Commentary

Barea, Camby among late risers

Updated: April 13, 2012, 5:53 PM ET
By Brian McKitish | Special to ESPN.com

In one of the strangest fantasy week's in recent memory, fantasy owners were left scrambling as star after star succumbed to injury, poor play, or a coaching feud (or all three in Dwight Howard's case). Particularly frustrating about the timing off all of this is the fact that many owners in head-to-head leagues are smack in the middle of their fantasy playoffs.

The Top 130

Note: Brian McKitish's top 130 players are ranked for their fantasy value from this point forward in the 2011-12 NBA season. Previous rank is indicated in parentheses.

1. Kevin Durant, SF, OKC (1)
2. LeBron James, SF, MIA (2)
3. Chris Paul, PG, LAC (3)
4. Kevin Love, PF, MIN (4)
5. Dwyane Wade, SG, MIA (5)
6. Russell Westbrook, PG, OKC (6)
7. Josh Smith, PF/SF, ATL (9)
8. Deron Williams, PG, NJ (8)
9. Al Jefferson, C/PF, UTAH (10)
10. DeMarcus Cousins, PF/C, SAC (11)
11. Dwight Howard, C, ORL (7)
12. Paul Millsap, PF, UTAH (13)
13. Pau Gasol, PF/C, LAL (12)
14. LaMarcus Aldridge, PF/C, POR (14)
15. Andrew Bynum, C, LAL (19)
16. Dirk Nowitzki, PF, DAL (16)
17. David Lee, PF/C, GS (17)
18. Derrick Rose, PG, CHI (40)
19. Marc Gasol, C, MEM (18)
20. Blake Griffin, PF, LAC (21)
21. Marcin Gortat, C, PHO (22)
22. Rajon Rondo, PG, BOS (24)
23. John Wall, PG, WSH (26)
24. Paul Pierce, SF/SG, BOS (28)
25. Danny Granger, SF, IND (39)
26. Ty Lawson, PG/SG, DEN (27)
27. Carmelo Anthony, SF, NY (36)
28. James Harden, SG, OKC (25)
29. Rudy Gay, SF, MEM (23)
30. Kevin Garnett, PF/C, BOS (29)
31. Gerald Wallace, SF/PF, NJ (41)
32. Greg Monroe, PF/C, DET (32)
33. Steve Nash, PG, PHO (33)
34. Kobe Bryant, SG, LAL (15)
35. Serge Ibaka, C/PF, OKC (34)
36. Joe Johnson, SG/SF, ATL (37)
37. Roy Hibbert, C, IND (45)
38. Ersan Ilyasova, SF/PF, MIL (60)
39. Brandon Jennings, PG, MIL (46)
40. Nicolas Batum, SF/SG, POR (47)
41. Tony Parker, PG, SA (38)
42. Goran Dragic, PG, HOU (35)
43. Klay Thompson, SG, GS (42)
44. Monta Ellis, PG/SG, GS (53)
45. Joakim Noah, C/PF, CHI (48)
46. Jordan Crawford, SG, WSH (49)
47. Andre Iguodala, SF/SG, PHI (44)
48. Kris Humphries, PF, NJ (52)
49. Tyreke Evans, PG/SG/SF, SAC (54)
50. Mike Conley, PG, MEM (55)
51. Jose Calderon, PG, TOR (57)
52. Carlos Boozer, PF, CHI (51)
53. Ramon Sessions, PG, LAL (61)
54. Luol Deng, SF, CHI (58)
55. Chris Bosh, PF/C, MIA (56)
56. Eric Gordon, SG, NO (74)
