Playing the Waiver Wire for Week 5
Some unfortunate injuries have created opportunities for the likes of Kirk Hinrich and Kosta Koufos, among others. Our Chris Towers and Joe Polito help you dominate your waiver wires.
There wasn't much movement on waivers wires this week, at least not until the weekend. Friday's rash of serious injuries to stars around the league caused Fantasy owners to rush to pick up their replacements.
Beyond Derrick Rose, Marc Gasol and Andre Iguodala's replacements, this was a pretty quiet week overall on the wire. Terrence Jones' continued breakout as the Rockets' starting power forward propelled him to the top of the most-added list, but he was one of just three players added in more than 25 percent of CBSSports.com Fantasy leagues this week.
The big-time injuries are going to dominate Fantasy owners' minds, but that doesn't mean we can't take a look at the rest of the most-added and dropped players. If you missed out on Kosta Koufos or Kirk Hinrich to replace Gasol and Rose, you need to know if Martell Webster or Jared Sullinger will be worth picking up and plugging in instead.
Terrence Jones, F, Rockets: It's hard to believe Jones is actually still available in one out of every five CBSSports.com Fantasy leagues. Did your rosters lock at the start of the season or something? Jones is averaging 28.0 Fantasy points per game since joining the starting lineup, putting him into a tie with Nene for 23rd among forwards over the last two weeks. Maybe his recent play is a fluke that he can't sustain, but it's not like Jones isn't a talented player -- he was considered a potential lottery pick coming out of Kentucky. His production (15.0 points, 8.7 rebounds, 1.7 blocks as a starter) is buoyed a bit by an unsustainable 53.8 percent mark on 3-pointers, however all of his shots from long range have come on catch-and-shoot chances, which means he understands his role and is succeeding. The Rockets have the kind of shallow bench that could force them to continue leaning on the starting lineup heavily, so 30 minutes and 10 shots seem likely to be a nightly occurrence for Jones at this point. (78 percent owned; +37 percent)
Martell Webster, G, Wizards: Webster proved pretty definitively last season that he is a great fit in the Wizards' starting lineup, so it was certainly a disappointment to see Trevor Ariza open the season as the starter. Even with Ariza playing pretty well to open the season, Webster might be a better fit with the starters in the long run. Webster is averaging 14.8 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game as a starter, but there is some uncertainty surrounding what his role will be when Ariza comes back. His current 54-percent ownership seems low for Webster in his current role, but the uncertainty makes it difficult to consider him a sure-fire add moving forward. (54 percent owned; 18 percent)
Glen Davis, F, Magic: I understand the appeal of Davis, who had 20 points and five rebounds in his season debut against Miami on Saturday. I'm just not sure I see the wisdom in adding him. I think he's a skilled enough scorer to be a solid Fantasy option, as he showed while averaging 26.1 Fantasy points per game before his 2012-13 season came to an end. Of course, that came when he was averaging 31.3 minutes per game. I don't think his role can possibly be as big this season, as the Magic are deep and actually reasonably talented in the frontcourt right now, especially with Tobias Harris nearly back from an ankle injury. Adding Davis is a fine risk to take, but I'm certainly not rushing out to grab him at this point. (49 percent owned; +17 percent)
Andray Blatche, C, Nets: If we knew how long Brook Lopez was going to be sidelined by his ankle injury, I don't think there is any question Blatche would be someone to rush out and add. His production as a starter last season showed what he can do when Lopez goes down; he averaged 17.9 points and 9.3 rebounds per game in eight starts. Blatche hasn't been in the starting lineup with Lopez out, but his production has jumped up in a big way regardless, as he is averaging 17.5 points and 6.0 rebounds in the last four games entering Sunday. Even a little bit of clarity about Lopez's timeline would make judging Blatche's Fantasy value in the short term much more simple. To put it as simply as possible, as long as Lopez is out, Blatche is an excellent streaming option. (28 percent owned; +21 percent)
|1.||Kirk Hinrich, G, Bulls||43|
|2.||Kosta Koufos, C, Grizzlies||37|
|3.||Glen Davis, F, Magic||29|
|4.||Terrence Jones, F, Rockets||28|
|5.||Gerald Green, G, Suns||22|
|6.||Martell Webster, G, Wizards||18|
|7.||Marvin Williams, F, Jazz||18|
|8.||Harrison Barnes, F, Warriors||17|
|9.||Jared Sullinger, F, Celtics||16|
|10.||Rodney Stuckey, G, Pistons||16|
Jared Sullinger, F, Celtics: The Celtics have opted to lean on Sullinger very heavily this season, and it might be time for Fantasy owners to do the same. He has scored in double figures in all but two of the 13 games he has played this season, while averaging 21.5 Fantasy points per game overall. Sullinger has been given tons of freedom on offense, as he has attempted 28 3-pointers and 18 shots between 16 and 23 feet. He is also trending upwards right now, having played 30-plus minutes in each of his last three games, a great sign for his value moving forward. In four games with 30-plus minutes played, Sullinger is averaging 18.3 points and 9.8 rebounds per game. On a team that doesn't have many dependable options, Sullinger's role can only grow. If I saw him on waivers right now, I'd go grab him. (73 percent owned; +14 percent)
Markieff Morris, F, Suns: On Nov. 13, I wrote that Morris might be forcing me to change my mind on him, after downplaying his Fantasy value early in the season. In his next four games, Morris averaged just 4.3 points on 19.0 percent shooting from the field. Clearly, I have no idea what to make of Morris. No player is as good or bad as their best or worst stretches show, but we haven't seen anything in the middle from Morris this season. Given the upside he has shown and his role on the team, I'm still not quite ready to jump ship with Morris, but another poor week could tip the scales for me. (75 percent owned; -15 percent)
Gerald Wallace, F, Celtics: I'm not sure why Wallace is still owned in 42 percent of leagues. I don't see any reason to own this guy at this point. We're more than a year removed from him actually being a useful Fantasy option, and he has only regressed in his move to Boston. At 31, "Crash" is no longer able to use his athleticism like he used to, and his game simply hasn't evolved enough. At 12.7 Fantasy points per game, Wallace is basically useless. 42 percent owned; -11 percent)
Chris Kaman, C, Lakers: Similar to Wallace, Kaman was once useful but has flamed out with his new team. This shouldn't come as too much of a surprise, as his scoring has dipped pretty steadily since he peaked at 18.5 points per game in 2009-10. Kaman is the third big man in the Lakers' rotation right now, and simply isn't getting the kind of playing time some Fantasy owners might have hoped for. Kaman simply doesn't fit into a fast-paced offense and has little place on your Fantasy roster right now. (29 percent owned; -11 percent)
Flavors of Next Week
-- by Joe Polito (@JoePo89)
Bust out the comfort food and cue the sad country music, because this is the depressing injury edition of your usual waiver column.
