Steve Alexander

Waiver Wired

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Jam Sessions

Sunday, January 16, 2011

I made some gambles last week that may or may not have paid off, benching studs like Kevin Durant and Monta Ellis for scrubs like Carl Landry, Charlie Villanueva and Manny Harris for a games-played advantage. I wasn't going to win points with or without the studs, but also didn't plan on seeing Durant and Monta shoot lights out from the field in their two games, which would have helped much more than Manny's dreadful week of field goal percentage. It looks like that game's going to end in a 4-4 tie, so I'm content with the move, but I probably could have won 5-3 had I just rolled with one or both of my big guns. And this is why people will tell you time and time again to blindly play your studs.

I do try to subscribe to that theory, but I also spend a lot of time running numbers in my big matchups to make sure I'm giving myself the best shot at winning. And given the fact Durant and Monta combined for the following totals for the week, my madness was somewhat justified.

Rebounds: 10
Assists: 13
Steals : 5
Blocks: 1

And on that note, in a week where almost all players have four games, LeBron James and the Heat play just twice. LeBron and Chris "Like A" Bosh are banged up, making both of them a little risky in weekly leagues. And if you own a guy like Andrei Kirilenko, who has four games, you really need to crunch some numbers and make a decision as to which to play in a weekly league. And without really sitting down and looking at, my guess is I'd be starting Kirilenko in most instances. But it also sounds like LeBron will play and has two possible games without Bosh around, which could easily mean two triple-doubles. Good luck with whatever decision you make. It's a tough call.

Anyway, onto Waiver Wired, which I'll be writing while you're watching the Seahawks and Bears go at it. There's only two NBA games on Sunday because nearly every team plays on Monday, which is MLK Day. Games tip off very early tomorrow, which means you should set your lineups as soon as possible.


I'm going to assume that Nick Young, Aaron Brooks and Kyle Lowry are already owned in your league.

Ramon Sessions Cavaliers

Mo Williams went down with a hip injury on Saturday and has been talking about shutting it down. The guy's head hasn't been right since he saw his world collapse the night of "The Decision," and while he was easy to make fun of that night, he might be one of the few people to actually know within five seconds just how bad life was going to be for anyone associated with the Cavaliers. And if he does indeed shut it down, Sessions is going to be the guy to own here.

Ben Gordon Pistons

It's been a terrible year for him, but he's still Ben friggin' Gordon, right? My guess is he's already owned in your league. And if he isn't, no one may have noticed that he's actually showing a pulse over the last three games, scoring 25, 11 and 16 points in them. And with Richard Hamilton done in Detroit and T-Mac hurting, it could very well be Gordon time. If he's available, he should be a top priority for pick up at this point.

Tracy McGrady Pistons

T-Mac was cruising along last week, helping my teams, as well as a lot of others, to fantasy wins. That is until he went down with a (surprise) leg injury very early in Saturday's game. The injury doesn't sound serious, but that's not saying much with McGrady. He's now the ultimate risk-reward player, as he can drop at any time, but was starting to look like a very good basketball player before going down. He's a really risky endeavor in weekly lineup leagues, but if you're in a daily league, I wouldn't hesitate to own him and play him whenever he's healthy.

Lou Williams Sixers

Sweet Lou is heating up again for the Sixers, averaging 17 points in six January Games. If you need a scorer, he's probably the best one available in your league right now.

C.J. Miles Jazz

Or it could be Miles, who is averaging 20 points over his last three games (with eight 3-pointers and three blocks). Both Miles and Lou come off the bench, making both of them a little risky, and while I trust Lou more, Miles is another guy who might be worth grabbing for a four-game week if you need a scoring guard.

Daniel Gibson Cavaliers

Gibson is hoping to return on Wednesday, but the Cavs only play twice this week. He should retake the starting shooting guard job once he's back and is eventually going to be a must-own player. Then again, he plays for a sinking ship known as the Cavs, and anything is possible. But my guess is Boobie's almost back, meaning the Manny Harris era is about to quiet down.

Sasha Vujacic Nets

Don't look now, but Vujacic has hit double figures in scoring in 10 of his last 13 games and is averaging 14 points and two 3-pointers in January. And if you take out a 1-of-14, three-point implosion at Washington on Jan. 7, those numbers come in at 16 ppg on nearly 50 percent shooting (38-of-80). Leave it to Avery Johnson to find a way to squeeze value out of a guy like Vujacic while completely ruining most of the good players on his roster.

Earl Boykins Bucks

Do I trust little Earl Boykins? Not at all. Did he help a couple of my fantasy teams last week? He did. He's averaging 13.6 points and 4.4 assists in seven January games, and while the clock is ticking until Brandon Jennings returns, you can probably squeeze another week or two out of Boykins. The same can be said for Keyon Dooling, but Boykins has actually been outplaying him in my opinion.

Jose Juan Barea Mavericks

If you don't own DeShawn Stevenson you may not have noticed that he fell off a cliff recently. He looked upstoppable for a minute, but has scored 10, 3 and 0 points in his last three games. Meanwhile, JJB is quietly averaging 12 points, three assists and a three per game in January. He's not a great option, but deserves some attention in deeper leagues.

Corey Brewer Timberwolves

Brewer is now starting for the T-Wolves and while he hasn't done anything too exciting, he's an interesting pick up right now, as he should rack up some steals and threes. In fact, he had 23 points, five steals and two threes on Saturday, but keep in mind that Michael Beasley sat that one out with a sprained ankle. Also keep in mind the Timberwolves play just two games this week, which actually increases the chances of him being available in your league.

Check me out on Twitter if you dare.

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