Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
I'm currently fourth out of 12 in my fantasy basketball league. Which means I'm competitive, but my team is not quite there yet. So I'm looking to the free agent list to see who is available. If you are searching for help too, here's what I've found.
Surprisingly, there are still players with plenty of ability available. Let's look at the last five players picked up in my 12-team league. The five were: Al Thornton, Joel Przybilla, Allen Iverson, Samuel Dalembert and Hakim Warrick.
Thornton is a 6'8" forward for the Los Angeles Clippers. He's averaging 13.8 ppg and 4.5 rpg, but those numbers are down from a year ago when he posted 16.8 ppg and 5.2 rpg. The problem will be in mid-January if/when rookie Blake Griffin returns from his kneecap injury.
Przybilla is a journeyman big man in Portland, but has been snapped up in most fantasy leagues because he's going to start after Greg Oden's season-ending knee surgery. He's never averaged more the 25 minutes a game in his career, but he'll likely play 30+ minutes the rest of the way. He's a rebounder, but he won't help you much anywhere else.
Iverson has the most potential of the five waiver-wire players. He's started slowly, averaging 11.8 ppg and 4.0 apg, while he works his way into playing shape. He'll have two months to prove himself while the Philadelphia 76ers wait for Louis Williams (17.4 ppg, 5.1 apg) to heal. The entire arena and most of the city is behind AI and if his outside shot begins to drop, he could put up 20 points-a-night.
Dalembert was a surprise pickup as he's not done much all season. He's averaging 6.5 ppg and 8.0 rpg over his first 22 starts. Given all the guys who like to shoot the ball on the 76ers (AI, Andre Iguodala, Elton Brand, Thaddeus Young, Jason Kapono), he'll only help a fantasy roster in need of rebounding and blocks.
Warrick is a solid young NBA player, he's just not a great fantasy player. He's getting around 24 minutes of playing time and posting 11.3 ppg and 5.4 rpg while coming off the bench. He played just 13 minutes in his last two games and doesn't look like he'll get enough PT to be "fantasy-worthy."
Other players who you might have interest in, who are still free agents in over 30% of all leagues include: Beno Udrih (13.6 ppg, 3.9 apg, 2.4 rpg), Chris Douglas-Roberts (16.7 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 1.8 apg) and Kendrick Perkins (12.0 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 1.1 apg).