There is nothing that gives me more pleasure than picking up a guy I remember having on my fantasy basketball team back in high school—so imagine the Christmas glee I felt when I added brand new starting Magic guard Jamaal Tinsley to the ol’ fantasy roster. Of course, if novelty isn’t your thing, there are plenty of waiver wire gems to take a look at in this weeks top pickups:
Jamaal Tinsley (Owned in 4% of Yahoo Fantasy Leagues): Solid Pick-Up. With Mo Williams out, the 10-year vet has found his way back into a starting job, at least for the foreseeable future. Though Earl Watson figures to get some time at guard as well, Tinsley played 27 minutes in his first start, nailed a few threes, dished out four assists and nabbed two steals. He won’t put up Mo Williams production but figures to be a good source of assists, threes, and steals until Mo returns.
Kawhi Leonard (54%): Strong Pick-Up. Leonard is back in the Spurs starting lineup after missing a month with knee tendinitis. He played 26 minutes against the Mavs on Sunday and put up 17 points and grabbing five steals. He should be back to playing 30+ minutes a game which means double-digit scoring, solid rebounds, and a lot of steals.
Robin Lopez (49%): Solid Pick-Up. I’ve been up and down on Lopez all season but with two 22+ point games in his last three, it’s hard to figure out just how good he is. I will say this – he has 56 points, 9 blocks, 26 rebounds, and a 67% shooting percentage over his last three games and that’s about as good as you’re going to get out of any center.
Andray Blatche (27%): One to keep an eye on. Nets coach Avery Johnson mentioned that he wants to get Blatche more minutes alongside Brook Lopez and with some reshuffling going on the big man could return to fantasy relevance yet. He isn’t worth picking up right now but if he can break the 25 minute per game plateau (he’s at 16-20 minutes now) he will be a good source of points, rebounds, and steals.
Tristan Thompson (26%): Solid Pick-Up. With Anderson Varejao out with a knee injury, Thompson has put up three consecutive double-doubles. Thompson is a starter regardless of whether Varejao plays and a combined 39 rebounds, 37 points, and five blocks over his last three contests he is worth a look in most leagues.
Alexey Shved (21%): Solid Pick-Up. Shved is quickly becoming a frequent flier on this list and for good reason – he is a starter on a notoriously beat up team who is only owned in 21% of fantasy leagues. Yes, he will have the occasional 1-for-8 shooting night but with 30 points, 16 assists, and 12 rebounds in his last two games he is a serviceable reserve guard. He has played 31+ minutes in all but one of his six starts so far.
Kosta Koufos (15%): Solid Pick-Up(if blocks or rebounds are at a premium in your league). His inconsistent minutes and scoring are maddening but his blocking skills are ridiculous. He has 11 blocks over his last three games with 27 rebounds to go with them. Don’t expect too many double-digit scoring games but he will be a good source of blocks and rebounds if you need them.
Gustavo Ayon (8%): Solid Pick-Up. With Glen Davis out with a shoulder injury for about two months, the undrafted second-year center out of Mexico takes over a huge chunk of minutes. He played 37 minutes in his first start Sunday vs. Jazz and grabbed 12 rebounds to follow up his last game total of 13. He’s a huge guy that makes his presence felt in the paint, expect him to be a serious rebound producer and a perennial double-double threat for the foreseeable future.
Marcus Morris (6%): Short-Term Pick-Up. It’s unclear how long Patrick Patterson will be out for, likely at least another one or two weeks, which makes Morris a great pickup for that duration. He’s averaging 15.5 PPG since moving into the starting lineup and is playing 30+ minutes per game. Don’t expect much else outside of the occasional good rebounding night and don’t expect him to do anything once Patterson returns to the lineup.