Waiver Wire: Who can help bring a title?
For many leagues it all comes down to the next week. Whch available players will help you just enough to secure a title in your league? Our Ed Gauna is here to help with his look at the waiver wire.
It is coming down to the final matchups of the Fantasy season and a roster move can make a huge difference at this point. As playoff teams prepare for their respective playoff runs, owners are left to decipher which players have enough left in the tank to lead them to a championship of their own.
The first 15 weeks of the Fantasy season have led up to this point, so here are some players who can help owners hoist the trophy in their leagues.
This week we are looking at J.J. Hickson.
Hickson has looked like a different player since being claimed by Portland off waivers and is making the most of his time on the court. While he scored just four points against the Jazz on Monday, he is averaging 16.2 points with 7.4 rebounds and one steal in his last four games. Along with shooting 63 percent over that span, he has been seeing over 30 minutes per contest and that should continue down the stretch. The 23-year-old showed in his days with the Cavaliers that he can be a viable option in Fantasy and should be well-rested after not seeing a huge role with the Kings earlier in the year. Hickson will face off against the Houston, Golden State, Dallas and his former squad -- Sacramento -- during Week 16 (April 9-15) so consider him a worthwhile addition in the majority of Fantasy formats.
Iman Shumpert, Knicks
Owned: 65 percent
Analysis:The injury to Jeremy Lin has opened the door for Shumpert and he has taken advantage of his increased role. While coach Mike Woodson has said that Baron Davis will be the starting point guard in New York for the time being, Shumpert has been the more productive of the two recently and poses more value going forward based on Davis' fragile nature. He entered Week 15 averaging 15.4 points with 3.4 rebounds and 2.4 steals in his previous five games and shot 46 percent from downtown over that span. Lin's injury could keep him out for the rest of the regular season so the Knicks will need Shumpert's production in order to hang onto their playoff spot. The 21-year-old can be streaky at times and is not the main scorer on the team but could definitely help out some owners in need of some guard help, especially at this point in the season.
Randy Foye, Clippers
Owned: 37 percent
Analysis: After being benched for Nick Young on March 20, Foye has picked up the pace for the Clippers and is playing some of his best ball of the year. He began Week 15 (April 2-8) with a 28-point performance against the Mavericks, in which he made a career-high eight 3-pointers. That capped off a five-game stretch in which he averaged 15.8 points with 2.6 assists and shot 45 percent from beyond the arc. Foye has scored in double figures five times since his benching and appears primed for a solid run down the stretch. Owners know that the 28-year-old can go off at any point and is someone to consider adding off the waiver wire heading into Week 16.
George Hill, Pacers
Owned: 25 percent
Analysis: Hill had a nice little run in Fantasy a few weeks back but has not been doing as much for owners of late. With his 2-point performance on Sunday, he is averaging just five points with three rebounds and 2.8 assists in his last five games. He shot 34 percent from the field over that span and a lowly 22 percent from 3-point land. The 25-year-old continues to see about 20 minutes off the bench in Indiana but his production will likely remain minimal as long as he is shooting poorly. Now is not the time to add Hill off waivers in Fantasy.
C.J. Watson, Bulls
Owned: 13 percent
Analysis: Watson has started 19 games this season while Derrick Rose has dealt with injuries and proved to be valuable in Fantasy at certain points. But his production has slipped of late and could be on the verge of seeing a lessened role once again. Rose is targeted a return for Thursday's game against the Celtics and even if he does not come back for that contest, a Week 16 return is all but likely as the Bulls want to get him ready for the playoffs. Watson began Week 15 with just two points against the Rockets and has averaged 7.8 points with 4.2 assists and 1.4 rebounds in his last five contest. Owners in deeper formats that had been utilizing the 27-year-old might want to look elsewhere heading into the upcoming scoring period.
Tayshaun Prince, Pistons
Owned: 76 percent
Analysis: Prince is having one of the worst campaigns of his career but has picked up his scoring of late and starting to make some noise in Fantasy once again. He ended Week 14 (March 26-April 1) with four straight games scoring in double digits, including two 20-point performances. He averaged 18.2 points with 4.6 rebounds and 3.6 assists over that span while shooting 45 percent from downtown. The 32-year-old is clearly on the downside of his career and playing for a bad team certainly doesn't help things. Still, Prince has the opportunity to be productive for owners down the stretch and could help out in larger formats with Orlando, Charlotte, Milwaukee and Chicago on the schedule for Week 16.
