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Don't Ask, Don't Tell, NBA Style

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - If you were asked, "Who is the current No.1 player in the NBA from a fantasy statistics point of view?," it will probably take you a long time to come up with the correct answer.

That's because if you respond with Chris Paul, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant or even Pau Gasol (he's second), you would be incorrect.

The right answer is Memphis Grizzlies forward Rudy Gay.

Gay is doing it all for the 4-4 Grizzlies. Over the first eight games he's averaged 26.5 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 2.8 apg, 1.9 spg, 0.6 bpg along with stunning shooting percentages of 51.9% from the field, 44.4% from three-point range and 88.2% from the free throw line.

Gay was a late-fourth, early-fifth round pick on Draft Day (ADP 39) who has started out the season on fire, but he's not the only player performing well above expectations.

Below you will find four more "bargains" based on the first two weeks of action.

Elton Brand, Philadelphia - Brand has had some good years, particularly when he was posting 20 ppg, 10 rpg seasons with the Los Angeles Clippers, but his numbers have dropped significantly since joining Philadelphia. Most of the reasons have been injury related, but there was nothing to suggest that he would improve in 2010-11. He's averaging five points more than he did the last two seasons and his 58.4% FG percentage is way above expectations. In his 11th season, I'd would not expect him to be able to sustain this pace. Selling high while he's posting 18.6 ppg and 8.1 rpg is my recommendation.

Paul Millsap, Utah - Last week I wrote about Millsap and how well he did when Carlos Boozer would go down with injuries, which was frequently. Millsap is continuing to produce (24.0 ppg, 10.9 rpg, 3.0 apg) now that Boozer is in Chicago and I think he'll do it all season long. Do not trade him unless you are receiving Top-10 value.

Dorell Wright, Golden State - It's simply amazing how an average scorer turns into a fantasy star when he is installed into the Warriors lineup. Wright, who had never averaged more than 7.9 ppg in any of his first six seasons in Miami, is scoring 16.4 ppg with Golden State. He's a product of the run and gun offense and should be a solid fantasy option all season long. Not bad for a 12th round selection (ADP 143).

Joakim Noah, Chicago - Noah has been a "monster" through the first two weeks of the season, averaging 15.7 ppg and an NBA-leading 15.0 rpg. He's also Top-10 in blocks at 2.2 per game. Noah should continue to produce at this level for the rest of the month, but when Boozer returns, he'll take a portion of Noah's rebounds. If you are thinking of moving him, wait about three weeks and them make the deal. If you are going to keep him, do so with the expectations that his scoring and rebounding will shrink when Boozer comes back in early December.

2010-11 Selected Player Statistics
Player Team PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3PT% FT% ADP
Rudy Gay MEM 26.5 7.0 2.8 1.9 0.6 51.9 44.4 88.2 39
Elton Brand PHI 18.6 8.1 2.0 2.3 1.9 58.4 0.0 78.8 83
Paul Milsap UTA 24.0 10.9 3.0 1.1 0.6 62.5 100.0 71.4 62
Dorell Wright MIA 16.4 4.7 2.7 1.4 1.1 44.0 51.1 80.0 143
Joakim Noah CHI 15.7 15.0 2.2 1.0 2.2 51.5 0.0 76.5 45


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

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