Time is compressing. We are all confronted with a dwindling amount of games on the NBA docket.

Whether you're competing in rotisserie, head-to-head, categories, or points, there are a finite number of available stats left to power our imaginary franchises.

That's why later in the season, I pay extra attention to scarcity. I identify which categories and positions have the highest degree of scarcity, and I roster to prioritize those categories and positions.

Scarcity (as you probably know) is an all-important fantasy principle. It focuses on which stats or positions have the most uneven distribution of available value.

For example: If a team scores 100 points in a game, and one player accounts for 45 of those available points, and another player scores 25 points, points are going to be harder to come by for their remaining teammates. There's a top-heavy, uneven distribution of scoring within the box score. Within this box score, points are a scarce statistic.

There are two general ways of divining scarcity: by statistical category, and by position.

Take a look at our Player Rater. In a player pool that's, say, 150 deep, we might imagine that the accrual of value within a category or position assumes a steady trajectory downward.

Example: We might assume that from James Harden's 22.29 overall Player Rater points to the Mitchell Robinson's 2.35 Player Rater points, there's an orderly distribution across the decline in value.

(By the way, if Robinson is still available in your league, take a break from reading this, pick him up THIS INSTANT, then come back. I'll wait.)

Anyway, declining value does not follow a steady downward trajectory. There is always a bubble toward the top of a category, where a concentrated group of elites control a disproportionately high percentage of overall production.

Within overall Player Rater value for the season, there's a 22-player bubble that ends around Blake Griffin (currently 22nd on the Player Rater). In a 150 player-deep pool, those top 22 players account for about 300 out of an available 1,000 Player Rater points.

Meaning: The top 15 percent of players in a 150 player-deep pool accounts for 30 percent of overall available value.

From the player after Griffin on down (Jusuf Nurkic), overall value declines in a steady downhill trajectory. The bubble in value is formed by players 1-22.

Part of my job is to search for bubbles of disproportionate value. Bubbles by category and by position. I also look for year-to-year changes in statistical trends. I use scarcity to help identify which categories and positions are undervalued and overvalued.

For the purposes of this column, I want to focus on categorical scarcity (as opposed to positional scarcity) because I've found a curious correlation between two categories that have pooled a surprising amount of scarcity.

One category isn't a shocker: free throw value.

(I prefer to refer to free throw production as "free throw value" because "free throw percentage" doesn't do the production justice. We also have to account for the volume of free throw attempts. Example: You'd rather have a player shooting 85 percent from the line across 10 attempts per game than a 90 percent shooter taking five attempts. That 85 percent shooter is going to have far greater impact on your fake team's free throw value. Thankfully, our Player Rater takes volume of attempts into account.)

Free throw value is one of fantasy's perennially undervalued categories. It's the least sexy stat in fantasy (unless your league counts turnovers), is hard to get excited about and easy to lose track of. Once you factor in the importance of volume of free throw value, its impact gets even mistier.

There are actually two bubbles in free throw value: players 1-9 (Damian Lillard through Malcolm Brogdon) and players 141-150 (think Andre Drummond and Hassan Whiteside).

The other category is a bit of a surprise: 3-pointers.

Many years, blocks and assists grapple for the top spot in scarcity. This season, I've detected a pronounced bubble in 3-point production.

The sheer volume of attempted 3-pointers in 2018-19 (31.6 per game as of this writing) is supercharging the stat. (An increase in Pace, up to 100.1 possessions per tilt, is fueling it, along with the mass abandonment of the 16-to-20-foot shot.)

The bubble in 3s lies from players 1-14 -- from Harden (5.23 Player Rater points in 3PT) to Joe Harris (2.22 Player Rater points in 3PT). Meaning a disproportionate amount of available value in the category is compressed within those 14 players.

We've identified two categories with the most pronounced amount of scarcity: free throw value and 3-pointers. Next, I started looking for players that formed a collective bubble across those two categories: players who do well in free throw value and 3-pointers.

Why? Because if you start players that excel in both of those categories, you'll be squeezing extra value out of those starts. Because those players will be taking up a disproportionate amount of available statistical oxygen.

I then looked at who's surging in those two stats: who's been performing the best across FT% and 3PT over the past month. (Because players can run hot and cold in those categories.)

Let's start by knocking the obvious big names off the list. You won't be surprised to find out Paul George, Kemba Walker, Kevin Love, Bradley Beal, Klay Thompson, Harden and Steph Curry all excel at this categorical combination. (Or maybe you forgot the just-returned Love traditionally has packed 3s and free throws together in a nice bundle of production.)

