Steve Alexander

Waiver Wired

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New Faces In Toronto

Saturday, November 27, 2010


With the devastating foot injury suffered by Reggie Evans on Friday night, we're going to kick things off with forwards today, instead of guards. Three guys have a real chance at a big boost in value in Toronto, but my money's on Amir Johnson taking most of Evans' minutes and production – if he can stay out of foul trouble.

Jarrett Jack was traded a week ago, causing me to add Jose Calderon to this column right as the news was breaking. I hope it helped you acquire Calderon, especially after Friday's 12 points, 15 assists, four steals, five rebounds and two 3-pointers. He could end up turning around your fantasy team if he keeps this up.

I've included a "Potential Cut List." Just because someone is mentioned there doesn't mean that they are a worse player than one of the "pickups" listed in this column. It's simply a general list of players who are being dropped in many leagues due to poor performance, as well as guys I would consider cutting myself. Should you cut Samuel Dalembert or Serge Ibaka? As usual, it all depends on whom you would be picking up and the size of your league, so don't read too much into it. Having said that, would I cut J.J. Hickson? Yes, yes I would. And while I didn't enjoy putting Wesley Matthews on that list, it had to happen after Brandon Roy's triumphant return on Friday.

Want to be the first to know about breaking injury news and lineup changes? Follow me on Twitter.

Forwards

Amir Johnson Raptors

Johnson has been coming off the bench for a couple reasons. He was initially put there in order to help keep him out of foul trouble, but the rebounding prowess of the ageless Evans didn't help his cause. In any case, Evans is now out for the foreseeable future, meaning there are now and extra 12 rebounds and 27 minutes up for grabs at the position. Those minutes are likely going to be split between Johnson, Linas Kleiza and newcomer Peja Stojakovic. More on those three in a minute.

Johnson should start in Evans' place and is the guy most likely to start posting true power forward numbers, as in consistently flirting with double-doubles with some solid shooting and blocks. Foul trouble might be an issue, but this is the opportunity he's been waiting for. He's an automatic pick up in any league.

Linas Kleiza Raptors

Kleiza outplayed DeMar DeRozan and Sonny Weems last night, and while he's not a true power forward, he should see a boost in minutes. But the Raptors have too many wing players for any of them to be consistent on a nightly basis. Guys like DeRozan, Weems, Leandro Barbosa, Stojakovic and even Andrea Bargnani all play a wing-type of game. Weems stole Kleiza's starting job, but Kleiza could win it back at some point, especially if he continues to play well and Weems struggles like he has the last couple games. He should also end up seeing some minutes at power forward, although it's not his natural spot. He had 18 points, seven boards and a 3-pointer Friday night, and could be ready to finally start producing like we were expecting all along.

Peja Stojakovic Raptors

Peja has played just two games for the Raptors but his name keeps popping up as a possible fill-in for Evans. Again, he's not a natural power forward either, and having both Peja and Andrea Bargnani on the court together could be a defensive disaster that opposing bigs will thrive on. But it sounds like Peja could end up being the No. 2 PF on the team behind Johnson. If Peja were younger and less injury prone, I'd have him ranked in front of Kleiza. My guess is the extra minutes will take their toll and his back will seize up at some point in the next month or so. But he's going to see minutes, he's going to hit threes, he's going to rebound and he's going to score points for as long as he's healthy. And that means he's at least worth a flier.

Shane Battier Rockets

Battier has been a hot pickup and 'rewarded' his owners with two points on 1-of-9 shooting on Friday. He was 0-for-6 from downtown, but did have five dimes and a couple blocks. But the reason he has been a hot pickup is that he's been racking up points, rebounds, assists, steals, blocks and threes over the past couple weeks, and should continue to do so. In November he's averaging 8.1 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 0.8 steals, 1.6 blocks and 1.3 3-pointers per game. He's shooting just 34 percent for the month, but much of that can be blamed on Friday's fiasco, along with a couple other off nights (3-of-13 & 1-for-6). Before Friday he'd hit double figures in three straight and four out of five games, and he's blocked a shot in 10 straight games. He's also averaging over 30 minutes per game, which can be difficult to find on the wire.

Joey Dorsey Raptors

Dorsey's the guy I picked up in my 30-team league, as he was basically the best player available. Even GSW's Jeff Adrien wasn't available when I went to get him last night. Anyway, Dorsey is probably going to be the No. 3 PF on the Raps' depth chart and is at least going to get a chance to play now. "Joey Dorsey's been working hard and he's going to have a chance to play," said Triano. Don't mess with him unless you're in a very deep league, but don't be surprised to start seeing his name popping up in recaps and box scores.

Others To Consider: Kyle Korver, Matt Bonner, Shawn Marion, Chase Budinger, Chris Andersen, Hakim Warrick, Ryan Gomes.

Potential Cut List: J.J. Hickson, Glen Davis, Terrence Williams, Anthony Randolph, Reggie Evans, Troy Murphy, Travis Outlaw, Taj Gibson, Joey Graham, Austin Daye, Carlos Delfino, Marvin Williams, Al Thornton, Shelden Williams, Hedo Turkoglu, Francisco Garcia.

Keep reading for Guards and Centers.

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Steve "Dr. A" Alexander is the senior editor for the NBA for Rotoworld.com and a contributor to NBCSports.com. The 2014-15 NBA season marks his 13th year of covering fantasy hoops for Rotoworld. Follow him on Twitter - @Docktora.
Email :Steve Alexander



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