Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 13
Context is everything. Without it, nothing exists. What if I were to say to the person next to me, “Look at that man over there. He’s tall.” I’m 6′ 0″ tall, so if said person was an Oompa Loompa, then I’m fairly certain I’d receive positive acknowledgment. If said person was Boban, then not so much. The same concept applies to the waiver wire for fantasy basketball. Not every player will be the right fit for every team. There are league dynamic and roster construction differences that must be factored into any decision. Do what’s best for your team.
As always, I utilize the Yahoo database and highlight players that are owned in less than 50% of leagues.
Josh Jackson (SG/SF – PHX) – 37% owned
Let me get this out of the way. I think Josh Jackson sucks. He jacks up some horrific looking shots and I question his awareness. With that said, he’s still only 21 years old and possesses tantalizing physical abilities. All about context, right? Everyone in the NBA is amazing, but there are tiers within that bubble. The worst player in the NBA would absolutely destroy anyone else. With that out of the way, fantasy basketball is mostly about opportunity, and over the last three games, Jackson has received it. He’s played 30, 31, and 32 minutes over the past three games because Devin Booker has been out due to a back injury. Over that span, he’s averaged 17.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, 0.3 blocks, and 12.3 field goal attempts. He’s shot 56% from the field, 50% from downtown, and 83% from the free throw line. Awareness schmareness. Booker should be back soon, which would negatively affect Jackson, but back injuries are tricky. Plus, the Suns are stacked with wing players, but what if T. J. Warren gets traded? Not saying it’s likely, but there are some paths for Jackson to continue getting significant run. And if he keeps playing like he’s playing, there’s tremendous upside.
Ian Mahinmi (C – WAS) – 6% owned
Mahinmi is a volatile fantasy asset because you never know what Scott Brooks will do with his rotations. Take the last eight games for example. Mahnimi has played 28, 18, 0, 0, 14, 25, 17, and 25 minutes. There’s risk, but there’s also some reason to think he could continue getting a consistent 22-24 minutes of run going forward. First, Markieff Morris, who was playing a ton of small ball center, is out until at least the All-Star break. Dwight Howard had spinal surgery. Spinal surgery people!!! Thomas Bryant has been good, but he can’t play 48 minutes a game. So, what can you expect from Mahinmi? Rebounds, a handful of assists, steals, and blocks. The field goal percentage will be excellent, but the free throw shooting is terrible, like most big men. For perspective, over the past four games, he’s been a top 50 player.
Alec Burks (PG/SG – CLE) – 12% owned
Burks has been a top 70 player over the past seven games. He’s starting and averaging over 30 minutes per game. That in of itself should be a little enticing. As for the actual production, Burks has been providing 14.9 points, 1.9 three-pointers, 3.9 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 0.7 steals, and 0.3 blocks. The defensive stats are lacking, but he’s been shooting 52% from the field and 90% from the free throw line on 3 attempts per game. Now, he’s normally a 40% shooter from the field, so some regression can be expected, but he’s getting the opportunity and providing a little something-something across the board.
Gerald Green (SG/SF – HOU) – 11% owned
We all know the Rockets are banged up with the Chris Paul and Eric Gordon injuries. As a result, James Harden has been on a tear with a usage rate approaching 50%. The main, and really only, guy off the bench has been Green. He’s averaging over 30 minutes per game and leading the second unit, producing 16.5 points, 3.3 three-pointers, and 3.3 rebounds over the past four games. He won’t contribute much in the peripheral categories, but if you need three-pointers, you won’t find a better source for free, as he’s averaging over 11 attempts per game.
De’Anthony Melton (PG/SG – PHX) – 8% owned
Melton has been starting since early December, but the minutes were all over the map. Since Booker went down, he’s played 25, 31, and 26 minutes. I referenced earlier that back injuries are scary, and there’s no reason for the Suns to rush back their franchise player back, so Melton could continue seeing consistent run. You’re not picking up Melton for flash and scoring, though, as he’s a low usage player. Melton is all about the D stats, as he’s averaged 2 steals and 1.3 blocks since Booker went down. He will also grab some rebounds (3.5) and dish out some assists (5). That’s been good for top 75 production.
Bryn Forbes (PG – SA) – 34% owned
Over the past seven games, Forbes has been a top 100 player. He’s averaged 32.8 minutes, 13.4 points, 3 three-pointers, 2.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 0.9 steals. He won’t contribute in blocks, but the field goal percentage is decent at 44% and the turnover number is a paltry 0.7. Not a sexy asset, but so solid. So money. What else would you expect from Forbes?