Waiver Wire: Crawford good for a late push
With the NBA's second half under way, Fantasy playoffs are starting to loom on the horizon. Ed Gauna helps you wade through the waiver wire to make a postseason push.
The All-Star break has come and gone, so it's time for teams to make their push for the playoffs. Fantasy owners are also doing the same and the waiver wire remains a solid way to beef up your roster. With only a few more weeks until the playoffs start in Fantasy, moves now can go a long way to determining who will be playing in the championship game. While some of these players will not be solid options for the remainder of the year their short-term value is looking good.
This week we look at Jordan Crawford.
After mentioning Crawford as someone to avoid off the waiver wire a couple of weeks ago, he seems to have taken it personally as he is playing his best ball of late. He came into Week 10 (Feb. 27-Mar. 4) averaging 21.2 points with three assists and a steal in his previous five contests and shot 54 percent from the field over that span. That stretch culminated with a season-high 32-point performance against the Kings and he seems primed to make a solid run in the closing months of the season.
It also helps that Nick Young has been struggling while Crawford has taken off. The 23-year-old has seen consistent minutes all season long and that should not change going forward, especially with his recent play. With games against the Warriors, Lakers and Trail Blazers on the schedule for Week 11 (Mar. 5-11), consider Crawford a worthwhile addition in the majority of Fantasy formats.
Marco Belinelli, Hornets
Owned: 41 percent
Analysis: Belinelli played well pretty much the entire month of February and Fantasy owners have started to take notice. He has been one of the biggest benefactors of Eric Gordon's injury and also saw some extended run while Jarrett Jack was out. Belinelli entered the All-Star break averaging 16.6 points with 3.2 rebounds and a steal in his last five contests and shot a solid 56 percent from 3-point land over that span. The 25-year-old is having a career campaign in his second season in New Orleans and should be considered a viable option heading into Week 11.
Luke Ridnour, Timberwolves
Owned: 55 percent
Analysis: Ridnour struggled to score on a consistent basis in the beginning of February but has looked better of late and is still putting up some decent secondary stats. He finished the unofficial first half having averaged double-digit scoring with more than five rebounds and four assists in his last five games while shooting 50 percent from the floor over that span. While he went just 1 for 8 (12 percent) from downtown during that stretch he has not been shooting the ball well from 3-point land all season long. Even the terrific play of Ricky Rubio hasn't pushed Ridnour out of the starting lineup and he should be able to keep things going heading into Week 11. The 31-year-old will face off against the Clippers, Trail Blazers, Lakers and Hornets during the upcoming scoring period so consider adding Ridnour in most Fantasy formats.
Baron Davis, Knicks
Owned: 59 percent
Analysis: Davis made his long-awaited season debut during Week 9 but has not done much for owners just yet. He scored a combined four points in his first three contests and went just 1 for 12 (8 percent) during those contests. With the emergence of Jeremy Lin, the Knicks have found a point guard they can rely on and Davis will have to find his role on a squad filled with talent. The 32-year-old should be able to improve his stats as he gets used to the Knicks' offense, so keep an eye on his progress. Davis has proven in the past to be a more-than-viable option in Fantasy-- when he stays healthy-- but owners in larger formats should leave him on waivers.
Anthony Morrow, Nets
Owned: 50 percent
Analysis: Morrow has been pretty disappointing since dropping 42 points on Feb. 3 as he has scored in double digits just four times in 10 games since then. He averaged eight points with 1.4 rebounds and 1.4 steals in the five games prior to the All-Star break and shot just 27 percent from the field over that span. Morrow also lost four teeth in a game against the Knicks but luckily he did not miss any time. He continues to see consistent minutes in New Jersey but the return of MarShon Brooks has cut into his production, and forced the former Warrior to the bench. Morrow can be a viable Fantasy option in larger formats when playing well but leave him for deeper leagues until he picks up the pace.
Jason Thompson, Kings
Owned: 47 percent
Analysis: Thompson has picked up his production recently and is starting to look like the player he was his first two years in the NBA. He entered the All-Star break averaging 8.4 points with 7.6 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in his previous five contests, despite shooting 41 percent over that span. The 25-year-old has earned himself a regular spot in the starting lineup and is trending up in Fantasy. Thompson could definitely help owners in deeper formats, so consider picking him up heading into Week 11.
