Undervalued Gems

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Flying under the radar of the Jeremy Lin media landslide are half a dozen players who also are playing well above their early season levels.

A savvy fantasy owner could take advantage of this lack of publicity to either claim one of the players listed below from the free-agent waiver wire or make a trade for the undervalued player from an unsuspecting owner.


Nikola Pekovic - If you are just now starting to look at Pekovic to fill the big man's role in your lineup, you're a little late to the party. His ownership level has risen from less than 10 to 60 percent in the last two weeks. But that still leaves a 40 percent chance that you can get him for just a waiver claim. Pekovic first showed up on fantasy radars when Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star Kevin Love was suspended for two games, but he didn't disappear when Love returned to the lineup. Playing next to Love, Pekovic is still averaging 17.5 ppg and 11.0 rpg. which places him in the top five among centers over that four-game span. Don't wait, pick him up today if he is available.

Jose Calderon - Hidden north of the border on a losing Toronto Raptors team is a point guard who is playing excellent basketball. Even after a strong first half of this month in which he's averaging 13.0 ppg and 9.6 apg, Calderon is available in two out of every 10 leagues. Check your free agent list and if Calderon is still there, don't hesitate for even a second before claiming him.

Tony Parker - Parker is playing great basketball, averaging 19.0 ppg and a career-high 7.8 apg for the San Antonio Spurs this season. He's been even better in February, posting 25.3 ppg and still handing out 7.6 assists. You will have to trade for him (95 percent owned), but his quiet, solid play doesn't get much attention and you may be able to pry him from his owner.

Antawn Jamison - Jamison started slowly and many fantasy owners may be overlooking how well he's played of late. Part of that is he's playing in Cleveland, where now that LeBron is gone, nobody watches their games ... not even the locals. In seven February games, Jamison is averaging 22.0 ppg, 9.3 rpg and 2.1 apg, a huge jump over January (15.0 ppg, 5.2 rpg). With Anderson Varejao out for another 4-6 weeks, Jamison should continue to dominate inside for the Cavaliers.

Joakim Noah - The Chicago Bulls forward couldn't find his shot early in the season, but his percentages are improving in each month since to the point in which he is shooting 56.6 percent this month as his points-per-game average has risen to over 13 a game. Add in 10.8 rpg and you have a guy who is performing at a high level. Fortunately, many fantasy owners looked away after his slow start and you might be able to trade for him at a reasonable price.

Pau Gasol - Kobe Bryant gets plenty of media coverage and center Andrew Bynum's great start brought him lots of attention, too. Meanwhile, Gasol has quietly put together another great season despite early season trade rumors and limited touches. The Los Angeles Lakers 7-footer's season-long numbers are the worst in the last three years, but look deeper and you will see a monster February in which he's averaging 18.6 ppg, 14.0 rpg and 3.0 apg. Send his owner a note and see if you can pry him loose with a fair offer.

Tomorrow, we will explore overvalued players who should have a "For Sale" sign around their neck before their fantasy value falls dramatically.

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