Fantasy Basketball 2013-14: In The Bonus – Waiver Targets Week 11 – Tweet Tweet
It’s pretty incredible to think about how much fantasy sports has evolved over the past couple of decades. The number of sites that host fantasy leagues has increased dramatically, along with all of the places you can go to get up-to-the-minute fantasy news and opinions—especially that great site thefantasyfix.com. The newest rapidly growing craze is daily fantasy sports. It’s amazing how quickly it went from just one or two main sites running DFS to the many options currently available. It’s a whole different ball game and it’s highly addicting, especially when you have a nice day and win some cash. There’s no telling what is next, but one thing that’s for certain is that fantasy sports are here to stay and will continue expanding.
With there being so much news out there, you really have to be on your game to stay even slightly ahead of your competition. Whether you do mostly daily or season long leagues, knowing the latest news is critical to giving yourself the best chance to win. For standard leagues, it’s mostly injuries or rotation changes that you have to keep your eye out for. On Friday for example, I refreshed my Twitter feed for the thousandth time expecting more baseball Hall of Fame debate, but instead I saw a tweet from ESPN’s Marc Stein two minutes prior saying that Jrue Holiday needed to have surgery on his right knee. Knowing I’m in some competitive leagues, I instantly rushed to pick up his backup, Brian Roberts, in each of my leagues. Then of course right after I do, I announce the news to my league mates and tell them, “don’t bother, it’s too late, Roberts is gone.” It’s a great feeling knowing that I got the news right away and already made the proper add before they could even think of who was next on the depth chart.
Social media has changed the game for sports news, but Twitter especially. Even just a few years ago, sportswriters had to hurry and write an article for publication, each hoping they finished first. Now before they do anything, they run to Twitter with their insider tip, post the news in 140 characters or less so that they’ll be credited for “breaking” the story, and only then, start writing a real article on it. Point being, if you’re on your twitter game, you can be assured that you have instant fantasy updates right there on your smart phone or computer. I know not everyone has the ability to check Twitter every ten minutes, but checking in when you have time is still a big help.
When it comes to daily leagues, being able to stay on Twitter or other fantasy news outlets in the hour prior to first game tip-offs is a must. Every day there are lineup news and updates breaking minutes before games start, often involving some big player who’s been scratched from their game for one reason or another. If you don’t see this news and have these players in your lineups, you’re most likely not going to win a cent for the day. All the strategizing you did all day to perfect your lineup could be flushed in a tweet’s time. That hour is crucial to daily players, whether it means you getting that scratched player out of your lineup or maneuvering to put his cheap backup into your lineup (and thus allowing you to upgrade at another position).
Twitter is also the first place that I and the other members of TheFantasyFix.com post our latest pieces, such as my weekly waiver wire targets column. Speaking of which, here are this week’s waiver targets:
Brian Roberts (owned in 0.0% of leagues) – Not very often will you see a player mentioned in a waiver wire column that previously was owned in 0.0% of leagues. The NBA’s poor point guard luck continued this week with yet another stud going down to injury. Jrue Holiday’s surgery recovery timetable isn’t yet known but it’s going to be a minimum of a month of missed time, and likely more. Brian Roberts is the Pelicans’ back up point guard and will assume the starting gig until Jrue returns. Roberts started five games last season for the then “Hornets” posting averages of 12.6 points, 3.2 rebounds and 10.0 assists. This season the Pelicans have a better overall team so he won’t be as relied upon for scoring but should still have plenty of chances to dish it out for dimes. Roberts should be added in most formats as he should get plenty of run and will have a lot of opportunity to pile up the stats in Jrue’s absence. (Update: Friday night, in his first start, he got in early foul trouble and later the team was down big, so the Pelicans rolled with Austin Rivers at point guard a bit. Keep an eye on this just in case the team makes it an even split, but from all I’ve seen of Rivers playing point, it’s not likely.)
Randy Foye (4.6%) – I know Foye is one of those guys that gets hot for a couple random stints every year, but I’m still surprised that after his recent play he’s still owned in less than 5% of leagues. Foye was a starter at the beginning of the season before being benched due to ineffectiveness, but now he’s gotten a second chance and he’s making the most of it. Since January 1st, Foye has moved back into the starting SG spot for the Nuggets and has averaged 35.1 minutes per game. In their first five games of 2014, Foye has been en fuego, averaging more than 17 points, while hitting 3.4 treys a night at 48.6% from behind the arc. Here is his January shot chart showing just how on the money he has been from deep and the mid-range.
Foye will assuredly cool off, but I’d swoop him up and use his torch until the flame goes out. Adding to his arsenal, Foye has even put up close to five boards and 3.5 assists this month. He should be owned in all 12-team leagues and really probably most 10-teamers also unless you just have no one worth dropping.
J.J. Redick (53.0%) – After missing 21 games due to a wrist injury, Redick made his return to the Clippers starting lineup on Friday night. We knew J.J. would still have his conditioning since a non-leg injury allowed him to stay in shape, but we wanted to see how the shot looked and if there would be any lingering effects. Redick quickly shut down any doubts about his shot, putting up 17 points in the first half alone on 7-for-11 shooting from the field. I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see Redick’s two assists per game increase closer to four while Chris Paul is out. Redick is a phenomenal ball mover and very smart player, and the Clips could definitely use his contributions in the scoring and passing game. Redick is worth owning in all leagues, especially if you’re in need of scoring and/or threes.
Raymond Felton (49.6%) – Assists are difficult to come by off of the wire compared to points and rebounds, and although Felton isn’t a passing assassin, he does get you about six dimes a game. His FG% always is an issue as he struggles to even keep it above 40%. On the other hand, he will usually contribute 1.5 treys a night on average, which is a help. Felton has played in two games since returning from injury and he’s shot 10-for-23 from the field, with 20 assists and two treys. Felton can be a frustrating player to own at times, but if you’re in need of help in the passing stat, he’s likely better than anything else you’ll find on the wire. (Exceptions include players I’ve previously mentioned, including Darren Collison and Kendall Marshall last week and Brian Roberts this week. I’d prefer the first two over Felton for the short-term and I’d put him even with Roberts.)
Enes Kanter (34.6%) – Kanter is a risky add, but he certainly has upside. The third year pro—who some, myself included, thought would have a Zach Randolph-lite type season with Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap out of the way—has been quite the disappointment. Who would’ve believed that Marvin Williams would be drawing PF starts over Kanter this season? That said, Kanter has scored in double figures off the bench in five of the last six games, averaging just over eight rebounds in that same span despite playing just about 20 minutes per. The big negative with Kanter is his lack of steals and blocks to go with his scoring and rebounding upsides, hence the comparison to ZBo. Kanter has somehow, however, blocked just under one shot per game in this recent stretch. He also has really good percentages for a big man, both from the field and the charity stripe. If you’re in a 14-teamer or deeper, Kanter is worth grabbing with the hope that his playing time gets a boost due to his recent uptick in production. With the Jazz rebuilding and not going anywhere this year, you have to think Kanter will get more time sooner or later. There’s really no reason for Utah not to use him more, in order for him to gain experience but also to see how he and Derrick Favors play together for longer stints. Those in standard leagues should just keep tabs on this situation.
All percentages were gathered from ESPN.com
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