Waiver-wire junkies need to think before they act
The NBA season is still young, but fantasy owners are already in midseason form with dropping their busts and adding the guys they hope will be their saving graces.
Every leagues has them. Maybe you are that guy in your league. You know who I am talking about: the waiver-wire junkie, the guy who adds and drops guys with the frequency of a New York stockbroker.
The risk in doing that is you will often cut a guy who is just starting off slow, only to get a guy who started off fast and fizzles out. The NBA season is a marathon, not a sprint, so please think before you act.
I’ve gotten too many emails about guys like David Lee, Dwight Howard and Carlos Boozer to ignore the topic any longer. These guys are stars and will be fine, so calm down and look at the big picture instead of the instant snapshot.
That being said, you should have known what you were getting into when you drafted Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, so don’t act surprised when they are underperforming. There are only so many shots to go around in Miami and everyone involved is going to take a step down in fantasy value.
As always, Danny Granger is leading the Pacers in points and steals and is leading you to fantasy victory if you were lucky enough to get him. Mike Dunleavy saw his minutes take a dip to 25.0 MPG last week, while Brandon Rush got a bump up o 32.3 MPG. Roy Hibbert continues to have the best season of his young career, but Darren Collison has been battling T.J. Ford for minutes lately and it is hurting his overall fantasy value.
The Pacers PF job is still Josh McRoberts’ to lose, but his numbers are up and down and should only be owned in deeper formats right now. Tyler Hansbrough isn’t seeing the minutes to have fantasy value and if Jeff Foster ever gets healthy, it will only throw another monkey wrench into the fantasy picture. There are rumors that if McRoberts moves out of the starting five, James Posey could be the one to slide into the SF spot with Granger moving to the PF slot. Just keep an eye on it for now.
PG – Kyle Lowry: Lowry has really come on in the last week, averaging over 11 points and seven assists a night and he is staying on the floor for 36 minutes or more. The Rockets are well below the .500 mark and need all the playmaking they can get, so I expect Lowry to get plenty of run this season and should be owned in any format.
SG - Gilbert Arenas: It has been a long time since we could put Agent Zero on the starters list, but the good old days are back. Over the past two weeks Arenas has averaged 20.1 points, 6.7 assists, 4.4 rebounds, but still turns the ball over 4.1 times a night. The turnovers are worth it if you take the other stats into account, so trade for Arenas in roto leagues and buy him in cap leagues this week.
SG – Jason Terry: Terry often flies under the radar because he comes off the bench and fantasy players like starters more than sixth men. However, Terry is one of those rare guys who have stayed consistent throughout his career and has managed to put up averages of 14.5 points, 5.5 assists and 1.8 steals over the past two weeks.
SF – Michael Beasley: Once again, I’ve got to show love to Beasley as he has indeed been one of the brightest spots this fantasy basketball season. He was drafted around the start of the 10th round, and yet he is averaging 21.6 points and 6.2 rebounds this season and is ranked just inside the top 100 fantasy players heading into Week 6. I am a believer and you should be too.
PF – Hakim Warrick: Warrick has come on like wildfire over the last week, scoring nearly 20 points a night while snatching six-plus rebounds. He has moved into the starting lineup and the Suns need his energy as they struggle to stay above .500. Fantasy wise, Warrick should be owned in all formats.
C – Roy Hibbert: Hibbert is looking like the player Danny Granger told me he was over the summer. So far this season he is averaging 15.6 points, 9.4 rebounds and 2.3 blocks, good enough to rank him right around the top 10 fantasy centers. I’m a big buyer of Hibbert’s as I don’t think this is an early season fluke.
PG - Eric Bledsoe: In mid November, Bledsoe was a hot waiver wire pickup while he averaged 13.5 points and 5.5 assists over a four-game span. Bledsoe is one of those fast starters I talked about that has since fizzled out as he is averaging six points and four assists over the past five games, stats hardly worth playing in all but the deepest of fantasy leagues.
PG – Mike Bibby: Bibby has been up and down over the past month with his points ranging from two to 16 and his assists fluctuating between two and seven. Bibby is 32-years-old now and the Hawks are a balanced enough team to where Bibby isn’t the focal point these days. I’d be a seller of his and wouldn’t start him unless he is your only option.
SG – DeMar DeRozan: DeRozan had some value earlier this month when he was seeing 30-40 minutes a night, but his minutes have dipped into the teens lately and now he is battling Linas Kleiza, Leandro Barbosa, Jerryd Bayless and Peja Stojakovic for playing time and that is not good. Personally, I’d put him on the waiver wire now and pick up someone like Mike Dunleavy or Brandon Rush. Both might cancel each other out a little, but they are better than DeRazon nevertheless.
SF – Caron Butler: Butler has been in the news lately because he scored a season-high 23 points against the Heat last week, but that is all he did. Butler is a one-dimensional player who only gets you points, so any time he scores 20-plus points it is a good time to dangle him as trade bait. I don’t trust him to produce on a consistent basis given the Mavericks lineup and you should look to sell high on him if you can.
PF – Drew Gooden: Gooden missed Saturday’s game with an undisclosed foot injury, and the Bucks need him with Andrew Bogut out with a back injury. The problem I have with Gooden is the foot is still not right and he will match up against Paul Millsap down low in game one of this week, then finish out the week chasing Rashard Lewis around the court.
C – Darko Milicic: Let me preface this by saying I would still be a buyer of Milicic’s this season, but this week he has to battle with Tyson Chandler, Tim Duncan and Anderson Varejao. This is a tuff week for him and I’d give him a rest if you can.
James Morris hails from Rio Rancho, N.M., anad has been playing fantasy sports since 1997. In addition to writing the Pacers Fantasy Forecast, Morris also writes fantasy articles for the Boston Celtics and Minnesota Timberwolves of the NBA as well as the Arizona Cardinals, Cincinnati Bengals and Jacksonville Jaguars of the NFL. His articles are featured on Rotohog.com and Rotorob.com. You can also find him on Twitter