As the season reaches it’s halfway point, the strengths and weaknesses of your fantasy team are clear. Whether it’s a weekly or season-long rotisserie league, there’s still time to make up ground in any individual category. With a look towards advanced stats, here are my picks for under-owned players who will help your team out in the second half of the year.
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Field Goal Percentage – Brendan Wright, Mavericks PF/C (4.0% owned)
FG% can be one of the most variable caegories from week to week, but focusing on big men who get easy shots is the easiest and most obvious way to help your team out. Wright has been tops in the league in FG% since his return from injury, so even though he won’t get that many attempts up, he can certainly help your team out with 69% shooting. Over the past 15 days, he ranks 11th in the NBA on the player rater for FG%. Another deep-league option is Jason Thompson (2.7%), whose recent hot streak has made him a very relevant player.
Free Throw Percentage – Brian Roberts, Pelicans PG (5.2% owned)
Free throw percentage is one of the hardest categories to attack on the waiver wire, as no volume shooters are readily available. It’s usually easier to focus on cutting or trading away some of your current players, but if not look for Roberts. Roberts played overseas until last year and has always been a stud at the line. He is over 90% in both of his NBA seasons, and shot in the high 80s in college and Germany. He’s receiving more and more playing time, and will provide you the biggest boost in free throws.
Three Pointers Made – Terrence Ross, Raptors SG/SF (18.4% owned)
In his second year out of the lottery, Ross has been the biggest beneficiary following the Rudy Gay trade in Toronto. While DeMar Derozan plays an active ball handling and slashing role, Ross waits in the corner for reverse passes and kick-outs. His three point totals lately have been through the roof, with 2.8 per game in January while maintaining a great 41.4% stroke. Across the board, Ross is a player that’s now worth owning in almost any league. Mirza Teletovic (1.8%) offers a lower-end and more one-dimensional option, but if you’re desperate for improvement sliding him in at PF will certainly help you with threes.
Rebounds – Jordan Hill, Lakers PF/C (12.2% owned)
His minutes have been up and down, but Jordan Hill is usually the only rebounder on the floor for the Lakers when he plays and at their high tempo of play, there will be enough of those opportunities to give him a strong rebounding total. Also be sure to be on the lookout for Omer Asik (33.2%) as trade talks will heat up as the trade deadline approaches.
Assists – Mo Williams, Blazers PG (8.9% owned)
The addition of C.J. McCollum hasn’t affected Williams’ backup PG role, as McCollum has mainly played off the ball, accounting for just one assist in his first two games. Williams has a lot of solid shooters around him in Portland and has been racking up assists for years. With the lack of elite options at the category, upgrades here could really make a huge difference. Kirk Hinrich (6.0%) is another decent option, but his shooting is a huge negative.
Steals – Corey Brewer, Wolves SF (29.2% owned)
Fast paced teams like Philly and Minnesota are always great for fantasy owners, and Brewer is no exception. He and Rubio have been great fantasy producers in steals, and Brewer is still owned in less than a third of leagues. That should continue to climb after some strong recent performances. A lower end guy who has a similar statistical profile is DeMarre Carroll (5.4%), and DeJuan Blair (1.3%) can provide steals from the center or power forward position.
Blocks – Timofey Mozgov, Nuggets C (3.1% owned)
Mozgov has the size and strength to be a great post defender and this year his blocks have reached a career high His block rate ranks 14th of all players averaging over 15 minutes per game, and gives him a total of 1.2 blocks per game. If his minutes begin to rise, that near-elite rate could push that number closer to two per game. Mozgov will also help you out in FG% and rebounds, but his best contribution is as a cheap source of blocks. Kosta Koufos (5.1%) is another solid option until Marc Gasol returns from injury.
Points – C.J. Miles, Cavaliers SF (20.7% owned)
When it comes to cheap points, Miles is clearly the best option available. Despite the addition of Deng, Miles has continued to score in the starting two-guard role. He gets a lot of catch-and-shoot opportunities playing next to Kyrie, and Dion Waiters’ visit to the doghouse leaves Miles with a lot of shots. Points is often a tricky category to manage, and one that is easier addressed in a trade, but for a quick fix try sliding Miles in for a guy who provides more peripheral stats and less volume stats.
Matt Cott is the co-founder of RotoAnalysis and sole founder of Basketball WAR. Follow him on Twitter @KidCotti21!