Fantasy Basketball 2014: Waiver Wire Options; Edition 18
Time is running out…
The fantasy hoops playoffs are rapidly approaching, and for those who are sitting high and mighty, well, way to go. However, if you are currently on the outside looking in, you need to make some moves. Whether it be trades or, the easier route, the waiver wire. There have been 17 editions of this column this season, and each has stressed the importance of constantly checking your league’s waiver wire. In a game like fantasy basketball where injuries and lineup shuffling is around every corner, you always, always, want to have as much depth as possible.
Note: Ownership percentages are based off ESPN leagues.
Matt Barnes, Los Angeles Clippers (51.3%): The Clippers have brought in some players, but don’t tell that to Barnes, who isn’t planning on giving up his starting job anytime soon. Over his last seven starts, Barnes has been lighting it up, averaging 17.3 points, 6.1 rebounds, 1.3 steals and a whopping 3.3 triples per game. He has been scorching from downtown, and with a four-game schedule on tap for the Clippers, Barnes needs to be owned in far more leagues, especially with teams needing all the help they can get to make the playoffs. The return of Chris Paul has helped Barnes, who is seeing more and better looks from three. Meanwhile, all four of his opponents this week rank inside the bottom-10 in triples allowed per game, while the Cavaliers are the second-worst, allowing 27 points per game from beyond the arc. If you are in need of threes, I don’t see how you can keep this guy on the waiver wire for another second.
Amar’e Stoudemire, New York Knicks (35%): It’s certainly not the Amar’e of old, but Stoudemire has been playing very well as of late. Over his last five outings, STAT is averaging a healthy 16.2 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.2 blocks. More importantly, he is in the Knicks starting lineup, allowing him to see more 30-plus minute nights than usual. He looks much healthier, too. The Knicks only play three games this week, but have some very favorable matchups for Stoudemire. For instance, the lowly Sixers headline this week’s slate. No team in basketball coughs up more points per game than Philadelphia, but this unit is also allowing the second-most fantasy points per game to power forwards this year (47.21). The 76ers are also the most blocked team in basketball, seeing a league-leading 7.3 shots blocked per game. Then there’s Milwaukee, who are the 6th-worst against power forwards and are surrendering 52.9 total rebounds per game, the 4th-most in the league.
Tony Wroten, Philadelphia 76ers (16%): Wroten seems to find himself on this list every week, but owners just aren’t sold on him. He is coming off a career high 30 points and four steals off the bench on Saturday night, and with the Sixers roster resembling a D-League club, Wroten is going to flirt with 30 minutes per game, regardless of if he’s starting or not. The 76ers league-leading pace will allow him to see plenty of possessions to matter, and with four games this week, he is again worth the look. He should at least be owned in more than 16 percent of leagues.
Chris Douglas-Roberts, Charlotte Bobcats (0.4%): Of course, CDR’s value all depends on the status of Gerald Henderson, who has missed the last four games with a calf injury, allowing Douglas-Roberts to step into the starting role. During that span, he’s averaging a solid 11.2 points, three rebounds, 1.4 steals and 2.2 triples per game. He’s worth a look for the short-term, as Henderson could return this week, depending on his re-evaluation. However, if he remains out, CDR becomes a very intriguing name with a four-game slate ahead. Point guard Kemba Walker also passes the ball a league-leading 77.9 times per game, so he should see a good amount of offensive touches.
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.