I swear, unlike most media outlets this past week, I will not speak about Jeremy Lin. I won’t. I promise.
Fine, I’m lying, but I also give you some other wavier wire suggestions that can help you produce like a fantasy Jeremy Lin, coming out of nowhere. OK, probably not, but only because it’s almost impossible to be that good.
Waiver Wire Considerations
Vince Carter, SG/SF, Dallas Mavericks (48% owned in Yahoo! leagues)
If you’ve played fantasy hoops as long as I have (since 1994), seeing Carter’s name on a waiver wire list is still kind of shocking. Sure, he’s been regressing for a few years now, but I still remember when he was a stats machine. I guess I’m just getting old like VC. In any case, age aside, Carter is handling business across the board the past week (three games) — 12.0 points on 46.7 percent shooting from the floor, 3.7 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 1.7 3PTM and 2.3 steals. His minutes are limited to 26 minutes per game, but for old bones like Carter’s, it’s a good thing as long he remains effective with the time he gets on the deck. He’s also starting again, and as a starter, his numbers pretty much line up with the aforementioned stats other than boards and dimes, which is about one less per for the season. If you like what you saw numbers-wise, you may want to add Half-Man, Half-Amazing to your squad if he’s available.
Ramon Sessions, PG/SG, Cleveland Cavaliers (45%)
With Kyrie Irving going down to injury, Sessions has been going off the past few games since joining the starting lineup. What did Sessions do? Only average 18.3 points, 12.3 assists, one trey and 3.0 boards. No big deal. Naturally, Irving will come back into the lineup soon enough, but Sessions at the very least earned time on the court. Question is, will it be for the Cavs or another team? I would put my money on the latter as Sessions has been linked to the Lakers in rumors. So, this pickup may only be a temporary one, but if you do eventually drop Sessions, definitely watch him all the way through the trade deadline.
James Johnson, SF/PF, Toronto Raptors (35%)
I’ve wanted to include a Johnson entry on this list previously, but have only given him an cursory mention. Well, Johnson is worthy of his own paragraph after last week (four games) where he averaged 11.5 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.5 blocks. If you believe in anything about Johnson, it’s in those defensive stats, although he’s had a good February (seven games) averaging 10.0 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists. Those dimes come in nicely from the four spot if you use him there, come to think of it, but add him to boost your defensive stats in any sized league.
Ersan Ilyasova, SF/PF, Milwaukee Bucks (34%)
Last season, I suggested Ilyasova as a pickup at least twice and I guess it’s about that time of year again. Last week (three games), Ilyasova averaged 15.3 points on 55.6 percent shooting from the field and 100.0 percent from the stripe, 1.3 triples, 11.3 rebounds and 1.0 block. This includes a 16-rebound effort against the Orlando Magic who have that Dwight Howard guy. For the month of February (six games), Ilyasova is averaging a double-double (11.2 points and 10.8 rebounds). He’s a definite add in standard leagues if you need boards.
Courtney Lee, SG/SF, Houston Rockets (7%)
In the past week (four games), Lee averaged 11.8 points on 51.4 percent shooting from the field, 4.0 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 2.0 threes. He’s improved from month-to-month in points (8.3 to 9.8 to 11.1 from December), shooting percentage (42.4 to 44.7 to 50.8) and minutes per game (23.5 to 24.0 to 28.5). With more time comes more production for Lee. In the month of February, he’s scored in double-digits in six of seven games off the bench. He’s a definite must-add in deep leagues and deserves some consideration in standard leagues if you need triples and some points from the two or three spots on your bench.
Klay Thompson, SG/SF, Golden State Warriors (4%)
Thompson is not getting a ton of time right now (16 minutes per game), but he’s shooting the lights out, especially for a perimeter player. In the last four games Thompson is averaging 13.0 points on 63.3 percent shooting and a trio of three-pointers made per game. Finally Thompson is breaking out after some high expectations of the 2011 11th overall pick. His ceiling is probably a 20-minute instant office bench contributor this season, but those in deep leagues should definitely add him. If you’re desperate for threes in standard leagues, Thompson could be an easy add from your wire.
Can Linsanity Continue?
You can’t escape the phenomenon known as Jeremy Lin right now. Nor can you escape all of the puns and word play with his name. However, it’s all been worthy when you look at Lin’s last five games — 26.8 points on 51.5 percent shooting from the floor, 8.0 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 2.0 steals. I bow down before those stats, but unlike a lot of people, I can’t go all-Lin (boo to me) on the guy. The main thing is that he’s done all of this with Carmelo Anthony off the hardwood. So, expect those 19.4 shot attempts Lin has taken to drop significantly when Melo (18.8 shot attempts) returns, as well as Amar’e Stoudemire (15.6 attempts), who missed four of the five games Lin has gone off.
Trust me, I love a feel-good story as much as the next guy (I’ll admit to crying at the end of “Rudy” every … single … time), but realistically, Lin will not continue this production when Melo and STAT are back in the fold. I think he’ll still start and put up something like 12 and six, however. These are more modest stats and if you’re a Lin owner, now is the time to sell high. Yeah, I’m being a downer to arguably the most feel-good story of the season, but I don’t mean to be Linsensitive. Shoot me now.
Fantasy Thoughts To Jump Off From
- I’ve been getting asked a lot about two-for-one deals on Twitter and on e-mail. Considering the season and how injuries are relatively rampant, I’ve been advising people to make those trades for the most part. As long as you are getting two quality guys back for one (example: Emeka Okafor and David West for DeAndre Jordan), even if you’re giving up the best player (but not like a ton difference between he and the second best player in the deal), go for it. At this point of the season, healthy bodies are a good thing on a roster.
Number of Team Games in Week 8
Five Games: PHO
Four Games: CHA, DAL, DEN, DET, GSW, HOU, IND, LAC, MEM, MIA, MIL, MIN, NJN, NYK, OKA, ORL, PHI, POR, SAC, UTA
Three Games: ATL, BOS, CHI, CLE, LAL, NOR, SAS, TOR, WAS