Waiver Wire: Pushing for World Peace
The Fantasy Basketball playoffs are on the horizon, so it's time to bolster that lineup. Our Ed Gauna makes his case for Metta World Peace and a few others in his latest look at the waiver wire.
With only a few weeks left until playoffs start in Fantasy, time is running out for owners to bulk up their rosters. Finding players who can make a difference at this point in the season is no easy task but luckily we are here to help you sift through the mess.
There are a batch of players who look familiar on this week's column but it has been indicative of their up-and-down tendencies throughout the season.
This week we are looking at Metta World Peace.
The artist formerly known as Ron Artest got off to a terrible start this season and saw his stock in Fantasy plummet. However, he has begun scoring more points recently and looks to be on the verge of breaking out. He scored in double digits in back-to-back contests to end Week 10 (Feb. 27-Mar. 4) and filled up the stat sheet nicely while drawing the tough defensive assignment of Miami forward LeBron James on Mar. 4. Most of World Peace's struggles this season have been the result of his poor shooting percentage (36 percent through his first 36 games) but the 32-year-old entered Week 11 (Mar. 5-11) shooting 50 percent in his previous five contests, including 47 percent from beyond the arc. He should be able to keep things going against the Grizzlies, Hornets, Timberwolves and Jazz during Week 12 (Mar. 12-18) so consider World Peace a worthwhile addition.
Iman Shumpert, Knicks
Owned: 44 percent
Analysis: Shumpert has looked good since returning from his knee injury and could see a larger role with the Knicks going forward. Coach Mike D'Antoni opened the battle for playing time at shooting guard and the 21-year-old will compete with Landry Fields and J.R. Smith. Shumpert scored in double figures with five steals and seven rebounds in his first two games back and should continue to see solid minutes off the bench as long as he is playing well. He showed earlier in the year that he can be a consistent contributor in Fantasy. And with his ability to fill up the stat sheet, owners in need of some guard help should look to Shumpert heading into Week 12.
Arron Afflalo, Nuggets
Owned: 76 percent
Analysis: Afflalo opened Week 11 with a career-high 32-point performance against the Kings and is starting to light it up from downtown for Denver. He is shooting 52 percent from 3-point land in his previous five games and is averaging 18.8 points with 3.2 rebounds and one steal over that span. Along with playing solid defense, the 26-year-old continues to develop into an offensive threat and is starting to thrive in the Nuggets' wide-open offense. He has scored in double figures in eight straight games and is showing no signs of slowing down. Afflalo is doing enough to help out owners in all Fantasy formats at this point.
Richard Hamilton, Bulls
Owned: 51 percent
Analysis: Surprise, surprise Fantasy owners: Hamilton is dealing with another injury. The veteran injured his shoulder during the Week 11 opener and will likely miss more time. He has been limited to 16 games due this season to a myriad of injures and is averaging just 11.3 points with 3.1 assists and 2.4 rebounds. The Bulls thought Hamilton would be able to supply some complementary scoring to Derrick Rose this season but the 34-year-old has had a difficult time staying on the court and is not providing much for owners. Healthy or not, ignore Hamilton in all but deeper formats going forward.
Tony Allen, Grizzlies
Owned: 35 percent
Analysis: After going on a scoring binge for Fantasy owners, Allen has come back down to earth and is not producing as much of late. He entered Week 11 averaging 7.6 points with 3.6 rebounds and one steal in his previous five contests and shot just 39 percent from the field over that span. The 30-year-old is expected to continue to start and see solid minutes for the Grizzlies -- mostly because of his defensive prowess -- so there is always that chance he could turn things around. However, Memphis does not rely on his scoring and Allen's track record does not bode well for him becoming a more valuable Fantasy option. Leave Allen for deeper formats heading into Week 12.
Derrick Williams, Timberwolves
Owned: 62 percent
Analysis: Williams proved to be very inconsistent through the first half of the season but he has been looking better since the All-Star break and is starting to show why he was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2011 draft. He posted a 15-and-9 performance against the Clippers on Monday and capped off a five-game stretch during which he averaged 14.6 points and 5.6 rebounds. He shot 53 percent from both the field and downtown over that span and is seeing consistent minutes once again. The rookie appears to be finding his groove and could be a nice boost to rosters in deeper Fantasy formats down the stretch. With the Suns, Jazz, Lakers and Kings on the schedule for Week 12, consider scooping Williams up off waivers.
