Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
We are 50-plus games into the 66-game NBA season and it's crunch time for fantasy owners. Making a one- or two-game pickup might just be the difference between winning and losing.
Yes, I know Opening Day for your fantasy baseball season is just a couple of days away (I don't count the two games between Seattle and Oakland from Japan), but you must still pay attention to your basketball lineup if you want to take home the trophy.
DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento - Cousins was already having a breakout season, but he's been simply stunning of late, averaging 22 ppg and 14 rpg over the past six games. As an eighth-round selection on Draft Day, Cousins is among those vying for the Best Bargain of the Year award. His performance down the stretch will only enhance his fantasy stature.
Goran Dragic, Houston - As long as both backcourt starters, Kevin Martin (shoulder) and Kyle Lowry (bacterial infection), are out of the Rockets' lineup, Dragic should continue to be a valuable fantasy commodity. As a starter, Dragic is averaging 17.4 ppg, 3.7 rpg and 8.9 apg. Neither Martin nor Lowry is expected back anytime soon, so keeping Dragic in your starting lineup is an absolute must.
Glen Davis, Orlando - Returning from an injured hamstring, "Big Baby" produced a very Dwight Howard-like performance on Sunday as a replacement for the All- Star center who was out with a bad back. Davis played 37 minutes, scoring 18 points while pulling down 16 rebounds. For as long as Howard can't go, Davis is a viable fantasy option.
Andrew Bynum, Los Angeles Lakers - Bynum was playing at an MVP level earlier in the season and was still putting up quality statistics, until Mike Brown started messing with his head. After a benching Wednesday, Bynum's play has been inconsistent and now an ankle injury is added to the mix. He limped out of the arena on Sunday after playing just 10 minutes against Golden State and while X-rays were negative, fantasy owners must expect to be without the Lakers center for a couple of games at the least. I blame Brown for the bad karma.
D.J. Augustin, Charlotte - Despite a 16-point, 10-assist double-double on Saturday night, Augustin has been horrible of late and worthy of a spot on your bench, not the starting lineup. His March production was 8.4 ppg and 6.1 apg, well below expectations. It will take another game or two of quality numbers before I'm ready to say he's back.
Steve Nash, Phoenix - It's nice the Suns can win without Nash scoring a lot, but it's not very good for his fantasy value. Nash has always been more than just an assist guy, knocking down 3-point shots (career 42.8 percent) and being one of the best in the league from the free throw line (90.3 percent). He's averaged 14 or more points in each of the last 11 years. Unfortunately, he's not doing anything other than dishing assists at the moment. In his last six games, he's averaging just 8.2 ppg, has gone 0-for-7 from beyond the arc and shot only 12 free throws (making 11). That's simply not enough production from the two-time MVP.