Fantasy Basketball Week 14 Waiver Wire targets: Wayne Ellington, Greg Monroe worth the add
With the trade deadline coming up, Greg Monroe could end up making a big impact for you.
Waiver wire talent tends to ebb and flow, and it's currently pretty close to low tide. With fewer quality options available, this week's top recommended add is a player who could gain a ton of value at the upcoming trade deadline, but may not have much right now.
Even when the talent pool is dry, managers are still going to make waiver wire moves – as they should. One of the biggest mistakes a Fantasy manager can make, however, is becoming overly attached to an undeserving player. Therefore, one of this week's sections is devoted to players who might be worth adding if you need help now, but who you should also remain wary of.
The schedule is fairly balanced this week, with two exceptions: The Mavericks and the Suns each play only two games this week. Coincidentally, both teams play one game at Denver and the other at Portland. The rest of the league is pretty evenly split between three games and four games.
As always, all players must be owned in less than two-thirds of CBS leagues.
Adds for All Leagues
Greg Monroe, Suns (48 percent owned)
If you have room on your roster, it's probably time to stash Monroe. The NBA trade deadline is just over three weeks away. By this last season, we'd already seen four in-season trades, compared to just two this season. Greg Monroe is a solid scorer, rebounder, and passer, and he also adds some steals while providing pretty-good-for-a-big-man free-throw percentage.
In 2014-15 and 2015-16, when he averaged 31 and 29 minutes per game, respectively, he was a top-60 Fantasy producer. He's only 27 years old, but Monroe makes absolutely no sense on this Suns roster. It would be shocking if they didn't trade him before the deadline. Monroe is on an expiring contract, and he was the key piece in the package the Suns received in the Eric Bledsoe trade. Assuming he goes somewhere where he plays regularly, he is likely to provide instant Fantasy value. If he goes to a team on which he can average 25 minutes, I expect him to be a top-100 player the rest of the season. And if he goes somewhere he can reach 30 minutes per game, I expect him to break into Fantasy's top-60.
I've been hawking Wayne Ellington shares for weeks, so I'll keep it brief: Ellington has become one of the league's best three-point shooters and he's averaging more than 30 minutes per game over the last month. After Dion Waiters (ankle) underwent season-ending surgery last week, we can have increased confidence in Ellington maintaining his role long-term. If he's still available, he should be a high priority. There may not be a better source of three-pointers that emerges off waivers over the rest of the season. Tyler Johnson (61 percent owned) also qualifies for this article, and his long-term value also increases following the Waiters surgery, but I'd prefer Ellington.
"Everyone Else is Doing It"
Several of the most widely added players over the past week are worthy of consideration but shouldn't necessarily be your top priority. For many managers, adding these guys is a good idea – just be ready to drop them if their production falls off or a better player emerges.
Jack's ownership has surged following a four-game stretch in which he averaged 17.0 points and 8.5 rebounds in 33.8 minutes. That production absolutely justifies owning, and Jack looks like a solid long-term option in deeper leagues. However, we know what Jack is at this point. He's a solid role player capable of productive stretches, but he's never been a guy who regularly puts up 17 points and eight assists, and it would be foolish to think he's suddenly transformed into that at an age when most NBA players are deep into their decline. At his peak, as the 27-year-old starting point guard for the Pelicans, Jack averaged 34.0 minutes but only 15.6 points and 6.5 assists, with minimal production anywhere else. Ride the now-34-year-old while he's hot, but remember that he's splitting time and will almost certainly regress.
Recently, I've heard some whispers of "How long until Bogdanovic becomes the Kings' best player?" There is serious dynasty potential here. But, as discussed last week, the Kings' rotation is a mess, and coach Dave Joerger has given us no reason to believe that will change any time soon. Fears about the rotation are the biggest concern with Bogdanovic, who projects as someone that could provide across the board value if given enough time.
Wallace is doing a solid job filling in for the Clippers while they deal with a slew of injuries in their backcourt. As long as there are minutes available for him, Wallace has shown himself worthy of consideration in leagues of 12-teams or more. But the Clippers are in a difficult situation with their salary cap, and Wallace's two-contract limits him to a max of 45 days with the team. As the Clippers just showed with Jamil Wilson, the team is likely to cut Wallace when those 45 days are up, regardless of how well he plays. So Wallace's Fantasy relevance seems to have a built-in expiration date, and that's ignoring the hit his value will take when Austin Rivers (heel) returns, which could be as early as later this week.
Harrison has already had runs this season where he frequently played at least 30 minutes. His production during those stretches was fine, albeit unspectacular, and each has ended with him returning to low usage after a handful of games. Yet, the Grizzlies are still without Mike Conley (Achilles), so the opportunity to claim a large role remains.
Harrison has averaged 10.0 points, 4.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists in 29.5 minutes over the past two games, and he had a similarly productive four-game stretch just before the turn of the calendar. In a down week for the waiver wire, he's a player putting up decent numbers with potential to keep his workload and improve his production.
Though the Celtics and the Magic only have three games this week, both teams play their games on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. Each of those days features only four games, meaning that Fantasy managers in daily league will have no problems incorporating Celtics or... Magicians, for lack of a better term, into their lineups – unlike Monday, Wednesday and Saturday, when busy slates might relegate any potential waiver addition to the bench.
Among the players on either team qualified for this article, Morris is more available and slightly more appealing than Jonathon Simmons (58 percent owned). While Simmons' primary value comes as a scorer, Morris is more likely to contribute in a wider range of categories. Morris has played at least 24 minutes in three consecutive games, and all three of the Celtics' opponents this week are either in the top-10 in the league in pace or bottom-10 in per-possession defense.
Follow Alex on Twitter @Rikleen
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