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If your fantasy basketball team has gone cold with everything else at the end of January, there are still a handful of late bloomers you can turn to for at least a temporary fix. Most of them weren't on the draft radar at the beginning of the season and only in the last 30 days have zoomed up the charts.
PG: D.J. Augustin, Charlotte
He's consistently starting now, but only in the last month has he really heated up, averaging 18.9 points per game and 7 assists per game in that stretch. A .935 free throw shooting clip comes in handy, too. Available in 18% of Yahoo! leagues.
SG:DeMar DeRozan, (also SF), Toronto
Like Augustin, a second-year player finding his role. His 20.6 PPG over the last month isn't far off the pace of a guy named Kobe over the same period. Toronto is pretty awful which gives him a license to shoot, which is kind of what you want in a shooting guard. Available in 32% of Yahoo! leagues.
SF: Nick Young, (also SG), Washington
He's only started a handful of games this year, but logs more than 38 minutes per contest, allowing him to cruise to 19.7 PPG over the last month, but the best part is 2.1 three-pointers per game over the same period, as many as Paul Pierce. Available in 24% of Yahoo! leagues.
PF: Ryan Andersen, (also C), Orlando
Averaging 14.1 PPG and 6.1 RPG over the last month, and 2.8 three-pointers per game during the same period are a nice surprise. His playing time has improved since Orlando's big trade. Available in 47% of Yahoo! leagues.
C: DeAndre Jordan, (also PF), LA Clippers
Averaging 9.8 rebounds per game and 2.6 blocks per game over the last 30 days put him near the top in both categories. At 8.8 PPG, he won't help your points total, but his .683 shooting won't hurt your field goal average either. Available in 39% of Yahoo! leagues
* Yahoo! Roto Arcade has injury updates on Marcus Camby, Eric Gordon, Rashard Lewis and others.
* RotoTimes keeps up with Carmelo Anthony, who is finally playing like himself as the trade deadline approaches. What a surprise.
* SLAM Online's Mr. Fantasy looks at Aaron Brooks, one of last year's surprise stars who has since fallen on hard times.
* Bleacher Report reports on Mario Chalmers, who has done nothing of fantasy value this season, but just got named as Miami's starting point guard and primary feeder of passes to LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.
Who's On First
A quick look at my top 10 first basemen for the 2011 fantasy draft:
1. Albert Pujols, St. Louis: Same old, same old.
2. Miguel Cabrera, Detroit: Still getting better.
3. Adrian Gonzalez, Boston: Fenway can't hold him.
4. Joey Votto, Cincinnati: Still room for an RBI boost.
5. Prince Fielder, Milwaukee: Looking for average to bounce back.
6. Mark Teixiera, NY Yankees: Power numbers strong, average fading.
7. Ryan Howard, Philadelphia: Due for a fade, but could still hit 35 homers.
8. Adam Dunn, White Sox: New venue means a return to 40+ homers.
9.Carlos Pena, CUBS: Average can rebound and 45 homers is attainable.
10. Billy Butler, Kansas City: Does nothing but hit. A few more homers would be nice.
The only fantasy angle on Jay Cutler's knee injury is that it won't affect his readiness for next year. Will fewer people draft him after all the questions and criticism about his toughness? Probably not, but there were plenty of fantasy football team owners this year who felt Cutler was too inconsistent to draft as a starter. My guess is he enters next year's fantasy campaign as a late-round pick for a back-up slot.
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