2016 NBA Fantasy Basketball Waiver Advice: Dec. 23
Justin Fensterman dives deep into the fantasy basketball waiver wire to find you players who can contribute in a variety of NBA statistical categories.
The time of looking at full-season stats is over because you need to find those trends. If you need help improving certain categories, you need to look for consistency on a per-game basis. Why not add a player who blocked six shots in his last four games? That little bit of help can improve your overall standing in your league. It’s all about getting ahead of the game. That’s how you win that ring!
John Henson, PF/C MIL-39% Ownership: This is not the first, nor will it be the last time Henson is mentioned in this article because Milwaukee is a mess up front and Henson has every chance to control his own destiny. Henson plays well inside and has a few post moves. Henson has grabbed at least eight rebounds in three of his last four games and has done it without having to play 30 minutes. Henson has also blocked two or more shots in five of his last six games. The defense is there but, because of how inconsistent Greg Monroe has been, it is hard to determine how much playing time he will get. He produces in volume form and that makes him a worthy pick up.
James Johnson, F MIA-17% Ownership: As the Heat’s hot-handed oft-injured Forward situation continues to slow down their overall production, Johnson has been coming into his own providing many double-digit scoring outings in the last few weeks, but also being a bit of an enforcer in the post. Since returning from injury, Johnson has played one game under 20 minutes. Justise Winsolw is not much of an offensive threat and Wayne Ellington is hurt. Johnson is the lone consistent mid-range shooter for the Heat and has also shown his good court-vision and ability to hit the cutter in the paint. Johnson has six assists in each of his last two games.
Allen Crabbe, G POR-23% Ownership: Even though he seems like a shooter and provides no other help in other categories, Crabbe has been quietly helping by getting long rebounds. Crabbe has also seen consistency playing over 30 minutes in his last 2 games. Crabbe is good at reading screens and gets open, but his issues are lack of movement, and the fact that he plays on one of the most dominant scoring backcourts in the league. The playing time and shooting range is there and Crabbe does have driving ability. Once he feels it, he can’t miss a shot.
Buddy Hield, SG NO-33% Ownership: It has been a slow growing process for Hield and you can tell he is learning and has caught the eye of the Coaches because he is playing deeper into games. He is starting to see more consistency in his playing time being in the 20’s. Hield has also scored in double-figures in four of his last five games and is comfortable shooting from the outside. He’s had games in which he has hit five three pointers. He has a mini post game as well on the high side of the court, but does not use it enough. The Pelicans are a work in progress as a whole and Hield is too. The rotation is certainly opening up to him.
Channing Frye, PF/C CLE-10% Ownership: Need help boosting shooting percentages? Frye is right for you. It is hard to tell how many shots he will take, but he mainly creeps around the arc like nobody expects him to be there. When watching him, he toes that line so carefully, it almost seems like he will melt if he even touches the paint (ironic, he’s a big man). Frye is a short-term pick up who is playing over 20 minutes in 3 of his last 4 games. He has more range than Tristan Thompson, so in games versus staunch defensive teams, he will be used as a decoy to draw out bigger defenders. Frye is also quick at reading the screen and popping out for open jumpers. Add him for scoring and percentage help. Everything else he does is a bonus.
T.J. McConnell, PG PHI-4% Ownership: Who knew that Jerryd Bayless being hurt would have such an impact on the rotation? Sergio Rodriguez, meet your new competition for minutes in Mr. McConnell. McConnell has figured out the only way to stand out is by being aggressive inside and he recently had a 10-rebound game. McConnell has also had two or more steals in four of his last five games. The defensive intensity is there and that should give him even more playing time. McConnell’s biggest help has been on the assist front as he has had five or more assists in each of his last five games. McConnell dished nine assists in two of those games and has seen a steady diet of mid 20’s games with one recent game over 30 minutes. The potential for more playing time is there, and if he can improve his turnover rate a bit more, he will see more minutes.
Marreese Speights PF/C LAC-21% Ownership: Speights is not a pretty player to watch on the floor, but with Blake Griffin out, holes need to be filled. For Mo to get Mo playing time (see what I did there?) his top of the key jumper has to be on point. Speights has scored in double figures in his last three games and has provided minor rebounding support and showed that he can even hit the cutter from the top of the key. The playing time is definitely there for the taking and because DeAndre Jordan is not a threat offensively, the Clippers will need to rely on the kick out to Speights even more.
Garrett Temple, G SAC-9% Ownership: Part of Temple’s recent success comes at the expense of Rudy Gay’s health, but when called upon Temple has been a scoring threat from both the outside and inside. Outside of being able to score in double digits, Temple has provided minor help in all other standard fantasy basketball categories. He has played 30 or more minutes in 4 of his last six games and has even blocked a few shots in that span. Temple has been a minor help with assists and steals. Temple has also grabbed three or more rebounds in three of his last four games. If he keeps up his quickness and perimeter defense, he will keep his spot in the Kings rotation.
Joe Harris, SG BKN-3% Ownership: Harris is a long-range threat and hustles a ton on both ends of the court. He could very well be the biggest shooting threat on the team when it comes to long-range shooting. Harris knows that his time to shine is on transition because he waits for the pass and is usually wide open. As impressed as I am at Harris’ shot selection, it’s his grit and ability to fight for rebounds that makes him stand out. Players who play taller than they are stick out to Coaches and will play more. As of now, it is hard to tell per night whether or not Harris will reach the 20 minute threshold, but once you start seeing those minutes climb a bit more, it will show the commitment from the Nets Coaches. Remember, the Nets stink and will be in situations in which they let their bench get experience. Watch Harris for now, but be prepared to add.
WILD CARD PICK UP: Norman Powell, SG/SF Toronto Raptors: Another rando from the Raptors to just keep in your rear view mirror. Powell has the ability to have big scoring nights and has had multiple 20-point outings this season. He recently had one of his most impressive games of the season scoring 21 points with 5 steals. It is also not the first time he has scored 20 with 5 swipes. When he plays, he produces, but even though he played over 20 minutes in 2 of his last 4 games, Powell is simply a watch guy. If someone like DeMarre Carroll gets hurt, he will see more playing time. Powell also has a minor (if needed) long-range game and could be used to draw out bigger defenders.
*ownership percentages courtesy of Yahoo Sports