2014-15 Fantasy Basketball: Waiver Wire Fix — Week 7
Welcome to the week seven 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: Danny Green (owned in 64% of ESPN leagues), Giannis Antetokounmpo (61%), Trey Burke (50%), Jose Calderon (40%), Louis Williams (40%), Gorgui Dieng (35% – should be close to 100% while Pekovic out), K.J. McDaniels (34% – Great stls/blks from a wing), George Hill (24% – stasher, out until late December), Mo Williams (22%), Corey Brewer (17% – steal-matic) and Tyler Zeller (14%).
Now, let’s get to the waiver wire targets for this week.
DeMarre Carroll (35%) – How can this be? A guy who kept himself inside the top-100 and ended the year as the 68th best player overall in 8-category leagues last season is still available in 65% of leagues? Carroll missed some time due to injury this season but he’s been back for 13 games now and has scored in double digits ten of those contests, averaging 11.5 PPG respectively. Scoring isn’t why he’s a player that should be owned in most leagues though, it’s his balanced stat-attack. While Carroll has shot a lowly 41% from the field over that same span, he’s been much better over the past two seasons (.465) so we should see that trend upward going forward. The biggest benefit you get from DeMarre are his 1.3 steals and 1.4 treys which he can improve narrowly to about 1.5 each. His fair 5.5 boards and 76% from the free throw line are just added perks — enough to have his owners singing Christmas Carrolls. If you’re in a roto league, DC should be owned, period.
Matt Barnes (6%) – A guy I touted a good bit headed into drafts and wow did he let me down. A great 2013-14 season with the Clippers, starting 40 of the 63 games he played in and delivered beautifully is what I expected to continue this year. What I got was a rough pre-season followed up by a really slow start to the regular season where his minutes took a good hit. I’m not sure what clicked in the December 3rd game against the Orlando Magic, but coach Doc Rivers let Barnes play even with the game well in hand in the 4th quarter. Barnes played 36 minutes that night and he filled out the stat sheet, and with that game plus the five that followed, Matt has looked like the guy I said would be a top-100 player again. In 33.5 minutes he’s put up a quality line of 14.5 points, 4.2 boards, 1.5 dimes, one steal, 0.7 blocks and 2.2 treys while shooting 53% from the field and 89% from the line. I love players who help you all over, so I’d be adding Barnes in most leagues.
Robert Covington (16%) – Thought about writing about the latest Sixer to look fantasytastic last week but I wanted to see more than two good games before I recommended anyone to add him. A week later, the kid who just turned 24-years-old today (Sunday) has continued to impress. Over the past six games — and he started the most recent two — Rob has taken his game to the next level with a 19.3 points, six boards, 1.2 swipes and 3.3 trifectas while shooting 47% from the field and 92% from the line. He’s done most of his scoring damage at the rim and from behind the arc. He’s taken zero mid-range jumpers over these six games so even if his hot hand from three cools down his field-goal percentage should hold up. Do I have total confidence in this continuing? No, but we’ve learned over the past few seasons that average or less NBA players can deliver big in fantasy on an extremely weak 76ers team. He’s playing too well not to be added everywhere right now. Sam also hit on Rob this week with a good read.
Tristan Thompson (24%) – Over the past five games, Tristan Thompson has seen his minutes get a boost and he’s been a much better fantasy asset because of it. He’s seen 31.5 minutes on average in those five games and boasted a useful double-double plus line of 12.2 points, 11.1 rebounds and 1.4 blocks while shooting 59% from the field. Tristan has been good enough lately that he should continue to see around 30 minutes a night and if you’re in need of big man stats, he’s a nice addition although as most bigs, he comes with a non-ideal free-throw percentage of 62%. There is some room for improvement there though as he shot 69% from the stripe last season.
Rudy Gobert (5%) – You didn’t think I’d pass up a chance to talk about my man GOBERT, did you? Derrick Favors hurt his ankle two games back and while x-rays were negative and he’s just day-to-day, you never know how quickly Favors will actually get back. In the game Favors missed most of and tonight’s game in which Rudy started, he’s averaged a sexy 28.4 minutes, eight points, ten rebounds, two assists, 1.5 steals and FOUR BLOCKS! Rudy is at two blocks per game on the season even at 19 minutes a night, so anytime he’s given an extra ten minutes, Swat city! I made a bold prediction that Gobert would be a top-80 player post-All-Star break and I still feel his time will come, but this likely isn’t his break as Favors just won’t miss enough time. While he is out — even if just for a couple of games — snatch up Rudy and enjoy the perks.
For more fantasy hoops analysis and to have any questions you may have answered, follow Zack on Twitter @BigZack44