Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
If you peruse the NBA scoring statistics, you see many familiar names...Kevin Durant, Amar'e Stoudemire, LeBron James and Kobe Bryant.
However, buried among these superstars are some less familiar stars who toil in relative anonymity. They are less known, at least to the public at large, for various reasons ranging from playing north-of-the-border to late at night when most fans have long since turned off "SportsCenter" and gone to bed.
But just because they don't get the "hype" doesn't mean they are any less valuable to making your fantasy dream of a championship come to fruition. In fact, it's because of their lack of a "name" that you might be able to trade for one of them at a reasonable cost.
Let's look at five of these guys.
Eric Gordon - Gordon is the league's No.8 scorer, yet barely gets noticed. He's got two things going against him - his home games start at 10:30 p.m. and he is playing along the second coming of the "human highlight film" - Blake Griffin (the original was Dominique Wilkins). Gordon has raised his scoring average from a pedestrian 16.9 ppg last season to 24.1 ppg through his first 41 games. He escaped injury in a hard fall on Saturday against Golden State. With Griffin grabbing the attention, Gordon should continue to thrive while playing under the radar. You should see if he's available for trade.
Kevin Martin - When Martin first arrived on the NBA scene in 2004, he was a bit player on a strong Sacramento team behind the likes of Chris Webber, Peja Stojakovic, Mike Bibby and Bobby Jackson. When Webber left a year later, Ron Artest became the team's main cog. Martin began to blossom in 2007 and had three solid seasons before being shipped to Houston. He's played very well with the Rockets, averaging 22.6 ppg since being traded in mid-2009, but very few people have taken notice. Martin's fantasy worth has an upper limit because he's not strong in the rest of the categories, but if scoring is what you need, he's worth an investment.
Andrea Bargnani - Bargnani was the first pick of the 2006 NBA draft, but he's not gotten much media attention. One reason is that he plays half his games in Toronto. And for the last four seasons, he played "second banana" to Chris Bosh. Bosh is gone and it's now Bargnani's team. He's picked up the scoring pace, but he still barely is noticed. The Rome, Italy native could use some work on his rebounding to get noticed more by the fantasy world, but 21 ppg centers are always valuable commodities.
Michael Beasley - Beasley was the No.2 selection in 2008 behind Derrick Rose, but he had not played up to expectations until getting traded to Minnesota this season. Getting 33+ minutes of court time, Beasley had upped his scoring average to 20.6 ppg, almost six points better than last season. He's shooting better from the field and from three-point range. Playing in Minnesota and with center Kevin Love rightly getting a lot of attention, Beasley could probably be had at a reasonable price given that he was a ninth-round selection on Draft Day.
Rudy Gay - Gay has been a stats-filler all season. He's currently working on career-highs in all eight fantasy categories. As a fourth-round selection on Draft Day he's giving you more than expected. As one of the few pure scorers on the Grizzlies, he should continue to fill it up.