57. Manu Ginobili, SG, SA (59)
58. Wesley Matthews, SG/SF, POR (66)
59. Tyson Chandler, C, NY (62)
60. Raymond Felton, PG, POR (73)
61. Jose Juan Barea, PG, MIN (119)
62. Paul George, SF/SG, IND (65)
63. Andrea Bargnani, C/PF, TOR (63)
64. Danilo Gallinari, SF/PF, DEN (NR)
65. Jason Terry, SG, DAL (70)
66. Tim Duncan, PF/C, SA (71)
67. Isaiah Thomas, PG, SAC (76)
68. Kemba Walker, PG, CHA (NR)
69. Nikola Pekovic, C, MIN (87)
70. Jeff Teague, PG, ATL (75)
71. Gordon Hayward, SG/SF, UTAH (77)
72. Arron Afflalo, SG, DEN (78)
73. Drew Gooden, PF, MIL (67)
74. Byron Mullens, C, CHA (NR)
75. Channing Frye, PF/C, PHO (81)
76. Jrue Holiday, PG, PHI (72)
77. Ray Allen, SG, BOS (82)
78. Antawn Jamison, PF, CLE (79)
79. Nene, C/PF, WSH (43)
80. Luis Scola, PF, HOU (83)
81. Chris Kaman, C, NO (84)
82. Elton Brand, PF, PHI (91)
83. Zach Randolph, PF, MEM (69)
84. DeMar DeRozan, SG/SF, TOR (88)
85. Evan Turner, SG, PHI (85)
86. JaVale McGee, C, DEN (50)
87. Rodney Stuckey, PG/SG, DET (92)
88. Brandon Knight, PG/SG, DET (89)
89. Al Harrington, PF, DEN (90)
90. Marcus Camby, C/PF, HOU (NR)
91. Kyle Lowry, PG, HOU (113)
92. Lou Williams, PG/SG, PHI (93)
93. Randy Foye, SG/PG, LAC (NR)
94. Jameer Nelson, PG, ORL (94)
95. David West, PF, IND (96)
96. Devin Harris, PG, UTAH (99)
97. Gerald Henderson, SG, CHA (100)
98. Amare Stoudemire, C/PF, NY (95)
99. DeAndre Jordan, C, LAC (97)
100. Iman Shumpert, PG/SG, NY (101)
101. Ryan Anderson, PF, ORL (31)
102. Mike Dunleavy, SG/SF, MIL (104)
103. Marcus Thornton, SG, SAC (30)
104. Jason Thompson, PF, SAC (103)
105. Jared Dudley, SF/SG, PHO (86)
106. Kyrie Irving, PG, CLE (20)
107. Jarrett Jack, PG/SG, NO (64)
108. Alonzo Gee, SG/SF, CLE (98)
109. Kevin Martin, SG, HOU (107)
110. Kenneth Faried, PF, DEN (110)
111. O.J. Mayo, SG, MEM (NR)
112. Andre Miller, PG, DEN (112)
113. Brandon Rush, SG, GS (115)
114. Darren Collison, PG, IND (130)
115. Caron Butler, SF, LAC (NR)
116. Charles Jenkins, PG, GS (NR)
117. Mario Chalmers, PG, MIA (117)
118. Kevin Seraphin, PF, WSH (NR)
119. Zaza Pachulia, C, ATL (120)
120. Tayshaun Prince, SF, DET (NR)
121. Spencer Hawes, C, PHI (121)
122. Thaddeus Young, SF/PF, PHI (111)
123. Nate Robinson, PG/SG, GS (122)
124. James Johnson, SF/PF, TOR (114)
125. J.R. Smith, SG/SF, NY (NR)
126. Shannon Brown, SG, PHO (NR)
127. Shawn Marion, SF/PF, DAL (124)
128. Tony Allen, SG, MEM (125)
129. Brandon Bass, PF, BOS (NR)
130. Terrence Williams, SF/SG, HOU (NR)

