Having now officially reached the halfway point in the season, the Fantasy playoffs loom large for many managers. While our rosters are basically set, there is always a glimmer of hope that we might be able to find a diamond in the rough, especially at the business end of the season. Luxury stash is a term thrown around a lot throughout the season, yet many of the names thrown into the conversation remain unrostered across many leagues. Here are just a few players who may be available in your league and could get you over the line when all is said and done. Let's dive in.
Jalen Suggs, Magic
Having just returned from a multi-week absence, Suggs is yet to get going. Across 18 games this season, he is outside the top 200 in standard formats, averaging just 11.1 points on 41.0 percent shooting, adding 3.1 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.2 3-pointers. Clearly, these are not the numbers of a player who needs to be rostered.
However, if we look at some of the positives, there is certainly reason for optimism. Prior to Suggs' most recent injury, he had scored in double-digits in four straight games, exceeding 20 points in two of those. He also managed to hand out at least five assists in eight of nine games, chipping in 1.5 steals per game. During that time, the Magic were without Markelle Fultz, affording Suggs additional ball-handling responsibilities. With Fultz now healthy and playing well, Suggs will likely spend more time playing off the ball. That could cut into his assist numbers but could also get him some good looks at the basket.
Gary Harris is currently starting at the two-guard spot, although it feels as though he is just keeping the spot warm for Suggs' eventual ascension back into the starting lineup. While it could take a couple of weeks, Suggs could very well be playing 30 minutes per night, with the potential to average upwards of 16 points per game, also providing elite steal numbers to go with solid assists and triples.
Williams has already carved out a consistent spot in the rotation, unlike Suggs, who has flip-flopped a bit thus far. He is outside the top 160 for the season but has churned out top-50 value over the past two weeks. During that time, he is averaging 13.9 points, 3.7 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 2.3 steals, 0.9 blocks and 1.1 triples. His minutes are creeping up towards 30 per night, allowing him to showcase his talents on both ends of the floor.
While the Thunder are still categorized as a rebuilding team, it feels like fans are pushing for as many wins as possible. And based on what we see on the floor, the coaching staff may feel the same way. Many of Williams' teammates find themselves playing sporadic minutes on most nights, typically based on the flow of the game and the individual matchups. Williams, however, appears to be a constant no matter the opposition.
There isn't as much wiggle room here compared to Suggs, although Williams can improve on what he has been able to do throughout the season. The top 50 is probably out of reach, but managers could be looking at a potential top-100 asset come mid-April.
We have seen a couple of glimpses of what Williams can do when afforded minutes, although sadly, he remains limited thanks to the solid play of one Mason Plumlee. Focusing on Plumlee for a bit -- it's safe to say he has eclipsed everyone's expectations thus far this season. As a Plumlee manager, I'm thrilled to see him playing some of the best basketball of his career. However, he could be supplanted at some point, especially once the Hornets are officially eliminated from playoff basketball.
As for Williams, he is currently outside the top 200 this season, averaging just 6.1 points, 5.9 rebounds and 0.7 blocks in 13.6 minutes per night. He has played more than 20 minutes only once, delivering a stellar performance consisting of 17 points, 13 rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocks. These numbers are not sustainable, but they give us a sneak peek of what he is capable of.
It's hard to know precisely when Steve Clifford will change course and start looking at Williams more. And honestly, there is a chance he opts to stick with Plumlee a lot longer than he probably should. Williams certainly falls into the luxury stash category, but given the recent trend, he is better suited to teams sitting atop the standings.
The poster child for the luxury stash discussion, Eason continues to play limited minutes off the bench for a team that should clearly be featuring him more. He is the 166th-ranked player thus far, compiling 7.9 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.1 steals in just 18.8 minutes per game. Coach Stephen Silas seems hesitant to give him meaningful minutes despite the fact he is rolling with veterans like Eric Gordon.
Common sense is certainly not a plentiful trait in Houston. Based on what we saw with Alperen Sengun last season, there is a real chance Eason will remain underutilized for the remainder of the season. He isn't really doing enough to warrant a roster spot right now, although he is at least a borderline option, especially if you are punting points. Keep an eye on things in Houston as we approach the trade deadline, just in case they can move a couple of assets, freeing up playing time for Eason down the stretch.