The majority of the Los Angeles Lakers roster is currently in the infirmary.
This continuously allows opportunity for role players to step up and, for lack of a better ford, serve a larger role for the Lakers. So, because of that, this week’s edition of The Waiver Wire will feature a few Lakers players, starting with my favorite player on this roster, Wesley Johnson.
Yes, I am a diehard Syracuse Basketball fan so obviously, we are starting with the SU product, Wes Johnson. His value is certainly on the rise with the likes of Nick Young, Jodie Meeks and Pau Gasol nursing injuries, as Johnson has the speed and athleticism to play the two or three, but also has the ability to hang with the other power forwards in the league, barring the matchup. Over his last four contests, Johnson is averaging a healthy 38 minutes per game, including two games which he played 40 minutes or more. Still available in 80 percent of ESPN leagues, Johnson has the upside and opportunity to contribute in points, rebounds, steals, blocks and triples. Over his last five games, he’s averaging a strong 12.2 points, six rebounds, 1.2 assists, 1.6 blocks, 1.4 steals and 1.4 triples per contest, providing some nice peripherals. Especially in the blocks department, which are relatively tough to find. The Lakers crazy pace (99.6, 3rd-most) will provide plenty of possessions and opportunity for Johnson, and as long as these guys are sidelined, Johnson needs to be owned in more than 19.8 percent of leagues.
A lot of people resorted to dropping Kendall Marshall once Steve Nash and Steve Blake returning to the lineup, and to be honest, I think it was a bit premature. Marshall has been terrific for the Lakers, averaging 10.3 points and 9.3 assists per contest this season. The guy is a perfect fit for this D’Antoni offense, and the head coach loves him, so his playing time won’t just evaporate out of nowhere. I mean, the guy had 10 assists in just 20 minutes of action the other night, proving that the pace and D’Antoni offense are enough for Marshall to succeed. And the fact that Nash left Sunday’s game early with a leg injury, Marshall is going to get enough run to warrant fantasy attention regardless. Hang onto him for his upside, especially considering that the point guards in front of him aren’t exactly sipping out of the fountain of health.
Let’s get to the rest of the guys, shall we?
Corey Brewer, Minnesota Timberwolves (23.3%): With Kevin Martin out indefinitely with a broken thumb, Brewer should see some major run for the foreseeable future in Minnesota. Brewer was already logging close to 33 minutes per game prior to the Martin injury, so the minutes he’s set to receive will be very fantasy friendly. Minnesota plays at the league’s 3rd-highest pace, so he’ll see plenty of offensive touches. With Martin out on Saturday, Brewer exploded for 26 points, seven rebounds, two assists and a block. Granted, it was against a relatively weak Portland defense, but still. Minnesota plays five games during Week 16, so there will be tons of opportunity for Brewer to put up strong fantasy numbers.
Marvin Williams, Utah Jazz (12.3%): It’s hard to ignore what Williams has been doing lately. Over his last five games, he’s averaging 19 points, 6.5 rebounds, two assists and has nailed 11 triples during that span. He has also scored 20 points or more in each of his last three contests, despite playing less than 30 minutes in two of those games. If you are in serious need of threes, Williams is your guy, as he is hitting 2.8 per contest over his last five outings. The Jazz are going to need this guy if they want to turn their season around, so if you are in a deeper league, he is definitely worth a look.
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.