Welcome back to another season of The Fantasy Jump Off where I’ll mainly focus on players living on the waiver wire that should be considered for life on your fantasy squad. The suggestions are broken into two groups relative to a standard-sized league (about 10-12 teams with a normal player roster) or a deep league (14+ teams and/or a deep player roster). Since it’s the beginning of the season, there will be a lot of transactions going down in most leagues as there will be speculative adds on top of speculative adds. We’re all hoping to get the next Dorell Wright, right?
In any case, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty and hit the jump off.
Standard League Pick-Ups
Richard Jefferson, SF, San Antonio Spurs (52 percent owned in Yahoo! leagues)
Jefferson possibly has the worst tattoo in the NBA, but he’s been on that grind and doing enough to be fantasy hoops viable. In five of the seven games he’s played, RJ scored in double figures and has hit at least one trey in every contest. For the season, he’s shooting 21-for-38 from beyond the arc (an incredible 55.3 3PT%). There’s no question that will eventually fall off, but there’s still some juice left in Jefferson, who averaged 1.7 3PTM last season in 81 games. Mostly add him for the treys, but also for more looks at the basket. With Manu Ginobili out indefinitely, Jefferson will put up decent production all-around.
Jonas Jerebko, SF/PF, Detroit Pistons (48 percent owned in Yahoo! leagues)
Oh, so that’s why the Pistons re-signed Jerebko during the offseason. Given the opportunity to play, the Swede can put up some nice statistics — 12.7 PPG, 7.2 RPG; 0.8 3PTM, 51.7 FG% and 0.8 SPG in about 33 minutes of work per game. Currently he’s first on the depth chart at the four position for the Pistons, with one of the most expensive back-ups in Charlie Villanueva behind him. Jerebko is averaging 10 shots a game, hitting five of his 12 three-point attempts thus far. I expect his current 60 percent shooting from the foul line to improve as he shot 71.0 percent last season and is generally a good shooter. Jerebko has potential in the steals department, but anything more than the 1.0 SPG he posted last season should be considered a bonus. He has the potential for a 15/8 season with solid shooting percentages and nice sprinkles in triples and steals.
MarShon Brooks, SG, New Jersey Nets (42 percent owned in Yahoo! leagues)
Brooks was a volume scorer while at Providence, but many wrote it off as being on a bad team that didn’t have too many offensive options. That perception affected his draft stock causing him to slide all the way down to the 25th pick. Well, the perception of being a volume scorer is back, but this time playing for the lowly Nets. However, he’s not forcing shots, goes with the flow of the offense and is getting enough respect that he’s getting double-teamed by the excellent Boston Celtics defense after scoring 15 points in a half on them. While Swag — that’s what Nets fans are calling him — only scored two more points in the second half, Brooks was recognizing double-teams and hitting the open man, who subsequently would brick the open shot. There’s a lot of potential with Brooks in just about every category other than dimes and blocks. If he keeps his starting spot, look out. He’s currently listed as day-to-day with a sprained ankle, but now may be the best time to get him.
Others to Consider:
Richard Hamilton, SG/SF, Chicago Bulls (44%)
Evan Turner, SG/SF, Philadelphia 76ers (25%)
Norris Cole, PG, Miami Heat (23%)
Deep League Pick-Ups
Daniel Gibson, PG/SG, Cleveland Cavaliers (17 percent owned in Yahoo! leagues)
We all know that Boobie is all about hitting that long-range shot and he’s doing it again this season, averaging 1.8 3PTM and hitting on 52.4 percent of his three-point shots. He’s getting similar minutes as he did last season when Gibson averaged 11.6 PPG. He should do about the same this season, even with rookie Kyrie Irving helping to put a logjam in the guard rotation. However, Gibson just seems like one of those players that just does his thing, and in the end, you’re surprised by the numbers he puts up. In a deep league, who couldn’t use treys? We can all use some Boobie.
Iman Shumpert, PG/SG, New York Knicks (16% owned in Yahoo! leagues)
Well, Knicks fans definitely want him and it looks like they may have their wishes granted as it’s rumored that Shumpert will get his first career start tonight versus the Washington Wizards. Shumpert was one of the better athletes in the 2011 NBA Draft and definitely likes to shoot a lot, which is why I don’t get people trying to pawn him off as a point guard. Those skills are severely lacking, but every now and then he will actually dish the pill and have his man convert. In the only two games he’s played this season, he hasn’t been shy, averaging 11.5 attempts at the basket, but only shooting 39.1 percent. Shumpert is also 7-for-7 from the charity stripe, shooting 4-for-7 from long range and is a decent rebounder (4.5 RPG). Add him not because of his shooting, but scoring potential in a high-octane Knicks offense where athletes such as Shumpert can thrive. Also bank on a good number of steals. If he gets the start tonight and flourishes, Shumpert may not be around long on the wire.
