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Working the Wire: Don't Sit on These Players

Kyle McKeown

Kyle McKeown

Kyle McKeown is the Managing Editor of NBA Content for RotoWire.com. He hosts the Fantasy Basketball Podcast and writes about fantasy basketball once every blue moon. Kyle also serves as RotoWire's remote writer trainer and intern coordinator. He's the kind of person who dances first and asks questions later. kyle@rotowire.com

Rejoice, my friends. The NBA is back in full swing. Charlie is off galavanting around the globe searching for Black Beards lost gold or something, so I'm filling in for him this week. Rest assured, any mistakes and poor advice I give you this week, Charlie will fix with his usual spot-on analysis and prognosticating.

We've only had two nights of action to take in from the NBA, but there have already been some huge developments on the free agent wire which should be noticed.

My back and buttocks are still hurting from the five-game, 13-hour NBA couch-a-thon from Sunday, so I'm not going to sit here wasting time sharing my random pointless thoughts with you regarding the games. If you want to know how I feel about the games and fantasy as they happen, you can join me in a discussion on Twitter @rotowirekylenba. Most of my tweets revolve around my fascination with the fact that Mike Bibby looks like a developing fetus. If you've come to the same conclusion yourself, we should talk more.

Let's get into the guys you should be grabbing.

Picks for the Week

The first set of picks is for players in standard leagues - guys who may be available in your average 10 team/15 player roster league.

The second group is for owners in very deep leagues, and will be based more on speculation than actual numbers.

All "percent owned" stats are taken from Yahoo! Fantasy Basketball - your mileage may vary.

Standard Leagues

Andrew Bynum (91% owned) - Bynum has two more games to sit out for the suspension he earned in last season's playoffs when he put a shiver on J.J. Barea. As a result of his suspension, he's under-owned right now. If you're playing in one of the bizarro leagues that he isn't owned in, pick him up.

Jarrett Jack (63% owned) - Some of Jack's owners probably panicked when they saw he didn't play in the season opener, but there's no reason to. He was suspended for the first game due to a drunken driving incident. Jack is the woeful Hornets' starting point guard, and his only backup is General Greivis Vasquez (leader of the Separatists droid army), whom the team just obtained three days ago in a trade with Memphis. In 53 games as a starter for the Pacers in 2008-09, Jack averaged 15.4 points, 3.6 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 1.1 three-pointer, and 1.2 steals in 37 minutes. Those are numbers worth owning in virtually all standard leagues.

Derrick Favors (38% owned) - The writing was on the wall this training camp when coach Tyrone Corbin gushed about how good Favors looked coming in, and then Favors showed up off the bench in the team's first preseason game to post 25 points and 12 rebounds in 29 minutes. He's starting for the Jazz at power forward in their opener, and the 20-year-old big man is primed to have a breakout season. There's a good chance he could put solid enough value this season to make him worthy of being a fourth-round pick in next year's drafts. Don't sleep on this kid. If you wait for him to destroy the Lakers in the opener, it may be too late to grab him.

Deep Leagues

Mehmet Okur (23% owned) - I was tempted to put Okur in the group of standard league players, but his blasť performance in Monday's opener has me tempering my expectations slightly. There is no way in heck that Johan Petro remains the Nets' starting center for longer than three games. It just will not be tolerated. Decency must be observed, and there is nothing decent about Petro's game. Probably the nicest thing I can say about Petro is that he is like the Michael Jordan of centers when compared to DeSagana Diop. Okur was playing 30 minutes per game overseas during the lockout. He's healthy. The back and Achilles issues that limited him last season appear to no longer be an issue. With Brook Lopez (broken foot) out until probably the beginning of March, Okur should have an opportunity to play at least 30 minutes a night for the Nets. Through 73 games as the starting center for the Jazz in 2008-09, Okur posted 13.5 points, 7.1 rebounds, 1.1 three-pointers, and 1.1 blocks in 29 minutes per game. Those numbers play.

Omri Casspi (29% owned) - Casspi was not good in his debut with the Cavs on Monday. However, he has a firm grip on the starting small forward gig, and the Cavs lack scorers on their roster. As Kyrie Irving gets more comfortable running the offense, we should see the two players develop a chemistry that creates a lot of open looks for Casspi on the perimeter. It's probably fine to let him sit on the waivers until he actually has a good game, but once the switch is turned to on, Casspi should be a consistent source of points and three-pointers at a discount.

Carl Landry (29% owned) - Landry is the Hornets' starting power forward. People probably thought that Chris Kaman's presence would steal Landry's minutes, but coach Monty Williams is too rational of a guy to start to centers in frontcourt together. He wants a strong offensive player like Landry in there. Landry put 14 points and 7.0 rebounds in the opener, and that should be about what he puts up on a nightly basis if he continues to play over 30 minutes. There's no style to having him on your roster, but he's a consistent grinder for fantasy purposes.

Tiago Splitter (4% owned) Splitter is going to get a lot of the minutes left over from Antonio McDyess' retirement. He was given 33 minutes in the opener Monday and used those minutes to put up five points, eight rebounds, two steals, and two blocks. Splitter struggled to earn minutes last season, because he missed training camp with an injury. Coach Greg Popovich didn't want to just hand the 26-year-old Brazilian minutes. With a full season under his belt and the Spurs lacking size up front, Splitter could be in line for a significant role with the team. It's worth taking a flier on him for the week to see how he pans out.

No Leagues*

Just for fun, I want to list the guys I don't like this season. I don't have them on any of my teams. If you want to know why, or feel like telling me I am a dummy face, please broach the subject in the comments.

Jeff Teague, Ramon Sessions, Robin Lopez (freebie: bricks for feet, and he broke my heart last year), Channing Frye, Vince Carter, Rashard Lewis, Brandon Jennings, Jordan Crawford, Gerald Henderson, D.J. Augustin, Landry Fields, Chase Budinger, Tony Allen.

*Just to clarify what I mean by No Leagues, it doesn't mean I don't like those guys at certain values. Essentially, the main reason I don't have any of those guys on my teams is because their pre-draft ranks typically made them go at times that I had other players targeted. They all deserve to be owned in various league formats.

Follow Kyle on Twitter - @rotowirekylenba