Mike Gallagher

Waiver Wired

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Wired: Top Pickups for Week 7

Sunday, December 08, 2013



2 games: IND, MIA


You can follow me on Twitter @MikeSGallagher for some stats and analysis. Also this was a joint effort with Ryan Knaus (@Knaus_RW) also chipping in with some of his excellent information. Well, let's not screw around with any intros and get to it:


Point Guards


Tony Wroten Sixers 12% owned - Michael Carter-Williams was hospitalized with a skin infection to his knee and does not have a timetable to return. While the team doesn't seem concerned about the skin issue, the injury preceding that problem suggests he could be out for a bit.


Based on the last time MCW went down with his foot issue, the team won't be in a rush to bring him back. He missed four games with a foot sprain which is kind of a surprise based on the early developments of the injury. In case you forgot, he was actually at shootaround for the Nov. 13's game and wasn't ruled out until minutes before the tip. After that, the team put him in a walking boot and just allowed him to heal.


Now he's dealing with a knee issue. Teams almost always will want to make sure their players are fully healthy in order to limit any sort of aggravation should the knee not be completely stable. The Sixers in particular have their eyes on 2014 and beyond, so there is more incentive to keep him out than put him back in the lineup.


Switching gears, Wroten has been outstanding in the starting lineup. In his six starts, he's averaged 19.8 points, 4.8 boards, 5.3 assists, 1.5 steals and 0.3 triples. He's going to be a must-start player while MCW is out of the lineup. Although, coach Brett Brown hinted at Wroten getting less minutes at shooting guard, and that makes sense given how horrible the Sixers are on defense with the MCW-Wroten backcourt. Again, Wroten shouldn't be on any wires for his terrific short-term appeal.

Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $15,000 Fantasy Basketball league for Sunday night's games. It's $25 to join and first prize is $3,000. Starts at 6pm ET on Sunday. Here's the FanDuel link.

Check out the NBA Season Pass for weekly rankings, long-term rankings, projections, exclusive live chats and the Pickups of the Day column almost every single morning when you wake up. It’s basically a daily Waiver Wired column and is worth the price of admission alone. 


Reggie Jackson Thunder 21% owned - One of these days coach Scott Brooks will realize he has one of the best young point guards on his team. This is nothing new, though. In previous seasons, Brooks would give Derek Fisher a little extra fourth-quarter burn in favor of Russell Westbrook, but now he's doing it with Reggie Jackson.


Fisher's minutes are on the decline and it's about time. On the year, he's shooting 37.5 percent from the field and 15.0 percent from downtown, so he might finally be turning into a pumpkin. Meanwhile, Jackson's numbers have been phenomenal. Over his last four games, he's averaged 14.5 points, 3.8 boards, 3.3 assists, 0.5 steals and 1.3 triples on 51.1 percent shooting.


He's the only point guard in the NBA to rank in the top five for field goal and free throw percentage this season, which might be somewhat sustainable. He takes 34.5 percent of his shot attempts from the restricted area and his off-the-ball game is beyond his years. Of course, that's an important skill with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook on his team. He has nice upside and is somewhat safe with his shooting percentages.


Kirk Hinrich Bulls 35% owned - Hinrich fizzled out in Saturday's lopsided loss to Detroit, scoring just three points on 1-of-10 FGs with five turnovers and zero FT attempts, ending a four-game stretch with double-digit scoring. The devil is in the details, however, and fantasy owners should be encouraged that seven of Hinrich's attempts came from downtown. He also had four rebounds, four assists, a season-high four steals and one block in 36 minutes. He's shooting terribly from the field this season (36.0 percent) but will creep toward his career numbers sooner or later, and he faces zero competition for playing time from Marquis Teague or Mike James (knee). Enterprising fantasy owners should double-check that Captain Kirk isn't still floating on the waiver wire.


Nate Robinson Nuggets 32% owned - Ty Lawson is out with a hamstring injury and he did not play on Saturday. The Nuggets did downplay the injury, so there's a good chance that Lawson could be back for Monday's game against the Wizards.


