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With the Charlotte Bobcats poised to make their first playoff appearance since 2010, Josh McRoberts is a key cog in their rotation and quietly put up fantastic numbers for fantasy leagues.
In today’s edition of “All Wired Up”, I’ll delve into the fantasy strengths of potential waiver wire gold like McRoberts and the Brooklyn Nets’ Shaun Livingston.
» Josh McRoberts, PF, Charlotte Bobcats (5.4 percent owned on ESPN.com)
24 points (8-16 FG, 2-2 FT), 6 three-pointers, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 steal, 2 blocks vs Magic.
After a dismal 2012-13 season, fantasy owners could be forgiven for writing Josh McRoberts off at the beginning of this season as a fantasy afterthought. But the six-year NBA veteran has resurrected his NBA career under first-year head coach Steve Clifford and is helping guide the Bobcats into the playoffs.
McRoberts is one of those players that contributes to fantasy teams in a huge way without scoring. Although he scored a career-high 24 points in Friday night’s enthralling overtime loss to the Magic, that’s not what makes McBob a fantasy target.
Over the course of the season, McRoberts is averaging just 8.7 points, so that’s not something that is obviously going to make or break your fantasy matchups. It’s his ability to hit three-pointers and dish the assists from the power forward position that make him a diamond in the rough. He has handed out 4.4 assists per game for the season, fourth for power forward and center eligible players behind only LeBron James, Kevin Love and Joakim Noah. That’s some rarefied company.
In the last two weeks, McRoberts is averaging 10.7 points, 1.7 three-pinters, 5.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 1.0 blocks and is shooting 48.2 percent from the field and a fantastic 90 percent from the line. That ranks him 50th on Basketball Monster.com and makes him absolutely a must-own fantasy player.
With the Bobcats still pushing hard to maintain their playoff seeding, there’s no reason for coach Clifford to rest McRoberts or any other starter. That makes him a superb option for the fantasy playoffs.
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» Shaun Livingston, PG/SG, Brooklyn Nets (8.0 percent owned)
8 points (4-5 FG, 0-0 FT), 0 three-pointers, 8 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals, 0 blocks vs Cavaliers
Hidden among the great story that is Greg Oden returning to the NBA court is another awe-inspiring redemption tale. Shaun Livingston is starting for the Brooklyn Nets and is a vital piece as the team looks to secure first-round home court advantage. After suffering that horrific knee injury in 2007 (similar to Greg Oden,) an injury so severe that Livingston was told at stage he may need the leg amputated, it’s a miracle he is walking again, let alone leading an NBA team into the playoffs.
The Nets were a mess at the start of the season, but when coach Jason Kidd went with a smaller, three-guard lineup, things started to turn around, in large part due to the play of Livingston.
But how can Livingston help your fantasy team? He’s not a prolific assister of the ball, averaging just 3.5 in the last month, which is below par for a point guard.
He does, however, make up for it by his above average rebounding for a point man, averaging an impressive 5.3 boards in the last week. He really excels in stealing the ball. Over the last month, Livingston has averaged 2.0 steals and could be the reason your team wins or loses the steals category in your playoff matchup.
Throw in the fact that he is shooting 50.4 percent from the field in the last month and 85.1 percent from the line and you have yourself a top 100 fantasy player.
Much like Josh McRoberts, Livingston helps without scoring and does it by providing numbers that are not considered traditional for his position. I made the add of Livingston this week — why don’t you?