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NBA Waiver Wire: Working the Wire

Charlie Zegers

Charlie has covered the NBA, NFL and MLB for RotoWire for the better part of 15 years. His work has also appeared on,, the New York Times, ESPN, Fox Sports and Yahoo. He embraces his East Coast bias and is Smush Parker's last remaining fan.

Replacing Chris Paul

The no-brain waiver move of the week is to pick up Darren Collison, whose fantasy value is through the roof due to Chris Paul's injury. Problem is, grabbing Collison was such an obvious move that many fantasy owners snapped up the rookie on Sunday evening when Yahoo! Sports broke the news that Paul would need surgery. Paul owners who got the news on Monday morning - or even on the 11pm SportsCenter - were left out in the cold.

Of course, even players that were quick enough to snag Collison may be looking for additional help - you can't replace a player of Paul's caliber that easily. In many leagues, the best approach might be to replace CP3 by improving your team in a few different categories.

Paul is leading the league in assists per game; you're not finding 11.2 apg on the wire. But New York's Chris Duhon and his 6.3 APG are available in around 70 percent of ESPN leagues. Of course, the reason he's available is that he's been playing very poorly for the last several weeks - he shot under 32 percent from the field in January. Hey - if he didn't have flaws, he wouldn't be available on the wire in early February.

It's also worth looking to see if an owner in your league has given up on someone like Philly's Lou Williams or Washington's Randy Foye, two starting-quality guards that have lost playing time in recent weeks (to Jrue Holiday and Earl Boykins, respectively.)

Paul is also among the league leaders in steals at 2.3 per game. You can replace some of those thefts with someone like Ronnie Brewer (1.7 spg, 49% owned) or Courtney Lee (1.6 spg, 11% owned).

And let's not forget, Paul averages over 20 points per game. To replace the scoring, you might want to take a look at guys like Corey Brewer (29.4% owned, just under 17 ppg in the last two weeks) or Paul's teammate Marcus Thornton (9% owned, scoring over 16 ppg in the same span).

The Most Added:

The most popular adds in ESPN leagues this week:

The Most Dropped:

Picks for the Week

The first set of picks is for players in standard leagues - guys who will typically 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. The third batch of players will be guys I've mentioned in previous columns that still seem to be available in a lot of leagues and worth a look.

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

Standard Leagues

Grant Hill (35.4% owned) - His latest heel injury seems to be a thing of the past, and with Leandro Barbosa sidelined, Hill could get more shots.

Peja Stojakovic (20.2% owned) - Peja has been a fringe player in fantasy this year, but could be asked to produce more while Chris Paul is on the shelf.

Roy Hibbert (25.1% owned) - Hibbert hasn't been getting as much run of late, with coach Jim O'Brien preferring a smaller starting five that uses Troy Murphy in the middle. But Murphy's name has come up in a lot of trade rumors.

Deep Leagues

George Hill (8.3% owned) - Hill is the latest player to get a shot at San Antonio's starting off-guard spot, and unlike Roger Mason, is likely to retain a prominent role and 30-plus minutes per game even when Tony Parker is healthy.

Tony Allen (0.7% owned) - Paul Pierce's foot injury isn't believed to be serious, but the Celtics can afford to be cautious -- Allen should get some additional opportunities in the short term.

Nicolas Batum (1.1% owned) - Batum has played very well in limited minutes since his return, scoring 12 or more in three of four games and drawing the occasional Scottie Pippen comparison with his energy and defense. His fantasy stock will continue to rise with his minutes.

A Second Look

Article first appeared on 2/3/10
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