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NBA Waiver Wire: Wilson Chandler Returns

Charlie Zegers

Charlie Zegers

Charlie Zegers writes about fantasy sports for RotoWire.

Before reading this column, go put in a claim for Wilson Chandler, who is just 36 percent owned in Yahoo! leagues and 35.3 percent in ESPN/NBA.com leagues as I write.

All set? Good.

Chandler signed a five-year deal with the Nuggets last week, and made his NBA season debut on Monday. He played 28 minutes off the bench, scoring 13 points with four boards, two assists, two steals and a block. Under ordinary circumstances, minutes might be a concern... but with Danilo Gallinari suffering yet another injury in the game (fractured left thumb) Chandler may play a larger-than-anticipated role right away out of simple necessity.

Treat his sudden availability the way an AL-only fantasy baseball owned would a big-time National League player getting traded to the American League at mid-season. Players of Chandler's caliber don't usually appear on the wire during the year - don't hesitate to take advantage of a unique situation.

The New Look Knicks

The Knicks are 3-0 since Mike Woodson took over for Mike D'Antoni, and have an opportunity to pad that winning streak with some winnable games coming up; three of their next four opponents are in last place in their respective divisions (Toronto twice and Detroit).

The team's intensity - particularly on the defensive end - seems to be much better since the change, a fact that doesn't speak well to the professionalism of, say, one Carmelo Anthony.

But some of the other changes we anticipated from Woodson have yet to materialize. Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire are the primary offensive weapons, but to this point the team hasn't abandoned ball movement for the isolation-based sets we saw from Woodson's Atlanta teams. And Woodson continues to make use of the Knicks' depth. Iman Shumpert, Steve Novak, Jared Jeffries and J.R. Smith are playing significant minutes. As such, even if Anthony and Stoudemire are at the top of their games, they may not get enough playing time to post top ten or twenty fantasy numbers.

Then there's Jeremy Lin. Yes, Lin probably won't be producing the numbers he put up at the height of "Lin-sanity" - when Anthony wasn't playing and he was the primary focus of the offense. But did anyone really think the Knicks were going to abandon the Anthony/Stoudemire frontcourt in favor of an offense centered on an undrafted free agent? But fears that Lin would be replaced in the starting lineup by Baron Davis seemed premature even before Davis tweaked his hamstring.

Look for Lin to continue running with the starters for the foreseeable future, and to generate a very nice combination of points and assists with better-than-expected rebound and steal numbers. Davis will remain as one of the keys to what may become one of the league's most formidable second units. And in that role, he should generate numbers that will make him worth owning in most formats.

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.

I'll give percent owned stats for both Yahoo! and ESPN/NBA.com leagues with each pick - first number is Yahoo, ESPN/NBA is second. If you play some other league/format, let me know in the comments and I'll do what I can to accommodate.

Standard Leagues

Goran Dragic (56%/65.2%) - The Rockets waived Derek Fisher, which leaves the point guard job to Dragic exclusively until Kyle Lowry returns.

Isaiah Thomas (45%/58.2%) - The rookie guard the Kings didn't trade up to get (Sorry, Jimmer) has settled in to a very significant role in Sacramento's offense and is regularly scoring 12-15 points. Word of warning, though - his assist numbers have tailed off significantly.

Jerryd Bayless (43%/63.4%) - Jose Calderon should return to the Raptors' lineup for Tuesday's game against the Knicks - but Bayless should continue to have an increased role now that Leandro Barbosa is an Indiana Pacer.

Mike Dunleavy Jr. (40%/70.6%) - Bucks' wing has been hot of late, scoring in double figures in five straight games and twenty-plus in three of the five.

Alonzo Gee (39%/62.6%) - Developing into a very nice complement to Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson on both ends of the floor; Cavs coach Byron Scott is already campaigning for Gee to get a contract extension.

Kenneth Faried (35%/34.7%) - Trade of Nene removes any doubt that Faried will be Denver's regular power forward.

Deep Leagues

Kirk Hinrich (7%/1.4%) - The Hawks have been using a three-guard lineup of late, with Hinrich replacing Marvin Williams in the default starting five.

Gerald Green (7%/4.6%) - The Nets have signed Green for the remainder of the season. His usage may dip once Gerald Wallace is acclimated to their system, but you should be able to count on him getting a steady 20-25 minutes off the bench for the rest of the year.

Quentin Richardson (1%/0%) - Richardson will reportedly have a much larger role in Stan Van Gundy's rotation going forward, at least partially replacing the ineffective Hedo Turkoglu.

Follow Charlie on Twitter - @charliezegers

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