Seek performance over name recognition

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - They look a lot better on your roster than they do on the playing floor. And this time of year, with the championship on the line, you would be better off dropping them and picking up someone who can contribute, even if the "other" name isn't as flashy or glamorous.

They are players like Brandon Roy, Gilbert Arenas, Shaquille O'Neal, Tracy McGrady, Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Troy Murphy.

At one time in their careers, they were fantasy stars and in the case of the first four names...superstars.

But they are stars no longer. They are not even decent substitutes for when your guys have an off day or are out with an injury.

There are, however, plenty of players ready to take the above group's place on your roster, who can contribute and not simply take up space.

Kyle Lowry -- Lowry is still available in one of every four leagues despite the fact that he has averaged 20.7 ppg, 4.7 rpg and 7.2 apg over the past two weeks. We're talking Joe Johnson or Danny Granger-type value for the price of a waiver claim.

Andrew Bynum -- Bynum has been pounding the glass lately, with 12-or-more rebounds in his last six contests. Throw in a dozen points and 2.8 blocks and he's been a top-10 value.

Marcus Thornton -- Thornton is really enjoying his increased playing time in Sacramento. In his 10 games for the Kings (six starts), he's averaging 22.2 ppg, 3.2 rpg and 2.9 apg along with 2.1 three-pointers. Strangely, he's still available in 30 percent of all leagues. That's like Houston's star guard Kevin Martin sitting out there waiting to be selected.

Greg Monroe -- With the Pistons wallowing around 20 games under .500, the team has allowed rookie Greg Monroe plenty of freedom on the court. He's responded over the last two weeks by averaging 13.6 ppg and 8.8 rpg, well above his season averages of 8.5 ppg and 7.0 rpg. He's up to around 32-to-34 minutes-per-game which should allow him to continue at this new level.

Marcin Gortat -- Now out from under Dwight Howard's huge shadow, Gortat is showing that he can play the game. The increase of 12 minutes per game, (15.8 to 27.8) has produced 11.8 ppg and 8.6 rpg for the Suns. The return of starter Channing Frye, should not deter you from picking up Gortat (67 percent owned) for the remainder of the season.

Tyler Hansbrough -- Hansbrough is finally getting a chance to start and he's taking full advantage. He set a career high with 29 points on Sunday and then broke that mark on Tuesday with a 30-point night against the New York Knicks. In 14 starts this season he's averaging 15.9 ppg and 6.3 rpg versus 8.6 ppg and 4.5 rpg in a reserve role. He's owned in around 50 percent of all leagues and could certainly help you over the final 15-18 games.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.

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