Fantasy Basketball, Week 7
Your waiver wire fix for the weekend.
by Charles Peach / @Charles_Peach
I’ve been away visiting family in London, so please mind the gap between columns. There are a lot of free agents to discuss, so let’s move right to the waiver wire.
ON THE WIRE
Beno Udrih – Starting with a guy that is owned in a lot of leagues. But, in some cases he was dropped when coach Paul Westphal shuffled the lineup and Udrih found himself on the bench. Now he’s back in the starting lineup and will probably be relied on much more as Tyreke Evans suffers with plantar fasciitis. Results of Evans’ precautionary MRI are supposed to be released Friday. Udrih should definitely be owned in most formats.
Nicolas Batum – Another guy who is on a lot of fantasy rosters, but due to his streakiness might’ve been let go in some leagues. Batum owners enjoyed a wonderful stretch between Nov. 4 and Nov. 20 in which Batum averaged 16.2 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.9 threes, and 1.4 steals per game. However, that was followed by a four-game stretch that he failed to score more than five points in any game and lost his starting job. Lately though, it seems things have balanced out. He’s still coming off of the bench but he’s scored in double figures in each of his last four games including two double-doubles.
Reggie Williams – Wednesday night marked the fourth – repeat, fourth – time that Stephen Curry has rolled his ankle this season. He went down early in the game and it gave Williams the chance to step up, which he did to the tune of 31 points and eight threes. It looks to me as though Curry will eventually need to find a long-term solution to this problem. Surgery perhaps? I mean, how many times can you twist an ankle and expect it to ever really heal? I’d scoop up Reggie, especially if you own Curry.
Ty Lawson – He’s been outplaying Chauncey Billups. It’s doubtful that anyone in the organization has the cojones to bench Billups for Lawson based on production. No, they’d probably blame it on a mysterious injury and Billups would sit out games rather than come off of the bench. But the longer this goes on, the more frustrated I will be. Chauncey is looking old out there. He’s shooting 35.8 percent on the season. In Boston on Wednesday, coach George Karl started both of them to start the second half, Lawson replacing Gary Forbes. Lawson finished with 24 points, seven assists, and three steals in a season-high 34 minutes. The Nuggets need to find a way to get Lawson more playing time. It’s unlikely that it will come via benching of Billups, but keep Ty on your radar.
Spencer Hawes – His production is slowly rising and he’s been able to hold down a starting gig since the first game of the season. He recorded his first double-double (10 points, 12 rebounds) of the season Tuesday, against the Cavs, and added three blocks, a steal, and a three-pointer. That’s the reason Hawes is so compelling – his ability to hit threes and block shots. It appears he’s finally recovered from a back injury that forced him to miss three weeks during the preseason. He played a season-high 31 minutes on Tuesday. Hawes should be available in many leagues.
Terrence Williams – He was sent down to the NBDL’s Springfield Armor for a three-game stint in which he averaged a triple-double (28 points, 11.3 rebounds, and 10.7 assists). Now he’s back with the Nets, but did he get the message? He was sent there as punishment and, judging from those numbers, I think something might’ve clicked for young TWill. Based on talent, he should be starting every game for the Nets. He can fill up the stat sheet and the highlight reel. But it’s going to come down to whether or not coach Avery Johnson can trust him. Travis Outlaw is very inconsistent, so the door is open for Williams to come in and win that job. He finished with six points, four assists, three turnovers, and two steals in his return on Thursday night. He played 26 minutes off of the bench.
Larry Sanders – If you block eight shots in one game, you’re going to open a lot of eyes. That’s what the rookie out of VCU did against the Nuggets last weekend. Drew Gooden is suffering from the ever-lingering plantar fasciitis so there will be some more opportunities for Sanders to play. He’s only a potential temporary fill for those of you in need of rebounds and blocks. Coach Scott Skiles will inevitably bury him on the bench before too long.
Jodie Meeks/Nick Young – I had to put these two together because they’re essentially the same guy when you look at the box score. Points and threes are looking right but that’s about it. Meeks has shot his way into the starting shooting guard role in Philly. I think coach Doug Collins likes to keep a sharpshooter on the floor as often as possible and Jodie’s his guy at the moment. Meeks has connected on 17 of 26 three-point attempts in his last four games, but often finishes with zeros in the other categories. You can even throw Shannon Brown in there. I actually prefer Brown to the others because his role is consistent and he’ll chip in a steal or two every night.
Josh Howard – He’ll probably attempt to return within the next couple weeks. He tore his ACL on Feb. 22 and that type of knee injury seems to take at least a full year before you really start to recover. But if you’ve been planning on making a move on Howard, now is probably the time to do it.
Thanks for checking in. Come back Monday when things are back on schedule. I’m on Twitter @Charles_Peach.