Fantasy Basketball

Fantasy Basketball 2013-14: In The Bonus – Waiver Targets Week 19 – Stat Specialists

Photo Credit: Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Photo Credit: Joe Robbins/Getty Images

We’re a week out from most league’s playoffs starting up, and it’s time to make the finishing touches to your roster. Not only should you be monitoring the waiver wire for hot hands but you should also be looking to find help in your areas of need, category specialists. By now you’re well aware what categories you excel in as well as which ones you’re worthless in. There’s no point in being just slightly better than worthless in a category because the fact is you’re still likely to lose in that category the majority of times. It’s the in between cats that you should target waiver adds to help out. Focus on the categories that you can go from just being reasonable in to very solid.

Say for instance your team is overly dominant in points or rebounds each week. Those would be categories that you could allow yourself to take a small hit in if you can boost a category you’re middle of the pack in like three pointers made or steals. If you were in need of steals help and could afford a hit in points, Mario Chalmers (eight steals in his last four games) could give you a significant boost there especially with his nice 4-4-4 playoff schedule. If you’re looking to add some treys look to a guy like Mike Dunleavy who has averaged 2.3 treys per game in his last eight games played. There’s guys like this available in over half of fantasy leagues. It’s all about knowing your strengths and weaknesses and where you should look to make a slight upgrade for the playoff run.

Adding a player who averages two treys or two steals a game adds you eight for the week, and while that may not seem like a lot, in the playoffs that’s a major boost in those tougher to gain categories. Below in my waiver targets portion of the column, you’ll see several options to help you out in those not so easy to gain categories and even a couple in the easier to find but worth looking into.

Here’s your week 20 waiver wire targets:

Matt Barnes (owned in 28% of leagues) – Two things you need to know, 1) Matt Barnes is playing some amazing ball right now and 2) Matt Barnes will kill you. With JJ Redick out for a good while, the Clippers were looking to get help from their bench and guys like Jared Dudley and Willie green just weren’t getting the job done. So, Doc began giving more minutes to the vet Barnes. Barnes, if nothing else, always brings intensity on both ends of the floor. Lately he is just tearing it up and filling up the stat sheet. Over his last seven games, Barnes has put up these ridiculous averages: 17.3 points, 6.1 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.3 steals, 0.6 blocks and a silly 3.3 treys all while shooting 58% from the field and 100% from the free throw line. Give me a minute to wipe the saliva from my keyboard, yeesh! There’s no way Barnes can keep up that kind of production, but hell, anything even close to that would still be stellar for the playoff run. The only downfall to Barnes is that the Clipper have just two games the first week of most fantasy playoffs. He’s worthy of being owned in all format as long as he’s playing the way he is right now. He’ll help you across the board except for blocks right now and there’s not many players you can say that about.

Dion Waiters (37.5%) – Waiters was dropped in a good amount of leagues when he missed a stint of seven games recently and now is the time to swoop him up to make whoever dropped him pay for it. In just two games back on the hardwood, Waiters has averaged 21.5 points, three rebounds, two assists, 1.5 steals and 1.5 trey balls. Waiters should continue to serve up (you see what I did there?) a healthy portion of statistical goodness for the poor cavs. Waiters does have a history of being streaky but when he’s on like he appears to be right now, he’s a great player to have on your side of the war as he can help out in a lot of ways. Waiters is easily worth adding in 12-teamers and even in a decent amount of shallower leagues.

Vince Carter (49%) – Vinsanity. will. not. die. I spoke on my boy Vince in my week 8 coumn when I explained how you can’t ignore a guys stats because of his age and assumed decline. Vince has been a rock this season for the Mavs, and despite his sometimes poor shooting spurts, he’s been a nice part of fantasy rosters as well. Carter is another player who is filling the stat sheet lately and in this stretch he hasn’t even been nuisance to your FG% either, shooting 46% over his last eight games. Carter’s 16.9 points, 4.6 boards, 2.6 dimes, 1.1 swipes, 0.6 swats are quite impressive for the 37-year-old. That’s not even mentioning his always best category which is the trifectas he nails which is 3.1 a game over his last eight and 2.4 over his last thirteen games. Vince is a key part of the Mavs offense right now and is just another body on the team’s pathetic defense. VC should be owned in most every format right now especially while he’s on an absolute kill spree statistically.

Jordan Farmar (39%) – This is a guy that in 12-teamers you need to have a very sharp eye on because if D’Antoni does what he’s hinted at a couple of times and moves Farmar into the starting lineup, he’d be a very nice point guard to own the rest of the way. Since re-joining the Lakers healthy again, Farmar has been an inconsistent scoring threat but a really legitimate help in threes, steals and not bad at all in assists. Despite playing just around 24 minutes a game over his last nine games he has still found a way to be productive. While Kendall Marshall is the better passer, Farmar brings more of a scoring and defensive threat but still has the ability to find the open man in transition. Even in his current limited role Farmar has averaged 2.7 treys, 5.1 dimes, 1.3 swipes and 12.3 points and if he were to be moved into the starting spot and get even a five to eight minute increase, he’d be a fabulous add to any fantasy lineup. Even as is he’s worthy of attention in 12-teamers if you need those guard stats he provides.

James Anderson (1.2%) – Mr. Anderson has really been a decent fantasy asset this season, but since the Sixers dealt Evan Turner away James has really relished in his opportunity. He can be a little hurtful to your FG% but if you’re in need of steals and threes, he’s a nice add. Anderson has been playing 30 minutes a night while hitting 2.3 threes and getting 1.7 steals. He only scores about 11 points a game recently which isn’t great nor bad but the specialty stats he gives plus a couple rebounds and assists make him worth it especially in deeper leagues. He’s exactly what I mean when I say a “category specialist.”

Jeff Adrien (0.2%) – *LARRY DREW ALERT* Another Buck’s player is catching my attention enough to write about even briefly, and as always with a Larry Drew led team, the length of this relevance could be snatched away before you finish reading this sentence. Adrien isn’t anything overly special but he is a category specialist in rebounds. Since joining the Bucks in the Ramon SessionsGary Neal deal, Adrien has surprisingly gotten some decent playing time. Over his first seven games with the Bucks, Adrien has averaged 22 minutes a night and has went straight Reggie Evans on his foes posting nine rebounds a game. Unlike Evans though, Adrien is a capable scorer around the rim at least and has actually went off for 35 points over his last two games. One of those it should be noted (Friday night) he played 30 minutes, gaining playing time due to Ersan Ilyasova being out. Adrien took full advantage of that added PT and was aggressive on both ends and even got to to free throw line eleven times, making ten of those. A couple years ago Adrien was leading the D-League in scoring and rebounds before getting the call up to play a depth/bench role for the Warriors, so scoring isn’t anything totally new for him but he’s never gotten over 13 minutes of inconsistent playing time anywhere in the big league. Look for him to continue to see 18-22 minutes a night and mostly contribute in boards and FG% with the occasional block or steal. He’s a great deeper league add and a nice stream play for your playoffs in standard leagues if you’re in need of quick rebounding help.

All percentages were gathered from ESPN.com

Follow me on Twitter @BigZack44 for more fantasy hoops analysis and more

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