NBA Basketball Column: Waiver Wired
Wired: Hot NBA Pickups
Game Played for Week 7
4 Games: Hawks, Nets, Bobcats, Cavaliers, Mavericks, Nuggets, Pistons, Warriors, Rockets, Lakers, Hornets, Sixers, Spurs, Kings, Raptors, Wizards.
3 Games: Celtics, Bulls, Pacers, Clippers, Grizzlies, Heat, Timberwolves, Bucks, Knicks, Magic, Blazers, Jazz.
2 Games: Thunder, Suns.
Nate Robinson Bulls – Kirk Hinrich left Saturday’s game with an elbow injury and it’s too early to know about his status for the week. But if he’s going to miss time, Robinson is a must-add in all formats. We’ve been touting him as a solid guy to hold onto in fantasy leagues, even when Hinrich is healthy, but he would put up big numbers as a starter. He had 14 points, six boards, eight assists and two 3-pointers in relief of Hinrich on Saturday.
Rodney Stuckey Pistons – Stuckey has hit double figures in scoring in three straight games, including a season-high of 24 points with seven assists on Friday. Over his last five games he’s averaging 13.5 points, seven assists and a steal per game. It looks like he’s finally ready to start performing for the Pistons after a slow start to the season.
Jeremy Pargo Cavaliers – Pargo has been dumped in a lot of leagues, and for good reason, but came out of nowhere on Saturday with 24 points, four assists and two 3-pointers, which could very well end up being his best game of the season. Kyrie Irving is nearing his return, but Pargo should have about another week left in his window of opportunity, and has the potential to put up decent numbers in four games.
Jason Kidd Knicks – Kidd was dropped during a stint on the shelf with a back injury and hasn’t really set the world on fire since his return. But he was playing very well before going down and is back in the Knicks’ starting five. And as long as he stays there, he should be a solid source of 3-pointers, steals, assists and rebounds, with the occasional 10-point game.
Randy Foye Jazz – Foye had a disastrous three-point game on Wednesday, but has scored 20, 19 and 12 points in the other three games out of his last four, hitting 11 3-pointers over that stretch. He’s not going to help in a lot of other categories, but looks like he has solid value in points-based scoring systems as long as he continues to start and get nearly 30 minutes per game.
Jordan Crawford/Bradley Beal Wizards – Crawford has exploded on the scene since Trevor Ariza went down with a calf injury, and got a bigger boost when A.J. Price broke his hand on Saturday. Shaun Livingston will see a deep-league boost with this news, but Crawford and Beal are the two guys to pick up. Crawford should have already been owned after scoring 22, 14, 22, 17, 19 and 19 points over his last six games, while also piling up 3-pointers, steals and assists. But he is still only owned in 31 percent of ESPN leagues. Beal, who is only owned in eight percent of ESPN leagues, has now hit double figures in six of his last seven games, including a total of 35 points over his last two. And with Price gone and Wall still not showing any signs of a quick return, both players should be very nice additions to your team.
Marco Belinelli Bulls – Belinelli got off to a poor start while filling in for Rip Hamilton, who could miss an entire month with his foot injury, but caught fire recently, scoring 22, 16 and 23 points over his last three games with eight 3-pointers. He’s hit 21-of-43 shots over that stretch and while he could go cold at any minute, he is going to be owned in a lot more than 0.3 percent of ESPN leagues if he has one more big line.
Gerald Henderson Bobcats – Henderson still isn’t starting for the Cats, but could be soon. Even off the bench, he’s scored 13, 19 and 18 points over his last three games and has hit four 3-pointers during that stretch. He also has a couple blocks, a couple steals and 11 rebounds in those three games, and is only owned in 15 percent of ESPN leagues. His return has hurt Ramon Sessions’ value and I’d rather own Henderson at this point.
Vince Carter Mavericks – Carter has scored in double figures in eight of his last nine games, and is averaging five rebounds, a steal and has hit nine 3-pointers over his last four. He’s a bit of an injury risk, but is getting it done in his 24 minutes a night in December.
Tayshaun Prince Pistons – Prince has quietly scored in double digits in eight straight games and had eight rebounds on Saturday. He doesn’t steal the ball, but is shooting it well from both the field and line, and has hit four 3-pointers over his last five games. He’s not a must-own player, but won’t hurt your fantasy team anywhere.
Carlos Delfino Rockets – Delfino is over his groin injury and has the Rockets’ best +/- rating. He’s scored 10, 9, 15 and 13 points over his four games since returning from his injury, and has knocked down 11 triples over that stretch. He’s also rebounding and handing out assists, and while Chandler Parsons will continue to hold him back, “Delthree-no” is a nice option if your team needs 3-pointers.
Corey Brewer Nuggets – With Wilson Chandler out with his hip injury, Brewer has gotten a nice opportunity off the bench, and has scored 20, 19 and 19 points in his last three games. He’s hit four three-pointers over that stretch and is also averaging four boards and two steals in those three games. I have no idea how long he’ll keep it going, but he could be a sneaky four-game play this week.
