Fantasy Basketball 2013: Waiver Wire Options; Edition Nine
Run, don’t walk, to your league homepage to check if Reggie Jackson is available.
Scratch that. Stampede your way there.
Jackson is owned in the majority of ESPN leagues (90.2 percent), but is more available in other formats. In Yahoo! leagues, he is surprisingly out there in about 52 percent of leagues. Jackson had been putting up good numbers as the backup in the first place, and should have been a highly owned fantasy commodity even before the surgery to Russell Westbrook. Jackson is capable of putting up strong numbers as the starter. During last year’s playoffs with Westbrook sidelined, Jackson averaged a solid 13.9 points, 3.6 assists and five boards per game. He also scored at least 15 points in six games. Westbrook is taking 18 shots per game this year, so there will be plenty of opportunity here for Jackson.
He’s a must-own guy. Who else?
Jordan Farmar, Los Angeles Lakers (20.2%): Farmar returned to the Lakers lineup on Christmas day, and struggled. However, he finally provides an actual point guard presence for LA, which will result in plenty of minutes with Steve Nash and Steve Blake still ailing. Farmar bounced back in a big way on Friday, however, netting 16 points while adding seven rebounds, seven assists and three steals. Farmar has logged at least 30 minutes in each game since returning from injury on Wednesday, and that will likely be his floor with no point guard depth at the moment. If you are lacking point guard depth, Farmar is an intriguing look due to the minutes he’ll receive, as well as the Lakers pace. There should be plenty of opportunity for fantasy owners.
Beno Udrih, New York Knicks (1.2%): Udrih hasn’t exactly been anything to write home about since taking over for Raymond Felton (groin). His point totals over the last five games have been 5, 15, 2, 10, 4. Yikes. Talk about up and down. However, during that span, he’s also averaging a healthy 6.2 assists and 1.4 steals per game, which is promising. He hasn’t been the most exciting fantasy asset as of late, but he’s playing close to 30 minutes per game, and with Felton likely on the shelf for a bit longer, Udrih will continue to play, making him fantasy relevant. He should probably be owned in more than 1.2 percent of leagues, no?
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks (12.9%): Excuse me, but my hand is killing me. “The Alphabet” has taken the fantasy hoops world by storm since cracking the starting lineup. He has massive upside from a complete fantasy standpoint, and a 6’10″ shooting guard in a starting lineup needs to be owned. Period. Over his last five games, Giannis is averaging a healthy 10.4 points, 5.6 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.4 blocks and almost a steal per game. That’s pretty darn solid, folks. A 19-year old rookie logging 30.3 minutes per game over his last 10 is pretty impressive, and he should continue to start for the foreseeable future.
Terrence Ross, Toronto Raptors (2.4%): Are people like, I don’t know, paying attention? The largest beneficiary of the departure of Rudy Gay, Ross is certainly beginning to heat up. Over his last five games, Ross is averaging 15.6 points, 2.6 rebounds, is shooting .492% from the field and is sinking 3.6 triples. During that span, he’s posted two 23-point outings. He’s also made a solid 18 three-pointers during that stretch. Ross is simply shooting lights out right now, shooting an insane 58.1 percent from beyond the arc. That type of play shouldn’t be ignored.
Anderson Varejao, Cleveland Cavaliers (67.5%): If Reggie Jackson is ranked number one from a must-add standpoint, Varejao may be 1A. The Cavs have suspended Andrew Bynum indefinitely, who doesn’t want to play basketball anymore, apparently. That’s fine by me, as Varejao is more than capable of starting at center. His first game as the starter with Bynum gone didn’t go as planned, as he posted just six points and eight rebounds on Sunday afternoon. Owners should take this is a buy-low opportunity, as Varejao is going to put up monster fantasy numbers, especially on the glass. Coming into this weekend, Varejao was averaging 16.5 rebounding chances per game (13th-most), despite coming off the bench and logging under 30 minutes per game. Now, he’ll see an uptick in minutes, and after already averaging 8.8 boards per game, Varejao will easily eclipse 10 rebounds per game, barring an injury.
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.