2014-15 Fantasy Basketball: Waiver Wire Fix — Week 5
Welcome to the week five Waiver Wire Fix. Be sure to check back here every weekend for the duration of the fantasy hoops season for more wire targets. I’ve begun breaking the column down according to player types. This should help you find the player that fits your teams specific needs best. There will be different categories every week, so I hope you enjoy the new format. If you’re not sure if you should drop a certain player from your team for one of these targets then shoot me a tweet and I’ll give my two cents.
I only discuss players that are owned in less that 51% of ESPN leagues. I also won’t repeat players that I’ve mentioned in a previous column unless it’s absolutely needed because they’ve leaped into an even better opportunity. This all said, if any of these players are available in your league you should grab/consider them: David West (owned in 67% of ESPN leagues, returned to action Friday and is a must own), Giannis Antetokounmpo (63%), Courtney Lee (49%), Trey Burke (49%), Iman Shumpert (47%), Jose Calderon (46%), Kelly Olynyk (42%), DeMarre Carroll (37%), George Hill (28% – stasher, out until mid-December), Solomon Hill (17%), Mo Williams (16%) and Corey Brewer (12%).
Now, let’s get into this week’s waiver targets.
Louis Williams (34%) – My colleague Sam discussed Sweet Lou in his latest Box Score Browsing piece, but I figured his recent play still deserved more hype. Sam mentioned that he “likely isn’t available in any league you’re in” but shockingly enough he’s owned in just 34% of ESPN leagues and 46% of Yahoo leagues. Over the past six games Lou has averaged 20.5 points, 2.2 steals, three treys, and shot a near flawless 94% (33/35) from the charity stripe all in just above 23 minutes per game. He earned NBA Eastern Conference player of the week honors last week which is pretty rare for a bench player to pull off. Whether he stays center of the sun hot or not, you have to soak in all of the statistical rays Lou is shining out right now.
You can see in the shot chart above that Lou isn’t falling in love with one area, he’s still taking shots from anywhere on the court. He’s doing most of his damage getting to the rim and finishing and/or drawing contact and getting to the line for easy points. Lou should be owned everywhere right now and has made himself a legit 6th man of the year candidate.
Danny Green (45%) – People continue to brush Green’s hot start off as if it’s not legit but he’s shown over the past 2+ seasons that he is more than capable of being a member of the 1 trey – 1 steal – 1 block club. Last season Green only missed it by six blocks, and this season it looks like he’ll easily make it in all three categories. Through 14 games Green has been a big part of the Spurs rotation playing 29 minutes a night and that shouldn’t change with the success he’s had. You can see to the left that Green knows his areas of strength and the bulk of his points are coming from the rim and corner threes. In fact, 74-percent of Green’s shots come from behind the arc where he’s knocking down 2.1 of the 5.3 attempts a game this season.
He’s not however just a three-point specialist, as mentioned above he does a lot defensively for your fantasy team where he’s racked up 1.1 steals and 1.4 blocks per game. In the five most recent Spurs’ games Danny has been throwing a block party rejecting 13 shots. Over every players last five games Green has more blocks than anyone trailed closely by teammate Tim Duncan (12), Serge Ibaka (11) and Brook Lopez (11). Getting that kind of block production from a wing is a huge advantage for any fantasy team, so seize it. If he’s available in any league, acquire him right away.
Timofey Mozgov (20%) – After starting the season receiving significantly less playing time than expected, Brian Shaw has set his best center free the last six games. In those six games Mozzy has played 32 minutes while posting a nice 13 points, 9.5 rebounds, 0.8 steals, 1.8 blocks while shooting 64% from the field and 76% from the free-throw line. As long as Moz is getting good minutes, he should remain a double-double threat with quality blocks and should be owned in most leagues. The only concern with Moz when playing an increased role is his foul rate where he’s had 5+ fouls in three of the six games mentioned above.
Gorgui Dieng (28%) – Often times backup big men find it difficult to provide consistent fantasy stats, but we all knew that the 24-year-old Dieng was sitting in about as good of a position as a backup can be. Being one injury from big minutes and production is the case for a lot of players in the league but when you’re talking Nikola Pekovic as the man ahead, you’ve got a lot more reason for optimism. Pek has missed 67 games over the past three seasons, the Wolves already announced they wanted to keep his minutes limited to under 30 this season and he’s already missing time due to his wrist while also being nagged (likely all season) by a bursa sac in his ankle.
That all adds up to even higher hopes for Dieng who is worthy of being owned in most 12-team leagues even when Pek is active because he’s still delivering boards and blocks, plus he is one predictable long injury stint by Pek away from being a total monster. In the four games Pekovic has recently missed, Dieng is averaging 34 minutes, 8.3 points, 8.8 boards, 2.5 steals, and two blocks. Not sure about you but those defensive stats have me drooling. If you’re able, roster him now and wait for the break that will unleash him for fantasy dominance and if you can’t, at least own him now until Pekovic is back possibly late next week.
Brandan Wright (27%) – One of the most efficient players in the league, Brandan Wright is making the most of his limited role of just 19 minutes per game. Wright is still managing 10.4 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.5 blocks and a prodigious 77% from the field on the season. He’s also knocking down 75% of his free-throws although he only shoots two a game. Brandan is taking 94.6% of his shots within three feet of the rim, but regardless, that field-goal percentage is ridiculously good and while it’s too high to stick, he has shot better than 64% from the field over the past three plus seasons. Over the last six contests he has averaged 1.2 steals as well. Wright’s Per-36 minute line looks absurd at 19.5 points, 8.6 boards, 1.2 steals, and 2.8 blocks. So, if Tyson Chandler were to get injured be ready to snatch up Wright in every league possible, but as is he’s a decent 12-team guy who you know what you’re getting from but not must own.
For more fantasy hoops analysis and to have any questions you may have answered, follow Zack on Twitter @BigZack44