T.J. McConnell (PHI): The undrafted guard out of Arizona has been a reliable option for 76ers head coach Brett Brown as Philadelphia aims to fill the void left by injured point guards J.J. Redick and Jerryd Bayless. With Redick’s prognosis calling for a two-week absence from the team, McConnell will be the primary beneficiary, earning increased minutes at the point guard position. Over his past four games, three of which were victories against top teams in the Eastern Conference, McConnell averaged a respectable 14 points and six dimes. Additionally, he logged approximately 30 minutes, 11 steals and shot at least 50 percent from the field during the same stretch. Trust the process, at least for the short term, while Redick is sidelined.
Wayne Ellington (MIA): In his second year on the Miami Heat, Ellington is averaging career highs in points, 3-pointers attempted and 3-pointers made. Shooting at an efficient 41 percent clip from downtown and 43 percent clip from the field, Ellington has been a catalyst for the Heat’s ascent in the Eastern Conference standings. His ability to be a knockdown shooter from the perimeter offers much value to owners seeking an upgrade in triples, especially since almost 90 percent of his field goals come from behind the arc. Not only has Ellington shot at a solid rate, but he also had a long ball in every game since Dec. 29. During that span, he turned in at least four threes five different times, making him worth considering in standard leagues.
Kelly Oubre Jr. (WAS): Although the former Kansas Jayhawk has failed to turn heads thus far early in his NBA career, Oubre has been a consistent scoring option for the Washington Wizards during the month of January. As he has nearly quadrupled his scoring average from his rookie season until now, Oubre’s offensive capabilities are unquestionably developing at a critical time when Bradley Beal and John Wall are in their primes. Oubre has scored in double figures in the Wizards’ previous seven contests, including a 26-point performance in his most recent outing against the Detroit Pistons. Despite the small sample size, Oubre is worth ownership if his scoring output remains consistent.
Montrezl Harrell (LAC): It may be crazy to some to add a player who is only averaging eight points and barely eclipsing four boards, but as long as DeAndre Jordan battles an ankle injury, and, more importantly, stays on the trading block, Harrell is a decent option for both the short and long term. Unsurprisingly owned in only 14 percent of Yahoo leagues, Harrell’s fantasy stock is bound to be on the rise with a blockbuster trade looming. Disregarding his poor performance against the Jazz on Saturday, he recently posted 25 points and 17 points in two games against the Sacramento Kings and 18 points against the Denver Nuggets. His numbers are certainly not eye-opening, but with DeAndre’s future in Los Angeles up in the air, Harrell is someone to have on your watchlist.
Dirk Nowitzki (DAL): Father Time has caught up to this 2011 NBA champion, 13-time NBA All-Star and 2007 NBA MVP; however, Nowitzki will likely always remain a sharpshooting big man who can occasionally get buckets at high rates and double-digit scoring. His value is exemplified by being one of the top free-throw shooters in the NBA, as well as a top-20 3-point shooter, percentagewise. In his past seven matches, Nowitzki reached 19 points four times, missed only one free throw and contributed three 3-pointers at three different times. Even though you cannot expect him to turn your team around or be the center of your offense, Nowitzki can absolutely help balance poor shooting from the charity stripe or the field. The 40-year-old future Hall of Famer may be worth a pickup in deeper leagues for owners searching for a decent stretch four or five.