I don’t know about your league, but man, things are getting thin on the waiver wire in my 10-team, 10-category league.
Which is exactly what should be happening at this point in the fantasy basketball season. Teams are really figuring out their player rotations (at least the teams with good coaches are) and unless there’s an injury to a starter somewhere, you’re not going to find a lot of changes in playing time or production at this point in the season.
Which means that players who make incremental improvements in their production become even more valuable on a week-to-week basis.
Take John Salmons, for instance. At 33-years-old, Salmons isn’t figuring anything out in 2013 that he hasn’t already learned in his decade in the league. But his scoring is up of late. Salmons has been in double-digit points in five of his past six games, averaging over 14 points per game over his past eight. More importantly, he’s playing over 30 minutes per night for the hapless Sacramento Kings, as they struggle both on the court and in the news. Salmons isn’t a world-beater, but he’s still in the league because he can score in spurts, and he appears to be in one of those spurts now. Hop on and enjoy the ride, but watch him closely so you can get off as soon as it’s over.
That’s what we may be seeing from Suns G/F Jared Dudley right now. It was a fun ride in the second-half of December, when Dudley single-handedly swung a few fantasy weeks by getting red-hot around Christmas, but he’s come back down to Earth of late, reaching double-digit points in just two of his past five games, and failing to reach the 20-point mark in his past seven. Watch him closely over the next week. The Suns don’t have a ton of scoring options, so he could swing back up to where he was a few weeks ago, but there’s also the chance that he goes back to his career norms, and it’ll be time to jump off.
If you’re looking for specific category help, your best bet may be Carlos Delfino for three-pointers. The Rockets forward is in full-on bombs-away mode, but he’s hitting them pretty consistently, nailing at least five long-balls in three of his past five games. When you live by the three, you die by the three, making for some pretty lean nights for Delfino, but on the nights he’s on, he can single-handedly get you back in that category.
As I said, the pickings are slim on the waiver wire this week, but not all is lost. Watch for injuries and changes in playing time. This is the time of year when players get hot for a week or two at a time then cool back off, but a marginal player who is getting increased minutes can make or break your week if you’re paying close enough attention to grab him at the right time.