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New and improved NBA fantasy options

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - The NBA shortened season is in full swing with most teams having played four-to-six games which should be enough time to spot some trends.

And while most the of the names at the top of the charts are familiar (LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Dirk Nowtizki, Dwyane Wade, Blake Griffin, Kevin Love, etc), there are a couple of newcomers who could help your team that you might not have thought of.

Spencer Hawes, Philadelphia, (75% owned) - Hawes was pretty much invisible to fantasy owners last season as he averaged 7.2 ppg and 5.7 rpg in around 21 minutes of play. His minutes are up drastically through the first four games of 2012 and if that continues he'll be a viable fantasy option. Over the 76ers first four games, all on the road, he's averaging 12.0 ppg and 12.5 rpg in over 33 minutes of action.

Jarrett Jack, New Orleans, (72% owned) - After being traded from Toronto to New Orleans, Jack spent the year coming off the bench behind All-Star guard Chris Paul. Paul is in Los Angeles now and Jack is playing very well as the Hornets' starting point guard. He's averaging 16.5 ppg, 8.0 apg and 3.5 rpg in almost double the minutes he played last season.

Kyle Lowry, Houston, (98% owned) - It's not that we didn't know about Lowry, obviously his 98-percent ownership says we knew who he was, its just that he's playing well above expectations. He's scoring about the same as last year (13.3 vs. 13.5 ppg) but he's posting a league-leading 11.5 apg and 2.5 spg. If his owner isn't paying attention, maybe he could be obtained in a trade.

Ty Lawson, Denver, (93% owned) - The Nuggets experienced a dramatic upheaval on their roster in 2011 with Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups heading out of town. The result was that Lawson got a chance to run the Denver offense. He's thrived in the situation and his scoring average has jumped from 11.7 ppg last year to 18.2 ppg this season.

Ryan Anderson, Orlando, (85% owned) - He's gone from bench player to a starter getting 31+ minutes and he's taking advantage of the situation. Through the first six games he's averaging 19.2 ppg and 6.2 rpg.

Jose Calderon, Toronto, (85% owned) - Calderon has seen additional minutes this season and that along with the improvements in the Raptors lineup has made him a more valuable fantasy product. He's averaging 12.0 ppg, and 9.8 apg and as always is a star at the foul line.

JaVale McGee, Washington (91% owners) - McGee made a huge jump forward last season, playing more minutes and posting career high points, rebounds and field goal percentage. He's been even better over the first five games on 2011-12, averaging 13.8 ppg, 11.0 rpg.

Greg Monroe, Detroit, (97% owners) - Monroe started 48 of 80 games last year and was a typical rookie having good games and bad. So far in his second season, he's playing at a higher level - averaging 4.4 ppg more than last year and 1.1 more rebounds-per-game with only a small increase in playing time.

Boris Diaw, Charlotte, (87% owners) - Back in 2005-06 with Phoenix, Diaw was one of my favorite players with his ability to contribute in many categories. He's started 2011-12 like he wants to be that type of contributor, averaging 10.0 ppg, 8.8 rpg, 6.5 apg.

Carlos Delfino, Milwaukee (73% owners) - Delfino has always been a fantasy reserve, but that could change in 2011-12 if he continues at his current pace. He's averaging 14.5 ppg, 7.5 rpg and 2.5 apg. On a team with Stephen Jackson, Brandon Jennings and Andrew Bogut, he'll have to work hard to keep his shot total at a useful level.

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

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