Fantasy Basketball

Fantasy Basketball 2013-14: In The Bonus – Waiver Targets Week 16

Photo Credit: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Photo Credit: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

First, let me start by saying that if you’re a fantasy baseball player whether it be in season long leagues or just on daily sites, you really should make the small investment in The Fix’s Fantasy Baseball Draft Kit. I consider myself a fantasy baseball veteran and have won numerous big money leagues, so I honestly didn’t think I’d get a whole lot out of it. Over two pages of notes later, I am so glad I took the time to read the material. The Fix baseball crew put in some killer work and put together an insane amount of information. They changed my opinions on several players both ways and made me change my thinking in certain formats. I also have never been much of a daily fantasy baseball player but now I am actually feeling good and can’t wait to get started on that. Do yourself a favor and buy the draft kit and know that you’ll be better for it.

Now on to what you came here for, fantasy hoops tips and waiver wire targets. We’re already at the All-Star break, I really can’t believe it. Most leagues only have about four or five weeks left in the regular season, and two or three weeks until the trade deadline. If you’re sitting pretty and locked in to a playoff spot, it is time to stash some players who could be back before the playoffs for you.

Unfortunately, there have been a lot of big names go down for long stints with injuries this season. A few have been ruled out for the entire season like Derrick Rose, Al Horford, Brook Lopez and several others. There have been some who missed a good chunk of time but have made it back to the court like Marc Gasol, Deron Williams, Bradley Beal, Rajon Rondo as well as others. Then there are the players who are currently out and could be returning between now and your fantasy playoffs and could make a big impact. If you don’t make the move to stash them now, somebody (likely a playoff competitor) will. I’ll discuss a few of the guys that I would be looking into stashing if available in your league

Kobe Bryant (owned in 79.7% of leagues) has missed the majority of the season first for his recovering achilles and now with a fracture in his knee. Kobe is determined to return this season even if the Lakers are out of the playoff picture totally, which is likely, because he doesn’t want to waste any games he’s able to play in to continue to compile stats for his career numbers. Kobe is thought to have a chance to return around early March, but that is far from a sure thing. He would step right back in to his ball dominating role where he’d fill the stat sheet as normal. Eric Bledsoe (57.8%) has been running and his teammates have guessed that he wont miss that much more time. Like Kobe, the team is hoping to have him back by early-March. If you can add Bledsoe’s stats for your playoff run in exchange for the worst player on your team, that’s a championship move.

Jrue Holiday (56.7%) is another player who was playing really well this season until being hit by the injury truck via a fractured tibia. Jrue has missed five weeks now where he was initially given a four-to-six week timetable. Returning in the next week doesn’t seem likely though, but he is meeting with Doctors in California over the All-Star break to see where he’s at. Be sure to watch the news on him closely over the next week. Jrue was scoring over 14 points with 7.9 assists, 1.4 steals, and 0.9 treys per game before getting hurt. He’d be a mega bonus to any playoff team if he gets back anytime soon. Kawhi Leonard is a player I felt was overrated coming into this season by many fantasy hoops writers, but with all of the injuries the Spurs have now, Kawhi could find himself in a nice situation when he returns. He would be a bigger option in the offense for the Spurs and with his great steals, solid treys and very nice percentages he just may be the help a team needs to win it all down the stretch.

Don’t be afraid to drop your bottom player to stash one of the above noted injured players if you have a playoff spot locked up. Look at it as a lottery ticket, they may suffer a setback and you’d just drop them for a decent guy on the wire or stream spot. If they do return before your playoffs though, that’d be a true win it all type move. That’s what we all want is to win that title, so don’t be afraid to take a risk to better your chances later.

Here are this week’s waiver wire targets to go along with the guys listed above:

Marvin Williams (30.9%) – Marv has been quite the force to be reckoned with in the month of February. He has had some brief flashes of relevance this season but right now he seems to be really comfortable in his role and thriving in it. In six February games, Marvin has averaged 16.3 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.2 trifectas per game. He’s been playing more than 28 minutes per game and has really excelled on a poor Jazz team. Many (including myself) expected a big season from Enes Kanter but Marvin has started over Kanter over thirty times this season already. He easily could cool off again soon, but until he does, he should be grabbed in 12-team leagues and deeper.

Zaza Pachulia (3.7%) – Talk about coming back from injury and thinking you’re going to be nothing more than a short reliever for the starters and instead finding yourself as the last man standing. With Larry Sanders now out at least six weeks, John Henson missing a game after spraining his ankle and Ersan Ilyasova missing two games due to a back injury, Zaza was jousted right in to big minutes (over 25 minutes a game since returning) and that should stay about the norm with Sanders out an extended period. He should see time as the backup PF/C when Henson needs breaks and also when Ilyasova is sitting or moved to SF for stints. This past week Zaza put up averages of 9.8 points, 8.3 rebounds, one steal and shot 100% from the FT line. If you’re in need of rebounds, Zaza is a reliable source for that going forward. He’s not going to wow you but playing over 25 minutes a night he should be more than helpful in anything deeper than 12-teams and a perfect stream candidate for those in 10 and 12-teamers.

Chase Budinger (1.9%) – Another player benefiting from an injury to a fellow teammate, Budinger has started three straight games at SG for the Timberwolves since Kevin Martin was sidelined with a broken thumb. Martin is expected to miss a couple more weeks, and the way that Bud has played he should continue to see the starts in the interim. In his three starts Bud put up 15.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, one steal and 2.3 threes in over 27 minutes a night. He’s a great streamer in shallower leagues and worth using in 12-teamers if you’re in need of points or threes and especially worth owning in deeper leagues for the time being.

Nate Wolters (0.9%) – Oh the day by day changes for a Larry Drew coached team. It seems as if he tries a new rotation weekly making players valuable for brief stints and then a new one the next week. I’m pretty sure I’ve written about 3/4 of the Bucks team already, and I am sure they will make a trade soon so the madness continues. Anyways, his baby this week is Nate Wolters who started the past three games for the Bucks at SG and played over 36 minutes per in those games. I really like the rookie Wolter’s game and felt he should have been getting more minutes, although after the break presumably OJ Mayo will be back to at least cut into these big minutes. Wolters should still continue to see around 25 minutes even with Mayo back between SG and backup PG duties. In his 3 starts this past week Nate had more than 13 points, six rebounds, four assists, one steal, one three and shockingly one block a night. This is shaky ground as always in Milwaukee, so if you’re hunting guard stats swoop him up and use him until Larry Drew chooses his next crush of the week.

All percentages were gathered from ESPN.com

Give me a follow on Twitter @BigZack44 for more fantasy hoops analysis and to answer your questions or feel free to ask a question in the comments of this column.

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