It’s the halfway point to the season and hopefully your teams are doing alright. Now that it’s the weekend, you’re going to want to look forward to your next matchup and take advantage of some good pickups. That’s why you head to the waiver wire. I got you covered for this week but first, we got another diverse schedule of games for the upcoming week so let’s take a look at that first.
5 Games: DEN
4 Games: ATL, CHA, DAL, GSW, HOU, IND, MIL, NYK, ORL, PHI, PHO, POR, TOR, WAS
3 Games: BKN, BOS, CHI, CLE, LAC, LAL, MEM, MIA, MIN, NOP, SAC, SAS, UTA
2 Games: DET, OKC
After a single game in week 12 and a trip to London, the Nuggets is going to have tight packed schedule filled with five games in the upcoming week. Meanwhile, the Pistons and the Thunder only have two games this week. I’ll try to avoid players from both those teams if you’re going to stream.
+ Tim Hardaway Jr. (33% owned) – Life without Kyle Korver’s going pretty well for Hardaway Jr. It’s been four games without Korver in the lineup and Hardaway Jr. really benefitted from it, averaging 17.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 3.3 triples and 1.3 steals. He was hot before the trade and it was obvious that the percentage wasn’t sustainable then but his usage rate has increased since both Kent Bazemore and Thabo Sefolosha has been playing pretty badly as of late. He’s returning top-50 value in that span and is a top-35 player in the last two weeks. The Hawks are winning games and Hardaway Jr.’s ability to put points on the board and shoot threes is a big contributing factor to their victories. He should be owned in standard leagues.
+ Seth Curry (25% owned) – Curry has been mentioned here before and seems to have a love-hate relationship with the waiver wire. Well hopefully this time around, he can consistently produce value. Andrew Bogut is out indefinitely and with the Mavs clearly tanking, the youth movement is going to be strong in Dallas. Curry started last game for Bogut, which bumped Dirk to start at center with the Mavs going small. They won’t be going small every game but with certain specific match ups, Curry might actually benefit. Also, the backcourt of Wesley Matthews, Deron Williams and J.J. Barea is clearly not the most durable backcourt tandem that we’ve seen and if one goes down, Curry is going to have a lot more opportunities. In his seven games as a starter, Curry is averaging 10.9 points, 2.3 boards, 3.3 assists, 2.0 triples and 1.7 steals. Hard to find a player in the wire who can contribute in steals and threes like that and the Mavs have four games this coming week.
+ Kyle O’Quinn (13% owned) – The Knicks have two upcoming back-to-back sets in the coming few days. Four games in five days are usually tough for NBA players and Jeff Hornacek is probably going to look for energy from his bench and that’s where O’Quinn comes in. He’s averaging 8.0 points, 9.3 boards, 2.0 assists, 2.7 blocks and 0.7 steals in the past three games. Kristaps Porzingis’ achilles is still bothering him and it’s hard to see him play all four games this upcoming week so O’Quinn is going to get a little bump from that. Joakim Noah is also a candidate for an occasional rest day for this week and if that happens, O’Quinn might have the potential to return a monstrous line.
+ Zaza Pachulia (13% owned) – Zaza has been quietly playing pretty well recently by doing all the dirty work for the Warriors. He’s slowly earned the trust of Steve Kerr and he’s rewarded with more minutes. Zaza is averaging 18.5 minutes per game for the season but for the last two weeks, he’s been playing 23.1 minutes per game and is consistently getting playing time in the 20’s. Zaza is also a top-70 player in the last two weeks, averaging 9.8 points, 5.7 boards and 1.2 steals on 62.9 percent shooting and 93.8 percent from the line. He’s a good big man for some really elite percentages, even though the volume aren’t high but it’s still impactful. He also adds some good steals from that position and solid rebounding numbers. He’s a good center to add if you’re punting blocks. Since centers who are good at both percentages are hard to find on the waiver, Zaza might suit perfectly for certain teams.
