, CLE
Let's not discuss the state of the union in Cleveland. Eyenga finds himself thrust into the starting lineup and could be a prime example of a player who has fantasy value on a poor team. The 6-foot-5 rookie from Congo has scored double-digits in four straight games while averaging four rebounds and three blocks/steals. He's an interesting player to keep an eye on as he has the potential to contribute across the board in roto leagues on any given night.


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


DeJuan Blair, C, SA
Blair pulled has hit the 12-rebound mark in four of his last five games and Tuesday score 18 points in the process. Only 6-7, Blair relies on using his stature to eat up space in the middle to clean the glass. He's now had 10 games with at least nine rebounds since the calendar turned 2011, and there's no reason to think he can't continue his success. Only 21, the future in the paint for the Spurs will continue to tilt toward him and away from Tim Duncan.


Eddie House, G, MIA
Remember in summer when Mike Miller was supposed to be the solid outside shooter to help the "Big Three" in South Beach? Lately that distinction has been bestowed upon House, whose three-pointer essentially won the game for the Heat on Jan. 30. House now has scored double-digits (13.3 per) in four straight games while hitting 11 threes in the process. He's shooting a lofty 44.4 percent from beyond the arc and has shot 24-for-25 (96 percent) from the charity stripe. While that isn't a lot of free-throw attempts, that could change as Miami looks to put the ball in his hands when holding a close lead at the end of a game.


Jason Thompson, F
Thompson has always had the knack for rebounding; oddly he only grabbed three boards but chipped in 14 points in 34 minutes Monday. Since Jan. 15, Thompson has had six games of 28 minutes or more. The key for the big man out of Rider is to stay out of foul trouble. Even with the progress teammate DeMarcus Cousins has made, Thompson could find some value in deep leagues.


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

Greg Monroe, DET
Now eligible at center
Tracy McGrady, DET
Now eligible at point guard