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Wired: Top Pickups for Week 19

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Wired: Top Pickups for Week 19
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Waiver Wired takes a look at players that might be available in your league. Jordan Farmar and the Lakers …

Games Played for Week 19

5 Games: LAL

4 Games: BRK, CHA, CHI, DEN, DET, GSW, HOU, IND, MEM, MIA, MIL, MIN, NOP, NYK, POR, SAC, UTA

3 Games: ATL, BOS, CLE, DAL, LAC, OKC, PHX, SAN, WAS

2 Games: ORL, PHI, TOR

If you are an NBA Season Pass subscriber, this schedule column may help you plan for the fantasy playoffs. Follow me on Twitter by clicking here!

Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $80,000 Fantasy Basketball league for Monday's games. It's $25 to join and first prize is $9,000. Starts at 7pm ET on Monday. Here's the FanDuel link.

Guards

Jordan Farmar, Kent Bazemore, Wes Johnson, Jodie Meeks, MarShon Brooks Lakers

With five games this week most healthy Lakers should be owned. Whether Kendall Marshall should be included on the list is up for debate after he has struggled for several games. He could turn it around at any time, but he’s scored a grand total of seven points over his last five games, hitting just 3-of-21 shots. The assists are still there (7.4 over last five), but his lack of scoring is a mess. And with Jordan Farmar coming on, it could get worse. Farmar had 30 points, seven dimes and eight 3-pointers on Friday, Bazemore had 12 points and a full stat line, Johnson had 12 points, 12 rebounds and two 3-pointers, Meeks scored 22 points with three 3-pointers, and Brooks came off the bench to hit 9-of-13 shots and three 3-pointers for 23 points. I don’t trust Marshall or Brooks, but the rest of these guys look like must-plays this week.

Jerryd Bayless Celtics

Bayless gets a boost with both Gerald Wallace (season over) and Avery Bradley (ankle, still not ready) out. He’s hit double figures in four straight games and is averaging 14.8 points, 2.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.4 3-pointers over his last five games. Those numbers jump substantially if we just look at his last three games and as long as Bradley remains out, Bayless looks like a smart play.

Manu Ginobili Spurs

Ginobili is anything but reliable, but when he plays, he’s good. He’s made it through five straight games heading into Sunday night, averaging 12.4 points, 2.0 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 1.2 steals, and hit three 3-pointers in his last two games. He could get Popped for a DNP at any time, but as I said, if he’s playing for the Spurs, he’s worth having in your lineup.

Reggie Jackson, Caron Butler Thunder

Perry Jones started on Sunday for injured Thabo Sefolosha, who could miss the rest of the regular season with a calf injury. New acquisition Caron Butler is going to see some minutes due to Sefolosha’s injury, along with Jeremy Lamb. But if I was going to bet on who might benefit the most from his absence, Jackson would get my early vote. I could easily be wrong and Butler could actually be the big winner here, but Jackson has proven himself in the Thunder lineup and he’s the guy I’d go with. But be prepared to jump on one of the other guys if they get hot. Jackson had seven points and three assists in the first half off the bench on Sunday.

Evan Fournier Nuggets

Randy Foye is a must-own player and shouldn’t be available in your league. Fournier looks like the next best bet out of the Nuggets guards and he’s averaging 13.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.2 3-pointers over his last five games. The return of Ty Lawson won’t do him any favors, but Fournier should get enough minutes to make some noise.

Marcus Thornton Nets

I’ve had Thornton on this list more times than I’d care to admit this year, but he went off on Saturday against the Bucks with 25 points and four 3-pointers in 24 minutes. Shaun Livingston is running on fumes and “all-star” Joe Johnson looks like he’s about toast. As long as Jason Kidd gives Thornton minutes, he’s going to have some more big games for the Nets. And if he somehow replaces Livingston as the starting shooting guard, I think he’ll become a must-own player.

Will Bynum Pistons

Even with Rodney Stuckey and Brandon Jennings healthy, Bynum has been playing well, averaging 12.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 6.6 assists in 24.4 minutes over his last five games. I sound like a broken record here, but if you pick him up, don’t expect him to hit threes or steal the ball.

Jarrett Jack Cavs

Jack keeps flirting with fantasy value and had 21 points, four assists, a steal and three 3-pointers on Wednesday against the Thunder. But unfortunately, he scored a total of just 11 points in his next two games. He’s averaging 33.2 minutes per game over his last five and as long as the minutes stay that high, he’s going to start producing consistently at some point. He just has to.

Austin Rivers Pelicans

Despite how badly Brian Roberts has played recently, he’s still the point guard to own in New Orleans. But they recently plugged Alexis Ajinca and Tyreke Evans into the starting lineup, and it’s possible that Austin Rivers could find himself there if Roberts doesn’t get it turned around soon. Rivers had a season-high 19 on Saturday in 30 minutes. Don’t run out and pick him up yet, but do put him on your radar in case he continues to play well and Roberts keeps stinking.

Forwards

Tyreke Evans Pelicans

Evans is now the starting small forward for the Pelicans, sending Al-Farouq Aminu to the bench, which is probably where he belongs. Evans has torn it up in his two starts and there’s not much more to say. He shouldn’t be available in any leagues, but if he’s sitting out there in yours, go get him.

