Fantasy Basketball 2014-15: Waiver Wire Fix – Week 1
Here we go, the NBA is back underway and I’m here again with another full season of weekly waiver wire targets. Be sure to look for my Waiver Wire Fix columns every Saturday for the duration of the fantasy season. The players are listed in the order that I would add them, but of course all of that varies depending your teams specific needs. If you’re loaded at point guard and need blocks then you can pass up the guards and zone in on the big men. If you’re not sure if you should drop a certain player from your team for one of these targets then shoot me a tweet and I’ll give my two cents. Let’s get to the waiver wire goodness.
D.J. Augustin (owned in just 3% of ESPN leagues) – Go add Augustin and then come back to finish reading this article, I’ll wait. Good job, you just added the Piston’s top point guard even if he is the one coming off of the bench — for now. In two games, Augustin has played 15 minutes more than starter Brandon Jennings. Stan Van Gundy isn’t happy with the poor shot selection of Jennings and told reporters that Augustin had “certainly” been playing better thus far. When Jennings was told what SVG said, he told reporters that if that’s the case, DJ should be starting and he’d come off the bench.
Whether that happens or not, it’s obvious Augustin is outperforming Jennings and has averaged 17.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists (six in the last game), 1.5 three-pointers and shot 91% from the free throw line. DJs only downfall so far is his 39% shooting from the field, which has always been his weak spot. After the way Augustin played for the Bulls last season (30mins, 15 points, five assists, 2.2 treys, 0.9 steals and 88% from the FT-line) given the opportunity, I feel like you should speculate here and add him. If he falters, ok, but if he does become the starter he’s a diamond in the waiver wire rough that you’ll wish you had grabbed early (now).
Perry Jones (2.3%) – When Kevin Durant went down with an injury we anticipated Perry Jones to have a reasonable role in the OKC rotation, but when Russell Westbrook also got hurt, his usage rate took another big jump. In the Thunder’s second regular season game Perry went off with 32 points, seven rebounds, three assists, one block and three trifectas in 42 minutes. Don’t expect him to continue to put up Durant-lite numbers like that but he will be looked to a lot on offense and his length gives him nice opportunity for blocks. Matt Moczygemba hit on Perry and more of the OKC players post-Westbrook injury. PJ3 should be grabbed in all formats and you should ride his nice stats all the way into December when Durant and Westbrook MIGHT be back, but that’s no sure thing in itself.
O.J. Mayo (8.8%) – Wait, who? Yes, Mayo has returned from the land of the forgotten in a major way. In two games, juice is averaging 21 points, four dimes and four treys in just 26 minutes. He looks like the top-60 player with upside that we thought he’d be last offseason when he joined the Bucks before he laid a total egg and became completely irrelevant in fantasy. If Mayo continues to play this well, jumping into the starting lineup isn’t out of the question at all and in fact is something that needs to happen. The Bucks have started Jared Dudley — speaking of fantasy irrelevant — at the two guard for the first two games and he’s shown no reason for them to keep him in that role. I feel tricked but right now Mayo needs to be added in at least 12-team leagues and deeper just in case he keeps this sizzling run going.
Donald Sloan (2.5%) – If you’re looking for a short term boost, look no further than the Texas A&M alum, Sloan. After being drafted by the Kings in 2010, Sloan bounced around the NBA D-League and overseas until he joined the Pacers in the summer of 2013 and was re-signed this past offseason. With George Hill and C.J. Watson both sidelined for at least a couple of weeks, opportunity has fallen into Sloan’s lap and thus far he’s made the most of it as the starting point guard. It doesn’t hurt that David West is missing time currently as well, making Sloan be even more aggressive on the offensive end. Through just two games Sloan is averaging 14 points, 7.5 rebounds, 6.5 assists, one steal and one trey. Sloan makes a great roto target to accumulate your team some really nice stats over the next couple of weeks and when Hill returns you can drop him for the next hot free agent.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (16.2%) – While I wouldn’t advise you to run to the wire to grab MKG right away in standard leagues, he is definitely worth monitoring very closely his next game or two. In the Hornets first game of the regular season MKG posted a studly stat line of 17 points, eight boards, three assists and three blocks. The third year pro followed up his very solid preseason play with that gem of a game. Gilchrist only took eight shots, making six of them and went 5/6 from the charity stripe in 34 minutes. He is mostly a defensive specialist but has improved his jump shot form from what was one of the most unorthodox jumpers I’ve ever seen to a much much more standard form. While the opener was great, I’d expect a more modest line for MKG on the season, something like 12 points, six boards, 1.5 assists 1.3 steals and one block. That leaves him as an ok option for 12-team leagues but it’d be really great if he added some long range, but he has attempted zero three-pointers in nine preseason and regular season games. Keep an eye on this one.
Tony Wroten (32.1%) – Wroten is almost tough to place value on right now because his stats have split personalities. On one side Wroten delivers greatly in points, assists, rebounds (for a point guard) and steals, but on the other side he is shooting just 40% from the field, 47% from the foul line and if you’re in a turnovers league he’s brutal there, too. Tony’s numbers are sure to take a slight hit when his usage rate (29.3% through two game, to compare, LeBron James usage is 33%) should drop a bit when Michael Carter-Williams returns in the next week or two. Wroten still could potentially start at SG and even if he comes off the bench he should see 25-30 minutes. If you can handle the poison that Wroten distributes to your team to cash in on his counting stats, then he’s a nice option.
Ed Davis (3.6%) – With the very unfortunate season ending injury for the Lakers rookie Julius Randle, Ed Davis finds himself in a place to get added playing time. Davis has always done well with the time he’s given and with just Carlos Boozer and Jordan Hill ahead of him, more minutes should surely be on the way. The former Tarheel should see around 25 minutes until the Lakers add to his playing time which shouldn’t be too far off. If Davis can get to 30 minutes a night he’d be worthy of grabbing in all formats and league sizes for his scoring, boards and defensive stats. Already Davis has scored in double digits every game and accumulated four blocks and three steals with decent boards. Davis should be owned in all 14-team leagues and higher and a serious consideration if you need blocks in a standard league. He has a high floor in his situation and if anything were to happen where he became a starter or got 30 minutes, he’d become a beast.
For more fantasy hoops analysis or to have any questions answered follow Zack on Twitter @BigZack44