Fantasy Daily: Waiver Wire
Jameer Nelson (85.2% ownership): Nelson was typically picked around number 53 after last year’s breakthrough, even if injury-plagued, season. After averaging 16.7 points, 3.5 rebounds and 5.4 assists with a 50% field goal percentage and two threes hit a game, Nelson seemed primed to become an elite point guard. The point-forward skills of Hedo Turkoglu had bolted from the sunny beaches of Orlando to the exotic land of…Canada. With Turkoglu north of the border and Vince Carter now in tow, Nelson’s assist numbers seemed ready to escalate even higher. Then came the surgery on his left knee. Teams hesitant to wait out his ailment dropped Nelson in many leagues, but there loss can be your gain. Nelson could return to the line-up by Wednesday, and managers are starting to take notice. After seeing his ownership slip over 16%, Nelson saw its first positive leap as it rose 1.2% in the last week. By jumping on Nelson a few days before his return, you can add an upper echelon point guard in exchange for whatever garbage is wasting away at the end of your bench. He may not be an elite scoring machine, but with great efficiency, a plethora of threes and more dimes than the playboy mansion; Jameer is a must-own. He may be shaped like a bowling ball, but he will help you roll over the competition.
Andrei Kirilenko (83.8% ownership): AK47 was actually dropped in 1.9% of leagues last week! What is wrong with people? He may be coming off the bench for now, but this two-timing Soviet baller put up numbers. Just because he looks like Ivan Drago, it doesn’t make him any less valuable. While not the 5x5 threat of yesteryear, Kirilenko still manages to fill up the stat sheet like few others in the league. This year’s averages of 12.1 points, 5.1 boards, 3.2 assists come on 45.5% shooting and help compliment the block and steal he adds every game. His numbers are up across the board this year, except in turnovers where he has cut down on his mistakes. Nothing about Kirilenko will jump out at you. He is a terrific defender with good athleticism and a mediocre jump shot. What defines Andrei 3000 is his ability to do it all. He has a high basketball IQ and is completely unselfish. Even with all of Utah’s depth, Kirilenko is logging 31 minutes per game and an injury to either Boozer or Millsap (or a trade, neither would surprise me) would open up even more PT. His blocks are down from his career numbers so again; a rise in that category should not come as a shock. He hurts you in nothing and helps you in everything. Any team could use his presence, so if he happens to be available…I’d say make the move. Otherwise, “I will break you.”
Jason Thompson (85.9% ownership): If this guy is still available in your league, there is a problem. That type of ownership level for a man with this type of skill level is truly unacceptable. After a surprising rookie season, this second year player out of Rider (yes, apparently that is a school…and they have a basketball program) is showing the world what he is capable of. Playing both power forward and center, Thompson has shown off great moves with his back to the basket as well as a very impressive mid-range jumper. Watching him and Tyreke Evans run the pick and pop, you forget which one if the big man and which one is the guard. His unselfish play has helped Sacramento off to a very surprising start, but your selfishness should result in his addition to your team. With 15.2 points and 9.3 rebounds on 51.6% shooting, I shouldn’t even have to finish this sentence. You should already be on the free agency page clicking the add button. I’ll give you a moment to confirm the move….
Done? All right then moving on. Thompson is adding over a block a game to this impressive stat line and his 74% free throw shooting should rise given his nice touch from the floor. He is similarly owned in only 84% of yahoo leagues despite his rank of 59, so owners in all formats should be making this add. He is currently eligible at PF in ESPN and SF/PF in yahoo, but with his recent starts at Center, you may soon see a big C next to his name. At 6’11 250, he moves like a small forward and shoots like one too. He is a unique player who is still vastly ignored by fans and media alike. Start the revolution. Put JT on the map. And watch some Kings games, damn that team is fun to watch.
Jonny Flynn (72.5% ownership): Scouring the waiver wire is always fun. You can see how stubborn some owners can be with their players. I understand loyalty but come on…how is Flynn owned in a lower percentage of leagues than D.J. Augustin? I’ll throw out two sets of numbers. You decide for yourself. 5.1 points, 1.1 rebounds, 2.1 assists on 34% shooting. 14.0 points, 2.4 rebounds, 4.2 assists on 43% shooting. Based on my obvious frustration, I hope you guessed the latter is the statistics of Jonny Flynn. This (possibly) six-footer can absolutely fly. He has unparalleled athleticism, vaguely reminiscent of Nate Robinson. The biggest difference is Flynn lacks any attitude problems, has true point guard skills, and doesn’t shoot the ball at his own basket. Rambis as yet to take unshackle Flynn and let him push the ball as he so excels at, and yet Flynn still continues to produce. Flynn has seen his three point shooting improve through the first two months of the season, and when that is part of his repertoire…look out. He has explosive speed, an uncanny first step, and an unreal ability to finish for a man of his stature. I fell in love during last season’s 6 OT win over UConn and haven’t looked back. He has an infectious smile, which is appropriate because he also has a sick handle. Rookie often bloom post all-star break (per esempio: Westbrook, Lopez and Beasley), so Flynn’s best production this season still awaits any owner willing to heed by advice.
Of course no good article would be complete without an unabbreviated list, and being that this is clearly a no-good article it make sense to follow in kind.
Stephen Curry (77.9%), Danilo Gallinari (80.5%), Wilson Chandler (77.5%), Kendrick Perkins (63.7%), Andris Biedrins* (82%), Chris Douglas Roberts (68.7%), Tyrus Thomas* (78.8%), Blake Griffin* (62.6%), Corey Maggette (50.4%)
Keep in mind that some of these players gain value from their current system, as opposed to their sheer talent. If CDR ever gets traded it’s probably time to jump ship. Just figured I would note that large difference between fantasy and reality. Sometimes those fantasy and reality lines get blurred. One word before the term basketball can mean the world of differences, yet people often refuse to admit it. Good thing that doesn’t exist in other cases. Imagine if people wanted pubic crabs as much as steamed crabs. Yeesh!