Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!

Lost password? [X]

Receive free daily analysis:

NFL    NBA    MLB

Already have an account? Log in here.

[X]

Forgot Password


[X]

NBA Bench Risers for Fantasy Basketball Week 2


NBA teams have a multitude of players coming off the bench, each with a unique role to fill. As a fantasy owner, you need to decide which of those players can contribute across multiple categories and have the potential to make the most of their time on the court.

To find bench players that can contribute more than just energy and defense during their time on the court, I will analyze usage rate and Per 36 statistics. Here are some bench players whose stock should be rising based on their recent play and could be great fantasy pickups for deep leagues. Note: I will only be selecting players who are not regular starters and who are owned in less than 50% of Yahoo! leagues.

Editor's Note: New users that sign up on FantasyAces, make a $20 deposit, and enter any game will receive our full season NBA (or NFL) Premium Pass for free (includes DFS Cheat Sheets). Just email info@rotoballer.com with your new FantasyAces username - and boom, that's it! We will email you with your Premium Pass.

 

Rising NBA Bench Performers

Jonathon Simmons (SF, SA) - 31% owned

Jonathon Simmons is all Spur. Not highly regarded out of high school, he started out in junior college and played just one season at a Division-I school (University of Houston). He went undrafted and landed in the American Basketball League before a tryout with the Austin Toros in the D-League. His hard work and perseverance have paid off, elevating him to a key bench role in San Antonio.

Although Kyle Anderson has been starting in the absence of Danny Green, it has been Simmons who has taken advantage of the opportunity for increased playing time. He surprised everyone by dropping 20 points on opening night against the Golden State Warriors, with four rebounds and three assists to boot. His next game was a dud, with just five points in 18 minutes as the Spurs went with a bigger lineup most of the night to match the Kings.

In four contests so far, he is averaging 17.8 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.7 assists per 36 minutes. He doesn't shoot many threes (1.1 per 36) and will hurt you at the line with a .636 FT%, so don't expect him to produce the numbers of a pure shooter. Simmons uses his athleticism to get to the rim and can score in bunches given the opportunity. The key with Simmons will be his usage in the next couple of weeks. With a usage rate of 21.3 so far, he is ahead of All-Star teammate Pau Gasol. Coach Pop is always unpredictable, so keep Simmons in mind as a fill-in for leagues with daily lineups over the next couple of weeks while Green recovers.

 

Tim Hardaway Jr. (SG/SF, ATL) - 12% owned

Unlike Simmons, Tim Hardaway is a familiar name to any NBA fan. Also like Simmons, he surprised everyone by scoring 21 points in the opener and then had a letdown in game two. The younger Hardaway is not a point guard like his father, but can swing between the two and three spot. He did see some run at the point in the second game of the season and could handle the ball more often this year.

His 25.8 usage rate currently puts him in the top 40, ahead of point guards like Goran Dragic and Derrick Rose. Granted, this is after two games, but the fact he is being utilized heavily already despite a rough preseason is an encouraging sign. Hardaway has a shooter's mentality on the court, evidenced by his career 13.7 FGA per 36 and 7.0 3PA per 36. He averages a decent .350% on three-pointers, but has increased those stats early this season.

In those two games, he is averaging 3.4 out of 9.4 on three-point shots per 36 for a .364%. Overall, he is at 24 points per 36 minutes. If he can increase his ball-handling responsibilities, it's possible he raises his career 2.0 assists per 36 to three or four. Right now he can be added if you need a shooter with the potential to put up big numbers on a given night.

 

Mike Muscala (PF/C, ATL) - 21% owned

Another Hawk makes the list, mainly due to injuries by Tiago Splitter and Mike Scott. With the key bench forward and center likely on the shelf for about a month, Muscala should see far more than the 10.9 MPG he is averaging for his career. If you peruse the free agent list in your league, you probably have seen Muscala's name near the top of the early rankings and wondered just where he came from.

The fourth-year big man has been a minor player for the Hawks throughout his career, but he has seen his games played increase the last three years from 20 to 40 to 60. Now he has the chance to be a key contributor, albeit still in a reserve role. He is catching some attention after averaging 17.6 points per 36 in the first two contests. More importantly, he is ninth in blocks per 36 at 3.8, excluding players who have logged less than 10 minutes total.

Although it's still an extremely small sample size, Muscala could be the type who will stuff the stat line. In addition to the blocks, he is averaging 2.3 assists and steals per 36, along with 6.9 total rebounds. With only journeyman and ex-reality wannabe Kris Humphries competing for minutes on the frontline, bet on Muscala to provide solid value over the next few weeks.


By popular demand, RotoBaller has aggregated all of our fantasy basketball NBA waiver wire pickups into a running list of NBA waiver options, so bookmark the page and check back often for updates.



