Steve Alexander

Waiver Wired

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Hot Wired: Neal & Shumpert

Friday, January 06, 2012


 

Small Forwards

 

Brandon Rush Warriors – Dorell Wright has failed to score in two straight games and many folks are calling for Rush to replace in him in the starting lineup.  Rush, Klay Thompson and Wright are all interesting guys floating around on waivers right now.  If Rush gets the job he’ll become a must-own player, while Thompson should continue to see plenty of minutes off the bench, especially with Stephen Curry currently shut down with a severely sprained right ankle, as usual.  Wright is the toughest guy to call.  He averaged 16 points and 2.4 3-pointers last season, but has been one of the biggest fantasy busts this year.  If he’s on waivers in your league, I’d recommend stashing him and seeing what happens.

Recommendation: Rush, Wright and Thompson should all be considered in all leagues.

 

Nicolas Batum Trail Blazers – Batum was awful on Thursday after missing all his shots, but has racked up nine 3-pointers and seven blocks this season.  I still think he’s going to get it going and should be a nice player to own going forward.  Just don’t look for him to score a lot of points.

Recommendation: Should be owned in deep leagues.

 

James Johnson Raptors – The Raptors play five times in Week 3 and owners will have to have a lot of patience and will power to roll him out there.  He started off hot, fell off the map, and then bounced back with four points, eight rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocks on Wednesday.  I have no idea if he’ll do that in Week 3, but if he has a good week and is in your lineup, he’ll put up threes, boards, steals and blocks, which is fantasy gold.  Do ya feel lucky?

Recommendation: Should be considered as a potential fantasy starter for Week 3.

 

Josh Howard/Alec Burks/C.J. Miles Jazz – Howard is hurt but his quad injury doesn’t sound too serious.   Raja Bell has been useless at small forward and the thought was, before Howard’s injury, that he was about to take over the starting job from Bell.  Given Howard’s injury history, he could go down again at any time, with Burks and Miles next in line for the job and minutes.  None of these players are must-own right now, but all are worth keeping an eye on until we see how things shake out for the Jazz.

Recommendation: All three players should be monitored closely in case Bell is benched.

 

Power Forwards

 

Marreese Speights Grizzlies – Speights is now playing for the Grizzlies and despite having yet to appear in a game this season, is a popular pickup due to Zach Randolph’s knee injury.  He’ll be sidelined for a couple months and there’s a decent chance Speights starts in his place.  He has conditioning issues and has never been a consistent NBA player, but has probably never seen an opportunity quite like this one, either.  I think guys like Rudy Gay and Marc Gasol will step up their games in Z-Bo’s absence, and I really don’t trust Speights.  He’s also not much of a shot blocker for a big man, but should still be grabbed in all leagues until we see how this shakes out.  You should also keep your eye on Dante Cunningham and Josh Davis, who will also get run at power forward for Memphis.

Recommendation: Should be owned in all leagues for now.

 

Tyrus Thomas Bobcats – The Bobcats have five games in Week 3 and Thomas is due back from a sprained ankle on Friday night.  He’ll still have to win his job back from D.J. White, who has played very well in his absence, but Thomas should eventually reclaim the gig.  Thomas will have to stay healthy to make it happen, but if he gets the job back, he should rack up very solid numbers with points, boards, steals and blocks, and is also a good free throw shooter for a big man.

Recommendation: Should be owned in all leagues.

 

Brandon Bass Celtics – The Celtics only play three games in Week 3 so Bass isn’t a great option in leagues that benefit players with a lot of games.  Bass is averaging 14 points and close to seven boards a game thus far, and had 15 & 13 in his last one.  If Kevin Garnett goes down at some point, Bass will become a must-own player, but for now he’s someone worth using in deeper leagues.

Recommendation: Should be owned in deep leagues and considered in all.

 

Kenneth Faried Nuggets – Faried had the dunk of the night on Wednesday when he had seven points, four rebounds and four blocks.  Nene is iffy for Friday with his lingering foot injury and his absence was the reason for Faried’s opportunity on Tuesday.  If Nene is healthy Faried is probably best left on waivers unless you’re in a very deep league.

Recommendation: Should be monitored in deeper leagues, along with Nene’s foot injury.

 

Tristan Thompson Cavaliers – Thompson broke out on Tuesday with 18 points, nine rebounds and two blocks, but then disappeared in his next one.  The talent is there and he should get better with each month that passes, but he’s not yet a must-own player.  But if he puts up a couple big lines in the next 10 days, don’t hesitate to go get him.

Recommendation: Should be monitored in most leagues.

 

Markieff Morris Suns – Much like Thompson, Morris broke out on Monday with 18 points, nine boards and a 3-pointer before falling back to earth in his next one.  Unlike Thompson, Morris has to battle with Channing Frye and Hakim Warrick for minutes, meaning he’s going to be inconsistent all year.  But the potential is there for big numbers and owners deep or keeper leagues will want to keep a close eye on him.

Recommendation: Should be monitored in most leagues.

 

Centers

 

J.J. Hickson Kings – Chuck Hayes went down with a separated shoulder on Thursday and it sounds like he’ll miss three weeks or so with the injury.  Hickson made the most of the extra minutes last night with seven points, 11 rebounds and two blocks.  And there should be plenty more where that came from going forward, at least for three weeks.  He’ll hurt your free throw percentage, but could be a double-double machine until further notice.

Recommendation: Should be owned in all leagues.

 

Drew Gooden Bucks – The Bucks only play three games next week and I’m assuming Andrew Bogut will be back after missing the last couple games due to personal reasons.  In two starts for Bogut (so far) Gooden has posted very nice lines.  He had 24 points, 12 boards and a block on Tuesday and then 18 points, nine boards and two steals on Thursday.  He’ll take a pretty severe hit once Bogut is back, but may have earned the starting power forward job with these two games.  Despite not knowing his role once Bogut is back, Gooden is worth a flier and stash for now.

Recommendation: Should be owned in most leagues, at least for now.

  

Brendan Haywood Mavericks – Haywood is starting to come on a bit after a slow start, blocking six shots and racking up 30 rebounds in his last four games.  He’s only scored six or less points in each of those, but he at least looks like a serviceable center if you need boards and blocks.  And once he gets in game shape he should be even better.  Haywood is not a must-own player in most leagues, but is worth a look in many of them.

Recommendation: Should be monitored in all leagues.

 

Byron Mullens Bobcats – The Bobcats play five games in Week 3 and Mullens is on fire, relatively speaking.  He’s scored 10, 6, 12, 6, 14 and 16 points in each game this year, with season highs of five boards and two blocks.  Outside of the scoring, he’s not doing much else.  But if you’re in a deep league, given the Bobcats’ lack of depth at center, Mullens is worth a look, and should continue to get better as the season progresses.

Recommendation: Should be monitored in deep leagues.

 

Timofey Mozgov Nuggets – Mozgov had 11 points in his last game and continues to start for the Nuggets.  He also had five blocks on the year, but four of them came in one game.  Nene was out with a foot injury but could return on Friday.  Mozgov’s value will get a boost on nights when Nene is out, but when the Nuggets are at full strength, Mozgov is a borderline fantasy player at best.  Just keep an eye on him in deeper leagues.

Recommendation: Should be monitored in deep leagues.



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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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