Typically in this space every week, I run through a few player options who should be available on your fantasy basketball league’s waiver wire, most of whom will only help you marginally or for a short period of time.
But this week is different. This week, I’m giving you one name, and if your league hasn’t been on their toes, you might be in for an addition that could help you during your playoff-run.
Marreese Speights. You’re welcome, fantasy basketball world.
Speights was traded from the Memphis Grizzles to the Cleveland Cavaliers on January 22 and has been a completely different player with his new team. The biggest difference has been in his playing time, which has increased from 14.5 minutes per game in Memphis to 25.6 in Cleveland. But it’s more than just that.
The increase in playing time has allowed his numbers to spike up from fantasy irrelevance to potential starter. After scoring just 6.6 points per game and pulling down just 4.7 rebounds, Speights has seen those numbers jump to 15.4 and 6.8 in his first five games leading into Wednesday night. On Wednesday against the Bobcats, Speights went for 11 points and 10 boards for his second straight double-double.
Speights has just been a bigger part of the Cavaliers team than he was on the Grizzlies roster. He’s getting to play more, and he’s getting to shoot more while he’s on the floor. Speights is playing a bigger role in the Cavs offense, getting 11.6 shots per game compared to just 6.2 per night in Memphis.
Simply put, Speights is playing a lot more in Cleveland than he ever has at any point in his career after being a bench player in both Memphis and Philadelphia. He’s coming off the bench in Cleveland too, but he’s clearly earned the trust of coach Byron Scott and is a regular in their rotation.
Speights has always had the talent, but is now getting the opportunity. Unlike many of the players I point out each week, Speights could stick on your roster for the remainder of the season and into your playoff-push. It’s only been six games, so you’ll have to watch him, but as long as he’s getting these kinds of minutes, he should be valuable enough to stick on your roster and make an impact.