Robinson was the primary ball handler in Saturday's win over the Sixers, finishing with 20 points, two boards, three assists, two rebounds and one 3-pointer on 6-of-14 shooting. Coach Brian Shaw isn't quite comfortable handing the keys to the offense over to the 37-year-old Andre Miller and the aging veteran isn't very effective on D these days.


Nate's minutes really haven't been enough for the most part all season, but they're on the rise even before Lawson went down. He's up to 23 minutes per game over his last 10 and he might be able to sustain some level of value with that allotment. Robinson has 14.6 points per game in that span and added 2.0 triples per game. Lil' Him ranks 22nd in the NBA in usage rate (minimum 15 minutes per game), so his low minutes aren't a true indication of his fantasy potential. 


Ramon Sessions Bobcats 7% owned - The loss of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist could make the Bobcats scramble for solutions. It started already in their first game without him and they had some extra three-guard lineups on Friday. Gerald Henderson has the size to play small forward at 6'5", 215 and that would allow a nice chunk of minutes to be up for grabs at shooting guard.


Sessions turned in a nice game on Friday, scoring 13 points with two rebounds, four assists and three turnovers in 24 minutes. Sessions was already averaging 21 minutes per game before the MKG injury, so it's not a stretch to think he can flirt with 25 per night. He's one of the most aggressive players in the NBA and leads the league in drives per 48 minutes while shooting a very respectable 50.7 percent on shots resulting from drives. He's a low-upside pickup in deep leagues.



Shooting Guards 


Alec Burks Jazz 16% owned - His offensive efficiency has jumped up quite a bit with a rating of just 93 in the first 10 games and 102 in the last 12 games.  With those same splits, he upped his points in the paint percentage to 54 percent from 41, which is great to see for a guy that doesn't have a effective jumper just yet. The 22-year-old guard does have some things to work on outside of jumpers. He is shooting 39 percent on his drives this year. That is a problem considering how much he likes to get to the cup and can blow by defenders, so that will really help him get his game off the ground with strides in that area. It's worth noting over his last five, he's taken five shots per game in the restricted area.


Alright, that's enough advanced stats. The bottom line is over his last five games, Burks averaged 16.0 points, 3.6 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 0.4 steals and 1.2 triples on 48.3 percent from the field in 31.2 minutes. He has the potential to put up good percentages while putting up value across the board.


Ben McLemore Kings 48% owned - He's really starting to come into his own this year. He hit a huge 3-point shot near the end of regulation on Saturday to send the game into overtime, then also hit a big shot on a one-handed floater to help give the Kings a near insurmountable lead in overtime. In his last two games, he's averaged 17.5 points, 7.5 boards, 2.0 assists and 2.5 triples.


He does have some major holes in his game right now, though. Excluding his shots in the restricted area, the rookie is shooting a pathetic 20.9 percent on his two-point shots. The good news is he has become a lot better without the ball and has 27 percent of his shots coming in that aforementioned restricted area.


Disastrous mid-range game aside, for a rookie to already start clicking after just 18 games and only 24.2 minutes per, it means good things are coming. He could get hot in a hurry and the allure of the Kings leaning on him more in the second half makes it almost impossible to resist picking him up.


 Update: The Rudy Gay trade does hurt McLemore a little but. Gay takes a lot of shots and the decreases ball movement hurts the overall output of the team. Although, McLemore could hit some 3-pointers to help carry his fantasy value.



Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Pistons 20% owned - Rodney Stuckey is day-to-day with left quadriceps tendinitis in his knee, so there are going to be some minutes to go around in the Detroit backcourt. Caldwell-Pope played a season-high 38 minutes on Saturday and looks to be the solution.


The minutes don't necessarily mean he'll be great. His numbers have been pretty bad on the whole this year with just 7.7 points per game with 0.9 triples and 1.0 steals. KCP is shooting 37 percent from the field on the season and has been worse as the starter with just 36.4 percent of his shots going in. The Pistons are dying for a shooter, so they will likely give their lottery pick a little leash to turn in some big games. He's a huge project and a desperate pickup in deep leagues. Plus, the Pistons are likely going for it with the way the Leastern Conference has performed as a whole.


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Mike Gallagher has covered fantasy hoops for eight years and this season is his second with Rotoworld. You can find him on Twitter talking about a player's shots at the rim.

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