Kevin Seraphin, Wizards
Owned: 28 percent
Analysis: Seraphin has picked up his production over the last week or two and has earned a larger role in Washington as a result. He scored 15 points on Monday against the Bucks, which marked the fifth time in the last six games in which he recorded double-digit points. While his rebounding has been sporadic, the 22-year-old should continue to see significant minutes as long as the Wizards are banged up in the frontcourt. He has some favorable matchups on tap for Week 16 with the Bobcats, Magic, Knicks and Cavaliers due up so consider Seraphin a worthwhile add in deeper Fantasy formats.
Boris Diaw, Spurs
Owned: 49 percent
Analysis: After averaging 11.3 points with five-plus rebounds each of the last two seasons, Diaw has been a huge disappointment in Fantasy this season and the move to San Antonio has not helped matters. He did not play in Saturday's contest against the Pacers and is averaging just 2.5 points with 3.8 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.3 steals through four games with his new team. The Spurs have always been known for getting the most out of their players but it looks as though the 29-year-old will just provide them with depth down the stretch. Leave Diaw on waivers in the majority of Fantasy formats at this point.
Jonas Jerebko, Pistons
Owned: 17 percent
Analysis: Owners should not be fooled by Jerebko's 18-and-5 performance against the Bobcats on Saturday as it was his first time scoring in double figures since March 21. That capped off a five-game stretch in which he averaged 8.6 points with 5.4 rebounds and one steal while shooting 48 percent from the field. The 25-year-old was a viable option in Fantasy earlier in the year and while he still sees around 20 minutes per game, leave Jerebko for the deepest of formats now that the playoffs have started.
Marcus Camby, Rockets
Owned: 71 percent
Analysis: Camby struggled in his first few games with Houston but has picked up the pace of late and is starting to regain some value in Fantasy. He posted his first double-double since Feb. 15 on Monday against the Bulls, which capped off a five-game stretch in which he averaged seven points with 9.4 rebounds and 2.6 blocks. While he is expected to return to a reserve role once Samuel Dalembert gets over his illness, the 38-year-old should continue to see decent minutes off the bench and can provide owners with some much-needed blocks and rebounds. Consider grabbing Camby in deeper Fantasy formats heading into Week 16, especially Rotisserie.
Byron Mullens, Bobcats
Owned: 46 percent
Analysis: Mullens has regained a larger role in Charlotte once again -- starting at forward over Tyrus Thomas -- and put together a solid performance while starting over the weekend. He led the Bobcats with 20 points and nine rebounds on Saturday against the Pistons and followed that up with a 20-and-14 performance against the Raports his next time out. He is averaging 12.4 points with 8.4 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in his last five contests and should be able to help out owners at such a thin position in Fantasy. With Washington, Cleveland, Detroit, Miami and Boston on the schedule for Week 16, Mullens can be added in most formats.
Bismack Biyombo, Bobcats
Owned: 43 percent
Analysis: With Mullens taking off again, Biyombo has fallen by the wayside in Charlotte and is not looking like a viable option in Fantasy down the stretch. With his 5-and-5 performance on Tuesday, he is averaging 5.4 points with 4.8 rebounds and a block in his last five contests. While he is shooting 50 percent over that span, he is still an unfinished production on offense and Mullens will likely continue to be the more productive of the two heading into Week 16. Owners in need of help at center should look elsewhere than Biyombo.
Nikola Vucevic, 76ers
Owned: 10 percent
Analysis: Vucevic has seen his playing time hit rock bottom with the return of Spencer Hawes and cannot seem to find the floor of late. He did not play on Saturday, which marked the third time in the last six games he had DNP next to his name on the stat sheet. Coach Doug Collins said on Tuesday that the rookie is "tired" and Tony Battie will play until he is up to speed again. Vucevic proved to be a viable stopgap in Fantasy earlier in the year but is someone to avoid in all Fantasy formats down the stretch.
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