Each morning, I’ll scour the previous night’s NBA games like a crazy person with a metal detector at the beach. I’ll be looking for players like the Celtics’ Avery Bradley and the Jazz’s Alec Burks, who may be just sitting there on your fantasy basketball league’s waiver wire waiting to be turned into fantasy gold.
As a brief explanation, I’ll suggest two guys who can help out — one of whom is owned in up to 75 percent of ESPN leagues — and a second, deeper cut, who is owned in less than 20 percent of ESPN leagues. Without further ado, here’s January 14th’s “All Wired Up”!
Avery Bradley, PG/SG, Boston Celtics (64.6 percent owned)
24 points (11/21 FG, 0/0 FT), 2 threes, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals, 1 block, 1 turnover
I can’t for the life of me work out why Bradley is only owned in 64 percent of leagues. He’s locked into starter’s minutes — playing 31 minutes a game this season – and is the 87th-ranked player over the past month, according to Basketball Monster.com.
His main value lies in his scoring, but one of the best parts of his game is that he doesn’t hurt you in any area, providing little bits of fantasy goodness across most of the box score. When Rajon Rondo returns, he’ll either remain starting alongside him or shift to the sixth man role, but will still get the same workload that he is currently getting. It’s not always easy to grab points off the wire, especially a guy averaging 17.1 points per contest over the past month. The fact that he is available in so many leagues is unforgivable. Go and grab him now!
Deep League Diamond
Alec Burks, PG/SG, Utah Jazz (13.6 percent owned):
34 points (13/19 FG, 8/8 FT), 0 threes, 3 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal, 0 blocks, 1 turnover
With Gordon Hayward sitting out with his hip flexor injury, Burks got the start and absolutely went off. He’s been decent in the past four weeks, putting up 12.6 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.8 assists since December 17. If Hayward’s injury persists, Burks will continue to start and be a must-own guy in all leagues.
For deeper leagues, he is a great option because of his propensity to have nights like this. The Jazz may be down and out this year, but their core of young players is definitely exciting for the future.