2014-15 Fantasy Basketball: Waiver Wire Fix — Week 9
Welcome to the week nine Waiver Wire Fix. Be sure to check back here every week 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 best fits your team’s specific needs. 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: Nerlens Noel (owned in 54% of ESPN leagues), Shabazz Muhammad (45%), Kelly Olynyk (42%), Manu Ginobili (41%), Mason Plumlee (38%), Jose Calderon (37%), DeMarre Carroll (33%), Tristan Thompson (27%), Tyler Zeller (21%), Ed Davis (18%), Rudy Gobert (10%) and Alex Len (2.8%).
Let’s get to this week’s wire targets.
George Hill (45%) – George has been mentioned in my above “grab/consider” paragraph above since the start of the season as a player I would have stashed if at all possible. Well, his time has finally arrived and he’s on the court for the first time this season playing in his second game of the season on Friday night. The Pacers are going to ease him back into the mix but he played 21 minutes in his first game and 27 in their most recent, so it’s on a well paced incline. The Pacers desperately needed an upgrade in play at the point and Hill provides that on both ends of the floor. Look for Hill to average around 16 points, 4-5 assists, one steal and two treys a night when he brushes all of his rust off. He should be owned in all leagues as the above is solid and he has a bit more upside with the Pacers being depleted from what they had a year ago.
Jarrett Jack (14%) – Jack has been doing a fantastic job starting for the Nets with usual starting point man, Deron Williams out with a calf injury. Jack has been so good that Coach Lionel Hollins stuck with him as the starter on Friday night when Deron returned from the injury. Will Jack continue to start over DWill? That’s to be determined but Deron being positive about the situation and saying he’s ok with coming off the bench if it’s best for the team is encouraging. In Friday’s game Jack showed out again in 34 minutes of play with a 27 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals, 1 block and 10/10 from the foul line box score. Deron played just 21 minutes. Even if DWill regains the starting job, there’s no way they cut Jack majorly out of big minutes, he’s played too well. Look for him to stay around 30 minutes the rest of the way and withhold 12+ team league fantasy roster value.
Elfrid Payton (13%) – It may be time to grab Elf and hope that he turns his starts into more production. He comes with a poor percentages disclaimer although he doesn’t take enough FGA/FTA to wreck your team either. Over his last six games (four of which he started), Payton has averaged 29.6 minutes, 7.8 points, 3.7 rebounds, 6.5 assists and 1.2 steals. While Elf doesn’t hit treys or shoot well, if you’re needing assists he looks like he’ll keep up the solid dimes the rest of the way and the rookie is getting much needed experience on the young Magic team so improvement is very likely.
Steven Adams (11%) – Adams has brought down double digit boards in seven of his last ten games (once nine and once eight) and he’s blocked 12 shots in that same span. He’s just been terrific recently and he’s still splitting too many minutes with fellow Thunder center, Kendrick Perkins. If coach Scott Brooks would just slap himself with reality and give Adams 30+ minutes a night, not only would it be better for the team but it’d make him an absolute beast in fantasy. Even as it is though, he’s a great rebound specialist who pitches in some blocks.
Kyle O’Quinn (8.5%) – The Magic finally did the right thing and started O’Quinn at PF next to Nikola Vucevic. KOQ has shown when he gets the minutes, he can produce and in this role he should see a minimum of 27 minutes a night. In his first start in the new role, Kyle crushed it with a 18 points, 13 board, two steal, one block and two treys line. In the two games that followed, O’Quinn put up duds, one he battled foul trouble and another he was surprisingly ineffective. Look for him to shake those brutal games off and get back on track soon as he has a nice role in this lineup if he continues to start. I’d grab him in deeper leagues for now and monitor him closely if you’re in a standard league due to his ability to fill out the stat sheet.
Jared Dudley (7%) – I didn’t think a day would come this season that I would have to mention Dudley’s name, but here we are. After the Jabari Parker ACL tear, we figured the minutes left vacant would be evenly dispersed over the team’s wings but Dudz not only ate up a lot of the minutes but even more astonishingly racked up stat production as well. Over the past seven games Dudley has posted a fantasy friendly line of 29 minutes, 13 points, 4.3 boards, 2.7 dimes, 1.9 steals, two trifectas while shooting 57% from the field. Roto fantasy players especially should have all just gotten really interested in searching for Dudley on their wires. Until he cools off, he should be owned in most 12-team leagues and even some 10-team rotos as well. When you find a guy with good percentages that offers decent points, boards, assists and tacks on very nice steals and threes, you take advantage.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (10%) – Sam pretty much nailed this one in his latest Box Score Browsing column. While KCP is pretty much exclusively a scoring three-point specialist (14 treys in his last four games), he still has the ability to grab a few boards and average a steal a game. Focus after the Josh Smith trade went to who would benefit of the bench players but Smith gone just opened up more minutes and shots for KCP while several others just got a slight boost in minutes but aren’t really effective enough for fantasy relevance besides maybe Jonas Jerebko in deeper leagues. If you need a boost in threes, KCP is your guy.
For more fantasy hoops analysis and to have any questions you may have answered, follow Zack on Twitter @BigZack44