Fantasy Basketball

2015-16 Fantasy Basketball: Waiver Wire Fix — Week 3

Welcome to your weekly Waiver Wire Fix. This season I am not only simply giving you players to consider adding each week, I am also telling you players that you should be watching but maybe not adding just yet, players who fill needs as specific category specialists, players I feel you should hold tight on even during a slow stretch AND players that have gotten to the point you can drop them for something more beneficial on your waiver wire. I will still only be mentioning players to add that are owned in less than 50% of ESPN leagues. So, let’s get right to it!


T.J. McConnell (owned in 24.5% of ESPN leagues) – Assists are one of the toughest stats to find throughout the year, whereas rebounds can usually be found littered throughout the waiver wire, and T.J. McConnell is delivering the jackpot of assists right now for the Sixers. TJ isn’t much of a scoring threat, but over the last week he produced averages of 6.8 points, 6.3 rebound, 9.3 assists, 1.3 steals, 0.5 blocks and 0.8 3-pointers while shooting 52% from the field. One  random stat I noticed was that McConnell has played 173 minutes this season (28.8 mpg) and has taken ZERO trips to the foul line. Until Tony Wroten and Kendall Marshall get healthy, TJ should continue to deliver assists at a high rate and be a very beneficial fantasy asset. He should be owned in all leagues.

Nik Stauskas (23%) – I know you’re all currently going, “WHO??” but I am referring to the one known as Sauce Castillo. Well, currently the sauce is extra hot to start the season and he’s really looking poised for a nice season on the putrid Sixers. Sure, when Wroten returns his minutes may take a minor hit, but I think it will be McConnell, Jerami Grant and others who take bigger hits than Sauce. Through five games the second-year player is thriving with averages of 31.8 minutes, 14.6 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 2.6 treys. His one detriment to your team is he’s only shooting 40% from the floor, but as long as he’s filling up the sheet elsewhere, we’ll live with it.

Marcus Thornton (30%) – When the Rockets re-signed Jason Terry this off-season, I went from thinking Thornton would serve a nice scoring role off the Houston bench to thinking he’d be mostly an afterthought. Instead, Thornton didn’t play at all in the Rockets first two games and then was inserted into the starting lineup out of nowhere for their next five games with Terrence Jones sidelined. Marcus definitely seized the opportunity as he balled in each game playing 35 minutes and putting up a healthy 16.6pts – 4.6rebs – 2.2asts – 1.2stls – 3.0 treys line. I’m not sure he’ll hold onto 35mins of PT but he absolutely earned a spot in the Houston rotation as a legit scoring option for Harden, Lawson and Howard to swing the ball to.

Nemanja Bjelica (10%) – The 27-year-old rookie has begun to see a pick-up in his role the last two games, 40 minutes and 30 minutes in those games. In the Wolves past two games where Bjelica has stepped it up, he’s averaged 14 points, eight rebounds, 4.5 assists, 0.5 steals and 2.5 3-pointers. It’s beyond the box score, too. The Serbian has all of the tools you look for in a breakout player. Maybe we’ve found the guy who will be what we always hoped Ersan Ilyasova would be, but better? He’s worth adding to see if he keeps it up, for sure.

Category Specialists

Points: Marcus Thornton (30%) – See above. I didn’t want to have any repeats here, but plain and simple, there were no other legit scoring options owned in less than 50% of leagues that compared currently.

Rebounds: Zaza Pachulia (32%) – While he may not be a big scorer and his FG% is in the dumps to start the season, Zaza is a helluva rebounder averaging 10.2 RPG over the Mavs first six games. Pachulia should remain a nice 10pts – 10rebs – 1stl guy with elite FT% for a big, and to me this makes Zaza worthy of ownership in all formats.

Assists: Ish Smith (9%) – Ish is playing a really nice role with the Pelicans while Jrue Holiday is still having his minutes limited. He’s shooting terribly from the field, but if you’re in dire need of dimes, Smith is dishing out 7.5 per game in 27 minutes a night. He’s also been swiping 1.7 steals as a bonus to his owners.

3-Pointers: C.J. Miles (14%) – Thornton could have legitimately been my guy here, too. Instead I scroll down a bit and find 2.5 treys per night from CJ Miles who returned tonight from a three game hiatus due to injury and jumped right back into 27 minutes played. Rodney Stuckey was injured tonight as well, opening up even more PT for the long distance sniper. Solid scoring, threes and steals with a not so great FG% is what you’ll get if you add Miles to your team.

