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In any fantasy draft, multi-category stat production is what you're looking for above all else. Running backs who collect a lot of yards but don't score and home run hitters who can't do anything else are rarely top-round talent. You can say the same in the hoops world for centers who block shots but don't get many rebounds and point guards who collect bushels of assists but don't score.
Yet, as a long season lingers on, you realize that even the one-trick ponies can come in handy to help your fantasy basketball team beef up performance in certain weak categories. Here are a few ideas for stat-boosting specialists in every category:
Points: Michael Beasley, SF/PF, Minnesota.
He's averaging 21.3 PPG on a team where he plays second fiddle to Kevin Love, but he's benefitting from Love's huge season as the opposition keys in on the big man. Beasley will not get you much else, but he will score. Available in 12% of Yahoo! leagues.
Rebounds: Anderson Varejao, PF/C, Cleveland.
9.4 RPG to go with 8.6 PPG doesn't seem like much, but in a much quieter Cavs scheme this year, Varejao is starting to emerge as a top rebounder, averaging two rebounds more per game this year than during his past two seasons. Available in 26% of Yahoo! leagues.
Assists: Jason Kidd, PG, Dallas.
The old man scores less and less, but he's fifth in APG this season at 8.9. The double-doubles and triple-doubles he produced so consistently over the years are a reach now, but he just keeps dishing. Available in just 2% of Yahoo! leagues, but he's always hot trade bait.
Blocks: Serge Ibaka, PF/C, Oklahoma City.
He's averaging 2.4 blocks per game and his minutes continue to increase. His 10.6 PPG is a nice bonus, and his 80% free throw shooting won't hurt. Available in 20% of Yahoo! leagues.
Steals: Cory Brewer, SG/SF, Minnesota.
An interesting player who is often at the end of my fantasy bench. While he can be unreliable in other categories, he is amazingly consistent with steals, averaging 1.9 takeaways per game. Available in more than 80% of Yahoo! leagues.
Threes: Mike Bibby, PG, Atlanta.
Another guard whose best days are behind him, but his 10 points or so per game often include at least a pair of three-pointers. His average of 2.1 3PPG can help you win an often overlooked category. Available in 48% of Yahoo! leagues.
If you made it to the fantasy football playoffs on the arm of Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers, you might be in trouble this week, as Rodgers may sit with a concussion. Where can help be found? Look no further than the guy who was the No. 1 pick the same year Rodgers sat in the green room waiting to be taken at No. 24.
Alex Smith, QB, San Francisco, has done little in the five years since, and appeared to lose his job for good after an injury earlier this year, but last week threw for 255 yards and three TDs without an INT. Smith's only problem is he'll face San Diego's No. 1 defense this week, but with star RB Frank Gore gone for the year, he'll definitely be throwing.
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