Let's start with perhaps the worst news of this young NBA season: Derrick Rose is out indefinitely with a torn right MCL, which could end up costing him yet another season. This means that Kirk Hinrich (44 percent) will assume full-time starting point guard duties, so D-Rose owners might as well pick him up in the hopes that he can build on his 10.7 points and 5.9 assists per 36 minutes so far this year.
The problem with Hinrich is there's not much upside to his game. As much as it pains me to say, Jordan Crawford's ability to score will probably give him more value than Hinrich's more traditional point guard play. Hinrich is comparable to Steve Blake, but doesn't have the benefit of a Mike D'antoni, PG-boosting offense to enhance his stats. The lone bright spot in Hinrich's game is his ability to set up teammates, which he led the Bulls in even before Rose got hurt. He recorded seven assists in his first start post-Rose against the Clippers.
Point guard is one of the deepest positions in Fantasy, so for now, unless you have Rose, only deep leagues should drop a point guard for Hinrich -- maybe those depending on timeshare guys such as Mo Williams and Jordan Farmar. Use Crawford, the most droppable starting point guard in Fantasy, as a guage for whether or not Hinrich deserves a roster spot.
Kosta Koufos, C, Grizzlies (29 percent): Next stop on our tour of pain and despair: Memphis, where franchise cornerstone Marc Gasol has been ruled out indefinitely with an MCL sprain. Enter Koufos, who the Grizzlies signed in the offseason after a nice year in Denver. He's no Gasol, but Koufos averages a double-double and almost two blocks per 36 minutes for his career, so he's a capable replacement at the center position. He's the only other center on the roster, so expect him to log heavy minutes as opposed to the 22 per game he averaged last year platooning with JaVale McGee. Consistency alone should put him ahead of many of the up-and-down centers being added and dropped in your league. If you need production now, Kevin Garnett and Andrew Bynum are the kinds of unreliable bigs to drop for a steady Koufos. The Grizzlies bank on physical play and points in the paint, so Koufos should get his share of touches close to the basket.
Harrison Barnes, F, Warriors (76 percent): Hope you've still got some chocolate ice cream left in the freezer, because we've got yet another universally owned Fantasy starter out indefinitely. Andre Iguodala was thriving at point forward for the Warriors until he felt a pop in his hamstring Friday night and was diagnosed with a strain. Barnes had already been handed a bigger role with Stephen Curry also missing time with injury, so Iguoadala being sidelined extends Barnes' stay in the starting lineup. He showed he's capable of stepping up in times of need, as he filled in admirably for David Lee in last years' playoffs. This opportunity could be what jump starts Barnes' breakout, so grab him now if you don't want to miss it. Markieff Morris and Maurice Harkless are some middling forwards I'd drop for Barnes' upside and opportunity. Tougher decisions would involve Caron Butler, Martell Webster and Shawn Marion, all of whom don't have the high ceiling of Barnes, but have still been too consistent to drop so far.
Mike Dunleavy, F, Bulls (13 percent): We're not out of the woods yet. Jimmy Butler has turf toe and has been deemed "week-to-week." Filling in during those weeks will be Dunleavy, who scored 14 points on two made three pointers against the Lakers Sunday night. If Dunleavy can start cracking the 30-minute mark, he's a good enough shooter to help category players in threes, points and shooting percentages. Combine that with a relatively weak shooting guard selection, and Dunleavy could end up a useful piece in deeper leagues as he picks up the injury slack in Chicago. Because the other available options include volatile players such as Gerald Green, Rodney Stuckey and Avery Bradley, Dunleavy could become a shooting guard you can count on any minute now.
Josh McRoberts (54 percent): I just can't stop writing about McBob. This is his first mention outside of the Roto Fact Sheet (click here for the latest installment), but his diverse production can no longer be ignored. He currently has more Fantasy points than Kawhi Leonard, Jared Sullinger, and Amir Johnson in the same number of games. He's tied with Kevin Love for second among power forward eligible players in assists at 4.5 per game. He doesn't often crack double digits in any category, but his single-digit production is widespread enough for him to be a factor, so don't hold it against him. So if you like big-man assists and an abundance of hair, then McBob is the free agent for you.
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