Steve Alexander

Waiver Wired

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This week's top pickups

Friday, January 20, 2012

Small Forwards

Tayshaun Prince Pistons


Prince is on fire, scoring 20, 20 and 29 points in his last three games. He’s getting a ton of minutes and has hit five treys over his hot streak.  He won’t score 20 per game, but is playing well enough to be added in nearly all leagues.

Nicolas Batum Blazers


Batum went on a tear in the absence of Marcus Camby but suffered an eye injury on Wednesday.  Camby is due back for the Blazers Friday, but so is Batum, who likely earned more minutes after averaging 24 points, eight rebounds, a steal, two blocks and four 3-pointers over a recent two-game stretch without Camby in uniform.

Trevor Ariza Hornets


Ariza came back from his groin injury with a bang on Wednesday, racking up 18 points, five rebounds, seven assists, four steals and a block on 7-of-13 shooting.  He hit just 3-of-9 with a 3-pointer on Thursday for 10 points, five boards, three assists and a steal.  His shooting percentage is always a concern, but he’ll do enough across the board to be worth using in many leagues.  He will also take a hit once Eric Gordon is back, but we still don’t know when that will be. Ariza’s groin flared up on Thursday but he played through it.  

Marvin Williams Hawks


Marvin is recovering from a sprained ankle and hasn’t looked great in his return, but should get plenty of minutes and shots with Al Horford shut down with shoulder surgery.  He had 12 points and eight boards in his last game and was hitting a 3-pointer per game before suffering the injury.  Twelve points, seven boards and a 3-pointer per game should be easily in reach once he’s back at full strength.

Carlos Delfino & Tobias Harris Bucks


Delfino hasn’t blown up yet, but is getting minutes and has hit 13 threes in his last six games.  Stephen Jackson is in Scott Skiles’ doghouse (and suspended for Friday), while Mike Dunleavy should be back for that one.  Delfino is still worth a look right now, despite inconsistent scoring.  He’s also racked up 10 steals and three blocks in his last four games, and is rebounding and handing out assists.  If his shot starts falling, he could put up some really big numbers.  Rookie Tobias Harris is also worth a look, averaging 13 points and 5.5 boards in his last two games.  He’s a deep-league special, but will see inconsistent minutes coming off the bench.  But as long as Jackson is struggling and fighting with his coach, Skiles won’t be afraid to let Harris play.

The Rest

Chandler Parsons Rockets – Inconsistent scorer, but starting and averaging nearly eight points, seven boards, two steals and a block in eight starts.

Omri Casspi Cavaliers – Is finally coming on, averaging close to 12 points, six rebounds and a 3-pointer over his last three games.  He also has two steals and two blocks over that stretch.

Richard Jefferson Spurs – Cooled off recently, but still starting and a good source of threes.

James Johnson Raptors – Now starting for Raptors, but awful on Wednesday.  Just keep an eye on him if you need steals and blocks.
Corey Brewer Nuggets – Getting inconsistent minutes, but productive when he plays.

Power Forwards

Andray Blatche Wizards


Blatche is back in the starting five for the Wizards and had 12 points, 10 boards, four assists, two steals, a block and a 3-pointer on Wednesday.  He should be owned in all leagues, but grab him if he was dropped in yours.  I picked him up in a 14-team league on Sunday and am pretty happy about it.

Markieff Morris Suns


His first start was ruined by the flu on Wednesday but it looks like he could be the starting PF in Phoenix the rest of the way.  He can score, board, block and hit 3-pointers, making him a very attractive fantasy option.  I think he should be grabbed in most leagues, even if you’re not going to start him.

Al Harrington Nuggets


Harrington is quietly averaging 14 points, five boards, 1.8 steals and 1.7 3-pointers off the Nuggets bench.  He’s getting 24 minutes a game and seems to be doing exactly what George Karl wants him to.


Jason Smith Hornets 
Smith started at power forward and scored a season-high 17 points on 8-of-16 shooting with five rebounds, one assist, one steal, and three blocks over 29 minutes in the Hornets' overtime loss on Thursday.  He's starting over Chris Kaman and has also had games of 15 & 10 and 14 & 6 with nine blocks over his last four games. The frontcourt is a mess in New Orleans, but Smith is somebody to consider in 12-team leagues if you need a PF.  Just know that Kaman or Carl Landry could overtake him for the starting job at any time.


Marreese Speights Grizzlies


Speights has been hit or miss as the Grizzlies starting power forward in place of Zach Randolph, deserves to be owned as long as he’s starting.  And he should keep the job for another month or so as Randolph recovers from his torn MCL.

Tyrus Thomas Bobcats


Thomas has struggled as the starting power forward in Charlotte but could get hot at any time.  He’s averaging six points, three boards and two blocks recently, but is still worth holding in case he finally gets it figured out.  Bismack Biyombo recently had a big game, but I’ve listed him under the centers.


Samuel Dalembert Rockets


We told you to hang onto Sammy through his slow start and that patience is really paying off, as he’s averaging 15 points, 13 rebounds and two blocks over his last five games.  If he’s available in your league, pick him up right now.

Brook Lopez Nets


Lopez is recovering from a broken foot but appears to be on pace to return sometime in the next month.  I have trouble holding injured players for too long, but Lopez is getting close enough that it’s time to move on him.  And over the final 25 games of last season, he averaged 22.7 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.4 blocks, and while I doubt he does that again this year, he might come close if he truly is healthy.

Mehmet Okur Nets


In the meantime, Okur is holding down the center position in Jersey and playing better.  He’s averaging 11 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.8 3-pointers over his last five games.  And he should continue to do so over the next month with Lopez in street clothes.

Nikola Pekovic Timberwolves


Pekovic’s numbers are not impressive, but he did start over Darko Milicic for the second half of Wednesday’s game, and Darko hasn’t exactly gotten it done at center for the Wolves this season.  If Pekovic does take the job, he’ll be worth adding in deeper leagues and could average 10 points, five boards and a block per game, which he came close to in 11 starts last season.

Jason Thompson Kings


Thompson replaced J.J. Hickson in the starting five for Sacramento on Wednesday and had nine points, 10 rebounds and a couple steals in 26 minutes.  While he’s worth a close look, Thompson, Hickson and Chuck Hayes (once he’s back from a shoulder injury) will all share time at PF for the Kings.  But until Hayes is back, Thompson might be worth a deep-league fill-in.

Bismack Biyombo Bobcats


The rookie had 11 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks on Tuesday, which was his first real production of the season.  He might be worth a flier right now, but only if you have a scrub to cut.  I need to see him do this a couple more times before taking the bait.  Before getting 21 minutes on Tuesday, he was a DNP in his previous game, and is averaging just 12 minutes per game on the season.  Keep a close eye on him Saturday at Chicago.

Steve "Dr. A" Alexander is the senior editor for the NBA for and a contributor to The 2017-18 NBA season marks (at least) his 16th year of covering fantasy hoops for Rotoworld. Follow him on Twitter - @Docktora.
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