Fantasy Hoops: Waiver Wired
Early each season it is often difficult for even the most ardent box score scavengers to stay on top of all the injury updates and position battles taking place throughout the league.
However, have no fear – HOOPSWORLD is here for you, looking to assist fantasy GMs hoping to snatch a solid contributor off the waiver wire. Today we’ll highlight a few players flying under the radar, but managing to post intriguing statistics. If one of your starters is sidelined, and you are attempting to patch the hole in your roster with a decent replacement, see if any of these guys are available…
E’Twaun Moore – Orlando Magic:
It’s true in every fantasy sport, and especially in basketball: Opportunity is often the key to success. Being in the right place at the right time is crucial. With the Magic roster gutted this offseason, there will plenty of opportunities in Orlando all year. And with starting PG Jameer Nelson hampered by a hamstring injury, unheralded E’Twaun Moore has stepped up to the plate and produced. Moore scored in double-figures in each of Orlando’s first four games, and averaged 13.8 ppg, 4.5 rebounds, and 3.8 assists over that stretch. He has also knocked down three three-pointers in a single game twice already this season. And he posted another solid line on Friday night, pouring in 18 points and dishing out five assists.
Brandan Wright – Dallas Mavericks:
Wright was averaging over 12 points through the Mavs fist four contests, while converting a mind-boggling 78.6 percent of his shots. While B Wright’s FG percentage will undoubtedly come back down to earth, his prospects remain positive. Wright is playing behind two injury-prone veterans (Chris Kaman and Elton Brand), and the probability of one or both of those two players missing time is significant. As a result, stashing Wright on your roster makes sense if you have the room to maneuver.
Nate Robinson – Chicago Bulls:
Robinson has shown throughout his career that he can supply solid stats in limited minutes. For his career, he has averaged 17.6 points, 4.4 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 2.0 three-pointers Per-36 minutes. Those are gaudy numbers. Now in Chicago, Nate Rob is trying to earn PT on a Bulls team attempting to survive the loss of Derrick Rose. Kirk Hinrich is the clear-cut starter, but Nate is seeing about 20 minutes a night off the pine. He’ll put up an occasional stinker (as he did in Thursday night’s loss to the Thunder), but if you are in search of PG help with some upside off the waiver wire, Nate might make some sense.
Andray Blatche – Brooklyn Nets:
After being hyped as a hot commodity and potential sleeper due to an impressive showing during the preseason, Blatche has been dropped in many leagues this week. Yet, while Andray certainly didn’t post impressive numbers over the Nets first three contests, there was some reason for optimism. Most importantly, his minutes increased successively in each of Brooklyn first three games. And while his shot wasn’t falling (shooting just 33.3 percent from the floor); he did contribute on the boards. Then, on Friday night in a blowout victory over the Magic, Blatche posted his best line of the season: 15 points, nine boards, and four dimes. He has always had the talent, so if he can ever earn Coach Avery Johnson’s trust, the fantasy stats will be impressive.
Nikola Vucevic – Orlando Magic:
As noted above, the Magic roster was completely gutted this offseason. Not only was their franchise centerpiece, Dwight Howard, shipped off to the Los Angeles Lakers, but their other two top scorers (Jason Richardson and Ryan Anderson) were traded away as well. One of the players they brought in hoping to fill the enormous shoes of Dwight Howard was Vucevic. Nikola has been somewhat inconsistent, but he has been starting at center, and did post back-to-back double-doubles earlier this week. The inconsistency will be frustrating, but the upside is intriguing.
Robin Lopez – New Orleans Hornets:
Lopez is currently enjoying a breakout season in the Big Easy. Playing over 30 minutes a night for the first time in his career, Lopez is making the most of his opportunity. On a Hornets team that lacks depth down low, coach Monty Williams has been forced to lean on Lopez, and the big man has responded by averaging over 12 points and nearly seven rebounds per contest. The most impressive statistical contribution has been blocks; Robin swatted a total of 8 shots over the course of just two contests earlier this week.
Carl Landry – Golden State Warriors:
Landry has been a truly pleasant surprise for the Warriors, especially in light of Andrew Bogut’s inability to stay healthy. Landry averaged 17 points and 7.4 rebounds over Golden State’s first five games, while shooting a remarkable 67.3 percent from the floor. Now, with the news that Bogut will be shut down for 7-10 days, Landry stock continues to rise. If you own Bogut, handcuffing Landry is imperative.