As a compliment to my Waiver Wire articles, I’m going to going to comb the Yahoo rankings for guys owned in over 50% of leagues who are becoming questionable or not worth owning in leagues where there are better waiver wire players available. This is even more subjective than the waiver wire article. You are the only person who can truly know if you need to drop a guy. Things to consider:
- The size and settings of your league
- The makeup and needs of your team
- The quality of the player you would be picking up
- Who else is on your waiver wire
Kobe Bryant (87% owned) – My new favorite pastime is keeping track of Byron Scott quotes. Now, I can conveniently follow this site to always have #shitBryonSays at my fingertips. Let’s take a look at what Kobe said after Byron played him 68 minutes over two games in three days:
“Right now, I’m barely standing up. My back and my legs, man, it’s killing me.”
“I’m not looking forward to walking to the car. Seriously.”
Now, I know that no one drafted Kobe for efficiency, but his other stats are down across the board. A little less athleticism, fewer minutes, tired legs, and more rest all add up to a slide in value. If you are punting FG%, Kobe is currently ranked 70th on averages. That is plenty of value for standard leagues. If your strategy does not involve punting or you are in a roto league, Kobe is ranked 155th on averages. That is troubling.
Here is the second issue: games played. Kobe is 37 years old. He is coming off of multiple surgeries and the Lakers really should probably start looking how to play NBA basketball without Kobe Bryant. If Kobe is going to sit out 20-25% of games, how far does that drop his overall value? The good news: Byron Scott is still the coach. Scott thinks Meta World Peace is the second best defender on the team, behind Kobe. Kobe basically owns the franchise and what he says goes. So if Kobe wants to play, he will. Will Byron play him heavy minutes over young guys who need to develop? You bet he will. This creates issue number three: Do I really want Kobe playing heavy minutes which cause him to reminisce on times where walking to the car afterward wasn’t a burden? Will he last the season playing this way?
There are too many questions, increasing amounts of risk, and too many stupid coaches to have confidence in this situation. Ok, one stupid coach. Kobe is still going to score, because who wouldn’t score 18 points when you shoot 18 times a game? Yes, there is some evidence that Kobe is adjusting his shot, which is a work in progress. I am aware that he almost had a triple-double against Detroit. I just don’t want to rely on this risky of a situation when it comes playoff time, even if he is rosterable in my league.
Ty Lawson (82% owned) – The Rockets are what some experts will describe as “a mess.” Injuries have piled up at the beginning of the season, but for a team that was labeled a contender, they are more than just dealing with injuries. Now that Terrence Jones is back, I don’t think it will take too many more losses to realize the Lawson/Harden experiment does not work. Lawson needs the ball in his hands to be productive. Harden needs the ball in his hands to win games. His elite assists have been marginalized by fewer possessions where he is running the point. He is shooting very poorly at 33%. A shooting slump that extends from last year. There is potential that the Rockets move Lawson to the second team which could boost his production per possession until then Lawson’s stats will be inconsistent.
Markieff Morris (76% owned) – Morris has been out with a knee injury over the last few games, but his shooting has been poor all season long. If field-goal percentage is not important to you, then this is not that big of a deal. For the rest of us, this shooting slump has lasted a little too long to be acceptable. His poor shooting, along with his attitude about being in Phoenix and some emerging talent from the bench has led to a reduction in minutes. This minute reduction has dropped his value below most standard league rosters. Owners better hope he plays his way out of this slump after he returns from this minor injury.
Joakim Noah (74% owned) – Seriously guys? I have to tell you to drop Noah three weeks in a row. Listen, I love Joakim Noah. He is my favorite player on my favorite team. His skill set is one of the most unique skillsets for all big men in the league. Except maybe Boogie dropping in two three-pointers a game… Anyway, Noah will only get the playing time to be fantasy relevant a few times a month. On top of that, you have to hope he has a great game. I know he will have these 18 rebound and six assist games, but he will never be a good enough scorer. With his on-and-off knee problems, and Hoiberg messing around with the rotation, there really is no reason you can’t find somebody else.
Ersan Ilyasova (61% owned) – It is time. Time to play the waiver wire whore his due. Ilyasova will be on and off the wire for the rest of the year. Don’t do this to yourself. Your best case scenario is that he pops off for a week and you are able to move him. Your worst case scenario is you will spend countless hours researching matchup, splits, spying on Ilyasova’s diet, reading his twitter, praying to the basketball gods in order to figure out when to start him. He will then play 14 minutes, or shoot 2/10 with no assists and four rebounds. Then you will proceed to bench his ass, and he will make four three-pointers, nine rebounds, two steals and a block. Let someone else deal with this blood-pressure rising saga that is Ersan. If no one is dumb enough to take him, cut bait.