Originally posted on Taking Bad Schotz  |  Last updated 1/30/13
Heading into the second half of the NBA season, it is make or break time for Fantasy owners. Here are the top 9 players you should be able to pick up in your league to help you make the playoffs. 9. Elton Brand, Dallas Mavericks (owned in 45.5% of leagues) Even with Dirk Nowitzki back in the lineup, Brand continues to put up consistent numbers across the board. In his last five games, Brand has put up double digit rebounds 3 times and double digit points 4 times. In addition, the veteran big man is in the last year of his contract, and will need to rake up some numbers in order to increase his value for next year. 8. Vince Carter, Dallas Mavericks (owned in 49.9% of leagues) Like Brand, Vinceanity is another aging player looking for a new contract next season. Although he had some early season struggles, Carter has found a role as a high scoring 6th man for the struggling Mavs. Carter has not scored less than 15 points in his last 5 games and also puts up decent numbers when it comes to rebounds, assists, and steals. 7. Carl Landry, Golden State Warriors (owned in 50.9% of leagues) Throughout his entire career, Landry has been known as a hustle man, which is a great role for him on Golden State. The Warriors’ run-and-gun style allows Landry to use his hustle and speed to beat defenders down the court and collect a ton of offensive rebounds. He is a threat for a double-double every night and should continue to see significant minutes even with Andrew Bogut back in action. 6. Michael Beasley, Phoenix Suns (owned in 24.4% of leagues) The former 2nd overall pick is yet to find his groove in the NBA, but new Suns’ coach Lindsey Hunter may give him that chance. Beasley is a freak athletically and like to put up a lot of shots, making him a threat to score twenty any given night. 5. Alan Anderson, Toronto Raptors (owned in 29.2% of leagues) The reason you might not have heard of Anderson? He spent last season with Regal Barcelona, where he led the Spanish team to a Euro League Championship. Anderson gets solid minutes for the Raptors and puts up good scoring numbers because of his deadly three point shooting, hitting nearly two threes a game. The small forward out of Michigan State also averages over 1 steal per game. 4. Jimmy Butler, Chicago Bulls (owned in 10% of leagues) When starting small forward Luol Deng went down with a hamstring injury, Butler more than filled in. During that six game stretch, Butler averaged 15 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 2.5 apg, and 1.0 spg. Although Deng has returned and Derrick Rose is returning less than a month away, Butler proved his value and should find himself in the 6th man role. 3. Eric Bledsoe, Los Angeles Clippers (owned in 38.8% of leagues) The backup guard for the Clippers is a star in the making, and would start on most teams that don’t feature a premiere point guard. Clippers’ coach Vinny Del Negro is starting to give the young guard more minutes, and he is responding with more success. Look for Bledsoe to be traded to a place where he can get more minutes when Grant Hill and Chauncey Billups make a full recovery, which will only add to his value. 2. Andre Drummond, Detroit Pistons (owned in 44% of leagues) The big man out of UConn has been one of the top rookies this season per 48 minutes, but for some reason has not earned the trust of coach Lawrence Frank. But with the Pistons season virtually over, Frank will be pressured to use the athletic big man more to help prepare him for the future. Look for Drummond to take advantage of these extra minutes and rack up more points, rebounds, and blocks. 1. Tyler Zeller, Cleveland Cavaliers (owned in 20.9% of leagues) Yes, that’s right, Tyler is finally stealing the spot light from his brother Cody for a little bit. With Anderson Varejao out for the season, Zeller will be stepping into an opportunity to get a lot of points and rebounds. Zeller has filled the role nicely thus far, posting three double-doubles in his last four games. -Langer  
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