I want to give you 10 less-obvious names who could make an impact for you in a small sample size of games (like, say, a playoff matchup).

Lou Williams, SG, LA Clippers
(1.8 3PG, 88.0 FT%, 7.5 FTA over the past month)

Williams has always been a steady source of free throw value. But he has ramped up his production across the board since the Tobias Harris trade. His numbers since the deal: 22.6 points, 6.0 assists, and 1.5 3s.

But Williams is living at the line. Gaining a huge amount of value in FT%. His 3.24 Player Rater points in FT% is second overall for the past 30 days (behind Beal's gargantuan 4.18 FT% points).

Trae Young, PG, Atlanta Hawks
(3.3 3PG, 81.4 FT%, 5.8 FTA)

After a slow start, Young has exploded post-All-Star Weekend, averaging 31.3 points, 9.0 assists, 4.3 3s, and 3.5 rebounds. But the secret sauce to Young's surge has been his free throw production. Post-All-Star Weekend, Young is hitting 94.4 percent at the line, across an elite 9.0 attempts per game. That's Paul George territory.

Lauri Markkanen, PF, Chicago Bulls
(2.5 3PG, 91.0 FT%, 6.1 FTA)

For the past month, Markkanen has been top-20 overall and top-10 in free throw value. He's the extra-rare player that combines elite production across 3s, free throws and rebounds (fourth overall in REB over the past month).

Danilo Gallinari, SF/PF, Los Angeles Clippers
(2.3 3PG, 92.9 FT%, 6.0 FTA)

Another Clipper who has surged post-Tobias Harris. Since the trade, he has shot 92.7 percent at the line across 6.9 attempts.

Most importantly, he has stayed healthy since the trade, playing in eight consecutive games. And he's only gaining statistical steam: Over the past seven days, Gallinari has led the Player Rater in FT%.

Donovan Mitchell, SG/PG, Utah Jazz
(1.9 3PG, 88.4 FT% 5.4 FTA)

Mitchell has struggled from the field over the past month (40.8 FG%, 30.8 3PT%). But he's still generating decent volume is 3s (thanks to his 6.5 3-point attempts per game). Despite his streakiness, Mitchell's elite free throw production provides a solid baseline to his somewhat shaky overall value.

JJ Redick, SG, Philadelphia 76ers
(3.2 3PG, 90.0 FT%, 3.3 FTA)

Like with Lou Williams, Redick has always generated a disproportionate amount of production across his 3PT and FT%. He just doesn't get to the line at Williams' elite clip. Still, 3.2 FTA is decent volume for a shooting guard who is known more for his outside shooting.

Terrence Ross, SG/SF, Orlando Magic
(3.2 3PG, 96.3 FT%, 2.3 FTA)

Say you punt all categories other than 3PT and FT%. No player gains more value in that configuration than Terrence Ross. For the past month, he's ranked eighth in 3PT and 16th in FT% (despite taking a comparatively low 2.3 free throws per game).

Collin Sexton, PG, Cleveland Cavaliers
(2.1 3PG, 83.3 FT%, 3.0 FTA)

Managers are right to be frustrated with Sexton's very un-point-guard-like 2.9 assists per game and 0.6 steals. But if you think of Sexton as a deep-league streaming specialist in 3PT and FT%, he gains some allure.

Kevin Knox, SF, New York Knicks
(1.8 3PG, 87.5 FT%, 2.7 FTA)

Over the past month, Knox has only generated 1.84 total Player Rater points. But 1.10 of those points come from the FT% category, and 1.57 points are from 3PT. So, Knox is generating more value at those two categories than his overall value. How is that possible? A minus-3.38 FG%, thanks to his shooting an abysmal 33.1 percent from the field.

Wesley Matthews, SG/SF
(2.8 3PG, 89.5 FT%, 2.4 FTA)

I'm trying to list a couple of deeper league streaming options: players outside the top 150 who still perform well within the 3PT/FT% bubble. Knox is one example, along with Matthews and my last player ...

Bryn Forbes, SG/PG, San Antonio Spurs
(1.6 3PG, 100.0 FT%, 1.5 FTA)

Here's another player who generates more value within our bubble (2.62 combined FT%/3PT Player Rater points) than overall (0.65 total Player Rater points). Forbes averages only 1.5 free throw attempts per game, but he hasn't missed a free throw since Dec. 26, 2018. That kind of accuracy gets Forbes inside the bubble.