Markieff Morris Suns

Morris has hit double figures in scoring in eight straight games and, like Evans, shouldn’t be available anywhere. Don’t ask questions, just go pick him up if he’s somehow sitting there.

Matt Barnes Clippers

While Evans and Morris probably aren’t available in your league, the same can’t be said for Barnes, who is owned in just 13 percent of Yahoo! leagues. And given the fact he’s averaging 15.2 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.6 blocks and 3.2 3-pointers on 55 percent shooting over his last five games, he should be owned in a heck of a lot more leagues. Yes, it’s possible that the arrival of Danny Granger could hurt Barnes, but with or without Granger (or Jamal Crawford), Barnes looks like a must-own player to me.

Khris Middleton Bucks

I’m pretty sure I once wrote in these pages that I would never recommend another Bucks player, so forgive me in advance. Caron Butler is out of town and Middleton is starting and rocking for Milwaukee, averaging 16.5 points, 2.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.5 steals and 2.0 3-pointers over his last five games. The Bucks rotation is a mess and Middleton could fade at any time, but for now, he looks like the most solid Buck to own after Brandon Knight.

Amir Johnson Raptors

Johnson is back in the starting lineup, healthy and getting 31.4 minutes per game over his last five. His scoring is still suspect on some nights, but he’s averaging 10.0 points, 7.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.2 blocks during that stretch. He’s also good for the occasional 3-pointer and as long as the minutes stick, he should continue to get better down the stretch. And if you play in a league where the playoffs fall Weeks 21-23, the Raptors go 4-4-4 during those weeks, as in games played per.

Josh McRoberts Bobcats

McBob has been playing well again and averaged 10.0 points, 4.6 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.7 blocks and 1.9 3-pointers in the month of February. The threes and dimes are nice for a big man and help make up for those nights when he’s not scoring.

Trevor Booker Wizards

Nene is done for the season, clearing the way for Booker to take over at power forward. Kevin Seraphin will eventually come back from his knee injury, but Booker may have secured the job by then. He hasn’t exactly come out like a ball of fire, but he did have 14 points, seven rebounds and two blocks on 6-of-7 shooting in 29 minutes on Saturday. Yes, it came against the Sixers, but Booker has enough skill to do that against anyone.

Evan Turner Pacers

I didn’t like Danny Granger in Indy and Turner is simply stepping into his role and minutes. However, he can also play some point guard and got loose for 17 points on Saturday when George Hill was out with a shoulder injury. He is struggling with his shot on Sunday and while I don’t love him, Turner is at least worth keeping an eye on in Indy going forward.

Centers

Alexis Ajinca Pelicans

Ajinca looks like the starting center for the Pelicans the rest of the way and is playing well, even when coming off the bench.  He’s had two double-doubles in his last four games and is averaging 11.4 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.4 blocks on 55 percent shooting over his last five. I picked him up where I needed a center and you should too. He’s only owned in eight percent of Yahoo! leagues.

Andray Blatche Nets

Kevin Garnett looks older by the day and is going to miss plenty more games down the stretch. Jason Kidd refuses to start Blatche, but he played 30 minutes off the bench on Saturday and had 19 points, 13 rebounds, three steals and a block against the Bucks. He hadn’t played more than 20 minutes in any of his previous three games, but at some point the Nets are going to figure out what we all know. Garnett is about done and Blatche needs to play.

Kyle O’Quinn Magic

I wasn’t sure O’Quinn could score but he’s proving me wrong, averaging 8.8 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.4 blocks on 56 percent shooting over his last five games. He’s coming off the bench behind Nikola Vucevic and isn’t going to set any scoring record, but has hit double digits in three of his last five. He also had 14 points, 15 rebounds, two steals and a block on Friday against the Heat for his best game of the season. If you need a center, he should be available in your league.

Jermaine O’Neal Warriors

I certainly don’t trust O’Neal and he sat out Sunday’s game with passport issues. But before that one, JO was averaging 13.0 points, 8.8 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in five games, some of which included Andrew Bogut. Again, I don’t trust his legs and he could disappear at any time, but desperate times may call for desperate measures.

Timofey Mozgov Nuggets

Tinafey cost me some daily league cash on Saturday with his four-point, six-rebound dud and has been more disappointing than anything else this season. He is averaging 8.4 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.2 blocks over his last five games and continues to bounce in and out of the starting lineup. I will have trust issues with him the rest of the way, but he can get hot and put up numbers if the minutes are there. And minutes are the big issue for Mozgov, as he played just 19 of them in two of his last five games.

Henry Sims Sixers

Sims is only worth a look in deep leagues but had another nice game on Sunday with 12 points, seven boards, a steal and a block. He’s averaging 9.7 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.0 blocks over his last five games, and might be worth a look if you’re in a very deep league with a thin waiver wire.

Hasheem Thabeet, Steven Adams Thunder

Both guys are worth keeping an eye on with Kendrick Perkins finally shut down, but neither are must-owns, regardless of how big your league is. 

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