NBA Waiver Wire: Pickups and FAAB for Week 6

NBA Waiver Wire: Pickups and FAAB for Week 6

This article is part of our NBA Waiver Wire series.

DeMar DeRozan tore his left adductor longus tendon and is out indefinitely. He wants to return in four weeks but surgery could double that timeline. I hope you enjoy reading about the first place Toronto Raptors because they have plenty of mouths to feed, ready to replace DeRozan's team-leading 19.4 points per game and team-high 28.7 percent usage rate. Louis Williams was already covered in last week's Waiver Wire report, so we'll shift focus on the others, Lost-style.

Point Guard

Greivis Vasquez, TOR: (deep leagues); FAAB: $2
I'd add Louis Williams before reaching for Vasquez, but to quote Austin Powers, "Well, I want a toilet made out of solid gold, but it's just not in the cards now is it?" Vazquez is two seasons removed from averaging 9.0 assists per game with the New Orleans Hornets, but as long as Kyle Lowry doesn't succumb to injury, Vasquez remains a watch list candidate in most cases. His three-point shot can be sporadic, and the rest of his line doesn't provide enough optimism to go grabbing him in shallower leagues. He's money from mid-range, in the event you play in such fantasy leagues.

Mo Williams, MIN: (standard leagues); FAAB: $20
Williams was suggested three weeks ago, yet he's still widely available in 62 percent of Yahoo! leagues and 76 percent of ESPN leagues. It's been three weeks since Ricky Rubio's injury and a report Friday indicated his left foot still has black and blue spots. The Spaniard is still

DeMar DeRozan tore his left adductor longus tendon and is out indefinitely. He wants to return in four weeks but surgery could double that timeline. I hope you enjoy reading about the first place Toronto Raptors because they have plenty of mouths to feed, ready to replace DeRozan's team-leading 19.4 points per game and team-high 28.7 percent usage rate. Louis Williams was already covered in last week's Waiver Wire report, so we'll shift focus on the others, Lost-style.

Point Guard

Greivis Vasquez, TOR: (deep leagues); FAAB: $2
I'd add Louis Williams before reaching for Vasquez, but to quote Austin Powers, "Well, I want a toilet made out of solid gold, but it's just not in the cards now is it?" Vazquez is two seasons removed from averaging 9.0 assists per game with the New Orleans Hornets, but as long as Kyle Lowry doesn't succumb to injury, Vasquez remains a watch list candidate in most cases. His three-point shot can be sporadic, and the rest of his line doesn't provide enough optimism to go grabbing him in shallower leagues. He's money from mid-range, in the event you play in such fantasy leagues.

Mo Williams, MIN: (standard leagues); FAAB: $20
Williams was suggested three weeks ago, yet he's still widely available in 62 percent of Yahoo! leagues and 76 percent of ESPN leagues. It's been three weeks since Ricky Rubio's injury and a report Friday indicated his left foot still has black and blue spots. The Spaniard is still wearing a walking boot, down to one crutch, hoping he can return by Christmas. If Rubio misses the entire month, not out of the question, Williams will have 15 games to provide quality scoring and assist numbers. My only concern with Williams is the Flip Saunders quote about limiting him 25-30 minutes per game, a rule he's disobeyed once. The horrible team defense could also limit Williams' shine, allowing Saunders to run Zach LaVine in second half garbage time.

Alexey Shved, PHI: (watch list); FAAB: $0
Tony Wroten will be reevaluated December 5th for a knee injury. A recent MRI confirmed no structural damage, a blessing after he didn't look like his normal self at the end of the Nets games. Enter Alexey Shved, the only other guard on the team. In 26 minutes off the bench, Shved provided 18 points, five assists, four rebounds, two steals, and two three-pointers, or, you know, Wroten's season averages. Also, I watched Michael Carter-Williams leave last night with a foot issue at the end of the Sixers-Mavericks game, and yes, I watched most of the game. It may not mean much, be MCW sat out the final 40 seconds after recording a triple-double. I wouldn't use scaremongering to inflate Shved's ownership percentages, but keep a close eye on him should Carter-Williams or Wroten turn up pessimistic reports.

Other to consider: Ray McCallum only because Ramon Sessions has been terrible, unable to provide rudimentary ball handling or consistent offense. Zach LaVine will continue to challenge Mo Williams for the starting point guard role.