Steals: Jae Crowder (18%) – Jae has been a straight up thief this season, racking up three steals per game through five contests. It’s not even that he’s had one big steals night, Crowder has had at least two steals in each game he’s played. Not even Dora the Explorer could stop his swiping at this rate.

Blocks: DeWayne Dedmon (2.9%) – I know what you’re thinking, this is just a guy benefiting from Nikola Vucevic‘s absence, right? Well, that’s partially true because Dedmon has played a good bit more minutes, but he was racking up the rejections before Vooch was out. If you’re truly desperate for big block totals, swoop up Dedmon averaging 2.2 per night.


Jerian Grant (27%) – I love Jerian’s game, but as of now he’s not getting enough run to really break out as a must own in standard leagues. Jose Calderon recently spoke out that he wouldn’t be against doing what is best for the team even if that meant coming off the bench. Well, the rest of us see it and soon enough Derek Fisher will give in and play the guy who is actually playing better ball in the rookie, Grant. He has the speed and pick-n-roll ability to really excel in the Knicks offense. So, keep your trigger finger ready, because when Jerian does begin to start or see over 25 minutes a night consistently, he’s going to be a great fantasy tool.

Dwight Powell (14%) – Is it the name that is making you guys hesitate? STOP. Powell looks like the real deal and should continue to see minutes backing up Dirk Nowitzki and Zaza Pachulia. The Mavs have bumped his minutes up to 25 a night the last three games and the youngin’ has responded very efficiently with 13 points, 8.7 boards, 1.0 steal, 0.7 blocks and good percentages. He’s super solid as is, but if Dirk or Zaza miss any time, the kid will truly breakout.


Meyers Leonard (17.5%) – Most have apparently quickly abandoned ship on Meyers. Well, those that did have made a mistake and if he’s floating in your league, you should swoop him up. While starting the year off really bad, just couldn’t shoot the ball into the ocean, the past three games we’ve seen Leonard come back from the dead. 14pts – 5.3rebs – 2.3asts – 1.6 treys in those games, and I really think he’s only going to get better.

Myles Turner (26%) – I know, things aren’t looking great for the 19-year-old rookie so far, but good things come to those who wait. Remember last season when I hyped Rudy Gobert all off-season and a couple months in a lot of people bailed on him and he was just a waiver type other than his blocks due to playing time? Well, this is the time you hold on to Turner and wait for the studness (not Rudy level, but…) that will come as his role expands closer to the start of 2016 (January). Lots of boards, blocks and efficient shooting to come, guys.


Ersan Ilyasova (23%) – If you’re still holding out hope on Ersan, it’s time to let it go, and never look back again. He’s been outplayed by others and has looked so subpar out on the court. He’s just not going to be the guy we hoped he could be even with this situation that seemed so fitting.

Gorgui Dieng (48%) – Wow, I didn’t expect this to be so difficult to say, but the time has come for me to give you permission to drop Dieng. I really don’t understand how he was cut out to the degree he was, but the team apparently really wants to be sure Kevin Garnett gets his 15 minutes a night, and Dieng just isn’t able to produce with his inconsistent playing time. Just keep tabs on this situation though.


For more fantasy hoops analysis and to have any questions answered, follow Zack on Twitter @BigZack44

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  1. Shawn
    November 11, 2015 at 12:42 pm — Reply

    Aaron Gordon? Been stashing him since the beginning of the season. Who do you think I should stick with… Gordon or Turner?

    Btw I was a Gobert faithful as well and his blocks and boards literally took me to the finals last year lol

    • November 11, 2015 at 1:04 pm — Reply

      Ah man, I really like both those guys. Gordon should already be playing a good bit more but Skiles is clueless to that, I guess. I narrowly lean to Gordon I suppose between the two because he can help at least to a small degree now, but I do think Myles is going to have a big second half — not Gobert level of course.

      • Shawn
        November 12, 2015 at 3:05 pm — Reply

        Crazy what 1 day can do… Turner AND Leanord out hahaha. I guess I’ll stick with Gordon for now but skiles really isn’t really doing too many favors. Thanks again

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