Fantasy Basketball 2014: Waiver Wire Options; Edition 17
All the Lakers.
Week 19 is the week of the Lakers. They play a league-leading five games, and with injuries and a constant shuffling of the lineup, they headline our waiver wire targets for the week. We’ve seen a handful of players step in and post some strong fantasy numbers this season, so there should be no hesitation to snatch up any viable Lakers on the waiver wire.
Note: Ownership percentages are based off ESPN leagues.
Jordan Farmar, Los Angeles Lakers (14.6%): If you read my Week 19 forecaster column, you’ll know I love me some Kent Bazemore, and seeing as he is still owned in less than 50 percent of leagues, he needs to be owned. Head coach Mike D’Antoni is infatuated with him, and has been putting up the numbers. Farmar, meanwhile, hasn’t been talked about as much, but with a five-game schedule looming, he should be owned and is a borderline must-start option. Over his last two outings, Farmar is averaging 23 points, five assists and a whopping six triples per game. He’s sinking 3.2 triples per game over his last five, and is an ideal source of assists and three pointers for owners.
And while Kendall Marshall has fallen off the face of the Earth, I’d still be struggling to drop him in category leagues. Sure, the guy seven combined points over his last five games, but is averaging 7.4 assists per game during that same span. It’s even more impressive when you consider that he is logging just 21.8 minutes per game during those outings. Take the other night, for instance, where he posted 10 assists in just 19 minutes. The Lakers pace (2nd-highest) will always provide Marshall with assist opportunity, especially when you consider that he is averaging 66.3 passes per game this year, the 7th-most in basketball.
Josh McRoberts, Charlotte Bobcats (9.6%): His lack of scoring upside has him vastly underowned, by to be honest, McBob is the type of player that I enjoy to have in fantasy. He posts the peripheral numbers, and lots of them. Over his last five games, he’s averaging just 8.6 points, but is contributing in other ways, averaging 4.2 rebounds, five assists, a block and a triple per contest. An intriguing number is six, which is where he ranks in passes per game, coming in at a healthy 67.5 per game. He is one of only three non-point guards to rank inside the top-20 in that category. The Bobcats have four games this week, three of which are against some of the toughest defenses in the league (MEM, MIA, IND), but the matchup against Cleveland is favorable, as Cavs opponents rank third in assists per game (24.7).
Jeremy Lamb, Oklahoma City Thunder (1.5%): This is purely speculation here, but with Thabo Sefolosha potentially done for the season, Lamb will see an uptick in playing time, and heck, could even crack the starting lineup. Granted, the Thunder could also roll with Reggie Jackson at the two or even newly signed Caron Butler. But the Thunder are really high on Lamb, so it wouldn’t surprise me to see him get the nod. He’s played well in extended roles this season, and would become arguably the most added player if he benefits the most. Keep an eye on Jackson though, too. He has all the experience in the Thunder starting lineup, so it may make the most sense for him to step into the starting role. He is still out there in about 40 percent of leagues. It’s all going to come down to who Oklahoma City prefers to come off the bench, so monitor this situation as it unfolds.
Trevor Booker, Washington Wizards (0.2%): With Nene out for the next 4-6 weeks, and possibly the season, opportunity presents itself for Booker, who is playing about 30 minutes per game over his last three contests. He really doesn’t have a ton of upside, but he has posted seven rebounds in each of his last three contests, while averaging a healthy 1.6 blocks per game during that span. Playing with an awesome point guard like John Wall, who is among the top passers in the game, will help Booker, but if you are looking for offensive numbers, you will likely be disappointed. However, blocks, rebounds and steals should be there, and considering the uptick in playing time, less than one percent ownership is unreal.
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.