Shooting Guard

Rodney Stuckey, IND: (watch list and deeper leagues); FAAB: $4
If I'm fired for this suggestion, it was my pleasure providing two whole weeks of advice. However, when a player blatantly gets his at the expense of the rest of the team, you take notice. In the last six games since returning from his wrist injury, Stuckey is averaging 15.3 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 2.5 assists on 41 percent shooting. He can be useful while Roy Hibbert's ankle keep him benched, but David West's emergence this weekend limited Stuckey to nine points in 23 minutes last night. The C.J.s, Watson and Miles, are chipping away at Stuckey's short-term utility as well, but with the news of George Hill's quad tear, all the Pacers' guards are on the clock for at least the next two weeks.

Dion Waiters, CLE: (watch list); FAAB: $0
We're scraping the bottom of the barrel when it comes to shooting guards. It's a weak position and all the good ones should be owned. Even so, most of them are jump shooters that don't provide enough outside of points and threes to strongly consider. Dion Waiters is averaging 1.6 steals per game since moving to the bench in favor of Shawn Marion. Even though his minutes dropped from 30.5 to 22.4 per game, he's still shooting as often, scoring more, and providing 2.2 assists in the second unit. The three-point shot isn't falling, but should he turn that around, you're hoping the Cavaliers trade him to a place where he can spread his wings.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, DET: (short-term add); FAAB: $4
Caldwell-Pope is my weekly schedule recommendation based on the Pistons' upcoming opponents. They'll face the Lakers and Sixers at home, mixed with games against the Celtics and Thunder. The schedule may read four games, but my mind presumes five games worth of production. Caldwell-Pope has hit seven three-pointers in his last two games, contributing nothing else outside of steals for much of the season. Don't get too attached to him if and when he goes off this week. Starting next Sunday, the Pistons play six consecutive games against the Western Conference.

Others to consider: Avery Bradley and the Celtics play four games this week, squaring off against the Lakers on Friday. Terrence Ross might pick up the slack in Toronto, but he's not a scorer by nature, relying on others to provide him open looks.

Small Forward

James Johnson, TOR: (watch list and deeper leagues); FAAB: $5
James Johnson could enter the starting lineup if coach Dwane Casey opts to keep Louis Williams on the bench in his customary scoring role. You only need to look at last season's production in 18 minutes per game to project what he could provide in a more beefed up role during DeRozan's absence. With the Grizzlies, Johnson provided 1.1 blocks and 0.8 steals in limited capacity. He's registering similar minutes and output on a per game basis this season, contacting every category. Don't forget, he suffered an ankle injury that cost him three games and played through an illness this past week. I like his categorical diversification, even if Casey limits him to 20 minutes per game.

K.J. McDaniels, PHI: (short-term add with long-term potential); FAAB: $15
As Tony Wroten and his top-10 usage rate fester on the sideline for an undetermined amount of time, McDaniels had the game of his career last night. In 32 minutes off the bench, McDaniels provided 21 points, 13 rebounds, two blocks, one assist, one steal, and two three-pointers. Nine of his 13 rebounds were corralled on the offensive glass, not surprising for an athletic freak on a team shooting a league-low 41.3 percent from the field. The minutes will come, especially since he's leading the team in three-point shooting at 40.4 percent on three attempts per game. He and Nerlens Noel lead this team with 1.3 blocks per game, but McDaniels has done it in 24 minutes per game. It's best to practice patience if you own McDaniels, simply because he's backing up Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and Hollis Thompson.

Evan Turner, BOS: (watch list); FAAB: $0
Oh, boy. If Rodney Stuckey had me on the hot seat, Evan Turner could sink my battle ship. Hear me out. Marcus Smart is still recovering from an ankle injury. Since Smart left the rotation, Turner is averaging 9.6 points, 4.0 assists, and 3.9 rebounds in 22.0 minutes per game, not too distant from his season averages. Don't ask me about the rest of his line because it's almost nonexistent. Smart could return as soon as today, rendering this conversation moot. The Celtics play four games this week, including one against the Lakers on Friday. You don't have to commit to Turner in the way coach Bradley Stevens has, just be mindful he still exists and is putting up decent numbers in the event Rajon Rondo or Jeff Green are ultimately traded.

