Fantasy Forecast: Monday, Dec. 10, 2012
With Week 7 of the NBA season upon us I thought we’d take a look at some of the hot waiver wire adds for those managers finding themselves struggling to win games this season. What is most important is to understand the difference between a rising fantasy star and a guy who shined bright for a little bit, but will fade just as quickly.
Randy Foye – PG/SG Jazz: Foye is available in 58 percent of Yahoo leagues, and is a great source of 3-pointers (4th in NBA with 51). He will get you about 11 points most nights and shoots a solid 81.1 percent from the free-throw line, but be aware that he only shoots 41.9 percent from the field. That means the occasional cold streak is going to hit him.
Nikola Vucevic – PF/C Magic: Vucevic averages 29:25 MPG for the Magic and nearly a double-double with 9.6 points and 8.9 rebounds a night. Not only that, but he adds another 1.3 blocks-per-game, making him a top 100 fantasy player overall this season. Owned in just 62 percent of leagues, Vucevic is a nice plug-and-play waiver wire addition.
Alonzo Gee – G/F Cavaliers: Gee is owned in just 31 percent of Yahoo leagues, but currently ranks out No. 80 in standard scoring formats. He averages 12.1 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.5 steals per-game, but shoots a paltry 40.4 percent from the field. The Cavs back-court is banged up so he is going to get plenty of touches. Just make sure you can handle the hit at FG percentage if your league counts that stat.
Jose Calderon – PG Raptors: Calderon was a good waiver wire pick-up about three weeks ago, but now his value is plummeting with Kyle Lowry back and starting at PG. His production is going to be hit-or-miss coming off the bench and all he is really good for these days are empty assists every once in a while. You can probably do better on your waiver wire as Calderon has no upside while Lowry is playing.
Danny Granger – SF Pacers: Granger is owned in 60 percent of Yahoo leagues, and people are still picking him up and stashing him on the waiver wire hoping to get an All-Star off the waiver wire. The problem is even if he doesn’t return in February, the knee troubles are almost sure to linger all season long. Meaning you will get spotty production and reduced minutes from a guy that is just taking up space on your bench for the next 2-3 months. You’d be better off letting someone else waste a roster spot on him.
Nene Hilario – PF/C Wizards: There is always one team in the NBA that has a shot at running the table in reverse, and the Wizards were that team entering the season. Hilario is owned in 78 percent of Yahoo leagues despite being ranked No. 253 overall this season and has just one block this season. For a guy that stands nearly 7’ tall to have one block is hard to imagine; there are 48 PGs with more blocks than him! And, for someone that is averaging 21:00 MPG, there is little reason to own Hilario in standard 12-team formats.
Jordan Crawford – PG Wizards: Crawford qualifies at both PG and SG, but he took over the PG duties when A.J. Price fractured his right hand on Saturday. With the struggling Wizards playing four games this week and needing to get momentum going, look for Crawford to continue to handle the ball more while providing fantasy owners points, assists, rebounds and steals. His FG percentage hurts (41.7 percent this season), so make sure you can make that up at PF and Center.
Randy Foye – PG/SG Jazz: As I mentioned earlier, Foye provides owners with a solid source of 3’s, points, FG and FT percentages, while throwing in a steal most nights. While he isn’t someone that you want to view as a starting fantasy SG, he makes for a nice utility player to supplement the peripheral stats in any format. Remember, I don’t tell you to start Kobe Bryant because that is fantasy 101; I am here to give you the advice on players you may be overlooking.
Steve Novak – SF Knicks: Now, understand that Novak is the epitome of the term “one-trick-pony.” You need to understand that all the guy does it hit 3-pointers for a living. But, that is not a bad thing as he is averaging 3.1 3-pointers per-game over the last 14 days for leagues that count that stat. Because he is such a sniper from the outside, he is also shooting a robust 47.7 percent from the field and is a perfect 1.000 percent from the charity stripe (7-for-7 shooting). He’s not going to do anything else but hit 3’s for you (literally), but for someone who is owned in just 27 percent of leagues, yet ranked #1 in 3’s over the last 14 days (25) and playing 29:45 MPG over that span, I’d say he is a great value pick-up right now.
Andray Blatche – PF Nets: Blatche has been a nice waiver wire addition filling in for Brook Lopez averaging 15.3 points, 9.3 rebounds and 1.4 steals per-game over the last 14 days. The bad news is that Lopez is due back sometime this week or next; the good news is that he still hasn’t began running or cutting yet, meaning he is still a little ways away from playing. Blatche should be owned and started until further notice, but be ready to pull the trigger once his minutes and production decreases.
Larry Sanders – PF/C Bucks: I am going to keep pumping Sanders until he gets over the 75 percent owned mark in Yahoo leagues. Right now he sits at 61 percent owned and is averaging 7.4 points, 8.9 rebounds and 4.1 blocks per-game over the last 14 days, which ranks him 16th in standard 9-category leagues. The guy is far too valuable to be sitting on 39 percent of the waiver wires out there.
Goran Dragic – PG Suns: Dragic is owned in virtually every Yahoo league out there, but the Suns play just 2 games this week and there is very little damage he can do sitting at home. Not to mention that is has slumped a bit over the last 14 days, averaging just 12.9 points, 4.8 assists and shooting 44.0 percent from the field. Maybe the time off this week will give him some rest and he can hit week 8 like the stud PG we drafted him to be.
Ben Gordon – SG Bobcats: Gordon was a hot waiver wire addition at the end of November when he got hot. He proceeded to average 22.8 PPG in the 4-games from Nov. 28–Dec. 5, but has since seen his minutes and scoring opportunities disappear. If you picked him up like so many did in my deeper leagues, you can move on until the next heat wave hits Charlotte.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist – SF Bobcats: The rookie is owned 82 percent of Yahoo leagues, but just isn’t putting up the stats you’d expect to see from a player as hyped as he is. Over the last 14 days he is averaging just 9.0 points, 5.1 rebounds and shooting 52.7 percent from the field. The problem is he is also shooting 62.5 percent from the free-throw (5-of-8) line over that same span and he’s getting virtually no steals (0.3). Until he is able to contribute a more well-rounded fantasy game to his owners, Kidd-Gilchrist isn’t someone I am all that excited about.
Pau Gasol – PF Lakers: Even though the Lakers play 4 games this week, Gasol isn’t a good fantasy option, and let me tell you why. He is averaging just 12.6 points, 8.8 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in his 34:49 MPG, but is also shooting just 42.0 percent from the field and 75.9 percent from the free-throw line. Not to mention that he is dealing with knee troubles that have caused him to miss the past 3 games and there are questions about whether or not he will remain the starting PF once he is able to take the floor once again. There is still no official time-table for his return, and his fantasy value is dropping. His owners just need to hope he gets traded.
Nene Hilario – PC/C Wizards: For all the reasons I mentioned earlier, Hilario isn’t someone I want playing for my fantasy team this season. He is getting just 21 MPG, he isn’t getting any blocks (1) and is shooting just 43.8 percent from the field over the last 14 days. A guy as big as him should at least be able to pad your FG percentage if nothing else.
James Morris hails from Rio Rancho, NM and has been playing fantasy sports for just over 15 years. Not only does he write the Timberwolves fantasy basketball section, but he crosses over the sports boundary and writes the Miami Dolphins and Cincinnati Bengals fantasy football sections. Just send him an email and he will reply back the same day with your answer. Or, find him on Twitter (Fantasyguy23) and Facebook to get all your NFL news before it hits the national media. For more news and notes on the team follow the Minnesota Timberwolves and Mark Remme on Twitter, and join the conversation at WolvesNation.com.