How you work the waiver is essentially one of the musts in winning your NBA fantasy basketball league. There are just so many factors in an NBA season– games, injuries, youths, coach’s preference– that it’s impossible to stick with a roster without ever making changes.
Here are the top waiver wire pickups for fantasy basketball this week and how they can help your team in the long run:
Marcus Smart, PG/SG, Boston Celtics
Smart has always been an elite steals contributor but without Jae Crowder, he has the chance to contribute in more categories. The Celtics defensive bulldog has topped 34 minutes or more in the last five games but is still shooting at a paltry rate during that span (23/60 for 38.3% from the field and 5/11 from the line). The assists are up and down but the rebound are solid along with the three-point shots. If you’re in dire need of assists and you can cushion the measly percentages, Smart is still available in over 70% of ESPN leagues and 30% of Yahoo leagues.
Lou Williams, PG/SG, Los Angeles Lakers
Sweet Lou has been the young Lakers’ stabilizer in the second unit and he has done an excellent job on it. Fantasy owners recognized Williams’ supreme value that even though he playing in only less than 23 minutes a night, he is the third most-added player in ESPN behind Jrue Holiday and Ricky Rubio. He is averaging 15.6 points, 3.5 assists, 2.2 rebounds, 1.5 steals, and 1.8 minutes on very decent percentages. The minutes is not an issue at all; if anything, it could be positive for Williams’ value going forward for that will maintain his efficiency.
Jrue Holiday (New Orleans) and Ricky Rubio (Minnesota)
Holiday has not played a single minute and may return later this month or early the next. Regardless, he will be ready to go in any formats and will reward his owner’s patience. Rubio, on the other hand, has seen action for four games and hasn’t missed a beat in his passing game. He is averaging 7.4 dimes, 4.6 rebounds and 1.6 steals in 31 minutes and not much else.
Otto Porter, SF, Washington Wizards
Porter is a must-add in any format, period. He is available in 20% of ESPN leagues and 9% percent in Yahoo so if he is on the wire on yours, waste no time and cut bait with any of your struggling men.
Moe Harkless, SF/PF, Portland Trailblazers
Harkless is a tweener with a relentless motor and that ultimately got him a big contract and playing time under coach Terry Stotts. He will be inconsistent here and there but at the end of the day he’ll give you 0.8 steals, 0.9 blocks, and 1.4 threes a game on top of 11 points and 5 rebounds. Yes people, the potential to be a legit 1+1+1 is there and that will never hurt your fantasy basketball squad.
Wilson Chandler, SF; Kenneth Faried, PF, Denver Nuggets
Many has anticipated smaller roles for both Chandler and Faried before the season but has completely changed as coach Mike Malone looked for a lineup that clicks. Chandler has two double-doubles in the last three games and is getting comfortable with his role. Faried, like Chandler, has been feasting on the boards and has posted five double-digit rebounding games in the last six. Ride them Nuggets boys while they hot!
Terrence Jones, PF, New Orleans Pelicans
Alvin Gentry is still thinking of what to do with Terrence Jones but signs do point to better times in the last two games. Jones averaged 21.5 points and 9.5 rebounds during that span including a double-double in a narrown win vs the Celtics. Until he consistently gets his minuts to the 30’s, keep him on the Watch List or snatch him up if you’re really out of options.
Clint Capela, C, Houston Rockets
Capela is in everybody’s breakout list before the season but it wasn’t until the recent string of games that he actually merits the consideration. He has topped double-digit scoring in seven of the last eight, double-digit rebounding in three of the last four while swatting 16 shots in six games. I don’t need to continue now, do I?
Taj Gibson, PF/C, Chicago Bulls
The departure of Pau Gasol and Joakim Noah did wonders for Taj Gibson’s fantasy value but it seems like owners are not noticing it. Gibson is averaging 12 points, over eight rebounds, over a block and less than a steal per game but he is still available in half of ESPN and 28% of Yahoo leagues. It should be higher than that given the depth of consistent big men in the game today.
Joel Embiid, C, Philadelphia 76ers
“The Process” is still on maintenance plan but whenever he steps out on the court, he is an absolute beast. He is averaging 18 points, over seven rebounds, one trey and 2.4 blocks a game in only 22 minutes of action! In case he is still available in your leagues (13% in Yahoo, 20% in ESPN), please do yourself a favor and add Embiid.
Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
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