As the NBA season nears its half-way point whether your fantasy team is at the top of your league or you’ve underachieved, the key to the rest of your season may be the players you can add via the waiver wire. There’ always valuable pieces that turn up throughout the season as the recent rise of Linsanity has reminded us. (Jeremy Lin may be the most important story of the Fantasy NBA season if he keeps this up.)
Here’s 5 in the backcourt and 5 in the frontcourt that would be worth considering as we head into the 8th week of the season:
5 Frontcourt Adds to think about
1. Channing Frye-Phx: Frye’s Suns play 5 times this coming week and the lanky former-Wildcat is available in 24% of leagues. He’s rediscovered his shooting stroke after struggling throughout the early part of the season. He’s had double digits in his last 4 games with 19, 14, 21, and 17. He’s hit at least 2 three’s in each of those games and is playing a good chunk of time. He’s a rare Center in that he thrives on the 3-ball but also can grab some boards averaging 5.6 in his last 5 games. He’s averaging an assist and a block a game and his return to form, plus the extra game, makes him a great addition for the coming week.
2. Tristan Thompson-Cle: Anderson Varejao is expected to miss at least a couple weeks with a fractured wrist. Thompson is a little undersized to play center all the time, but the Cavs will likely go small and use Thompson more than they were at the middle of a small lineup. The #4 pick in last year’s draft is owned in less than 2 percent of leagues but looks like he’ll be able to contribute blocks and boards even when struggling to score. He should be around a double-double with a couple blocks if he plays 25-30 minutes. The Cavs have just 3 games, but he’s still the #2 option for big men numbers this week and more long-term if Varejao missed more significant time.
3. Corey Maggette-Cha: Maggette returned to a Bobcats team desperate for offense. In his second game back from his hamstring injury, he scored 12 points and grabbed 6 boards in 25 minutes last night. On this team, he’ll get plenty of opportunities to score and he’ll take lots of shots. He won’t help in percentages most likely, but in points, 3′s, and even rebounds, he can contribute. He’s available in over 75% of leagues. Charlotte plays 4 games this week; Monday hosting Philly, Wednesday traveling to Minnesota, Friday at Toronto, and finishing next Sunday at Indiana.
4. Jason Thompson-Sac: Thompson has emerged alongside DeMarcus Cousins in the Kings frontcourt and prior to last night’s game had 4 double-doubles in 6 games. He’s got a nice schedule this week and should be in line for boards and points without hurting your percentages since he doesn’t take a lot of shots. He’s available in 80% of leagues
5. Chase Budinger-Hou: Budinger way win the award for most adds/drops in most leagues. Like his scoring, his ownership has been streaky but he’s available right now in 86 percent of leagues. He’s averaged 13 points in his last 10 games and scored 19 or more 3 times during that stretch. He tends to be all or nothing as he also has 0 and 2 points in that same stretch. If you need 3′s and points Budinger is a good option if Frye’s off the table and you need a forward who can stroke it from deep.
5 Backcourt Adds to think about
1. Aaron Afflalo-Den: Despite the calls for Rudy Fernandez to step up, it’s been Afflalo who has battled through his foot injury and stepped up for the Nuggets in the absence of Danilo Gallinari. Denver has 4 games this week which figure to be their usual high-scoring run-n-gun fare. Afflalo’s available in 78 percent of leagues but in his last 3 games he’s been the go-to-guy on the wing for Denver. He’s scored 12, 26, and 23 while helping in other categories as well (mostly steals and rebounds). Afflalo should be in store for a big week as he and Ty Lawson look to carry Denver through a home game against Pheonix before hitting the road for Dallas, Memphis, and OKC.
2. Ramon Sessions-Cle: Sessions had a few nice games coming off the bench, but Sessions has been phenomenal with Kyrie Irving missing time due to a concussion. In his 3 starts he’s scored 24, 12, and 19 while adding 13, 16, and 8 assists. As long as Irving is out, Sessions is a must start. When Irving returns, his value will go back to its previous inconsistent, spotty level. The Cavs play just 3 games this week and the first one isn’t until Wednesday. It’s a high-risk high-reward play to start Sessions this week.
3. Randy Foye-LAC: The Clippers play 4 this week including home games against Washington and San Antonio. If Foye is going to contribute offensively, this week would seem to be a great chance for him. He’s filled the starting role of Chauncey Billups with mixed results to this point although he has reached double-digit scoring in all 3 games. He’s still owned in less than 15 percent of leagues and could see a big up-tick in his numbers if he can get it going in his increased PT.
4. Michael Redd-Phx: Redd is finding his roll for the Suns as a scorer off the bench. In his last 4 games prior to last night’s action he had played 19 minutes or more and scored double-digit points. He’s a shooter/slasher who won’t contribute much in other categories, but take advantage of Phoenix’s extra game (5 total) if you’re just after points this week. Redd’s only owned in 2.4 percent of leagues.
5. C.J. Watson-Chi: Derrick Rose’s availability is still in question and the Bulls have 3 home games this week. Watson has a role off the bench and in blowouts even when Rose is around so I still like him as a nice play this week for points and assists. In February he’s averting 11 points, 2 steals, and 5 assists per game and he’s owned in just 2.6 percent of leagues.