Dennis Velasco writes about fantasy basketball. Get smart.
There aren’t many things more annoying in the fantasy game than injuries. Bad trade proposals is up there, but injuries have to top the list. This past week saw many players owned in at least 75 percent of Yahoo! leagues go down — Mo Williams, Aaron Brooks, Jeff Green, Eric Gordon, Yao Ming, and Terrence Williams. What to do? As a fantasy sports writer and “expert,” I suggest you do what I do — curse a lot and alienate your family and friends. It’s a healthy way to go about it.
Or you could keep reading.
Below are waiver wire pick-ups to consider because as the saying goes, “There’s always next time to crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women.” Man-points to any who recognize the quote without cheating like an undergrad student and looking it up online. Let’s go!
Categorically Speaking – Waiver Wire Pick-Ups by Category
Points — Al Thornton, SF/PF, Washington Wizards; 42% owned in Yahoo! leagues
Thornton averaged 12.7 field-goal attempts in the last week, which compares nicely to better-known scorers Kevin Martin (13.7), Danny Granger (13.5), and Tyreke Evans (12.5). Thornton hit on 55.3 percent of his shots, attempting 13, 16, and nine shots with the latter coming in a blowout loss to the Knicks. In fact, if we take out that game and another when the Wizards had no chance — versus the Orlando Magic on 10/28 — leaving the starters to sit a good amount of the game, Thornton is averaging a healthy 14 chucks and 19.8 points per game! The man is legit, peeps. Don’t sleep.
Others to consider: Mike Dunleavy, Taj Gibson, Jarrett Jack, Anthony Morrow
Three-Pointers Made — Anthony Morrow, SG/SF, New Jersey Nets; 69% owned in Yahoo! leagues
Opportunity is knocking on Morrow’s door and he’s answering it with a kick at the knob. In the past week, Morrow attempted 6.3 shots a game from behind the arc and hit almost half of them (3.0). His trey attempts have accounted for 58.1 percent of his total chucks from the field (10.8). Furthermore, Brook Lopez has played horribly, which should change because Lopez is too good of a player to do a Johan Petro impersonation better than Johan Petro. Morrow should benefit from Lopez transforming back to an All-Star caliber big as that will create more space for Morrow to do his thing — dropping that thing you shouldn’t say out loud in airports.
Others to consider: Jodie Meeks, Omri Casspi, Mike Dunleavy, Mike Bibby
Rebounds — Samuel Dalembert, C, Sacramento Kings; 67% owned in Yahoo! leagues
Dalembert is back and grabbing boards (10.5 per in two games last week) as well as blocking the snot out of shots (3.5 per last week) since he’s gotten his starting position back from DeMarcus “Boogie” Cousins. Did you see what I did there? I’m all about correlation. In any case, this waiver recommendation goes beyond Dalembert getting his starter swagger back recently. In the month of November, since he’s been healthy, Dalembert is averaging 11.3 RPG in four games while playing about 30 minutes per contest.
Others to consider: Reggie Evans, Amir Johnson, Udonis Haslem, Tyson Chandler
Assists — Eric Bledsoe, PG/SG, Los Angeles Clippers; 36% owned in Yahoo! leagues
Raise your hand if you don’t believe in Baron Davis anymore. (Raises hand.) Davis has been a letdown ever since he left the Golden State Warriors after the 2007-08 season. He’s played about 10 minutes total so far this month and might be due for the Yao Ming treatment. Davis made his return from injury this past Tuesday against the New Orleans Hornets, but was shut down the next night versus the San Antonio Spurs. However, have no fear, Bledsoe is here! Clippers, please just go young and healthy and keep Bledsoe as the starter at the one moving forward. He’s averaged 8.3 dimes a contest the past week (starting all four Clippers games) in 38 minutes per contest. Davis hasn’t played a healthy four games string like that since Eric Bledsoe was in high school.
Others to consider: Jordan Farmar, Ishmael Smith, Jeff Teague, Jose Calderon
Steals — Ishmael Smith, PG/SG, Houston Rockets; 6% owned in Yahoo! leagues
Ishmael Smith? Who? The undrafted rookie point guard has been starting the past two games for the Rockets and has done well, particularly when swiping the ball (five steals in those two starts). In the past week, he’s averaged a couple of rips in three games. And he’s is no stranger to the act of pilfering as he averaged 1.7 steals a game his senior season at Wake Forest. Previous to that, he averaged 1.2, 1.3, and 0.9 in his respective underclassmen years. After the Aaron Brooks injury, it seems like Smith is the pick-up here and not Kyle Lowry. Smith has gotten the minutes (34 MPG) the past week and has played the lead guard position well enough (5.3 APG) to earn the starting gig. Believe that ish!
Others to consider: Keith Bogans, Thabo Sefolosha, Corey Brewer, Ben Wallace
Blocks — Taj Gibson, PF, Chicago Bulls; 56% owned in Yahoo! leagues
Gibson has improved statistically in every facet of his game other than rebounding, but we’ll blame Kevin Garnett’s number one fan for that. In the past week, Gibson averaged 2.7 BPG, including a five-shot block party in a win over the Denver Nuggets. Currently he’s averaging 1.4 BPG, a slight improvement from last season’s 1.3. Pick up Gibson now, as his numbers will only last until Carlos Boozer returns in a few weeks. Again, I’m all about correlation.
Others to consider: Antonio McDyess, Darko Milicic, Shawn Marion, Samuel Dalembert
- It seems like the aforementioned lot in the first paragraph are all on my various teams. While I honestly do curse a lot and alienate my loved ones around me, if you’re not too deep in the hole right now, I’d stick with the players and not drop them. It’s all about making the playoffs and there’s no dishonor in grabbing that final seed. Besides, there’s about 20 weeks for you to play catch up.
- Who said that the Golden State Warriors offense wouldn’t be the same without Don Nelson? It’s made Dorell Wright a fantasy hoops superstar! For the season, he’s actually ranked higher in Yahoo!’s overall fantasy rankings (9) than Monta Ellis (11) and Stephen Curry (25)!
Number of Team Games in Week 4
Four Games: DAL, DEN, LAC, LAL, MEM, NJN, NOR, NYK, OKC, PHO, TOR, UTA, WAS
Three Games: BOS, CHA, CHI, CLE, DET, GSW, HOU, IND, MIA, MIL, MIN, ORL, PHI, POR, SAC, SAS
Two Games: ATL
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