First and foremost, I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. Personally, it’s one of my favorite days of the year even though there’s no basketball. While football got most of the attention over the holiday break, basketball’s fingerprints were all over it with a 14-game night on Wednesday to kick off the long weekend. Consequently, we have a lot to analyze on the waiver wire this week. I'm filling in for Steve Alexander this week, who was driving across the country instead of writing this column.
Looking at the schedule, the Hawks, Warriors and Heat play just two games. Yes, Miami has a two-game week for the second week in a row and LeBron owners should be hoping to just tread water for another scoring period. On the other hand, the Nets, Cavs, Pistons, Grizzlies, Bucks, Knicks, Thunder, Suns, Blazers, Spurs and Jazz get four games. Let’s check out which guys might be able to help your team off the waiver wire.
Ricky Rubio - Rubio is on the comeback trail and he is schedule to practice fully after the team’s upcoming road trip ends on November 28th. Last year, he had 8.2 assists per game while ranking second in the league with 2.2 steals per game. Plus, there was talk of him hoping to add to his 0.8 3-pointers per game. He is still targeting a mid-December return, but fantasy owners will definitely want to consider stashing the Spaniard ASAP.
Aaron Brooks - Brooks has taken over at the point guard spot and is beginning to run away with it. He played 32 minutes in back-to-back starts with averages of 15 points, 2.5 assists 2.0 steals and 3.0 threes in that span. It’s easy to forget that he was a fantasy stud back in ’09-’10 with 20 points per game and 2.6 3-pointers. Isaiah Thomas logged the dreaded DNP-CD on Friday and just seven minutes on Saturday. Brooks is worth adding in most leagues and IT2 should have a one-way ticket to Cut City. The Kings play four games this week.
Jason Kidd - J-Kidd is surprisingly owned in less than 65 percent of ESPN and Yahoo! leagues. He is returning fourth-round value right now with eye-popping averages of 1.8 threes and 2.0 steals while shooting an uncharacteristic 52.9 percent from the field. He also hasn’t missed a free throw this year. The Cal Bear won’t be this good all season, but he has to be owned until proven otherwise. The Knicks play four games this week.
Jeremy Pargo - Perhaps no player made a bigger out-of-nowhere splash than Jeremy Pargo this weekend. In his three games, he posted averages of 19.7 points, 4.0 assists, 0.7 steals and 2.3 3-pointers in 34.0 minutes. Daniel Gibson’s return doesn’t seem to be impacting his minutes and Pargo looks like the clear winner of the Kyrie Irving (finger) injury fallout. The Cavs have four games this week.
Side note: Daniel Gibson is worth an add in some formats since he took seven attempts from beyond the arc on Saturday.
Jamaal Tinsley - Mo Williams is battling a foot sprain and he missed Saturday’s game against the Kings. Tinsley has stepped in as the team’s point guard and excelled in his last two games with averages of 8.0 points, 9.5 assists, 1.5 steals and 2.0 3-pointers in 31 minutes. The Jazz have four games this week, so getting two games out of Tinsley as the starter on Monday (@ Toronto) and Wednesday (@ Boston) would make him a worthwhile spot start in some leagues.
Kyle Korver - Don’t look now but Kyle Korver has hit 3.1 3-pointers per game in his last 10 games. He also logged 32.3 minutes per game and 0.9 steals to give him second-round value over that span. The Hawks are one of the thinnest teams on the wing this year and Larry Drew looks like he’s made Korver his trigger man. He should be owned in just about every league where treys count. The Hawks have just two games this week.
Randy Foye - Foye saw some minutes at point guard with Mo Williams on the shelf. Foye’s last three games have been useful in fantasy leagues with 13.0 points thanks to his 3.3 3-pointers. He logged 31 minutes and he will be a must-start player as long as Mo Williams remains out of the lineup. The Jazz have four games this week.
Jordan Crawford - The Wizards are still winless and are well on their way to becoming the New York Jets of the NBA. Crawford has been busy in his last five games by playing 29.8 minutes and posting an average line of 14.0 points, 3.2 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 0.4 steals and 1.0 triples. He made all 19 of his free throw attempts in that span, but shot a paltry 35.9 percent from the field. The Xavier product picked up some of the point guard duties on Saturday night, but really squandered the chance with poor play. Who really knows what Randy Wittman is going to do? It might not even matter since he should be on thin ice. The Wizards have three games this week.
Beno Udrih - Brandon Jennings suffered a sprained ankle in the last minute of Saturday’s game and he couldn’t put any weight on it as he was carried to the locker room. However, Jennings downplayed the injury after the game and he expects to play on Monday. Udrih might not see a full load of minutes at point guard with Monta on the roster, but he can really do it all. Beno is playing just 17.6 minutes per game, so if Jennings does miss time and he picks up 12 more minutes, his current averages would extrapolate to 13.1 points, 6.0 assists, 1.7 steals and 0.9 3-pointers. Those would be must-own numbers. The Bucks have four games this week.
Nick Young - Swaggy P has been in Doug Collins’ good graces lately and has played 28.7 minutes per game in his last three contests. Although, his shot selection has been suspect at best in his last couple, so there’s good chance his minutes could be on the way down. Jason Richardson – a must-own player -- is dealing with an ankle injury, so there’s a chance Swaggy could get minutes that way, too. The Sixers play three games this week.
Jeff Taylor - Taylor has picked up a nice chunk of minutes in his last four games with 34.0 per contest. He’s made the most of it and has produced some nice numbers for fantasy owners with 12.3 points, 1.8 steals and 1.8 treys. He did commit an egregious foul at the end of Saturday’s game, so he might get some punishment. Gerald Henderson could be back in a couple weeks and the three-game week may be the last we’ve seen of Taylor.