When stars like Dwight Howard, Dwyane Wade, Kyrie Irving, Ryan Anderson, Marcus Thornton, Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum all sit out games with injury, I can't help but feel for owners in head-to-head leagues that dominated all season only to see their dreams come crashing down in just a few short days. Even those in Rotisserie formats were impacted heading into the last few weeks of the season as healthy teams were able to close the gap. There is no worse feeling in fantasy sports than suffering a late season collapse. If you happened to rely on any of the aforementioned players, the only way you made it through last week was by playing waiver wire roulette. With that said, let's take a look at a few unheralded players that were recent pickups, or are still on the wire that could help win your league over the next few weeks.

Jose Juan Barea, PG, Minnesota Timberwolves: Barea might be dealing with a sore thigh himself, but with Luke Ridnour on the shelf for the foreseeable future with a severe ankle sprain, Barea should be a major asset for points, assists, steals and 3-pointers down the stretch. His value will diminish once Ridnour returns, but we still don't have an indication as to when that will be. Barea has averaged 12.5 points, 7.5 assists and 2.5 3-pointers in two games since Ridnour's injury, but somehow is owned in just 38.7 percent of ESPN.com leagues.

Gordon Hayward, SG/SF, Utah Jazz: Hayward has been fantastic for about a month know so I'm not quite sure that the "unheralded" moniker fits anymore, but just in case you missed it, he's averaging a versatile 16.5 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 0.9 steals, 1.2 blocks and 1.1 3-pointers over his past 10 games. He's turned himself into quite the multi-category producer for fantasy leaguers, providing a little bit of everything, including blocks. Hayward only swatted 0.3 shots per game last year (in 16.9 minutes), but he did average 0.9 blocks per game at Butler during his collegiate career. I figure he could settle in to somewhere around 0.6 or 0.7 blocks per game in the future. Those playing for next year should make it a point to get an extended look at Hayward

Kemba Walker, PG/SG, Charlotte Bobcats: He already proved that he could be a viable fantasy option as a starter when he averaged 14.6 points, 4.4 assists, 1.1 steals and 1.5 3-pointers in the month of February. Now starting again in the place of the injured D.J. Augustin, Walker should be able to hold the starting gig for the rest of the season. The Bobcats have a great schedule the rest of the way, and Kemba is a must-add in fantasy leagues unless you are unable to take on his horrendous 36.7 percent shooting from the floor.

Byron Mullens, C, Charlotte Bobcats: With the Bobcats going full youth movement the rest of the way, Mullens has seen 33.8 minutes averaging 19.2 points, 9.4 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game over his past five. Mullens displayed signs of a breakout earlier this season when he posted 11.5 points, 5.0 rebounds and 0.5 blocks in 24.2 minutes during the month of January, but he wasn't able to secure enough minutes to be considered a long-term fantasy addition. Now that minutes are no longer a question, fantasy owners should be running to the wire to add Mullens for the stretch run. He's still owned in just 31.1 percent of ESPN.com leagues.

Randy Foye, PG/SG, Los Angeles Clippers: Most people expected Nick Young to cut into Foye's playing time, but Foye has risen to the occasion with 20.2 points and 4.0 3-pointers over his past five games. Mo Williams' return might complicate things, but Foye is on an incredible hot streak that just might carry on the rest of the way.

Caron Butler, SF, Los Angeles Clippers: After a horrendous shooting slump immediately after the All-Star break, Butler was dumped by many a fantasy owner after he posted just 9.3 points, 0.6 steals and 0.7 3-pointers in the month of March. But Butler has come roaring back with 15.0 points and 1.8 3-pointers per game over his past five contests. Remember, Butler was returning borderline top-100 value prior to his second half slump.

Charles Jenkins, PG, Golden State Warriors: Jenkins is stuck in a time-share with Nate Robinson at the moment, but that hasn't stopped him from providing value as an assist and steals specialist for the Warriors. With 11.5 points, 5.5 assists and 0.8 steals in 26.8 minutes over his past five games, Jenkins will continue to be a fine option unless Stephen Curry returns to the lineup.

Marcus Camby, C/PF, Houston Rockets: Don't look now but Camby is playing out of his mind with 9.0 points, 10.2 rebounds, 1.4 steals and 2.4 blocks per game over his past five. Camby might be 38 years old, but he can still be a force on the defensive side. He has soundly outplayed Samuel Dalembert, and is locked into the starting center spot unless injury forces him out of action.

Nikola Pekovic, C, Minnesota Timberwolves: Owners have been slow to re-add Pekovic (51.8 percent owned in ESPN.com leagues) after his ankle scare a few weeks back, mostly because he's earned just 22.7 minutes per game in three contests since his return. But Pekovic has stated that his ankles feel fine, and his minutes have increased in each of his three games. With averages of 12.7 points and 4.3 rebounds in those games, I have no doubt that he'll be earing 30-plus minutes per game again in the near future.

Brian McKitish is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com and is a two-time Fantasy Basketball Writer of the Year, as named by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association.

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