Fantasy Daily: Waiver Wire
The Waiver Wire
Right about now a lot of people are holding on to some borderline ownable players and wondering to themselves if there isn’t somebody better available. Well fear no more. They call me Doctor Fantasy and I got the prescription to what ails you. (OK nobody has actually called me that, but if Kobe can call himself the black mamba I see no problem with it.) Today we examine the best players who are owned in fewer than 50 percent of yahoo! Leagues.
Nate Robinson (Owned in 49% of yahoo leagues): Nate was universally owned following the draft; however, he was immediately dropped by many after his ankle injury. I never understand dropping a player who is out for a short period of time to begin with, so Robinson never left my team’s roster. The Knicks have been awful without Krypto-Nate, and greatly miss his energy off the bench. The truth of the matter is that this Knicks team is god-awful and Robinson is one of the few players capable of creating their own shot. Despite his ridiculous Napoleon complex, Robinson averaged 17 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists on 44% shooting. He was surprisingly effective for a player of his small stature, and could actually see his minutes rise from last years 30 minutes per game. Despite his slow start and early injury, Robinson should match his numbers from last season especially when considering he is playing for a new contract. Playing for the quan (as Rod Tidwell would say) is the ultimate motivating factor. So if this lil fella is available in your league I would recommend you make the move now, as he could potentially be back in the line-up by Wednesday.
Season Prediction: 16 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 4.5 apg, 42% fg
Beno Udrih (Owned in 22% of yahoo leagues): With Kevin Martin out 6-8 weeks, Udrih has been given a great opportunity to showcase his talents. After being stuck on the San Antonio bench for years, Udrih took advantage of his opportunity to start. In 51 games as a starter for Sacramento in 2007-2008, Udrih averaged 14.4 points, 3.5 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game. He also shot 47.5% from the floor and hit a three as a game. Last year he failed to top these numbers and slipped on the draft boards of many when Tyreke Evans was drafted to play the point. Now that Evans has been shifted to his natural shooting guard position, Udrih and the Kings have looked like a different team. In two games since the injury they have put up 120 points in a win over Golden State and 104 in their surprising win at Utah. In these two games Udrih has averaged 17.5 points, 3 rebounds and 5 assists with only 2 turnovers in the two games combined. Udrih is 27 years old and entering his prime, so averages of 14, 3 and 5+ over the next two months could not only help your team, but also help him earn a starting gig even when Martin comes back. Truth is with a 6’5 Martin and 6’6 Evans; one of them could easily play the 3 spot over Nocioni. View Udrih as a great short term buy and potential trade target to Kevin Martin owners looking for a security blanket.
Season Prediction: 11 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 4 apg, 47% fg, 80% ft.
Mareese Speights (Owned in 43% of yahoo leagues): Watching Mo play last year, you knew the Sixers had found a steal in the draft. At 6’10 245, Speights had a surprisingly soft touch to go along with his great strength. While less athletic than former Florida teammates Joakim Noah and Al Horford, he could ultimately be the best of the bunch (and I say that as somebody who is very fond of Horford). Right now he is not starting games, but more importantly, he is finishing. Following in the footsteps of Manu and JET, it can be deduced that Speights may come off the bench because like them, when the game is on the line, they all need to be on the floor. While Dalembert is getting the starts over Speights, their numbers tell a different tale. In seven games, Speights is logging two more minutes per game, while outscoring Dalembert 14.4 to 6.6. To those who would say Dalembert’s defense gives him value, Speights 1.1 blocks per game are only .2 fewer than SD1. Speights is also out-rebounding Dalembert 6.9 to 6.0, and has a significantly higher field goal percentage.
Even if Elton Brand doesn’t injure himself again this year (which I have yet to rule out) it makes sense that Speights play center in Philly’s new up-tempo offense. At 22 years old, Speights has barely scratched the surface and will undoubtedly continue to improve throughout the year. With an arsenal including a beautiful hook shot and sweet turnaround jumper, Speights could be a handful to handle in the post for years to come.
Season Prediction: 13 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 1 bpg, 53% fg, 80% ft
Quentin Richardson (Owned in 36% of yahoo leagues):
Lucille Austero: Today at lunch, you were ashamed to be with me. Gob: No. I was ashamed to be seen with you. I like being with you.
First of all, if you have never seen Arrested Development, I recommend you finish reading this article before going to hulu to watch all three seasons consecutively. And really this is how I feel about Richardson (and apparently how teams felt about him this off-season). Despite his apparent value, I have made fun of this guy so much and would feel like a hypocrite picking him up. With Wade driving to the hole and drawing double teams, Q-Rich has been the recipient of many uncontested threes. As the only true small forward on this team he will continue to log consistent minutes and might actually make is a full year without being traded. Thus far Q-Rich is putting up averages of 10.5 points, 5.8 rebounds and as always he is doling out very few assists. Despite his lacking of passing, he is a great value with a 48% clip from the floor, and is adding 2.2 threes per game. As a newcomer to the Heat, Richardson has been more conservative in his shot selection. That should change as the season progresses and he becomes more comfortable with his teammates and new system, Even as Richardson endures capricious shooting performances, his improved defense should keep him on the floor. With Richardson you have to understand there will be nights he goes 6 of 9 from downtown. On the flip side, there will be games where he couldn’t hit water if he fell out of a boat. This year he is in a terrific situation, and as many times as he has been valuable fantasy asset, it is time to give the mad some credit. This year I may be less ashamed to be seen with Quentin.
Season Prediction: 13 ppg, 5 rpg, 2 threes, 43% fg, 75% ft.