This week we have a ton of suggestions for those of you in deep leagues or need some help in specific categories. Also, we take a look at some sell-high candidates like, oh I don’t know, Jeremy Lin. Obviously, I’m not Linsane. Let’s talk fantasy.
Waiver Wire Considerations
Shane Battier, SG/SF, Miami Heat (16% owned in Yahoo! leagues)
Battier is the perennial “glue guy,” even in fantasy basketball. During his heyday he would contribute across the board in every category. It’s been a bit of a transition playing with The Big Two and Three-Quarters with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, but in his third month, it seems he’s getting into a groove. In the past week (four games), Battier averaged 9.3 points, 68.2 FG%, 1.5 triples, 3.2 boards, 0.8 dimes, 1.0 steal and 0.8 blocks. After a rocky start (1.0 points and 10.0 percent shooting from the field in December), Battier has improved from month-to-month since. He’s a deep league add only with some standard league consideration if you need dimes and the potential for defensive stats help.
Zaza Pachulia, C, Atlanta Hawks (13%)
Pachulia won’t give a fantasy hoops team an abundance in any one stat per se, but he’ll do a lot of little things across the board. In the month of February (eight games), Zaza is averaging 7.5 points, 56.4 FG%, 6.6 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.6 steals and 0.8 blocks. In the past week (four games), Pachulia produced most of this month’s stats by averaging 8.3 points, 61.9 FG%, 8.0 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.0 blocks. In deep leagues, Zaza is a solid add to guard against any potential injuries to your starting center. Sort of like how he is for the Hawks. Sorry, Al Horford former owners.
Marco Belinelli, SG, New Orleans Hornets (10%)
Well, there’s a little more security for Belinelli with news that Eric Gordon won’t be returning to the team any time soon. In the past week (three games), Belinelli averaged 15.7 points on 44.1 percent shooting from the floor and 100 percent from the free throw line, plus 3.0 three-pointers in 34.0 minutes per contest. However, since being re-inserted into the starting lineup five games ago, Belinelli has scored in double figures every game. In eight February contests, he’s averaging 12.9 points with solid percentages (44.0 FG% and 80.8 FT%) and a pair of treys. If you need points and/or triples, Belinelli is in all likelihood readily available in your league.
Gustavo Ayon, PF/C, New Orleans Hornets (9%)
Ayon joined the starters for the Hornets five games ago and is averaging 7.4 points on 53.3 percent shooting from the floor and 83.3 percent from the stripe, 8.0 rebounds, 1.4 steals and 1.2 rejections. If you need some big man help in any type of league, Ayon is a strong add as long as he continues to start, which seems to be the trend moving forward. He’s a definite add in deep leagues and at such a low percentage of ownership should be available in your league.
Chris Andersen, PF/C, Denver Nuggets (5%)
Anderson is a fringe player that is primarily a category specialist in blocks. In the past week (two games), he averaged 3.5 blocks with a monster game against the Phoenix Suns with 16 points, seven rebounds and six blocks. That’s the potential Anderson holds, but it’s few and far between to get that production. So, only consider him in deep leagues and think of him as a nice bonus player when he actually plays and significant minutes. If you’re desperate for blocks, he also deserves consideration because despite low minutes, Anderson always seems to get his hands on the ball.
A.J. Price, PG, Indiana Pacers (0%)
Price has put up some decent production in the past week (five games) and in limited minutes (17.5) too. He averaged 9.2 points, 48.4 FG%, 100.0 FT% (1.8 attempts per game average), 1.4 threes and 1.0 steals. During this period of time, Price scored in double-digits in three games and the two games that he didn’t, he scored eight points in one game and shot the ball five times in the other. If you need some lead guard help in very deep leagues, Price’s price is right.
- Looking at some of the top performers in the past week, there are some definite sell-high candidates that are actually tradeable, meaning they’re not superstars that no one should ever trade like Jeremy Lin. I’m kidding, he’s probably the No. 1 dude to trade. Carmelo Anthony is coming back tonight AND the New York Knicks just signed J.R. Smith. Unless both players can adapt to the new Knicks offense that is run through Lin, Linsanity will take a huge dose of Xanax. I’d trade Lin now for any established producer that you could get. Think as high as someone on the Greg Monroe level most realistically. Of course, if you have a die-hard Knicks fan in your league, you’d probably be able to get LeBron and a box of chocolates as a bonus.
- Jose Calderon rated as the top player this past week in fantasy hoops with excellent production in four games (22.0 points, 63.9 FG%, 2.0 three-pointers, 10.0 assists and 1.5 steals). Yup, another point guard ready to be moved for need, especially since he was probably drafted to serve in your extra guard or utility spot. Some targets? Paul Milsap who is better than the 10.0 points, 38.6 FG% and 7.5 rebounds he put up in the past week (four games). David West (16.8 points, 7.6 rebounds last week) and Ray Allen (9.8 points, 31.4 FG% and 1.0 treys last week). All three are much better long-term prospects for the season and if Calderon does get traded — there are some rumors swirling — who knows how his production will turn out?
- Nick Young went off in the past week (four games), going for 23.3 points, 47.8 FG%, 100.0 FT% , 4.0 triples and 1.3 steals. He’s a solid trade chip if you need either point guard or big man help. Someone like Serge Ibaka, who doesn’t score a lot of points but does block the heck out of the ball and gives you solid double-double production every time he steps on the hardwood, is probably as high as you can get. As well as someone like Marcin Gortat who is less of a name, but not less of a producer. Just remember that when you sell the trade, make believe you’re Young and have a really high opinion of yourself.
Fantasy Thought To Jump Off From
What’s up with Eric Gordon? Reader Jeremy Stone had been holding on to EJ for the whole season, hoping for some production during the season, but mostly for the playoffs. He wanted to know that with the news of Gordon being out an additional six weeks if he should continue to hang on to him.
As far as Gordon goes, to me, he’s just a waste on your bench at this point. Reportedly he’s out for six weeks, last I checked. I can imagine apprehension on both player and team’s part to bring him back for any significant amount of playing time. IF the team re-signs him, which I feel they almost have to do because they traded Chris Paul for him, they probably don’t want him playing much (if at all) this season. It just wouldn’t make sense for them long term. And Stern is pretty stubborn and may want to prove himself right with this CP3 trade and have EJ re-sign and prove himself. If you’re Gordon, you probably don’t want to chance your career for a season that’s going nowhere, so you’ll probably sit. So, I would dump him.
Number of Team Games in Week 9
Three Games: ATL, DEN, LAL, NOR, NYK, OKC, ORL, SAS
Two Games: BOS, CHI, CLE, DAL, DET, GSW, HOU, IND, LAC, MEM, MIA, MIL, MIN, NJN, PHI, PHO, POR, SAC, UTA, WAS
One Game: CHA, TOR
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