It’s hard to believe that this time last year, the NBA season was just finishing up its first week of play. At the time, everyone seemed to not only think it wasn’t that big of a deal that the league had missed a quarter of its season to a work stoppage, but that the shorter season may actually be a good thing. They may have been right from the on-court standpoint, but from a fantasy standpoint, I’m sure glad we had these past two months.
Now that the calendar has turned, we enter the grind of the fantasy season. Good waiver wire picks are getting harder and harder to find, and as the Jared Dudleys of the league get snatched up, you’re left with guys who may only be able to help you for a week or two.
But that’s ok. Those guys have value too.
For instance, Kings guard Isaiah Thomas has been playing well with Tyreke Evens out, scoring 15.5 points per game over his last four games. He’s also added 10 three’s over that time and over 4 assists per game. It’s not likely to last forever, but as long as Evans is out, Thomas will get his shots.
Keen an eye on Will Bynum in Detroit for many of the same reasons. At 30-years-old, he’s not having a coming out party like Thomas potentially may be having, but he is getting more playing time and taking advantage of it. Thanks to 20-plus minutes in his past four games, Bynum has reached double-digit points in three of them, including 31 point effort the day after Christmas. He also mixed in a 10-assist game. Keep an eye on his minutes, but for this week, he could be a nice fill-in at the guard spot.
Keeping with our injury fill-in roster, Hakim Warrick has been filling in for the injured Byron Mullins in the Bobcats starting roster and has three double-digit scoring efforts in his past four games. With his 30 minutes per game, he’s averaging almost 13 points per game and over seven rebounds. He could be a big help if he gets center eligibility in your league.
There are others, depending on the depth of your league, but the important thing to remember here is to look for injuries. The best way to find that diamond in the rough to help you for a few weeks is to check the injury report. If a player goes down, someone has to take his minutes, shots and rebounds. That someone may be on your waiver wire, and may very well help you win a week.