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 Bulls’ D.J. Augustin and the Bucks’ Luke Ridnour, 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 19th’s “All Wired Up”!
D.J. Augustin, PG, Chicago Bulls (20.4 percent owned)
19 points (7/10 FG, 3/3 FG), 2 threes, 4 rebounds, 8 assists, 3 steals, 0 blocks, 2 turnovers
Augustin was the source of much ridicule earlier this season when he was summarily cut from the Toronto Raptors. His number were pedestrian to say the least, averaging only 2.1 points and one assist per game. When the Bulls signed Augustin following the injury to Derrick Rose, it’s fair to say that not much was expected of him. The Bulls had a veteran manning the point in Kirk Hinrich and a young, former first-round pick backing him up in Marquis Teague. How times have changed!
With Teague now in Brooklyn following Saturday’s trade for Tornike Shengelia, Augustin and Hinrich are the Bulls only remaining point guards and Augustin is proving to be a legitimate fantasy asset. In the past two weeks Augustin is averaging 14.3 points, including 2.1 three-pointers and 6.9 assists per contest in 28 minutes of court time. Those stats are good enough for the 29th-best performance over that time frame according to Basketball Monster.com. I don’t see much happening in Chicago to change his value, with the exception of a Kirk Hinrich trade, which would only enhance his worth. There’s no downside to owning Augustin at this stage and I’d be making sure he isn’t still languishing on my league’s waiver wire.
Deep League Diamond
Luke Ridnour, PG, Milwaukee Bucks (3.2 percent owned):
14 points (5/8 FG, 0/0 FT), 4 threes, 1 rebound, 5 assists, 0 steals, 0 blocks, 3 turnovers
By no means do I endorse what coach Larry Drew is doing with his rotation in Milwaukee. Starting Ridnour in seven of the past nine games can’t be ideal, but for fantasy purposes — and that’s why we are here — Ridnour is giving us results. He is ranked within the top 100 players in nine category leagues over the past two weeks, averaging over 31 minutes a game, while scoring 10.7 points and dishing out 6.2 assists. He is also hitting 2.2 three pointers in those games, including two games where he hit four from beyond the arc.
Ridnour has never been the most durable player, having already missed five games this year through injury, but in leagues as shallow as 12 teams, he can absolutely be a boost to your squad.