by Will Overton
I say it a million times each basketball season, fantasy basketball players need to know their standings at all times to be successful. This is never truer than when you’re navigating the waiver wire looking for the next guy to add to your team. You don’t want to add a guy who excels in rebounding when you’re already blowing everyone away in that category, even if that guy is the “best player overall.”
Today we are going to be looking at some guys who can help you make up ground or entrench your lead in three-pointers. It seems like there are more and more three-point shooters in the league as we now have so many bigs that step back for that shot. Finding the right guy is the key though, one who gets enough minutes to matter and ideally one who doesn’t kill your FG% by chucking up too many bad threes.
Here are some guys I would target for this category. For the purpose of this article we are looking at guys owned in fewer than 50% of leagues right now on ESPN:
Mirza Teletovic – Phoenix Suns: You may be too late to this party, but if you’re not and he is available in your league, don’t even read the rest of this, just go and add him. In the month of February, spanning 10 games, Teletovic averaged 16.7 PPG, while knocking down 2.9 3PG. He’s hitting threes at a clip of 41.4% right now in these 10 games. Teletovic doesn’t do a whole lot else outside of his shooting and scoring, but he just does that so well when he’s getting minutes, and he should keep getting minutes the rest of the season. Teletovic is your best bet to beef up this category.
Terrence Ross – Toronto Raptors: The minutes for Terrence Ross have been steadily rising recently and that has a lot to do with the way he is playing. In the month of February, Ross played in all 11 of his teams games, averaging 26.6 MPG, 13.0 PPG and 2.3 3PG, while shooting 42.4% from downtown. Ross’ most recent form is even more impressive as he has 14 treys in his last four games alone and is coming off a 27 point effort against the Detroit Pistons in which he went 10 – 19 from the field and 4 – 7 from beyond the arc. There’s still no set timetable for the return of DeMarre Carroll which means that Ross’ playing time is secure for the foreseeable future.
Isaiah Canaan – Philadelphia 76ers: The streakiness of Isaiah Canaan is enough to drive a fantasy owner crazy, and I know because I’ve owned him and dropped him several times this season. Right now though, he’s on an upswing, finding his groove playing off the ball next to Ish Smith rather than being the ball handler and creator. Canaan isn’t really as much of an all-around player as fantasy owners had hoped for from him, but he is still a deadly shooter, hitting 2.2 threes per game in February and 2.2 per game for the season. It seems like even when Canaan’s minutes get cut he manages to come in and knock down a couple treys in whatever kind of playing time he does get.
Doug McDermott – Chicago Bulls: When Doug McDermott was drafted in the first round in 2014 we knew his one lasting quality would be his ability to shoot the ball even if nothing else panned out. So far that has rung true, but lately he is looking like the Bulls go to guy on offense. In his last five games McDermott is averaging 19.6 PPG and has 10 three-pointers made in those games. Soon enough Jimmy Butler will return and restake his rightful position as the Bulls premier offensive weapon, but right now McDermott is running with that job. Even when Butler does return I expect we’ll see a lot of McDermott at the three with the way he has been playing lately, clearly outplaying Mike Dunleavy at this point. McDermott is another 40% or better three-point shooter who is good or at least one or two bombs every single game no matter how many minutes he’s in for.
P.J. Hairston – Memphis Grizzlies: This is a bit of a deeper league special selection. P.J. Hairston’s minutes are going to vary and so is his role in the Grizzlies offense, but there’s no denying his ability to shoot the ball. The Grizzlies acquired Hairston at the trade deadline from Charlotte, and they seem to still be figuring out how to use him and how much to use him. Last week though in two games where Tony Allen couldn’t play, Hairston combined to knock down nine three-pointers. The upside is here for Hairston to be a 2.0+ 3PG player and getting that off the wire in a deep league is a real nice get.