Brandon Bass, Celtics
Owned: 67 percent
Analysis: Bass has looked good since returning from a knee injury and is starting for the Celtics. He averaged 13.5 points with five rebounds and two blocks in his first four games back while shooting 52 percent. The 26-year-old has been a solid complement to an aging roster in Boston and is on pace for a career campaign. His ability to score in double digits on a consistent basis and haul in rebounds should help out owners in most Fantasy formats at this point, so grab Bass off waivers if you can.
Dorell Wright, Warriors
Owned: 75 percent
Analysis: Wright has been very disappointing so far this season after averaging a career-high 16.4 points a season ago. His inconsistent scoring has left him averaging just 10 points per contest through 34 games, and it has fallen off even more of late. With his nine-point performance against the Wizards Monday, he is putting up just 6.2 points with 4.6 rebounds in his last five games and is shooting just 25 percent over that span. The 26-year-old is only valuable in Fantasy when shooting the ball well, so owners who had been hanging onto him in hopes that he would turn things around should feel free to cut ties with Wright.
Corey Brewer, Nuggets
Owned: 35 percent
Analysis: Brewer had been one of the more popular pick-ups off the waiver wire in recent weeks thanks to his solid play but it appears as though his run is coming to an end. Denver is getting Danilo Gallinari back from injury and the 26-year-old will likely see his role change drastically. Brewer did not see a ton of playing time earlier in the season when the roster was at full strength and while he could steal some playing time because of his defensive prowess, he will not be nearly as valuable in Fantasy. Add the fact that Wilson Chandler might also join the Nuggets and owners in most formats should consider cutting Brewer.
Zaza Pachulia, Hawks
Owned: 61 percent
Analysis: Pachulia continues to be an up-and-down performer for the Hawks but his recent play has him back on the map in Fantasy. Over his last five games entering Week 11, he averaged 7.4 points with 10.4 rebounds and one steal. While Pachulia shot just 36 percent from the floor over that span, his rebounding could help out many owners at this point. Also, with Al Horford being ruled out for the rest of the season Pachulia will likely remain the starter down the stretch. With center being such a thin position in Fantasy, the 28-year-old has value in most formats and should be in for a productive Week 12. Pachulia will face off against the Nuggets, Clippers, Wizards and Cavaliers during the upcoming scoring period.
Brendan Haywood, Mavericks
Owned: 31 percent
Analysis: Haywood has started to show some life on offense and is beginning to catch the eye of some Fantasy owners. He put together some decent performances toward the end of February and scored in double figures on back-to-back nights on Feb. 28 and 29, his first time doing so all season. The 32-year-old sustained an ankle injury on Monday but it is not expected to sideline him for long, so owners shouldn't worry about it too much. Haywood has shown in the past the ability to be a viable option in Fantasy and should receive some looks in deeper formats heading into Week 12.
Chris Wilcox, Celtics
Owned: 9 percent
Analysis: Wilcox has seen a larger role off the bench for the Celtics recently and is doing some solid work on the boards. He averaged eight rebounds with 8.5 points in the four games leading up to Week 11. With the way Kevin Garnett has thrived at the five-spot it is unlikely Wilcox will break the starting lineup anytime soon but he should continue to see some decent run while Jermaine O'Neal is out. However, the 29-year-old has been too sporadic with his production to make a difference in many Fantasy formats and since O'Neal is expected back within the next week or two, now is not the time to grab Wilcox off the waiver wire.
Nikola Vucevic, 76ers
Owned: 17 percent
Analysis: Vucevic was recently moved back into the starting lineup but did not do well his first time in the new role, as he scored just six points and hauled in three rebounds. The 7-footer has shown flashes of being a viable option in Fantasy throughout the season and has done a decent job while Spencer Hawes has been out. However, Vucevic usually does not see more than 20 minutes a night -- even as a starter -- and will see his role decrease once Hawes returns. Add the fact that Philadelphia will play Indiana, Miami and Chicago in Week 12 and Vucevic is not looking like someone to add.
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