Mickael Pietrus Raptors – Pietrus burst on the scene with 21 points, six boards, a steal and two 3-pointrs on Wednesday, and then had 13 points, four boards, three blocks and four 3-pointerrs on Friday night. He’s starting for the Raptors and as long as that’s the case, he should keep playing well while getting 30-plus minutes per game.
Ersan Ilyasova/Marquis Daniels Bucks – Ilyasova continues to be the international man of mystery in fantasy hoops, as you never know what you’re going to get. He has scored 21 (with 12 rebounds), 17 and 15 points in three of his last four games, but had just two points in the other one. He also had a DNP-CD just before that, which was preceded by a zero-point performance on Nov. 28. But he’s starting to come on again for the Bucks, and if he gets minutes and gains some confidence, he could be on the verge of an explosion (which I've probably said for five straight weeks now). Daniels has been starting and scored 18 and 12 points in his last two games, but I’d still rather take a flier on Ilyasova and hope for the best.
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Markieff Morris Suns – Morris is averaging 14 points, 11.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.5 blocks and a 3-pointer over his last two games, while Michael Beasley has been benched by the Suns. Morris has the unique ability to hit threes, block shots, score and rebound, making him a very intriguing player. The minutes should be there with Beasley benched and I’m a fan of picking him up in all formats. Beasley played well off the bench on Saturday with a team-high 21 points and a full stat line, but it feels more like a fluke than a sign that he’s suddenly about to turn it around. The Suns only have two games this week, meaning you won’t want to start Morris in weekly leagues, and keep in mind he plays much better at home than on the road.
Kevin Seraphin Wizards - Seraphin, who is owned in just 40 percent of leagues, is a very safe add right now, averaging 14 points, eight boards and a block per game over his last five. I don’t understand why he’s not owned in more leagues.
Andre Drummond Pistons – Drummond had 15 points, 12 rebounds, a steal and two blocks on Wednesday and is averaging eight points, seven boards and 1.4 blocks over his last five games. He’s a terrible free throw shooter, hitting just 6 of his last 16 shots from the line, but doesn’t shoot enough of them to kill your team. He’ll still need more minutes from coach Lawrence Frank to be a must-start player, but he’s a nice stash, as more minutes should be coming his way (lather, rinse, repeat).
Jason Maxiell Pistons – Maxiell is averaging 8.4 points, 7.6 rebounds and 2.4 blocks over his last four games and continues to start over Drummond for the Pistons. He’s got a nice four-game week coming up and is an underrated PF/C you can throw into your lineup without doing too much damage to your team. But he can disappear at times, as he scored just six and four points in two of his last five games.
Jeff Green Celtics – Despite the presence of Paul Pierce and Brandon Bass, Green is finding a way to be relevant in Boston, averaging 16 points, 4.2 rebounds, a steal and 1.6 3-pointers over his last five games. He’s scored 16 or more in four of those, despite getting just 24 minutes per game. He can disappear at any time, but is hot right now, but the Celtics play just three games this week.
Amir Johnson Raptors – Jonas Valanciunas started again on Friday, but it is possible that Johnson could be ready to replace him in the first unit any day now. A.J. Has scored 10, 11 and 16 points in three of his last five games, but had a total of six points in the other two. Over his last five he’s averaging 8.6 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.8 assists, a steal and 0.6 blocks, but all those numbers would quickly be on the rise if he does take over as the team’s starting center. Consider him a speculative add at this point.
Larry Sanders Bucks – Sanders has been on a well-documented tear in the shot-blocking department and is averaging 9.6 points, 10.4 rebounds, 1.4 steals and an amazing 5.6 blocks per game over his last five. I still don’t trust Scott Skiles with Sanders, but given what he’s done over the past five games, there is no reason he shouldn’t be owned in all leagues until further notice.
J.J. Hickson Blazers – We’ve seen cases where Hickson was dropped in some leagues and he’s still only owned in 83 percent of ESPN leagues, despite averaging 11.2 points and 10.1 rebounds on the season. He had a 2-point game on Monday with zero rebounds, but despite that dud, is still averaging 10 points, seven rebounds and a steal over his last five. He should be owned in all leagues.
Robin Lopez Hornets – Lopez is averaging 14 points, five rebounds, a steal and 1.8 blocks over his last five games, and had 20 points, eight boards and a block on Saturday against the Heat. He’ll disappear occasionally, but is having a nice season and should be a solid fantasy center, at least until power forward Anthony Davis is back.
Bismack Biyombo Bobcats – Biyombo replaced a struggling Byron Mullens in the starting lineup on Saturday, and while I’m not flat-out dropping Mullens, it’s something owners have to think about right now. Biyombo is averaging 5.6 points, 7.6 rebounds and 2.0 blocks over his last five games, and those numbers should be on their way up if he continues to start for the Cats. Just don’t take a flier on him if your team is already hurting in the scoring department.
Lavoy Allen Sixers/Tyler Zeller Cavaliers – These two are worth a deep-league look, as Allen is averaging 7.6 points, 8.6 rebounds, 0.6 steals and 0.6 blocks over his last five games. Spencer Hawes is coming on a bit for the Sixers, but Allen still looks like a better option for now. Zeller has somehow scored in double figures in three of his last five games and is averaging 10 points, seven rebounds and 1.2 blocks over that stretch while splitting time with Tristan Thompson.
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