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Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Late category fill-ins

By Tom Carpenter
ESPN.com

There are only eight days left in the 2013-14 fantasy hoops campaign, which means teams should be streaming category-specific players into their lineups in roto and head-to-head leagues that use daily lineups. If, for instance, you are battling in blocks but have a healthy lead in points, you shouldn't hesitate to pick up a shot-blocking specialist off the waiver wire and use him over a high-end scorer.

With that thinking in mind, let's take a look at some quality free agents who can help you out in specific statistical categories.

Points

Darren Collison (64.3 percent owned), Los Angeles Clippers: He's a poor play down the stretch in weekly lineup leagues because the Clips play only four times and J.J. Redick is back. However, Jamal Crawford is out and Chris Paul may rest, which should give Collison plenty of room to make a mark as a scorer, chipping in some 3s, steals and dimes. Redick is a decent option too, if you need to stream 3s and points.

Alec Burks (49.0 percent), Utah Jazz: He's healthy and attacking the lane. As a result, he has knocked down 27 of a ridiculous 29 free throw attempts the past two games. So long as he remains aggressive, he should make an impact for any team in need of points and free throws.

3-pointers

Greivis Vasquez (45.4 percent), Toronto Raptors: His overall value will be capped if Kyle Lowry returns to action this week, but Vasquez should remain a solid source of 3-pointers even in a limited role. If Lowry's injury lingers, Vasquez could be a beast. In the three games the Raps played sans Lowry, Vasquez nailed 12 shots from beyond the arc.

Anthony Morrow (11.4 percent), New Orleans Pelicans: Over the past seven games, with Eric Gordon out of the lineup, Morrow has averaged 19.4 PPG and 2.3 3-PPG. So long as Gordon remains sidelined, look for Morrow to continue cranking out 3s.

Jerryd Bayless (4.0 percent), Boston Celtics: Benefiting from the absence of Avery Bradley and occasional DNP-CDs from Rajon Rondo, Bayless has been crushing it of late, banging down at least four 3-pointers in three of his past four games. His streaming value will be tied to whether Bradley returns this week and whether Rondo skips some more games.

Aaron Brooks
Veteran Aaron Brooks still has plenty of fantasy value down the stretch.

Assists

Kendall Marshall (57.3 percent), Los Angeles Lakers: If you are in a tight battle in dimes, adding Marshall is a no-brainer. He has dished out the ball for double-digit dimes in three of his past five games, averaging 9.0 APG during that stretch.

Ray McCallum (25.2 percent), Sacramento Kings: McCallum has played at least 43 minutes in each of his past seven games and averaged 14.3 PPG, 7.4 APG and 1.4 SPG. Over the past five games, his assists have risen to 8.4 per game. He should continue to churn out terrific dime totals so long as Isaiah Thomas remains out of action.

Aaron Brooks (15.5 percent), Denver Nuggets: With Ty Lawson sidelined Sunday, Brooks handed out the ball for 15 dimes in an overtime loss to the Houston Rockets. You can't expect double-digit assists from him each game, but he should contribute enough dimes each time Lawson sits to help deep-leaguers.

Rebounds

Jordan Hill (60.4 percent), Los Angeles Lakers: With the Lakers frontcourt devastated by injuries, Hill has a clear path to big stat production the rest of the way. He'll make his biggest mark on the glass, but Hill is sporting excellent percentages while scoring and blocking some shots.

Omer Asik (73.1 percent), Houston Rockets: He doesn't do much besides rebound, but he has averaged 18.3 rebounds over the past four games. That value will dry up quickly if Dwight Howard finally gets back on the hardwood, but you can stream Asik into your lineup until then.

Jeff Adrien (5.5 percent), Milwaukee Bucks: The Bucks remain a horrendous mess, but that's opened up extra playing time for Adrien lately. Over his past four games, Adrien has averaged 17.5 PPG and 9.0 RPG.

Steals

DeMarre Carroll (47.0 percent), Atlanta Hawks: His production has waned a bit over the past week or so, but he can crank quality steals and 3s most nights. He plays six times down the stretch and has mostly fantasy-friendly matchups (DET, BOS, BKN, MIA, CHA, MIL).

Shaun Livingston (18.7 percent), Brooklyn Nets: He's posted bagels in steals the past two games, but most nights he's a shoo-in for a pair of steals. The Nets roll six times down the stretch, and it would be surprising if he doesn't rack up 10 swipes in those contests.

Phil Pressey (0.0 percent), Boston Celtics: Like Bayless, Pressey has benefited from a banged-up Celtics backcourt, taking advantage of the opportunity to snag 10 steals over the past four games. That makes him someone to consider streaming in deep leagues.

Blocks

Kyle O'Quinn (6.6 percent), Orlando Magic: With Nikola Vucevic missing action due to a sore Achilles, O'Quinn has blocked 12 shots over the past three games. So long as Vucevic remains out of the mix, O'Quinn should be swatting plenty of shots.

Samuel Dalembert (25.5 percent), Dallas Mavericks: His game-to-game production lacks consistency, but he's on the short list of free agents who are likely to pull down double-digit boards and block 2-3 shots on any given night.

Chris Andersen (7.4 percent), Miami Heat: If he can shake off the sore back and knee that kept him from playing Sunday, the Birdman should be good for a couple of blocks each game. The Heat play six times down the stretch.

Jarvis Varnado (0.3 percent), Philadelphia 76ers: Overall, he doesn't do enough to warrant a roster spot in standard leagues, but on the hapless Sixers, he's blocking enough shots to help deep-leaguers. Over the past eight games, Varnado has blocked at least one shot each time and averaged 2.1 BPG.