More Recent Articles

 

Week 7 Disaster Recovery: Evan Engram

Welcome to Disaster Recovery, where each week I'll examine why your studs played like duds. This isn't a place to find out why you should have sat a player for somebody else on your bench. Disaster Recovery is here to examine the guys who you didn't think twice about starting and to help you decide if you should... Read More


Week 8 Defense (DEF) Streamers and Starts - 2019 Fantasy Tiers, Rankings

This was a REALLY difficult week to rank, because there are so many usable DSTs this week. There are usable options all the way down to Tier 4 this week, and you're going to have something available to you on the waiver wire in even the deepest of leagues. Below are RotoBaller's Week 8 defense... Read More


How To Properly Look At Quarterbacks - NFL NextGen Stats

Okay, folks, I'm about to bring you bad news. If you're reading this it is because you're trying to get an edge over your league mates to beat them this weekend. That means you're here to get informed on what to do and how to tackle your week's most pressing decisions. The bad news: these... Read More


Plug 'Em In - Fantasy QB Replacements for Patrick Mahomes

There is no firm timetable on the possible return of the best quarterback in fantasy football. Patrick Mahomes may miss three weeks with a dislocated kneecap, but there have been reports indicating he could possibly be back sooner. The best way to approach the guesswork as a fantasy owner is to prepare as if he... Read More


Fantasy Football Risers and Fallers - Kenny Stills, Brandin Cooks, David Montgomery

Whether due to their own play, the play of others, or injuries, players' stock increases and decreases on a weekly basis. Perhaps more than any other, the NFL is a league that experiences ups and downs at a rapid pace. With only 16 games, there’s little room for error and seemingly endless opportunities for improvement.... Read More


The Tape Tells All - Chase Edmonds' Fantasy Analysis

Welcome to another edition of "The Tape Tells All," where I break down some film of an NFL's player performance and try to draw some fantasy football conclusions from that film. After a two-week absence because I was busy prepping RotoBaller for NBA season, I'm back to talk about football. This week, I'm looking at... Read More


NFL Survivor Pool Picks (Week 8) - Targets and Avoids

Disaster averted. The Bills found themselves trailing against the lowly Dolphins but pulled it out late. Had Buffalo lost, more than 50 percent of remaining entrants in survivor pools would have been knocked out. The 49ers did their part in the monsoon in D.C while the Patriots cruised against the Jets. All my picks to... Read More


Week 8 Waiver Wire Pickups & Adds

It's Chase Edmonds' world, we're just living in it. Wait, what? Hopefully you added him, as suggested in this column the past two weeks, because even if David Johnson is deemed healthy enough to actually play, it's likely Edmonds continues to see action. In QB news, by the halfway point of Thursday night, we already had... Read More


FAAB Bidding - Week 8 Waiver Wire Targets

Assisting our famous waiver wire pickups list, and our weekly waiver wire columns by position, this column focuses on suggested waiver wire bidding percentages for fantasy football owners in leagues using a Free Agent Acquisition Budget (FAAB). As a caveat, these prices do not by any means indicate how much these free agent players will... Read More


We Must Overreact Immediately! Week 7 Outliers

Week 7 seemed extremely fluky for fantasy football purposes. Devonta Freeman was ejected, and players like Will Fuller, Adam Thielen and Kerryon Johnson were both forced from their games very early on which hurt a lot of fantasy owners. The Rams wide receivers were supposed to light the world on fire against a Falcons secondary that... Read More


Deeper League Free Agent Pickups for Week 8

We're past the halfway point of the regular fantasy football season, which means you'd better start making some serious moves if you have any weaknesses in your roster. Unfortunately, this is also the time of the year when the waiver wire is at its most desolate. But that's why I'm here. To navigate you through... Read More


The Cut List - Players on the Chopping Block (Week 8)

This is your weekly list of players to drop. I will do my best to limit this list to injured players and players you might consider holding. If you roster pure handcuffs or backups, obviously you can let them go at any time. The players on this list will, ideally, be guys that aren't clearly... Read More


Week 8 Kicker Streamers and Starts - 2019 Fantasy Tiers, Rankings

Week 7 is over, and a few things have changed. The Los Angeles Rams learned how to play offense again, and the New York Jets came back to Earth, among other things. Week 7 was an especially quiet week for kickers across the NFL. A lot of kickers weren't able to get on the field... Read More


Running Back Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 8

The regular season continues to advance at a relentless pace as we have now entered planning for Week 8. Some of you are ecstatic with the level of production that has been delivered by your running backs. But many of you have been contending with unwanted developments at this position including injuries, inconsistent usage, and... Read More


Wide Receiver Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 8

We're heading into Week 8 of the NFL season. By now, some of y'all are getting a good sense of where you're at fantasy-wise, if you're heading to the postseason or playing for fun or, in a dynasty league, building for the future. This look at wide receivers is for all of you. As we... Read More