Amir Johnson, Raptors
Owned: 54 percent
Analysis: Johnson has seen his role increase in Toronto once again and is starting to put up more points. He scored in double figures five times through 11 games in February, including two double-doubles, and continues to have a career year on the boards. The Raptors have been desperate for production ever since Andrea Bargnani went down and the 24-year-old has been one of the players chipping in. Consistency has been a problem for Johnson but he remains a viable addition off the waiver wire heading into Week 11.
Grant Hill, Suns
Owned: 38 percent
Analysis: Hill picked up his scoring heading into the All-Star break and the 39-year-old appears to have rediscovered his stroke. He averaged 13.6 points with 3.6 rebounds and 3.2 assists in his five games before the All-Star break. But owners should not be too quick to grab the veteran off waivers just yet as he has a daunting schedule on tap for Week 11. Phoenix will play Oklahoma City, Dallas and Memphis during the upcoming scoring period. All of those teams have been pretty tough on defense thus far. Hill is no longer the prolific scorer he once was and while the Suns' wide open offense could allow him to put some points together, the seven-time All-Star does not contribute enough in other categories to make a difference in larger Fantasy formats.
Kenyon Martin, Clippers
Owned: 19 percent
Analysis: After missing most of the first half while fulfilling his contract in China, Martin signed on to play with the Clippers for the rest of the season in early February but his numbers have not been that impressive thus far. He put up five points with four rebounds in his first nine games while seeing nearly 22 minutes per contest. While he can supply some decent scoring and rebounding when playing well, the 34-year-old is not the Fantasy option he used to be and is not going to produce more than Chris Paul and Blake Griffin too often. Continue to ignore Martin in the majority of formats heading into Week 11.
Bismack Biyombo, Bobcats
Owned: 44 percent
Analysis: Biyombo has been one of the more underrated rookies so far this season and the fact that he plays for a poor team does not help his cause. However, he has been picking up his production of late and is starting to get more looks in Fantasy. He averaged 5.6 points with 8.4 rebounds and 3.4 blocks in his final five games of the unofficial first half and shot 50 percent from the field over that span. The 19-year-old is starting once again for Charlotte and can definitely give some owners a boost with his rebounding and defensive stats. He will play Orlando, Utah, New Jersey and Oklahoma City during Week 11 so consider adding Biyombo in deeper formats, especially at such a thin position.
DeJuan Blair, Spurs
Owned: 64 percent
Analysis: After struggling for much of the season, Blair was able to put together some decent performances before the All-Star break and could be trending up. He scored a season-high 28 points with 12 rebounds against the Nuggets on Feb. 23, which capped off a five-game stretch in which he averaged 13.8 points with 5.6 boards while shooting 56 percent from the floor. He produced well while Tiago Splitter was out with a calf injury and with his teammate still a little banged up, Blair should be able to continue producing. The 22-year-old has proven himself to be a viable option in Fantasy through his first few years in the NBA, so owners in need of a big man should scoop up Blair.
Kosta Koufos, Nuggets
Owned: 12 percent
Analysis: Koufos was seeing some decent run while the Nuggets were banged up in the frontcourt but the return of some key players in the frontcourt has led to him returning to the bench. With Timofey Mozgov and Nene both on the mend, he will likely see his production take a hit and has already seen his minutes decrease. While he gave owners six points with five rebounds in his final five games of the unofficial first half and is putting up career numbers thus far, the 23-year-old still has a long way to go before being a reliable option in Fantasy. Koufos should be considered a low-end Fantasy center best suited for the deepest of formats while in his diminished role.
Ian Mahinmi, Mavericks
Owned: 5 percent
Analysis: Mahinmi had some productive performances at the beginning of 2012 but has regressed and is not seeing as much time off the bench. He entered the All-Star break averaging 1.8 points with 2.5 rebounds in his previous four games and saw less than nine minutes per contest over that span. With Brendan Haywood playing better of late it doesn't look as though the 25-year-old's role is going to improve anytime soon, which is why we recommend continuing to ignore Mahinmi in the majority of Fantasy formats.
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