If you mistakenly undervalued the all-important category of rebounding this season you probably find yourself in somewhat of a bind right now.
With pretty decent all-around production from a plethora of fantasy performers in many other strong categories this year, consistent rebounding numbers have been, surprisingly, one of the stats that seem to be harder to come by.
But for those ladies and gentlemen who snatched up say Andrew Bogut, Zach Randolph or even Al Horford as their primary glass eaters only to them go down for significant time early in the season; youâ€™re most likely scrambling right now trying to replace their consistently strong rebounding numbers.
Not to worry. Luckily for you the waiver wire is your friend and so are we.
Although we canâ€™t promise you the timely consistency of a Randolph or Horford on the boards, based on a few hidden rebounding gems out there hopefully we can at least help you strategically shore up this weak link in your roster before itâ€™s too late.
In his last 12 games the 6-10 Turkish-born combo forward is averaging an impressive 9.9 rebounds in 26.2 minutes per contest. During that 12-game span heâ€™s sprinkled in performances of 19, 11, 14 and 12 rebounds while hauling down 16 big caroms against the Magic this past Saturday night. His minutes are on the rise as he brings the hustle and passion Head Coach Scott Skiles demands of his players.
Itâ€™s reported that Gooden is suffering through a sprained right wrist and with Bogut wonâ€™t be back for some time, so a wise move would be to pick up Ilyasova while you still have the chance.
Nikola Pekovic, Minnesota Timberwolves C â€“ Darko missed six games returning from quad and ankle injuries to post a mere block, zero points and 3 fouls in 4 minutes of action Monday night in Orlando.
On the other end of the spectrum Nikola Pekovic, the man who has filled in brilliantly at center for the Wolves in Milicicâ€™s absence, tallied 16 points and hauled down 13 rebounds to go along with a block and a steal in 33 minutes. And he did all that against the most physically dominant big man in the league in Dwight Howard.
So it was a surprise to no one when Head Coach Rick Adelman chose to run with Pekovic, again, over Milicic the next time out against the Bobcats.
Oh just 21 points, 11 rebounds and 3 blocks in a 102-90 win over lowly Charlotte.
That makes 3 straight double-doubles for Pekovic and, more importantly, a nice stranglehold on the starting center position in Minny.
Pekovic has registered 7 such double-doubles in his last 12 outings. In those 12 contests he is averaging 10.1 rebounds. Over his last 3 he is averaging 19.3 points, 12.3 boards and 1.7 blocks per game on a deft 65% shooting from the field.
Now itâ€™s your turn to respond accordingly by snatching him up with the quickness.
Gustavo Ayon, New Orleans Hornets PF – Gustavo Ayon is a 26-year old rookie power forward from Mexico. The last couple seasons he has played in one of the more widely recognized and competitive International Leagues in the World.
But now due to injuries to starting center Emeka Okafor, reported to be out until after the All-Star break to rest his knee, coupled with power forward Carl Landryâ€™s injury, Ayon, is getting a quick crash course in NBA basketball as a member of the New Orleans Hornets.
And to his credit, the 6-10, 250-pound active forward is doing a pretty serviceable job thus far.
Getting extended minutes by necessity, Ayon is averaging a respectable 8.0 rebounds in his last five games while adding 1.2 blocks, 1.4 steals and 7.4 points on 53.3% shooting from the floor.
Heâ€™s also seeing an average of 29.2 minutes per game, 34 minutes per game over his last two while putting in 10.5 rebounds, 12.5 points, 1.5 blocks and 2.0 steals.
Not bad production by any means. And with Okafor and Landry out expect consistent playing time from the Mexico-native at least in the short term.
Marreese Speights, Memphis Grizzlies PF â€“ Unfortunately, you donâ€™t always know what youâ€™ll get with one Marreese Speights, but to his credit over has last five ball games heâ€™s been pretty nice.
And if you play in a league where youâ€™re stuck with a guy for the week, the averages in Speightsâ€™ case work out well even if he hits with a clunker in there.
To that point, Speights is averaging 12.0 points and 11.6 rebounds over his last five.
He dominated the lowly Nets this past Wednesday night racking up an impressive 20-point, 18-rebound, 2-block double-double much to the delight of savvy fantasy owners out there who already snatched him up.
Speights can be a bit risky to say the least, but with Zach Randolph tentatively scheduled to be out for at least another month or so; you can count on him for decent enough rebounding numbers to keep you in the run of things for the short term.
Trevor Booker, Washington Wizards PF â€“ The Wizards have actually begun to play much better basketball since Randy Wittman took over the reigns. That may have to do with Wittmanâ€™s insistence on playing the guys who put forth maximum effort every night out.
Booker is one of those such guys. With Andray Blatche still out with a calf injury and Rashard Lewis returning rather slowly, Booker has provided a much-needed jolt of energy and athleticism at the power forward spot for the lowly Wizards.
Although a tad bit undersized by NBA standards at the position, the 6-8, 240-pound second year man out of Clemson is more than able to bang with the best of them down low.
To that point Booker is averaging 8.6 rebounds, 1.0 steal and 10.8 points in 32.2 minutes of action for Washington over their last five games.
Against the Miami Heat last Friday he posted an impressive 13-point, 15-rebound, 4-steal line in a 106-89 loss at home.
With the always-tenuous situation in D.C. it can be difficult to gage who gets minutes and who doesnâ€™t for extended periods of time, however to Wittmanâ€™s credit he has stood by his desire to play those that truly warrant the time based on effort first.
Which is great news for Booker who never has any issue going all out on the court.