Steve Alexander

Waiver Wired

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Cavs Set A Boobie Trap

Sunday, January 23, 2011



Forwards

Nicolas Batum Blazers

Batum was featured here a week ago and has been one of the hottest pickups over the last few weeks since Marcus Camby and Brandon Roy shut it down for the Blazers. He's now owned in 80 percent of leagues, which means he's available in about 20 percent of them. Don't look at the numbers and don't wait any longer. If he's available in your league and you don't have to cut one of your starters, pick him up. He's averaging 16 points, five boards and nearly two 3-pointers per game in January, and his 0.7 averages in steals and blocks should be up to at least 1.0 by the end of the month. The bad news is the Blazers only have two games this week.

Ryan Anderson Magic

Here's another guy I've had trouble not talking about and he has been too kind to us. He's averaging 15 points, six boards, three 3-pointers and a block in January. He has season highs of 20 and 21 in two of his last three, and averaged 17 points, seven boards, 3.5 threes and .75 blocks in four games last week. Add in the fact the Magic play four times a week until the All-Star Break, and it's tough not to love Anderson. Brandon Bass is also still worthy and averaged 13 points, seven boards and a block last week, but Anderson looks like a much better option right now.

Corey Maggette Bucks

Maggette, who is playing through a sore hand, was another guy featured here last week, about a day before he became a full-time starting small forward for Scott Skiles. Maggette had a very nice week, averaging 22 points, five rebounds, four assists and a steal in his four starts. Am I worried about the return of Carlos Delfino and the possibility he replaces Maggette as a starter? Absolutely, but I plan on riding the Maggette train until it runs off the tracks, which will hopefully not happen in the upcoming week. The Bucks play four times a week for the next three.

Omri Casspi Kings

Casspi took over starting duties for Francisco Garcia, who is out for at least another week with a calf injury, and is averaging 12 points, 10 boards, a steal and two 3-pointers over his last two games (one was off the bench). He's going to start for Paul Westphal until further notice, although that doesn't guarantee anything. But he looks like a nice pick up right now, at least for the upcoming week when the Kings play four times, but keep in mind they have a two-game week coming up in the following scoring period.

Mike Miller Heat

Miller caught fire in a start for the Heat on Saturday when Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh were out, scoring 32 points along with 10 rebounds, six 3-pointers, three assists and a steal. He's going to struggle to be consistent when Wade and Bosh are back, but we at least know he's healthy and capable of playing well again. I don't trust anyone on the Heat not named LeBron, Dwyane or Chris, but Miller probably deserves a look after Saturday's explosion.

Others To Consider: Andrei Kirilenko Jazz, Arron Afflalo Nuggets, Shawn Marion Mavericks, Shane Battier Rockets, Carlos Delfino Bucks, Ryan Gomes Clippers

Kirilenko shouldn't even be available, but he is in some leagues, Afflalo is coming off a 22-point, five-3-pointer night on Friday and has scored between 21 and 31 points in three of his last six games, and Marion is still worth a look despite recent struggles and a demotion out of the starting five. Battier played well in a couple games before struggling on Saturday, Delfino is working his way back from a concussion, and Gomes is quietly averaging nine points, 4.5 boards and 1.3 3-pointers per game in January.

Centers

J.J. Hickson Cavaliers – Don't look at the numbers, don't worry about who he plays for or why he's even relevant. He should be owned in all leagues until further notice. Period.

Marcin Gortat Suns

Gortat is still not starting, but I have a feeling it's only a matter of time. He's double-doubled in three straight games and should be picked up in all leagues, as the starting job should be his for the taking in the next 10 days or so, and he'll continue to dub-dub and block at least a shot per game, and maybe two. The Suns go four times this week, but have just two games in Week 15.

Darko Milicic Timberwolves

Darko practiced on Saturday with a sprained ankle, which should put him on track to play four times this week. Yes, he's pretty unreliable injury-wise, but has blocked 19 shots in his last six games, hit double figures in scoring in four of those and double-doubled in two of them. He's also shooting it much better over his last four, although turnovers are still a concern. If you're thinking about using him this week, go for it.

Jason Thompson Kings

Thompson looks like a much better option than Carl Landry and Samuel Dalembert right now, along with DeMarcus Cousins. Thompson averaged 14 points and eight boards last week, getting 35 minutes or more in three of those four games. Landry could emerge at any time, but for now, Thompson (along with Cousins) looks like the guy you want to own.

DeJuan Blair Spurs

Blair blew up last week and has posted three monster double-doubles in his last five games. He came back to earth on Saturday when Gregg Popovich limited his minutes, and will struggle to get a consistent 30 minutes a night when Matt Bonner is back from a knee injury. Why Bonner, or anyone else, limits Blair's minutes makes no sense to me, but that's how Pop rolls. But when Blair is getting minutes, he's a very solid fantasy forward. It's just impossible to predict how Pop is going to use him from night to night. He has four games this week, but just two in Week 15.

JaVale McGee Wizards

McGee is one of the most frustrating players to own in fantasy, as he simply isn't capable of consistent play or minutes. He's capable of a double-double with six blocks on any given night, but is also capable of four points, three boards and two blocks the next time out. The key is he's blocked at least one shot in every January game, which is the main reason you would put him in your lineup. Anything else is icing on the cake. His January averages are nine points, seven boards and three blocks, so it's hard to be too upset with him. The Wiz play four times in each of the next two weeks.

Others To Consider: Roy Hibbert Pacers, Serge Ibaka Thunder, Greg Monroe Pistons, Ronny Turiaf Knicks, Chuck Hayes Rockets, Kwame Brown Bobcats

Hibbert double-doubled against the Blazers on Saturday and he should still at least be held in most leagues. Starting him is another story. Ibaka was a beast on Saturday with 11 points, 15 boards and two blocks, but would be much more fun to own if he was a starter. Monroe has scored just five and six points in his last two, but is still crashing the boards. He's started seven straight games, but has just two blocks in January. Turiaf is getting run for the Knicks, Hayes is playing pretty well for the Rockets and Kwame Brown is a deep-league possibility for Charlotte. All are worth a look if you need a center.


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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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