Steve Alexander

Waiver Wired

print article archives RSS

Wired: Top NBA Pickups

Friday, March 23, 2012


 

Five Is the Magic Number?

 

Deciding what to call each week has become a guessing game in many leagues.  Some sites combined All-Star Week with another, while others just use their own random week numbers, based on when the season should have started vs. when it did start, etc.  But around these parts, the upcoming week is Week 14 and the playoffs in a majority of leagues run from Weeks 14-16.  So let’s take a look at those three and see which teams have five-game schedules, and who the pickups might be.  Outside of a couple players, the news isn't all that great.

 

Week 14 (upcoming)

 

5-Games:

 

Indiana:

 

Must Starts:  Darren Collison, Paul George, Danny Granger, David West, Roy Hibbert

 

For Your Consideration

 

George Hill PG – Hill disappeared in Thursday’s amazing comeback win over the Wizards, but I’m not deterred.  He was 0-for-5 and played just 18 minutes, and also struggled on Saturday, when he played 28 minutes, but hit just 1-of-7 shots.  In his other three previous games he’s averaging nearly 15 points, five rebounds, five assists, a steal and two 3-pointers in 28 minutes.  It’s become obvious that Frank Vogel is going to ride the hot hand between Hill and Darren Collison, but I’m still prepared to run Hill out there for five games and see what happens in some of my deeper leagues.

 

Tyler Hansbrough PF – If 10 points and four rebounds over his last five games float your boat, go for it.  But David West survived his dislocated pinkie on Thursday night, or Hansbrough would be more of a must-add player than a mystery man.

 

Leandro Barbosa SG – Barbosa has played 18 and 15 minutes in his two games with the Pacers, scoring 12 and two points.  He might still be worth a roll of the dice in a very deep league, but needs more games under his belt for Vogel to be used in most leagues.

 

New Orleans: 

 

Must Starts:  Jarrett Jack, Trevor Ariza, Chris Kaman

 

For Your Consideration

 

Marco Belinelli SG- Bello has been alternating good games with bad ones, averaging nearly 12 points, two rebounds, two assists and 1.6 3-pointers per game over his last five.  Spread that out over five games and he could be a better play than many guys who only go three times.  Just be careful not to bench a four-game stud for what Belinelli may or may not get you in the extra game.  

 

Greivis Vasquez G – Vasquez is coming off the bench and averaging nine points, 2.6 rebounds, 5.6 assists, 0.8 steals and 0.8 3-pointers over his last five games, which should hold up going forward.

 

Jason Smith & Associates PF – I have been holding onto Gustavo Ayon in anticipation of this week, but a series of unfortunate events has happened, making Ayon nearly impossible to play.  First of all, Smith has come out of nowhere in his return from a concussion to average 14.5 points and 7.5 rebounds on 13-of-22 shooting over his last two games.  Secondly, he surprisingly started over Ayon on Thursday, limiting Ayon to just 11 minutes and zero points.  And lastly, Carl Landry is due back this weekend, creating a three-headed monster at power forward for the Hornets.  I was all set to roll with Ayon here a couple weeks ago, but now I don’t think any of the PFs in New Orleans are worth the risk, despite the five games.

 

Week 15 (week after next)

 

5 Games

 

Memphis:

 

Must Starts: Mike Conley, Rudy Gay, Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol

 

For Your Consideration

 

Tony Allen SG- Allen, who starts at shooting guard, is heating up at the right time, scoring between 14 & 18 points in three of his last five games, and is averaging 11 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 2.0 steals in 25 minutes over those five.  His scoring has really picked up and if he stays hot for his three games in Week 14, he’ll enter must-start territory for Week 15.   

 

O.J. Mayo SG – Mayo has cooled off, scoring just six points in each of his last two games, but I’m fine with that, as he played 29 and 17 minutes in those two.  Over his last five, he’s at 9 points, 4 boards, 2 assists and 2 steals in 25 minutes, but has just two 3-pointers over that stretch.  I plan on using him in Week 15 despite the recent struggles, if he plays well this week.

 

Marreese Speights is another guy worth a look, but with Zach Randolph back, he’s a longshot.  Just keep in mind that Randolph could be held out for a game or two in a five-game week.

 

Sacramento

 

Must Starts: Isaiah Thomas, Marcus Thornton, Tyreke Evans, Jason Thompson, DeMarcus Cousins

 

For Your Consideration

 

Jason Thompson PF – Thompson is still unowned in many leagues, but is on a major roll, double-doubling in five straight games and averaging an astounding 17.6 points, 13.6 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 0.6 blocks over that stretch.  He sprained his left ankle at the end of Thursday night’s game, but says he’s going to play on Saturday.  I’m going to bench him for three games this week, in hopes that he’s at full strength and still rolling for the five games in Week 15.  In my mind, he’s a must-own player at this point.

 

John Salmons SF – Salmons has been starting over Tyreke Evans, but is averaging just seven points, three boards and four assists over his last five.  And given that Evans should be starting again by the time Week 15 rolls around, I’d ignore Salmons.


continue story »
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



Highest Searched Players over the last 7 days



Video Center

  •  
    CFB: Opening weekend preview

    CFB: Opening weekend preview
  •  
    Rookie Watch: WR Benjamin

    Rookie Watch: WR Benjamin
  •  
    Rookie Watch: RB Freeman

    Rookie Watch: RB Freeman
  •  
    Rookie Watch: RB Sankey

    Rookie Watch: RB Sankey
  •  
    Levitan: Sleeper options

    Levitan: Sleeper options
  •  
    Value: WR Brandin Cooks

    Value: WR Brandin Cooks
  •  
    Value: WR Jordan Matthews

    Value: WR Jordan Matthews
  •  
    A&M - So. Carolina preview

    A&M - So. Carolina preview