Fantasy Basketball

Fantasy Basketball 2013-14: In The Bonus – Waiver Targets Week 13 – The Chopping Block

Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey
Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

We’ve reached the point in the season when we have to become a bit more cutthroat with our rosters. If a player isn’t performing as expected, regardless of name value, it’s a fine time to move on without them. There’s plenty of quality options on the wire in standard leagues and new gems are found floating around all the time. If you have a player who isn’t consistently putting up good stats, then you have to look at other options in one of two ways.

First, you always have to explore the trade market for a player. This is more in regard to bigger name valued players such as Andre Iguodala, who has been a big letdown to his owners thus far, with no change in sight. Sure, his averages of four assists, a steal and a trey per night are decent but they’re not what his owners had hoped for I am sure. Personally, I was not a fan of him this season landing in Golden State where he’d be no better than the fourth option on offense, but if you drafted him, you may be at the point where you’re hoping another team is willing to buy his filler stats. It’s unlikely you’d get anything worthwhile in a simple one-for-one trade, but pairing a solid player plus Iggy in exchange for one nice upgrade is certainly achievable. Find your second tradable asset and show/tell the other owner how nicely Iggy’s assist, steal and trey numbers, along with those of the second player, help him out more than just the one player coming your way in the deal. The fine art of the ‘Happy Hour’ deal is a must when trying to upgrade your team. When you evaluate these two-for-one deals from your team’s perspective, always remember to factor in that you then can add a player from the wire and/or stream with that vacant spot.

If no one shows any interest in your bait, and you have a player you’d really like to add on the wire, don’t be afraid to make the big move. You have to go with your gut sometimes and if you’re feeling that Iguodala (or another poor performing but highly owned player) isn’t going to improve or isn’t helping your team as well as streaming would or as well as a particular player on the waiver wire would, cut them. You have to do what is best for your team sometimes, and it isn’t always an easy decision, but maybe dropping a frustratingly inconsistent player like Kenneth Faried for a heating up wire guy like J.R. Smith is the right thing to do, especially if the stats you have/need support the move. Just because a player is owned in or near 100% of leagues doesn’t mean that you can’t move and find a better option.

Now on to this week’s waiver wire targets:

Patrick Beverley (owned in 8.6% of leagues) – After being sidelined for 15 games with a broken hand, Beverley made his Rockets return and was placed directly into the starting PG role. His first game back was fantastic, shooting 5-11 with three treys with a couple boards and assists plus a steal. In his next game, he didn’t shoot as well (2-9 with one trey) but he helped in the other areas with six rebounds, eight assists, two steals and a block. Bev looks to finally be 100% and Rockets coach Kevin McHale was right in knowing that he was exactly what the starting unit needed. Beverley harasses opposing point guards with his defensive aggressiveness and he’s very capable on the offensive end as well. He has the ability to fill the stat sheet, and it seems he’s now healthy and has the opportunity to light it up. Keep a close eye on him; I’d personally add him in 12-team leagues and see if he continues to do well in this role.

Greivis Vasquez (35.2%) – Well, well, well… look who decided to show signs of life after failing to play well in Sacramento and continuing down that mediocre path after being traded to Toronto. In reality, Vasquez is just a decent point guard, but despite his lackluster defense, he is great at dishing out assists when he has his confidence. He also just told Raptor beat reporters that he finally feels fully healthy for the first time this season, and the past three games he has actually looked it. Despite playing just 21 and 24 minutes on Sunday and Monday, he put up double-digit scoring nights and more than eight dimes, then on Wednesday night Vas got 34 minutes (his highest floor time since joining the Raps) and had yet another good night statistically. Over those three nights, he averaged 14.3 points, eight assists, 4.7 rebounds, 2.3 treys and 1.7 steals. With Terrence Ross failing to step up with his shot at the SG role, Vasquez has the chance to gain playing time by playing alongside Kyle Lowry at times. If Greivis can keep up his assist numbers and even as much as ten points a night, he could be worth owning everywhere. He’s a grab and watch player in 12-teamers as we monitor his role the next couple of games to see if it sticks.

Kris Humphries (18.8%) – I wasn’t expecting to have to go over this one again, especially after his inclusion in my week 10 column and then again being touted in my colleague Sam’s “Hump Day” column as well. I don’t care who he was married to, how much of a tool bag he seemed on the tv show, nor how he handled the whole situation. Humphries is playing way too well to be owned in less than 20% of leagues, averaging close to a double-double a night while playing just under 30 minutes a night the past few weeks. The Celtics should continue to give him plenty of playing time and there’s no reason to think his points, rebounds, blocks or good percentages should change anytime soon. Need those stats as much as most do? Then get over the other stuff and add the guy while he’s valuable.

Mike Scott (0.8%) – One surprisingly intriguing player to watch right now is Mike Scott. He’s put up double-digit scoring nights eight of his last nine games despite playing barely over 20 minutes a night. Well, that is likely to change as Pero Antic, who had been splitting time with Scott, has been ruled out for two-to-four weeks due to a stress fracture in his right ankle. Scott’s minutes should take a really healthy bump during that span and we could see some impressive lines. Not only has Scott scored well lately but he’s also hit a three per night with really good percentages from the field and FT line. With Scott now likely to get a boost of at least 30 minutes a night, he could be worthy of adding in most leagues with added scoring, rebound, and other numbers as well. Swoop him up and use him while he’ll be producing bigger lines for a few weeks and enjoy. (Update: On Friday night Gustavo Ayon started at PF and got more minutes than Scott. However, I believe Scott is the better player and should overtake Ayon for minutes soon, but monitor this situation closely.)

Ryan Kelly (2.2%) – Even on a total mess of a Lakers team, I didn’t think we would reach a point in this season that I’d need to mention the rookie out of Duke, Ryan Kelly, as someone worth watching. Kelly has played over 30 minutes in six straight games and started the past three games for the Lakers and has been a helpful contributor in most of those games. Kelly has averaged 13.5 points in that six game stretch as well as a handful of boards, a couple of dimes, a three, and just shy of a steal a night. Ryan is really doing a bang up job and impressing Coach D’Antoni in the process, leading to his starts at PF alongside Pau Gasol. Kelly is likely a streamer in standard leagues but well worth owning in anything beyond a 12-team league, and he’s not out of the question to use in 12ers for the time being if needed.

All percentages were gathered from ESPN.com

If you don’t already, follow me on Twitter @BigZack44 for more fantasy hoops analysis.

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