Greg Stiemsma, C, Boston Celtics (0% owned in Yahoo! leagues)
Stiemsma has all the makings of being a fan favorite in Beantown. Dare I say Brian Scalabrine Lite? Nah, that would be sacrilegious, especially without the ginger hair. In any case, Stiemsma is getting rejections like Tyrion Lannister would if he didn’t have gold. He’s had at least one rejection in every game he’s played and even had six versus the New Orleans Hornets in one contest. The boy is making miracles happen! OK, maybe not, but in about 16.5 minutes of work, Stiemsma is putting up some decent numbers — 4.4 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 57.1 FG%, 75.0 FT% and 2.6 BPG. History tells us that this ability to block might be a fluke (1.0 BPG in 95 games at Wisconsin), but ride the Stiemsma wave if you can in a deep league.
Others to Consider:
Luke Ridnour, PG, Minnesota Timberwolves (18%)
Markieff Morris, PF, Phoenix Suns (9%)
Byron Mullens, C, Charlotte Bobcats (3%)
What I Did This Week
I’m in a couple of “experts” leagues this season, repping TBJ, and in one week (and a day) of play, I’m doing OK. I’m in the battle royale known as CBS Sports’ 30 Deep League with 30 of the top experts including those from ESPN, NBA-TV, SI.com, Rotoworld, et al. I’m currently sixth in the Bryant Reeves division (the other one is called the Detlef Schrempf division) and not too many moves are made, as you can imagine, in such a deep league that has three H2H match-ups per week. It’s all about the draft with this league.
I took Steve Nash with my first pick (22nd overall) and the following are the rest of my starters: Marc Gasol, Anthony Morrow, Caron Butler, Glen Davis and Gerald Henderson. In this league, if you need to rely on your bench, you’re screwed. Taking Morrow in the third and Davis in the fifth might have screwed me anyway though. Hopefully Ammo can get back on track (I believe in him) and Davis can do, well, anything. I’ll blame it on the adjustment period. But, I do think I hit it big with Henderson in the sixth round.
The Fantasy Sports Writers Association league is the other spot where I handle business. It’s a standard-sized roto league (so, no playoffs) and it was an auction draft. I spent about 60 percent of my money on Deron Williams ($62) and Dwight Howard ($60) — if they can’t be joined together with my Nets, they’ll be joined on my fantasy team at the very least! The rest of the draft included: Zach Randolph ($23), Serge Ibaka ($19), Ty Lawson ($11), Anthony Morrow ($6), DeAndre Jordan ($5), Greg Monroe ($4), George Hill ($3), Michael Beasley ($3), Rudy Fernandez ($2), Corey Maggette ($1) and Ed Davis ($1). The main thing I did in this league was drop Z-Bo since he’s going to be out six to eight weeks and would allow me an empty roster spot. In roto, there’s no time to waste and hold on to a guy, only to leave valuable statistics by the way side. So, I picked up Chuck Hayes, who was getting a good amount of boards. Of course, he got hurt last night in his debut on my roster. I hope this isn’t some sort of foreshadowing. I made other moves in this league and as of Thursday, am in second place.
Fantasy Thoughts To Jump Off From
– My New Year’s resolution is to live up to the words of this song. Talk about fantasy. I like bacon too much.
Number of Team Games in Week 3
Five Games: CHA, CHI, DET, PHI, TOR
Four Games: ATL, DAL, DEN, GSW, HOU, IND, LAL, MIN, NJN, NOR, NYK, PHO, POR, SAC, SAS, UTA, WAS
Three Games: BOS, CLE, LAC, MEM, MIA, MIL, OKC
Two Games: ORL
Next week, I’ll bring back True or False on whether a player’s fantasy value is legit or not. I’d also like to hit up some questions you may have on whatever’s fantasy-related: should you do such-and-such trade, pick up this or that player and whether or not you have a solid shot with the newly-divorced Katy Perry and/or Zooey Deschanel. So, hit me up at dennis DOT velasco AT gmail DOT com and your question and name may be published next week. You can also send questions via Twitter. Paz, fantasy heads!