With nine games throughout the day yesterday, the NBA was a big part of a busy sports Saturday. There were some blowouts and upsets across the country, but the most surprising result was in Cleveland where the Cavs took down the perviously red-hot Oklahoma City Thunder.
Yesterday morning, we gave you our weekly top ten waiver wire pickups (click here for full post). There were also some players who stepped up and stood out of the box score making them options to look at acquiring as you fine-tune your fantasy hoops roster for the coming week.
Taj Gibson-Chicago Bulls
Gibson had a monster game for the short-handed Bulls as he was one of four starters with over 40 minutes. Taj finished with 19 points and 19 rebounds along with three blocks, two assists, and a steal. He’s been in double-digits with at least nine rebounds and two blocks the lats three games while starting for the injured Carlos Boozer. Gibson has always put up numbers when he gets the time, but his value may dive with Boozer coming back soon. Gibson is available in 93% of ESPN leagues and is worth a play in any game he starts.
Moe Harkless-Orlando Magic
With the Magic dealing with injuries, Harkless has played over 30 minutes in each of his last four games. He’s still virtually unowned, but had a big night last night finishing with 19 points, 14 rebounds, four steals, a block, and an assist. Harkless has big-time potential and should get plenty of run down the stretch. His play may be inconsistent at times, but he’s an asset in steals, rebounds, and points making him a solid pickup for the coming week.
Marreese Speights-Cleveland Cavaliers
Speights was one of the players I gave you yesterday in my top ten pickups (full post here). If you acted quickly you got another nice game last night with 21 points, 10 rebounds, three assists, and a block. Speights has scored in double-digits in every game he’s played for Cleveland averaging 15.4 points and 6.8 rebounds in his five games with Cleveland. Speights is still owned in just 3.6% of ESPN leagues and makes a great pickup if you need boards and big-man production for the coming week.
Jimmy Butler-Chicago Bulls
Butler continues to impress in his increased role in Chicago. Last night, he had his second double-double of the season with 16 points and 10 rebounds to go with three steals and two assists. He continues to be a consistent contributor although he won’t play 46 minutes every night like he did yesterday. Butler is still available in over 75% of leagues, but that won’t last long.
Michael Beasley-Phoenix Suns
The highs of Beasley’s last few games make him a very attractive option. He’s scored 24 points or more in three of his last five games. The problem with Beasley is his remarkable inconsistency and lack of peripheral production. He’s averaged just over five rebounds and an assist over his last ten games and doesn’t give you much when he’s not scoring (although he did have five steals against the Lakers). He wasn’t on Friday night hitting just two of his 13 shots and finishing with only four points. He’s volatile, but can give you scoring if that’s what you need from your waiver wire acquisition.
Harrison Barnes-Golden State Warriors
The rookie from North Carolina is starting to emerge as another option on a well-balanced Warriors team. He scored 21 points last night good enough for second on the team behind Steph Curry. Barnes added 21 points, eight rebounds, and an assist in one of his best games to date. He has played 30+ minutes in his last three games and has double-digit points in each of those games. He’s shown signs of fantasy usefulness but is inconsistent and definitely not the leading option on his team. He’s one to monitor going forward as his ownership still sits at just 14%.
Randy Foye-Utah Jazz
Foye was another player featured yesterday who didn’t disappoint in last night’s game in Portland. He hit six three-pointers on his way to 23 points along with three assists and two steals. Foye is a great pickup for the coming week with a favorable schedule and his long-range shot falling for Utah. Foye is still surprisingly available in over 75% of leagues.
Steve Novak-New York Knicks
Although his production can be spotty, if you need a three-point boost Novak can be a solid option. He knocked down five treys last night to score 15 in the Knicks demolition of Sacramento. He doesn’t provide much besides three’s and is owned in just 9.2% of leagues.
Jeffery Taylor-Charlotte Bobcats
Taylor had 15 points last night to go with three rebounds, three assists, a block, and a steal. He may see a slight bump in playing time after the injury that forced Michael Kidd-Gilchrist out of the game. Taylor and MKG collided while going for a rebound causing a concussion for the first-round pick. Taylor could benefit from extra minutes, but wait and see how it plays out and how serious MKG’s injury is. Taylor is virtually unowned in fantasy leagues at this point.