Others to consider: DeMarre Carroll should be owned over the players I mentioned. He's owned in 59 percent of Yahoo! leagues and 35.6 percent of ESPN leagues. Quincy Pondexter is averaging 25.5 minutes per game over his last five games, fifth most on the Grizzlies during that stretch. Most of those minutes have been blowout aided, so toss him on your watch list and I'll cover him more next time.

Power Forward

Amir Johnson, TOR: (standard leagues); FAAB: $4
He's owned in 66 percent of Yahoo! leagues and only 33.5 percent of ESPN leagues. While the Raptors' guards and forwards will compete for DeMar DeRozan's minutes, Johnson will procure more of his touches. With DeRozan off the court last season, Johnson's usage rate increased four percent and his scoring increased by eight points per 100 possessions. After last season's Rudy Gay trade, Johnson had a 14-game stretch where he averaged 13.9 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks while shooting 62 percent from the field. It's a helpful reminder of the offensive force he can be when thrust into such a demanding role.

Tristan Thompson, CLE: (deeper leagues); FAAB: $0
With the absence of Anderson Varejao (ribs) last night, Thompson provided his usual low-end double-double: 13 points and 11 rebounds in 39 minutes. It's not a great upcoming week, since the Cavaliers plays three games and Varejao isn't expected to miss much time. Thompson serves a greater purpose in leagues that use double-doubles and/or offensive rebounds as categories, solely because his assists, blocks, and steals will average out to less than two a game. We'll revisit this topic when Varejao misses extended time.

Patrick Patterson, TOR: (watch list); FAAB: $0
If you missed out on Amir Johnson and enjoy adding players Kyle McKeown despises, Patrick Patterson is widely available. Coach Dwane Casey likes the cut of his jib, playing him 7.3 fourth quarter minutes, most among all Raptor power forwards and centers. Jonas Valanciunas sits at 4.2 fourth quarter minutes per game, last among all Raptors. Other than minutes, Patterson will provide a handful of rebounds and the occasional three-pointer. He's one tier below flier because he'll likely never receive the minutes necessary to demand ownership in standard leagues, but with the uncertainty in Toronto and Tyler Hansbrough (shoulder) still sidelined, Patterson could carve out a decent role in the upcoming weeks. Just remember, fantasy championships haven't been won on the back of Patterson, affording you peace of mind when the time comes to drop him.

Other to consider: Amar'e Stoudemire should take over the scoring load while Carmelo Anthony (back) sits, but his frail body limits his minutes and the only other category he'll contribute positively in is rebounds.

Center

Larry Sanders, MIL: (standard ESPN head-to-head leagues); FAAB: $11
Yes, Sanders was drafted in most, if not all, leagues. However, it shouldn't have come to this. With a sparse position like center, many of the other options I sifted through just didn't excite me in the same manner. The enigmatic Sanders' is owned in 47.3 percent of ESPN leagues. Granted, he's playing close to 20 minutes per game, but the 1.8 blocks and 1.1 steals per game are exceeded only by Anthony Davis. I can't promise you he won't get suspended for a drug related incident in the future, but the Bucks' four-game week makes him an intriguing short-term add in shallow leagues with long-term potential.

Henry Sims, PHI: (watch list and deeper leagues); FAAB: $4
His production vacillates from 10-team league bench guy to 14-team starter on a nightly basis. If you play in 12-team standard weekly leagues with two centers, Sims is someone you can throw into your lineup, ignoring those peaks and valleys from game-to-game. He's not your typical center, opting for mid-range jumpers, proficiently passing the ball even if the assist numbers don't back up that claim, and actually knocking down his free throws with regularity. Also, as Brandon Davies remembers he's Brandon Davies, Sims' minutes could normalize.

Others to consider: Rudy Gobert is averaging 1.6 blocks per game in less than 16 minutes per game. Bismack Biyombo is averaging 2.0 blocks and 5.8 rebounds in 14.8 minutes per game over his last six games. They're both one-category studs. The Jazz play three games this week and the Bobcats play two games, so watch list them if you haven't already.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
J.J. Calle
J.J. Calle is a fantasy basketball prognosticator with mesmerizing hair who also aggregates obscure stats. Allegiances reside with the New York Knicks, New York Mets, Houston Texans, Penn State Nittany Lions, St. John's Red Storm, and Gael Monfils.
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