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Category Strategy: Not Always Fun, But Functional

James Anderson

James Anderson is RotoWire's Lead Prospect Analyst, Assistant Baseball Editor, and co-host of Farm Fridays on Sirius/XM radio and the RotoWire Prospect Podcast.


Each week, this article highlights players who are widely available in standard leagues that can help in specific roto categories. However, the information is still highly relevant in points leagues and deeper leagues. Remember, while each player highlighted can help in a specific category, there's no guarantee for production in other areas.


Ed Davis, PF, Raptors - With Jonas Valanciunas and Andrea Bargnani sidelined, Davis has been seeing pretty significant run. He's averaging 33.6 minutes per game over his last five contests, and has been very productive, minus a ho-hum outing in his most recent game against the Thunder (although he still played 34 minutes). Davis is unique in the fact that he is available and can really help in field goal percentage. He's taking 10-plus shots and hitting at a 53.8 percent clip over his last five games. In 12-team leagues, he's definitely worth a pickup, and he's available in almost 70 percent of Yahoo! leagues.

Alonzo Gee, SF, Cavaliers - Along the same lines as Davis, Gee is a guy who doesn't produce at a great rate, but because of the minutes he gets, he produces just enough to warrant consideration in mid-sized leagues. Over his last 10 games, Gee has been getting 33.8 minutes per game and shooting 44.8 percent from the field, which is a significant improvement from the 40.6 percent clip he was hitting at in November. He is owned in just 27 percent of leagues, and will help in points and steals while rebounding at a solid rate for his position.


Alan Anderson, SG, Raptors - Anderson may be playing above his head right now, but in deep leagues, there's always room for a guy averaging 15.6 points, 1.4 steals, and 2.2 three-pointers over his last five games. There was a 27-point game and a four-point game mixed in there, so he's not a model of consistency, but he's worth keeping an eye on. If he has a couple more nice outings, it might be time to pick him up, while he is still owned in less than 10 percent of leagues. Isaiah Thomas and Vince Carter (in standard leagues) and Terrence Ross and Ben Gordon (in deep leagues) are also worth monitoring.


John Henson, PF, Bucks - Henson is a deep-league option for now, but after grabbing 28 rebounds in his last two games, while seeing 26.5 minutes per game, he has certainly opened some eyes. He also averaged two blocks and 1.5 steals in those two games, so he could conceivably contribute in multiple categories if he keeps seeing big minutes. Those in mid-sized leagues should add him to the watch list, but in deeper leagues, the time to grab him is now. Ed Davis, Andre Drummond, and Emeka Okafor are also options here, and remember that Tristan Thompson, who has been killing it on the glass lately (14 boards per game over the last week) will probably see his numbers drop significantly with Anderson Varejao set to return on Wednesday.


Guys like Andre Miller (9.3 assists per game last week) and Kirk Hinrich (8.0 APG last week) are always worth a look in mid-sized leagues, even though they aren't the most exciting guys to own. But the lesser-known Garrett Temple is also an interesting short-term option for assists, dishing 25 dimes in his last three games. He is following in A.J. Price and Shelvin Mack's footsteps as the not-so-talented Wizards point guard who is charged with running the show for a few weeks while they await John Wall's return. Temple will soon lose all value when Wall returns, but he could continue to hover around seven assists per game for another week or two. Then there is the situation in Utah, where if one player were able to grab a firm hold of the point guard job with Mo Williams sidelined for six weeks, we'd be looking at a must-add in fantasy. Unfortunately, Jamaal Tinsley and Earl Watson seem to be in a time share. Both Tinsley and Watson have averaged 8.9 assists per 36 minutes this season, but until one starts to actually see closer to 36 minutes per game, it's difficult to suggest adding either of them in standard leagues.


Lance Stephenson, SG, Pacers - Stephenson has been getting more than 30 minutes per game over the past two weeks, which has been enough playing time for him to average 1.5 steals per game over that span. These aren't matchup-changing numbers, but he should certainly be owned in more than the three percent of Yahoo! leagues he's currently owned in. Eric Bledsoe, Thabo Sefolosha and Corey Brewer are also solid contributors here.


James Johnson, PF, Kings - Johnson is averaging a fantastic 2.4 blocks per game over his last five contests, while only seeing 22.4 minutes per game. He's not much help in other categories, and his playing time can fluctuate, but for a guy who's eligible at small forward, he offers significant help for deep leaguers that are lacking in blocked shots. He's owned in just five percent of Yahoo! leagues. Lamar Odom, Andre Drummond and Taj Gibson are some other options.


Carlos Delfino, SF, Rockets - Over the last two weeks, Delfino has averaged three 3-pointers made per game and just over 28 minutes per game. He's always been a noted long-range shooter, but he's also shot 52 percent from the field and recording 1.2 steals per game over that span. He's only owned in 11 percent of Yahoo! leagues and can be of help in most roto formats right now.


Kosta Koufos, C, Nuggets - Koufos has been a pain for fantasy owners all season, limiting the value of the fantasy jewel of the Denver trio of centers, JaVale McGee. But Koufos is not a complete fantasy afterthought, at least not in deep leagues. He is shooting 59.8 percent from the field this season, but over his last 10 games, he's shooting 68.7 percent, while adding 9.5 points, 7.9 boards and 1.9 blocks per game. He is available in almost 75 percent of Yahoo! leagues and can help make up for players like Deron Williams or Brandon Jennings who threaten to bring down their team's field-goal percentage. Andre Drummond and Amir Johnson are also very efficient scorers.