+ Jameer Nelson (3% owned) – No brainer why Jameer is a recommended add for this week. He has five games for this week and if you compare him to someone like Reggie Jackson for this coming week, Jameer is going to be better than him. He’s only recommended to be added in deep leagues though. With Emmanuel Mudiay being inconsistent as ever, Nelson has carved himself a nice role with minutes in the low 20’s. He’s actually heating up a little bit too. In the last two games, he’s averaging 12.0 points, 6.5 assists and 2.5 triples on 52.9 percent shooting. Obviously the percentage and points won’t be sustainable but expecting some source of assists and triples is fine with Nelson.
– Lou Williams (73% owned) – This might be a little controversial and I’m also skeptical of whether I’ll drop him if I own him in any of my teams. Fortunately I don’t. Lou Williams has cooled off and I mean he’s legit ice cold and can’t buy a basket nowadays. Remember that hot stretch of games where he was going all Allen Iverson on teams? That’s long gone. In the last four games, he’s averaging 10.8 points, 1.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.3 triples and 0.3 steals on 31.7 percent shooting. In that span, he’s a ranked 317 player. His stats are similar for the past 10 games as well. His usage rate is high but he’s not making shots. Obviously Sweet Lou will have his hot and cold moments but right now he’s doing more harm than good. Yes, you might want to keep him for another hot stretch but I don’t see that coming as the Lakers are going to go to their younger players now that we’re in the second half of the season. His minutes have been slowly declining as well. He’s averaging 24.0 minutes per game for the season but is now averaging 19.5 minutes in the last two weeks. 10-team leagues should think about dropping him and so should 12-team leagues.
– Brandon Knight (63% owned) – I’m glad to see Earl Watson turning away from Brandon Knight more and more. He’s giving Devin Booker heavier minutes and also giving some opportunity to the rookie, Tyler Ullis. I’m also happy to see there’s no more three-guard lineup with Booker on the wing as it’s obvious his natural position is the shooting guard. Knight has been trending down, almost hitting rock bottom. He’s recently bothered by a wrist problem and is clearly in pain but in the last two weeks, he’s only averaging 16.5 minutes, 7.5 points, 1.0 boards, 1.8 assists, 0.3 triples and 0.5 steals on 35.7 percent shooting. He’s officially a backup point guard to Eric Bledsoe and Leandro Barbosa is the backup two guard for Booker so roles are more defined now for the Suns. The only appeal Knight will have is if he gets traded to another team that needs a point guard or a scorer but with the league so stacked at that position, it’ll be hard for Knight to return some sort of fantasy value.
– Kent Bazemore (58% owned) – Bazemore has been terrible this season. He’s had no good stretches for the first half of the season and is incapable of stringing a few solid games together. Yet he’s owned in more than half the leagues in Yahoo! For the season, he’s ranked 199 in 9-cat and recently, it’s been much worse than that. Ranking 199 means you are barely worth owning in 16-team leagues. So a standard league of 12-teams and 14-team leagues should drop him. In the last two weeks, he’s ranked 208, which is worse than his season average. Oh and its get much worse. In the last week, he’s ranked 256 in 9-cat in 25.8 minutes of play, averaging 9.0 points, 3.0 reboards, 1.5 assists, 1.0 triples, 1.0 steals and 0.5 blocks on 27.8 percent shooting and 75.0 percent from the line. What’s worth owning with these kind of stats? The only positive contribution he brings is turnovers and he hurts you in everything else. Even newly acquired Mike Dunleavy closed the game out instead of him. You can do better.
– Jahlil Okafor (57% owned) – Last week, I recommended dropping Okafor after one DNP-CD. He had three more DNP’s following that game. When Embiid is healthy and playing, there’s no possible playing time that could be given to Okafor, now that Nerlens Noel is playing well and is clearly a better fit with the Sixers. Noel has solidified his role as Embiid’s back up and has publicly said he enjoys it. Okafor did play in the Sixers’ latest game and scored 26 points and grabbed nine rebounds but that’s a result of Embiid missing a game due to rest. The Sixers have two more back-to-back sets on January 20th-21st and January 24th-25th. There are two games where Jahlil is going to play 25-30 minutes, assuming that Embiid won’t play. I’m expecting the Sixers are going to use those games to showcase his skills to the league and trade him away. Until then, Okafor isn’t worth owning in standard leagues.
That’s it for the weekly edition of Adds and Drops. Stay tuned for more and follow me on Twitter for more updates or to ask me any questions about your fantasy team!