Fantasy Basketball: 4 Dark Horse Pickups On The Rise

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New York Knicks power forward Andrea Bargnani

Nov 13, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Knicks power forward Andrea Bargnani (77) celebrates a three in the second half against the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena. The Knicks won 95-91.Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Yes, we’re here. Picking at the crumbs – any crumbs – that our league will afford us. Luckily, everyone has a different palette and level of ingestional retention. Cause in what other circumstances would you bother reading about fantasy basketball pickups you would have gagged at four weeks ago?

Except, here’s the thing, fantasy b-ball is all about rocking expectations. At XN Sports, we thought Jimmy Butler was in a position to be a marquee acquisition. He hasn’t been deeply disappointing but 8.6 percent ownership reduction in ESPN leagues also shows he’s not as consistent as many thought he’d be. There’s still time for him but not for your highly competitive weekly matchup.

That’s where these four guys come in.

Once, they might have been names to skip over, but for the time being—and that time might end up being something that’s not very sustainable—they’re worth a second look. They’re four dark horse pickups on the rise.

 Andrea Bargnani

Four weeks ago, XN Sports wouldn’t even add Bargnani to a friendly YMCA pickup. But ever since Tyson Chandler’s injury, the Italian Not So-Stallion has been ballin’. Like, really.

Though he’s only played in eight games, his stats as of late have shot up almost across the board.

FG%

FT%

3PM

BLKPG

STLPG

RPG

APG

PPG

Season

51.6

85.7

1.5

0.9

0.3

4.0

0.9

15.0

Last 5

52.2

85.7

1.8

1.4

0.0

5.2

1.0

18.2

With Chandler out for the foreseeable future, this might be more than a trend for the defense-deficient big man.

Steve Blake

FG%

FT%

3PM

BLKPG

STLPG

RPG

APG

PPG

Season

39.1

72.7

2.4

0.0

0.7

3.0

6.1

10.0

Last 5

44.1

78.3

2.8

0.0

0.6

3.2

7.8

13.2

That’s right. Blake has been running the Steve Nash show as of late. It’s still the Steve Show nevertheless but this one isn’t prone to a host of maladies. With Nash seemingly on the last notes of his career, Blake, too, could be on this surge for a bit.

 

Jordan Crawford

FG%

FT%

3PM

BLKPG

STLPG

RPG

APG

PPG

Season

48.8

94.7

0.9

0.2

1.1

2.8

4.4

11.8

Last 5

45.2

85.7

0.6

0.0

1.6

3.8

6.0

14.2

Somehow, someway, XN Sports is actually recommending you associate with the notorious Jordan Crawford. Leave it up to Brad Stevens to work enough magic to have Crawford playing some of the best basketball he has of late.

Jared Sullinger

FG%

FT%

3PM

BLKPG

STLPG

RPG

APG

PPG

Season

50.0

85.0

0.3

0.9

0.3

5.1

1.1

11.3

Last 5

56.8

84.6

0.5

1.0

0.8

6.8

2.5

15.8

With Stevens coaching in Boston, the Orlando Magic and Boston Celtics should swap surnames. The young coach is getting Sullinger to play to his strengths which is something we’ve been harping for for sometime now. These numbers aren’t an aberration as much as they are a sign of talent.

Bogar Alonso is a dedicated student of the hardwood, soccer pitch, boxing ring, and tennis court. He is a regular NBA contributor to XN Sports. His work, involving more than just sports, has appeared on The Creators Project, A&E Networks, XXL Magazine, and others. Follow Bogar on Twitter @blacktiles
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