Mike Gallagher

Waiver Wired

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Top NBA Pickups for Week 23

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Small Forwards
The loss of Blake Griffin really opens up some things for the Clippers and their rotation. Interestingly, all of Barnes’ minutes came at power forward following the injury and he was a huge part of the offense even though that was partially due to Glen Davis being benched -- that could happen again. In that loss to Houston, he put up 15 points on 6-of-15 shooting with 10 boards, two assists, one block, one steal and three 3-pointers.
He’s a complete no-brainer add in even two-man formats. In fact, Barnes has accumulated third-round value in March for nine-cat leagues. I’d consider him a top-40 player with a second-round ceiling as long as Blake is out. 
The Lakers are really shorthanded and moving Bazemore into the starting unit should help quite a bit. Xavier Henry’s perpetual knee issue has reared its ugly head again and Bazemore’s minutes should remain solid in the starting lineup now that Wes Johnson is back on the bench. Obviously, that could change tomorrow with coach Mike D’Antoni.
Bazemore has put up some nice lines in his 27.8 minutes per game with the Lakers, averaging 13.6 points, 3.1 boards, 2.9 assists, 1.4 steals, 0.3 blocks and 1.6 triples. Pushing your chips to the middle on a player in D’Antoni’s rotation is like dancing with the devil, but Baze is another high-upside guy.
Coach Brian Shaw compared Miller to Paul George in the offseason. Hey, stop laughing! In other words, the Nuggets probably want to get a better look at him down the stretch despite how he’s looked terrible in several spots all year. He’s played in at least 22 minutes over his last three, but shot just 28.6 percent from the field. It’s all upside since he can block, steal and hit treys. He and Evan Fournier cancel each other out a bit, but Miller gets the check for upside.
I’m not the biggest ALF fan, but he could be getting some extra run. The Pelicans should get Eric Gordon (knee) back at some point and ALF still hasn’t even been that great over his last five. His averages of 8.8 points, 8.2 boards, 2.6 dimes, 1.2 steals and 0.2 blocks in 34.2 minutes translated to just eighth-round value. 
If Gordon and Anthony Davis (ankle) are back at any point, that will almost certainly knock Aminu from even 12th-round value. You can probably do better. Why is he here? I get some questions about him on Twitter.
Power Forwards
It’s a little surprising to find out how low McBobs ownership is. Also, it’s sad to know he doesn’t like the nickname McBobs, but that’s too bad for him because it’s too catchy. But I digress. Anyway, McRoberts has fifth-round value on the season thanks to his 3-pointers, assists and low turnovers. In fact, he ranks third in the NBA for assist:turnover ratio behind Chris Paul and Pablo Prigioni. The Bobcats are in pursuit of a playoff spot and Cody Zeller won’t be hurting McRoberts. He's a must-start player.
The Bucks are really a mess right now and it looked like Adrien was going to be the man at power forward. Well, then Saturday happened. Adrien got figuratively popped in the mouth by the Heat, playing just 15 minutes for four points, three boards, one assist and one steal. It was a surprise to see such a dip because he put up per-36-minute averages of 16.7 points, 12.1 boards, 1.1 steals and 1.1 blocks on 53.5 percent shooting in his time with the Bucks before that stinker. 
The game was a blowout and coach Larry Drew changed his mind mid-game about his rotation for the umpteenth time this season. Adrien’s aforementioned averages make him a player to hold even though his schedule isn’t too friendly: @DET, @MIA, @CHI and TOR.
It would be a heck of a lot easier to be more bullish on him had he played better lately, but he should see some increase in output with Ersan Ilyasova (ankle) out for the season. Henson’s blocks have dissipated and you’re probably better at free throw shooting than he is. It would take a leap of faith to trust Henson, but he’s definitely a high-upside player to think about for owners looking for a double-double guy with some blocks.
In case you missed the section about the Nuggets rotation above, Arthur has played some serious minutes as a frontcourt mate of Kenneth Faried. The Nuggets have been blown out a couple times in their last three, but Arthur did log 30 minutes in the one close game vs. the Spurs on Wednesday. He’s also shot an eye-catching 4.0 triples per game over his last four, adding averages of 1.0 blocks, 1.8 steals and 9.3 points.
The Nuggets play Arthur’s former team, the Grizzlies, twice this week and also get decent matchups against the Pelicans and Rockets. DA is a decent high-upside play.
Hey, he couldn’t get any run with the Cavs, but not with the 76ers. Sims has really flourished over his last five games, averaging 15.6 points, 9.6 boards, 2.8 assists, 0.8 steals and 0.6 blocks on 56.9 percent from the field. He’s also a solid free throw shooter and doesn’t really have a down side.
Sims has posted third-round value in that span, which is all you need to know about how valuable he is right now.
He’s a no-brainer add and has been for over one week. No explanation needed and he should still see run even if Pau Gasol (illness) comes back.
On top of the schedule, Dalembert has been great. Over his past four, he averaged 10.8 points, 9.8 boards, 3.0 blocks and 0.8 steals on 79.2 percent from the field. His minutes aren’t exactly through the roof at just 25.6 per game in that span, but he’s shown he’s capable of producing as long as his minutes are in the mid-20s.
The Mavericks perimeter defense is weak with Jose Calderon on the floor and that is a big reason why Dalembert has been able to pile up the blocks. He’s a terrific option this week and gets some nice matchups in the Warriors, Clippers, Lakers and Kings.
The Rockets are going to be without Dwight Howard (ankle) for the next week which makes Asik a serviceable play. Asik is a bit of an interesting case, though. On the surface, he looks like solid, must-start guy based on his averages of 11.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 2.0 dimes and 2.3 blocks during the three-game stretch without Dwight earlier this month. However, his sub-par free throw shooting kept him as just a 10th-round guy in that span.
On the other hand, should have some close games with games in Brooklyn, in Toronto, home vs. the Thunder and home vs. the Nuggets. Asik should still be worth starting in just about all formats.
Jarvis Varnado - Speaking of rim protection, Varnado epitomized that on Saturday with his six blocks during their big win. Byron Mullens sprained his ankle and wasn’t playing well anyway and Varnado really stepped it up.
One quick thing to add here is beware of your Cavs. They play on a 13-game Wednesday and a 14-game Friday, so there is very little value to having them on your roster unless they are extremely better than your other options. In other words, Jarrett Jack is a player to cut.
Lastly, make sure you guys join Ryan Knaus (@Knaus_RW) for Monday's chat. It should be full of useful info.

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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