Helpful pickups: Thabo, Henderson ...
At this point in the season, the standings likely won't change quickly, but that doesn't mean you can't tinker with your roster for a little boost. And the right moves could still net you first place, depending on your league's format. The list that follows is comprised of players who are probably available in your league and could help you out down the stretch. Chances are, you have at least one underperforming player on your roster, and now is the time to cut bait and give yourself one last chance.
(Ranking based on per-game averages in parentheses)
Thabo Sefolosha, SG/SF, Thunder (100): In the absence of James Harden, we've seen a whole lot more Thabo this season, and that hasn't been all bad. He's not a great offensive player by any means, but he's a player who is clearly comfortable within a given role. He's making 1.3 3s per game, which is pretty good, and has remained a constant presence just about all season. What makes him really good in fantasy, though, is his ability to rack up steals. After a slow start to the season, he has averaged at least 1.5 steals in every month since November, and that carries major value down the stretch if you need help in that category. Interestingly, his shooting has also become a bit of a weapon. His numbers from each area won't blow you away, but given his proficiency on 3s, he's actually in the top 20 in true shooting percentage, and while that doesn't help you much in fantasy, it's a good indicator of how he has managed to be a top-70 player (based on his total stats, not per-game averages) so far this season.
Tiago Splitter, PF/C, Spurs (112): Splitter has been posting good fantasy numbers for most of the season, and it's time he got snapped up in more than just 36 percent of ESPN.com fantasy leagues. He provides a strong combination of points, rebounds, and field goal percentage -- 11.5 points and 8.8 rebounds per game and 55 percent shooting so far in March -- and is capable of bigger nights, like the 21 points and 10 rebounds he posted in a win over the Thunder on Monday night. He won't help you in the defensive counting stats, but he's augmenting his offensive game with 2.5 assists per game so far in March as well, and that's a pretty impressive number from a big man. Given the Spurs' pass-heavy system, it will be interesting to see whether Splitter can keep it up the rest of the way.
Martell Webster, SF, Wizards (115): It feels like Webster has been around forever, this is already his eighth season in the league (though he played in just one game one of those years). On the other hand, he's just 26 and is having by far his best season, turning himself into a useful floor-spacer. Webster is making 1.8 3s per game on the season while shooting 86 percent from the line, and those are the two numbers that have made him a fantasy contributor so far this season. However, he also chips in positive contributions in every category except for blocks, and that kind of across-the-board help has some value as well. The reason to pick him up, though, is because he has been playing more minutes of late, and it's making him quite valuable. After some ridiculously hot shooting in February, Webster is up to 35 minutes per game so far in March and is making 2.7 3s per game. That figure would put him up among the league leaders, and if you need help in that category, there is definitely no better option out there.
Kosta Koufos, PF/C, Nuggets (119): Koufos, to be honest, should have probably been on fantasy rosters all season. He does a lot of good things and doesn't really hurt you, and he's particularly proficient when it comes to the traditional big-man stats: rebounding, blocks and field goal percentage. Over his past five games, he's averaging the same minutes he has been getting all season, but he's putting up bigger numbers: 11.6 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game, and 81.3 percent shooting from the field. Obviously, it's the field goal percentage that stands out, and he certainly won't shoot that well the rest of the way, but he could easily hover around 65 percent down the stretch, and that might be enough to boost you a bit in that category.
Gerald Henderson, SG/SF, Bobcats (132): It's pretty clear that the Bobcats are going to lean on Henderson down the stretch this season, and that's good for anyone who decides to pick him up in fantasy. He's still available in more than half of ESPN standard leagues, and that's after a 35-point explosion against a weakened Celtics squad. Mainly what Henderson has done of late is score points. He's averaging 16.4 so far in March, and is helping out at the line as well, making 88 percent on 5.7 attempts per game. That free throw shooting alone is enough to give him a place in most fantasy leagues down the stretch, but the scoring doesn't hurt. He won't make many 3s, and he won't pick up many blocks or steals, but his 2.8 assists per game since the All-Star break is a boon, and the combination of all his numbers is probably a bit more exciting than his ranking so far on the season. He's worth owning if you need help from the line the rest of the way.
Avery Bradley, PG/SG, Celtics (169): Forget the ranking, as it has little to do with what his numbers will look like the rest of the way. And forget the fact that the whole reason he's on the floor in the first place is his defense, because he doesn't really pick up enough blocks or steals (in part because of his great discipline on the defensive end) to help you in fantasy leagues. Instead, focus on the fact that he's the de facto point guard on a team that is in the top 10 in the league in assists per game. That means Bradley can't help but run into three or four assists per game if he's getting decent minutes. Over his past five games, for example, he's playing 33.8 minutes per game and averaging 3.6 assists to go along with his 12.4 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.2 3s. Those numbers will all fluctuate a bit, as he's still figuring out what he's good at offensively, but his role is what makes him valuable down the stretch this season.
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