Fantasy Basketball 2014: Waiver Wire Options; Edition 14
Man, did that Super Bowl suck or what?
After watching an absolutely atrocious NFL finale on Sunday night, fantasy hoops owners can (temporarily) put fantasy football in the rear-view mirror and 100 percent focus on the rest of the fantasy hoops season. We are closing in on the All-Star Break, and no, LeBron James is not going to participate in this year’s dunk contest, and injuries aren’t slowing down, forcing owners to constantly hit the waiver wire looking for depth.
Note: Ownership percentages are based off ESPN leagues.
Tim Hardaway Jr, New York Knicks (13.2%): The injury to Iman Shumpert has opened the door for Hardaway, and he isn’t wasting his opportunity. Over his last five contests, the rookie out of Michigan is averaging a strong 18 points, 2.2 rebounds, 1.4 assists and an awesome 3.4 triples per contest. During that span, he’s averaging 31.4 minutes per game, and even though Shumpert is going to be back any minute now, Hardaway is still worth consideration in deeper formats, especially if you are hurting in the three-point category. The Knicks are fond of their rookie, and I think he continues to see plenty of run during the second half of the season. Heck, he’s earned it. J.R. Smith is, well, himself, and could find himself out of the picture at any time, presenting more chances for Hardaway to contribute. Meanwhile, the Knicks are one of the lucky teams to play in four games this week.
Nick Calathes, Memphis Grizzlies (2.6%): At least for the short-term, Calathes is virtually a must-add for fantasy owners. Starting point guard Mike Conley will be sidelined for the next week with an ankle injury, and with only recently signed Darius Morris behind him in the rotation, Calathes should play huge minutes for Memphis for the foreseeable future. During his first game as the starter, Calathes exploded for an impressive 22 points, five rebounds, three assists and a steal, shooting 4-of-5 from downtown. There really isn’t anything exciting about Calathes, as the Grizzlies play at an ugly pace and are one of the more boring teams in basketball. Not to mention the fact that Calathes, just 24-years old, is balding, so there’s that. Still, the opportunity is immense, making him almost a must-play in daily leagues because of his price and a great short-term look in fantasy leagues where you need a point guard.
DeMarre Carrol, Atlanta Hawks (22.3%): Carrol’s ownership percentage needs to rise, folks. Over his last five games, he’s doing a little bit of everything, scoring 14.8 points, 5.8 rebounds, three assists, 2.5 steals and hitting two triples per game. He’s a player that hustles, which, as a result, provides you with a significant amount of peripheral stats, as he continues to do. He’s also shooting over 50 percent from the field during that span, taking 11 shots per game. It’s hard to ignore his recent production, so the time is now to go grab him.
Ryan Kelly, Los Angeles Lakers (1.1%): With Pau Gasol out for the next week at least with a strained right groin, the Lakers frontcourt goes from worst to… well, worst squared? This team was already the worst rebounding team in basketball, but without Gasol, it’s going to get even uglier. However, here’s a chance for Kelly, as guy who has started making a name for himself in fantasy land as of late. Head coach Mike D’antoni is pretty fond of him, and he was already logging close to 30 minutes per game. Now, he won’t have a choice but to play plenty of minutes, and with the Lakers pace, I can see him getting plenty of looks, especially from beyond the arc, where he is sinking one per game over his last five. Four games this week and a likely starting job at power forward, he needs to be added for the short-term.
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.