Steve Alexander

Waiver Wired

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Matrix Reloaded

Sunday, January 02, 2011


Injuries to Caron Butler and Danilo Gallinari have brought some new faces to light on the waiver wire, while DeShawn Stevenson had a big game on Sunday night. Does that mean you should pick him up?

Stevenson blew up for a season-high 21 points with five 3-pointers on Sunday, prompting me to think about putting him in this column. Especially given the fact that Caron Butler is going to likely miss an extended period of time with a serious knee injury. Stevenson's been an effective source of threes all year, but not really worth owning. I'm not going to declare him a fantasy presence after one nice line, but he at least deserves to be put on your radar in case he starts doing this on a regular basis.

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Guards

Luke Ridnour Wolves

He's still starting and could stay there all year, despite the return of Jonny Flynn. He's not the most exciting point guard in the league to own, but is playing well enough to be owned in almost all leagues. He averaged 11.5 points, 6.5 assists and had more than a steal and three per game in December.

Keyon Dooling Bucks

Dooling got off to a slow start in place of injured Brandon Jennings but is averaging 10 points, five assists, a steal and a three in his seven starts this season.

James Harden Thunder

Harden has been rolling, scoring in double figures in 10 straight games and outplaying teammate Jeff Green recently. Eventually, Green is going to get hot again and probably hurt Harden's fantasy value, but for now, Harden is worth owning in most leagues.

Evan Turner Sixers

Turner is suddenly hot and could stay that way with Andre Iguodala out for the next several games. He scored 23 on Wednesday and had 12 on Friday, and got more than 30 minutes in each of them. Do I trust him? Not really, but if Doug Collins is ready to turn him loose, he should be grabbed again in most leagues.

Tony Allen Grizzlies

Allen could be a new starter for the Grizzlies, although the picture is a bit murky since Rudy Gay missed his last game with the flu, which prompted:Lionel Hollins to put O.J. Mayo back in the starting five. Allen started at shooting guard again on Sunday and if he is going to permanently replace rookie Xavier Henry (who is bothered by a sore knee), he's worth a look in most leagues. Before Saturday's disaster, Allen averaged 12 points and 4.5 steals in his previous two games.

Jose Juan Barea/Dominique Jones/Roddy Beaubois Mavericks

Caron Butler could miss the rest of the season with a potentially serious knee injury, meaning someone is going to step up. It was JJB on Saturday night, and he looks like a good pickup with Butler out. Jones was called up from the D-League and is getting some nice run on Sunday, and is worth a look in deeper leagues. Barea was just 2-of-8 in 20 minutes on Sunday, while Jones was 2-of-10 in 21 minutes. There is no clear-cut winner here, although Shawn Marion could be the guy who really benefits in Butler's absence. More about him in 'Forwards.'

Roddy B. has been on everyone's radar since draft night, but still isn't back from a foot injury. In fact, there's still not even a timetable for his return. So I guess instead of him being a decent waiver-wire option, we'll just say that he would have been the guy to get here if he were healthy. Even in deeper leagues, Roddy B. is probably only worth holding if you have a large bench to plant him on. That will change if and when he actually gets a target date on a return.

Ramon Sessions Cavaliers

Mo Williams was back on Sunday but Sessions caught fire and is having a great game as I write this. He's shaky as long as Williams is healthy, but is still worth a look in many leagues – especially since Daniel Gibson is out with a thigh injury (day-to-day). Sessions played very well in four straight games and with Williams' injury being of the groin variety, there's a decent chance Sessions could stay hot for another week or so. I'm not racing out to pick him up, but he might be worth it in your league.

Toney Douglas/Landry Fields Knicks

Danilo Gallinari will have an MRI on his knee on Monday, although he says his left knee sprain isn't serious. He could even play on Tuesday, which is great news for him and his owners. If he is going to miss time, it looks like Douglas is going to be a guy who sees a big boost in value, as he's the designated 3-point shooter off the bench right now. Douglas got some nice run on Sunday to finish with 12 points, seven dimes and two 3-pointers. Landry Fields would also see an expanded role if Gallinari is out, and he might also be available in your league after some recent struggles.

Forwards

Glen Davis Celtics

With Kevin Garnett out with a calf injury Davis should continue his stellar play. He averaged 13.5 points and six boards in December and his January numbers could be bigger with KG out. He also just missed a triple-double on Sunday with 15 points, 11 boards and eight dimes.

Shawn Marion Mavericks

Marion started for the Mavericks on Sunday, who are currently missing Dirk Nowitzki and Caron Butler. With Butler out, possibly for the rest of the season, Marion figures to get more minutes and production, even if he doesn't become a full-time starter. He's no longer the Shawn Marion we drafted in the first round four or five years ago, but without Butler around, should be scooped up in all leagues.

Jason Thompson Kings

Thompson is suddenly starting over Carl Landry for the Kings and I swapped the two where I could recently. He picked up five quick fouls in his start on Wednesday, but the had 17 points and seven boards in his next one. See how things go tonight for him and think about grabbing him if you need a big man. He should also qualify at C in many leagues.

Mickael Pietrus Suns

We still don't know if Pietrus is a full-time starter or not (replacing Channing Frye), but he's going to see a nice role for Suns either way. I'm not dropping Frye yet, and he could still keep his starting job, or make spot starts when the Suns go big. But Pietrus, a guy who can get steals, threes, boards and points, looks like a good player to grab off waivers right now until we see how it plays out.

Tyrus Thomas Bobcats

With Gerald Wallace bothered again by a bone bruise in his ankle, someone is going to have to pick up the slack. Dominic McGuire is useless and Gerald Henderson is not the answer. Even though Thomas hasn't shown us much yet (outside of inconsistency), he could be the guy who benefits.

Keep reading for the rest of the Forward, as well as the 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.
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