NBA Centers of Attention: Weeks 19 and 20
NBA Centers of Attention: Weeks 19 and 20

Now that we have passed the NBA All-Star break, we have hit the stretch run for fantasy basketball. There are a ton of games across Weeks 19 and 20, so there are plenty of viable options on waivers that can be of help. If you need reinforcements at center, here are four players to consider who are still available in the majority of Yahoo leagues.

Dwight Howard, Lakers (50 percent available): Howard went on a bit of a hot streak heading into the break by averaging 11.4 points and nine rebounds across five games. He shot a staggering 84.6 percent from the field during that stretch but, surprisingly, didn't record a single block. That's odd considering he has averaged 1.3 blocks across just 20 minutes a game this season.

Howard can be somewhat risky since he doesn't always receive consistent playing time. With that said, the Lakers will take the floor seven times across the next two weeks, so he is at least worth considering. Among the teams that they face during that stretch are the Pelicans (twice), Grizzlies, Sixers and Clippers, each of which have some size up front that could help Howard log additional minutes

Dewayne Dedmon, Hawks (52 percent available): Even though the Hawks have one of the worst records in the league, they still made a splash at the deadline by acquiring Clint Capela (heel) from the Rockets. The problem is that Capela was hurt at the time of the trade and is still "weeks" away from returning, according to coach Lloyd Pierce. With him still out, that leaves it up to Dedmon to take on an expanded role at center.

Dedmon was also brought in at the deadline after being buried on the bench for the Kings. He's made an immediate impact with his new team, averaging 7.8 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.5 blocks and one three-pointer across four games. With secure playing time in hand moving forward, he could really thrive since the Hawks have played at the sixth-fastest pace in the league. On top of that, they will play four times in Week 19 and three times in Week 20. Add him now while you still can.

Daniel Theis, Celtics (60 percent available): Considering their lack of quality depth at center, it was a bit surprising that the Celtics didn't trade for a center. They could be active in the buyout market, but there really aren't any appealing big men sitting there at this time. With no moves on the immediate horizon, that means Theis should continue to start at the five with Enes Kanter serving as his primary backup.

The presence of Kanter has not had a major adverse effect on Theis, who has averaged 27 minutes across his last 10 games. While his numbers don't jump off the charts, his averages of 11 points, 7.2 rebounds and one block while shooting 60.6 percent from the field during that stretch should not be overlooked. The Celtics are scheduled to play three times in Week 19 and four times in Week 20, meaning Theis could provide value.

Naz Reid, Timberwolves (90 percent available): Don't think I forgot about all of you who are in deep leagues. If you are, Howard, Dedmon and Theis are likely long gone from the waiver wire. It's probably slim pickings at this point, especially with the massive amount of injuries across the league. The most recent star big man to go down is Karl-Anthony Towns (wrist), who missed the last game before break. It was reported that he is expected to miss multiple games moving forward and that he's seeking a second opinion on his injury. The Timberwolves have no shot at making the playoffs, so expect them to be cautious with Towns moving forward.

James Johnson started at center with Towns out the last game, but he's not eligible at center in Yahoo leagues. However, Reid is and should have an expanded role off the bench moving forward. He logged 22 minutes in that game against the Hornets, finishing with 12 points, six rebounds, one steal and one block. He's logged at least 20 minutes in a game only three times all season, but he did average 12.7 points, 5.3 rebounds and one block during that stretch. Another encouraging stat is that he is averaging 1.2 three-pointers despite only playing 11 minutes per game for the season. The Timberwolves will play four games in each of the next two weeks, so adding Reid could turn out to be a wise decision.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mike Barner
Mike started covering fantasy sports in 2007, joining RotoWire in 2010. In 2018, he was a finalist for the 2018 FSWA Basketball Writer of the Year award. In addition to RotoWire, Mike has written for Sportsline, Sports Illustrated, DK Live, RealTime Fantasy Sports, Lineup Lab and KFFL.com.
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