Jim O’Connor-USA TODAY Sports
The New York Knicks’ Raymond Felton is far from what you would call a fan favorite, but his fantasy prospects are much better than you would think.
In today’s edition of “All Wired Up”, I’ll delve into the fantasy strengths of potential waiver wire gold like Felton and the Boston Celtics’ Avery Bradley.
» Raymond Felton, PG, New York Knicks (42.0 percent owned on ESPN.com)
11 points (4-11 FG, 2-3 FT), 1 three-pointer, 6 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals, 0 blocks, 1 turnover vs Pacers.
Along with the Knicks’ team as a whole, I thought Raymond Felton’s relevance was all but over on the 25th of February when Felton was arrested on weapons charges in New York City. The gun charge may still have a huge impact on the remainder of Felton’s NBA career, but he made bail, so he hasn’t missed a game since the incident.
His form was patchy at best in the week following the incident, unsurprisingly, but Felton has turned it around in the last couple of weeks.
A big plus for Felton is that the Knicks don’t really have anyone to take minutes away from him. Pablo Prigioni is a 36 year-old second year player and they don’t trust him to run the point. They also waived their back-up point guard after the trade deadline in Beno Udrih.
Felton’s numbers don’t jump out at you at first glance and a big part of that is his lack of scoring. In the last two weeks, Felton is only averaging 8.2 points a game, but his fantasy value comes from a number of other categories.
He averages 0.8 three-pointers, 3.0 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 1.2 steals and 0.7 blocks, shooting 46.2 percent from the field and 88.9 percrnt from the line in those two weeks. He also only has turned it over 1.2 times per game and that means that he is a positive contributor in five categories — assists, steals, blocks, free throw percentage and turnovers. He also hasn’t been hurting your field goal percentage.
It’s quite rare to be able to find a five category contributor off the waiver-wire at this late stage of the season, so even though you may endure some ridicule from your league mates for owning Felton, you could definitely do worse. I’d grab Felton in all leagues of 10 teams or deeper.
Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
» Avery Bradley, PG/SG, Boston Celtics (16.8 percent owned)
23 points (8-13 FG, 1-1 FT), 6 three-pointers, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 0 steals, 0 blocks, 3 turnovers vs Heat.
A mild ankle sprain lingered and lingered for Avery Bradley and ended up keeping him out for over a month. Since returning, Bradley has played four games and started the last two at shooting guard and is working his way back into some of the form he had in the early months of this season.
Bradley’s first two games back against the Suns and the Pelicans were clearly used to ramp up his minutes and get him back into some game shape as he played off the bench for 17 and 28 minutes. Two games was all it took and now Bradley is back starting alongside Rajon Rondo and Jerryd Bayless on nights when Rondo sits.
In those two games he has started since returning, Bradley has averaged 17.0 points, 3.5 three-pointers, 3.5 rebounds, 1.5 assist and 1.5 steals, shooting 48.1 percent from the field and hitting his only free throw attempt.
Earlier this season, when Rondo was out, Bradley developed his game into that of a shooting guard, rather than the back-up point man he was considered to be in his first few seasons in the league. That augured well for Rondo’s return, as we know how well Rondo sets up guys with his uncanny vision and sublime passing skills.
With Rondo now at full strength, Wednesday was the first game a healthy Bradley and a fully healthy Rondo had played together all season — and the results were fantastic. It’s foolish to anticipate six three-pointers a night, but with the court spacing Rondo engineers, a couple of triples a game is not outlandish.
I’d add Bradley in all 12 team leagues for the time being and see where it takes us. Best of luck in your playoffs.