Every Wednesday I will be combing the waiver wire list on Yahoo to find players who are only owned in 60% of leagues or less. Whether you pick them up is completely subjective and based on many factors:
- The size and settings of your league
- The makeup and needs of your team
- The quality of the player you would have to drop (most important)
- Who else is on your Waiver Wire
Per usual these will be based on 9-cat leagues unless specified otherwise. Everyone listed should be on your watch list in all leagues.
Updates from Last Week
Nemanja Bjelica – After a hot stretch a couple weeks ago, I went ahead and said take a flyer on Bjelica in standard leagues. Bjelica then proceed to decline a bit and start losing minutes. Am I surprised? Not really, because Bjelica is a flyer and flyers are volatile. It is important to take flyers every once in a while. When a guy shows not just value, but unique mid-round value like Bjelica did, then that prospect becomes interesting. When that prospect then earns regular playing time, and strings together a few games, it is time to take a flyer. A lot of people immediately gave up on the Bjelica experiment, and I think that is short sided. If your team does not have room for flyers, then you are doing it wrong. If you can take a two week shot at a prospect, you will never end up with a waiver wire gem. I’m sticking with Bjelica for now
Ed Davis – I thought Davis would get a bit more run in the absence of Meyers Leonard. Instead, Portland has taken to testing out the potential of Noah Vonleh. Guess the Ed Davis lovers have not got their day. I gave him a shot, but he couldn’t win a job over Carlos Boozer last year and can’t win a starting spot over Noah Vonleh now. At what point does his lack of playing time become a pattern instead of a bad situation?
Standard League Adds
J.R. Smith (58% owned) – J.R. Smith is back. He will be playing starter’s minutes. And while he is the definition of streaky, he has proven to be a top 100 talent on averages year after year; especially when Lebron is setting him up.
Rodney Hood (50% owned) – Been talking about Hood since the beginning of the year. I think he is the most stable and probably most talented member of the Utah backcourt. Now he is starting to see starter’s minutes. He scores in bunches and is good for some steals and three pointers and with these minutes, worth a pickup in standard leagues.
T.J. McConnell (36% owned) – He is still starting in Philly, and as long as he is getting around 30 minutes per game, he will bring you solid steals and great assists. He will never be a huge scorer and might put up a dud of game here and there, but he is weirdly able to get the occasional block. One thing you don’t have to worry about is him hurting your FT%, because he hasn’t shot a free thrown in 11 games (has to be a record)
Ish Smith (24% owned) – Down 5% from when I told you to pick him up last week, this “starting guard” is worth a streaming spot in all leagues when Jrue Holiday is sitting out, but has proven to be the first guard off the bench, and a constant source of assists. Need those rare assists? Ish Smith is good for them (most of the time). Will still be first guard off the bench when Tyreke is back, but will only be a big/deep league own in the long term.
Big League Adds
Mario Chalmers (24% owned) – He has put up some crazy numbers in his first few games with Memphis. Is this a sign of things to come for Rio? Nope, considering a lot of his points came at the line and he is shooting an incredible 52% from the field in his three games with Memphis. Think he can average 19 points a game in 20 minutes? But this does mean the Grizzlies don’t have much depth at guard, and they need anyone to spread the floor out. Chalmers can provide that shooting threat along the arc, and he should get solid bench minutes. I am not considering picking him up in standard leagues, but he has always been an adequate source of threes and steals. With decent minutes, he will have value in bigger leagues, and is a nice backup for Conley if he ever goes out with injury.
Cory Joseph (19% owned) – Getting heavy minutes off the bench and playing in small-ball crunch-time lineups, Joseph has impressed. He is a shooting a very high percentage right now, which won’t last, but he isn’t known for jacking horrible shots all night. He is doing enough across the stat line, and getting enough playing time to be streamed in standard leagues or owned in big/deep leagues.
Arron Afflalo (46% owned) – Arron Afflalo is back, and boy am I excited to stop watching the Knicks. Afflalo does some nice things in real life (like play defense occasionally), but fantasy-wise he doesn’t bring much to the table. The Knicks will be giving him around 30 minutes a game, and anyone with that kind of playing time can be owned in big to deep leagues. Nothing he does is really worth a standard league spot, and that backcourt has more interesting players I would take a flyer on over Afflalo. Just depends when they will stop playing Calderon.
C.J. Miles (20% owned) – Even more streaky then JR Smith (maybe), Miles is hot right now. With Hill out they are relying on him more to score, so he will get his shots. Just don’t be surprised if he only hits 2 shots, or if he hits 5 three-pointers. Worth a stream or a pickup if you need some threes.
Deep League Adds
Jerian Grant (9% owned) – Not getting good minutes now, but puts up decent stats in 20 minutes a game. He is young enough to improve, but the real question is can he get minutes. Why he doesn’t play more is beyond me (Fisher), but this would be a flyer for only deep leagues in hopes that he earns more playing time in the near future.
Noah Vonleh (1% owned) – Has earned a starting spot with Meyers Leonard out on injury. I really think this is just Portland giving Vonleh a chance to prove himself. I don’t know if he will prove anything but he is getting the chance to play in front of Ed Davis and Mo Harkless. This is a temporary starting job, and might be a shorter stint then Leonard’s injury, but I’d be willing to give him a shot in deep leagues.