Steve Alexander

Waiver Wired

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Way Out Wes

Sunday, January 30, 2011


Guards

Tracy McGrady Pistons - T-Mac has been an incredibly solid player over the last month and should be owned in most leagues at this point. And with Rodney Stuckey's shoulder injury, he could get even better. His minutes have been heavy lately, which makes me worry about him breaking down, but he's worth running out there every day as long as he's healthy. Who would have guessed McGrady would be the most reliable Piston? Thanks, John Kuester. T-Mac is owned in less than 30 percent of ESPN leagues and is averaging 11.1 points, 4.5 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.9 blocks and 0.6 threes per game in January.

Arron Afflalo Nuggets - Afflalo is hot, hitting double figures in eight of his last 10 games and has averaged nearly 20 ppg over his last three. He also has 15 threes in his last five games and will occasionally help in boards and assists. He's not much of a thief though, and doesn't block shots. He should also be owned in most leagues already, but might be available in yours.

Brandon Jennings Bucks - Jennings played 11 meaningless minutes on Saturday but his minutes are not going to be limited for long. He's a must-own player, so just make sure he's not floating out there on waivers in your league.

Wesley Johnson Timberwolves - Johnson has been better than starter Corey Brewer and has played very well in four straight games, scoring between 13 and 19 points during that stretch. He's hit nine threes in his last four games, and has five steals and three blocks during that streak as well. I'd trust him a lot more if he was starting, but he's playing well enough off the bench to be grabbed in most leagues.

Ben Gordon Pistons - Gordon has benefited from the absence of Rodney Stuckey, starting in his last game and walking away with 21 points and three 3-pointers. John Kuester has probably taken notice that Jim O'Brien has been fired, and it will hopefully inspire him to run more plays for Gordon. He had 15 and 16 points in his previous two games off the bench, and it finally looks like he's ready to start producing.

Anthony Morrow Nets - Morrow has scored 16 or more points in three of his last four games and while he's still coming off the bench, I'm still thinking he'll be starting again before too long. Then again, this is Avery Johnson we're talking about, and the Nets have won four of their last seven with Morrow in a bench role. But they've also lost two straight and it would make sense for Morrow to start soon. Either way, he's hit seven treys in his last four games, but won't help in many other categories outside of scoring and threes.

Others to consider: Paul George, Randy Foye, Tony Allen, Marcus Thornton

George is completely up in the air now that Frank Vogel will be coaching the team with Larry Bird calling the shots, but Bird likes George and will hopefully want to continue developing him for next season. Foye is must-own at this point, especially with Eric Gordon saying he's still in pain and might need some extra time to come back from his wrist injury. Foye had a huge line on Saturday night and should already be owned in most leagues. Allen is going to get a boost over the next couple weeks with O.J. Mayo suspended and is a sneaky source of steals and blocks, while Thornton continues to occasionally impress off the Hornets bench.

Forwards

Mike Dunleavy Pacers - With Jim O'Brien finally gone (see ya), Dunleavy may be a big winner, along with guys like Danny Granger, Roy Hibbert and Darren Collison. Dunleavy has been hot lately too, hitting double figures in six straight, including a 30-point night on Friday. He's also solid in assists, rebounds and steals, and now is a good time to grab him. Let's just hope Bird and Vogel keep rolling with him.

Carlos Delfino, Corey Maggette, John Salmons, Ersan Ilyasova Bucks - I don't really trust any of these players, as they're all going to take turns having big nights. Salmons is still out with a hip injury, but should be back sometime in the near future. Delfino (21 points), Maggette (14) and Ilyasova (14) all started on Saturday and all played well, meaning all three guys are worth owning. Salmons' return, along with Jennings, will further clutter things up here, but a case can be made for all four players to be owned. Just be prepared for some inconsistency along the way.

Austin Daye Pistons - Daye has scored 19, 20 and 11 points in three of his last four games and started Friday with Ben Wallace out for personal reasons. Daye should start again on Sunday and it's possible that he stays in the starting five going forward. Then again, Kuester is the most unpredictable coach in the league, so who knows? But given Daye's strong play recently, along with his ability to rebound and hit threes, I think he's worth holding in most situations.

Omri Casspi Kings - Casspi's starting for the Kings, but hasn't exactly been killing it. He scored 6, 20 and 6 points in his last three, but the minutes, shots and rebounds have been there. As long as he's starting, he's worth owning.

Mike Miller Heat - Miller is finally relevant for the Heat, scoring 32, 0 and 12 in his last three games, and has grabbed 10 boards in two of those. Dwyane Wade is back on Sunday, sending Miller back to the bench. He has six points, eight boards, a couple threes and steals near the end of the game. He's going to struggle to get enough touches to be a must-own player, but will have some big games in Miami, along with some duds.

Centers

Marcin Gortat Suns - Gortat blew up for 19 points and 17 boards in his last game and has double-doubled in four of his last six, all off the bench. He simply has to become a starter at some point in the next 10 days, and when it happens, he should be a beast. He's a must-own player in all leagues right now.

Roy Hibbert Pacers - Hibbert might have been the biggest winner in the firing of Jim O'Brien, as Larry Bird and the Pacer brass weren't happy with Obie's treatment of the young big man. I think he's going to start playing well again and am glad I held onto him through the dark cloud cast by Obie. If he was dropped in your league, grab him.

Samuel Dalembert Kings - Paul Westphal can't make up his mind, but Dalembert is the flavor of the week after Jason Thompson's minutes were cut recently. JT also has a foot injury and both Dalembert and Carl Landry are going to see a boost if he's out. Dalembert is averaging 17 points, 5.5 boards and a block over his last two games and is another guy who looks like a solid add right now. He is also capable of blocking a ton of shots on any given night, and is especially attractive if you need them.

Chuck Hayes Rockets - Hayes is averaging 9.5 points, 8.2 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.6 steals and a block per game in January, hitting 65% of his shots. He was shooting very well from the line earlier in the season, but has hit just 7-of-14 this month. He's playing well enough to be owned in most leagues, as hard as that is to believe.

Kwame Brown Bobcats - Brown is averaging nine points and nine boards in January, but is also averaging just 0.3 steals and 0.4 blocks. He's a serviceable center in deep leagues, but the lack of blocks hurts his value considerably. But it does look like he'll be relevant until further notice, or until the Bobcats trade for a center.

Others to consider: Darko Milicic, Kendrick Perkins, Greg Monroe, Andris Biedrins

I still think Darko should be owned in most leagues and he's looked better lately. He's been healthy and is averaging close to 11 points, six boards and two blocks in January, but is also committing 2.7 TOs this month. His shooting has been much better though, as he's at 51% for January. Perkins is back, but so is Shaq, making it tough for Perkins to become 'the man' in the middle. He's had 2, 7 and 10 points in his three games this season and will never be a great fantasy option for his offense. But the blocks and boards should be coming. Monroe has averaged 10.6 points, 8.4 boards, 1.6 steals and 0.4 blocks in January making him worth a look. Biedrins has been left for dead in many leagues, and for good reason, but finally woke up for 10 points, 12 boards, a steal and a block in his last game. Let's see what he does against the Celtics today before declaring him back. It's pretty rare to see this many solid center options available on waivers this late in the season. Happy hunting.


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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