Fantasy Basketball: Players Gunning For Starter Minutes

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Patrick Patterson

Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

With the trade deadline fast approaching, roster disruptions are in order. Some will open up some space for youngsters who have yet to get their due chance and others will severely hamper the productions of productive players. As in life, in the NBA and fantasy basketball a change is gonna come.

But disruptions haven’t waited for this Thursday to show their face. For the past handful of weeks a small crop of players have seen an uptick in productivity which has brought on an uptick in playing time. Starter minutes are always a good first step in determining value, and in this case, that holds true.

While these players might not secure a starting position this season, they’ll definitely be gunning for those starter minutes. That makes them worth a double-take going forward.

Patrick Patterson

Team: Toronto Raptors

Situation: Amir Johnson has shown flashes of being a top-10 power forward in the fantasy universe but they’ve come too few and far between. Patterson, meanwhile, has shown that he can score, rebound decently, shoot the three ball, and provide some defense when needed. Johnson has been injured, so this partly accounts for Patterson’s jump in minutes, but double-P still started last night despite Johnson’s return to the court. There’s starting to be some chatter that Patterson could hold onto the starting role which can only help his value.

Numbers: The last five games are a good sample size of what Patterson is capable of doing when nearing the 30-minute mark. His rebounds could be better for his position but he can quickly become a stable option in the latter parts of the fantasy season.

MPG

FG%

FT%

3PM

BLKPG

STLPG

RPG

APG

PPG

Season

23.7

47.7

72.6

0.7

0.4

0.8

5.3

1.1

9.1

Last 5

28.2

54.0

81.8

1.4

0.4

1.8

5.6

1.6

14.0

Kyle Singler

Team: Detroit Pistons

Situation: The Pistons are in a huge state of regress which is providing Singler big minutes as he plays hard and is a crafty player. Last night he played a whole minute more than any other Piston and only trailed Kemba Walker for minutes played on either team. The Pistons like him and it shows.

Numbers: That shooting percentage is off-putting but the rest of his output over the last five shows he can become a nice deep league pick if the right trade happens in Detroit.

MPG

FG%

FT%

3PM

BLKPG

STLPG

RPG

APG

PPG

Season

25.9

44.5

78.5

1.0

0.4

0.6

3.6

0.7

8.9

Last 5

39.6

38.5

75.0

1.8

0.4

2.0

4.6

1.2

12.2

Nate Wolters

Team: Milwaukee Bucks

Situation: The Nate Wolters situation is hard to buy in to since he’s in the revolving door Larry Drew calls a starting unit and he’s had subpar moments throughout the season. But if he continues to receive 39 minutes on the floor like he did last night he surely becomes an asset worth looking at. With Brandon Knight paired with him in the backcourt, the Bucks become something of a Phoenix Suns-lite in putting two combo guards on the court.

Numbers: The minutes have seen a very nice spike which is accounting for a boost in points, assists, rebounds, and everything else but FT%.

MPG

FG%

FT%

3PM

BLKPG

STLPG

RPG

APG

PPG

Season

22.0

41.2

66.2

0.2

0.3

0.7

2.5

3.5

6.9

Last 5

35.2

45.5

57.1

1.0

0.8

1.4

5.6

5.0

11.8

Jamal Crawford

Team: Los Angeles Clippers

Situation: A no-brainer. J-Crossover already plays heavy minutes but with the starting Clippers backcourt unable to stay healthy, Crawford becomes a top-tier fantasy option. Just look at his numbers for the last five.

Numbers: Come to papa.

MPG

FG%

FT%

3PM

BLKPG

STLPG

RPG

APG

PPG

Season

30.6

41.9

86.0

2.3

0.2

0.9

2.3

3.2

18.7

Last 5

38.6

43.8

93.0

2.6

0.0

2.2

2.4

3.6

24.6

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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