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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.

Making Adjustments

A week into the season, and fantasy owners are already starting to make adjustments. Some are coping with injuries, some with unforeseen shifts in playing time… and some just botched their draft. (Hey, happens to the best of us. I don't even want to talk about my fantasy football team right now.)

Here's a look at some of the recent activity in my ESPN League:

Yi Jianlian dropped, replaced by Channing Frye - Wrote about Frye last week - his mid-range game is a perfect fit for the Suns. Right now, he ranks as the top center in the game.

Andrew Bogut dropped, replaced by Larry Hughes - Same team that picked up Frye, which gave him a surplus at center. More on Hughes in this week's picks, below…

Jason Thompson dropped, replaced by Boris Diaw - Thompson is off to a very slow start, averaging just 8.3 points through four games. That 20-20 in the preseason seems like a very long time ago right now.

Jermaine O'Neal dropped, replaced by Joakim Noah - O'Neal is hurt already, though it's not his balky knees this time. He's actually scored 20-plus in two of Miami's three games to date. But Noah is a nice add and off to a strong start.

Richard Jefferson dropped, replaced by Brandon Jennings - remember, this league doesn't have a turnover stat, which makes Jennings a lot more valuable (especially with Michael Redd on the shelf for a week or so.)

Most Added Players

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:

Ramon Sessions (81.4% owned, down 9.4% in the last week) - Sessions was dropped in many leagues when he was used exclusively as a backup to Jonny Flynn in Minnesota's opener. Since then, Sessions has been playing more minutes than Flynn and running the team in crunch time.

Mareese Speights (28.8% owned) - He's scored 20 or more in two of Philly's three games, despite coming off the bench. But beware - in the other game, he played just 13 minutes and had more fouls (5) than points (4).

Larry Hughes (15.9% owned) - Hughes has put up two straight excellent games for the Knicks and may be Mike D'Antoni's starter at the two for the immediate future. A particularly good buy while Nate Robinson is sidelined by a sprained ankle.

Chris Douglas-Roberts (5.5% owned) - CDR has averaged over 20 points, five boards, two assists and a steal in the Nets' last two games.

Deep Leagues:

Chase Budinger (0.4% owned) - Houston's second-round selection looks like a keeper, after a 17-point outburst (including two threes) in Monday's game. Rotowire editor Chris Liss is calling Budinger a sleeper Rookie of the Year candidate.

Taj Gibson (0.4% owned) - He'll get a start or two while Tyrus Thomas is sidelined with the flu.

Rafer Alston (6.5% owned) - Another injury replacement, Skip-to-my-Lou will start while Devin Harris is on the mend.

Jonas Jerebko (0.1% owned) - Worth a look, in case Tayshaun Prince's back injury turns out to be more serious than initially anticipated.

Terrence Williams (6.9% owned) - Could get more playing time with Yi Jianlian out.

Shelden Williams (0.5% owned) - Williams becomes a more important player in Boston's rotation with Glenn Davis unavailable. He posted a double-double against the Bulls on Friday, and came up one rebound short of a second against the Bobcats on the 28th.

A Second Look:

Andray Blatche (35.2% owned) - Watch the updates on Antawn Jamison, though…

Chris Duhon (30.2% owned) - will pick up extra minutes with Nate Robinson out.

Kenyon Martin (26.9%)

Ryan Gomes (6.7%)

Article first appeared on 11/4/09