John Collins – PF ATL
After averaging just 20 minutes per game through October, and a decent way into November as well, Collins’ good play has started earning him more playing time. He has been taking advantage. From November 13th through the 24th, Collins reeled off six consecutive games with double-digit points, including a career high 21 points against the Spurs. He has been equally effective rebounding, averaging 7.5 per game over that same span. And keep in mind, he was doing all this in just 28 minutes per game.
If he becomes a true starter, these numbers will simply go up. The secret to Collins’ success recently is his shot selection: he has been taking high percentage shots and has been very efficient. Over his last 10 games, he has held a 72.3 percent field goal percentage. The rookie out of Wake Forest is starting to really make an impact for the Hawks, and it wouldn’t be surprising if he becomes a Fantasy starter if he continues to get more playing time. Collins should be owned in all leagues.
Wesley Johnson – SF LAC
Clippers forward Danilo Gallinari has been out of the lineup since November 7th with a glute injury. The injury was obviously on the severe side since he has been missing for three weeks and won’t be coming back for at least one more. And it could be even longer than that.
Since he has been gone, Wesley Johnson has been getting more playing time, and he has been taking full advantage of his newfound role. In his last five games, Johnson has played almost 35 minutes per game, and he has averaged 13.8 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 1.6 assists per game. He has also been an effective defender with 1.6 steals and 1.8 blocks per game over that period.
Johnson certainly isn’t a guy that will be starting on most teams, but he could be a good bench add for at least the next two weeks, and maybe longer depending on whether he continues to get playing time once Gallinari is back. There is no doubt that Johnson is playing at a higher level than he has in his career (his effective field goal percentage is up to 59.4 percent this year (versus 48.4% in his career). It is only a matter of whether he can keep it up.
Kris Dunn – PG CHI
Kris Dunn is an interesting case in the Fantasy world because his rate stats are not very good, but his usage is so high that he can still rack up some points. What I mean is that his shooting percentage is not all that great, but because the Bulls don’t have much of a choice, he still plays a lot and keeps taking 12-16 shots per game. He does rebound pretty well for a point guard (4.8/game on the season, 5.4/game over his last six), and his assist numbers are fine (3.9/game on the season, 4.5/game over his last six), but he hasn’t been overly impressive. He has been average from 3-point land, and slightly below otherwise; but again, nothing to brag about.
What you can bank on as an owner is that he will get a lot of playing time, and he will have a high usage rate. Usually, when looking for steals on the waiver wire, you look for players who are playing really well and who you think the playing time will increase to reflect that. For Dunn, we see an average player already getting solid playing time that we hope will become more effective as he gains more experience.
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