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Category Strategy: Value Carousel

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, thereís no guarantee for production in other areas.


Alexey Shved, SG, Timberwolves - Shved has played 37-plus minutes in each of his last three games, and even though he didnít light it up last week, the minutes suggest he should be owned in more than the 31 percent of Yahoo! leagues heís currently owned in. He has been a fantastic source of assists at the two guard position all season, and he has doled out seven dimes in two of his last three games.

Amir Johnson, PF, Raptors - Johnson has been a key cog for the Raptors over the past three games, averaging 36.3 minutes per contest. Averaging 9.7 rebounds and two blocks over that stretch, Johnson has become a viable option in mid-sized leagues for as long as he continues to see significant run.

Tyler Zeller, C, Cavaliers - With Anderson Varejao (knee) slated to miss about two months, Zeller has been receiving starterís minutes recently, and while he hasnít been super effective, his playing time means that he should at least be added to watch lists, in case his play picks up. Heís shooting 33 percent from the field while seeing 34.4 minutes per game over his last five, so thereís certainly room for improvement from Zeller, who, at his worst, is still a solid rebounder and shot blocker.


Ben Gordon, SG, Bobcats - The veteran shooting guard is on quite the scoring run, averaging 19.6 points over his last five games while failing to see 30 minutes in any game over that span. It doesnít appear sustainable, since heís shooting 52.6 percent from the field in those games. Gordon is a 43.7 percent shooter for his career, but he is getting a lot of shots up, and even if his numbers dip, he will still have value in mid-sized leagues.


Al-Farouq Aminu, SF, Hornets - Heading into Sunday, Aminu had averaged 11.5 boards per game over his last four contests, while seeing 30-plus minutes in three of those games. Coach Monty Williams has played around with his rotation this year, and Aminu has spent some time in his doghouse, but his recent production suggests that he will continue see big minutes. Aminu is not a one-stat guy, as heís been just as productive defensively (two-plus steals in each of his last four games) as he has been on the glass.


Chris Paul is the best source of assists in the league, but over the past two weeks, Jose Calderon, Steve Nash, and Greivis Vasquez have all averaged more assists than Rajon Rondo, who is generally considered the second best table setter. Those three players are worth targeting in trades if your lineup is struggling to produce assists, as they could probably be had without offering up a kingís ransom. Otherwise, Andre Miller, Kirk Hinrich, and Jamaal Tinsley are probably the best options on your waiver wire.


Jeremy Lin hasnít had a great year shooting the ball, which likely means his owner isnít too attached to him. He has recorded three-plus steals in each of his last four games and can single handedly win that category some weeks. Consider targeting him via trade if the likes of Tony Allen and Aminu arenít appealing.


Andre Drummond, C, Pistons - Iíve been touting Drummond as a solid option here for a few weeks, but heís still available in almost 70 percent of leagues and is averaging 2.6 blocks over his last five games while failing to see much more than 20 minutes per outing. His per minute numbers somehow havenít forced coach Lawrence Frankís hand as far as giving the rookie an increased role, but Drummond is reliable enough as a shot-blocker and a rebounder that even in his reserve role he holds value in most roto leagues. Zeller and Taj Gibson are also solid options here.


Randy Foye, SG, Jazz - Foye has hit 12 three-pointers in his last three games and is available in 65 percent of Yahoo! leagues. Any hope of Foyeís assists picking up with Mo Williams out appear to be fruitless, since heís averaging fewer than two dimes per game over the past two weeks. Foye is getting 30-plus minutes per night over that span, allowing him to be an above average source of points and three-pointers off the waiver wire. Carlos Delfino is another good option.


Andrew Nicholson, PF, Magic - For deep leaguers, Nicholson is someone that should be on watch lists because of his efficiency. His playing time has been trending up, and on Saturday, he played almost 30 minutes. Nicholson is shooting 61.8 percent from the field over the past five games, and if he were to become a more prominent member of the Magicís rotation, heíd start getting enough shots to really help your fantasy squadís field-goal percentage. In standard leagues, Carl Landry, Amir Johnson, and Robin Lopez are players to target.