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Wired: Week 14 Top NBA Pickups

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Wired: Week 14 Top NBA Pickups
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Steve Alexander is back with a look at several hot players worth a look off the waiver wire, including …

There are plenty of interesting players to look at off the waiver wire this week, as D.J. Augustin is on fire, DeMarre Carroll is playing well for the Hawks, and Terrence Ross exploded for 51 points on Saturday night.

4 Games – ATL, LAC, MEM, MIL, MIN, OKC, ORL, PHI, PHX, SAC, TOR

3 Games – BOS, BRK, CHA, CHI, CLE, DET, GSW, HOU, IND, NOP, NYK, SAN, UTA, WAS

2 Games – DAL, DEN, LAL, MIA, POR

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Point Guards

D.J. Augustin Bulls 50% owned in Yahoo! leagues

I’m not sure how Augustin is only owned in half the leagues out there after his recent play. Dude has scored 27 or more points in three of his last four games and is averaging 21.6 points, 2.8 rebounds, 5.6 assists, 1.2 steals and 3.8 3-pointers on 55 percent shooting over his last five games. He’s also on fire from downtown, hitting 19-of-33 from beyond the arc over that stretch. Kirk Hinrich is hurt right now and Derrick Rose is done for the season. And even when Hinrich is healthy, DJA is the guy you want to own in Chicago for the rest of the season.

Ramon Sessions Bobcats 20%

Kemba Walker could miss another week with his sprained ankle and Sessions has done a nice job of filling in for him. He had eight points and 11 dimes on Saturday and is averaging 13.8 points and 5.8 assists over his last five. However, if you’re looking for steals and threes, you might want to look elsewhere, as he’s got just one of each in his last five games, which isn’t surprising.

Mo Williams Blazers 20%

Williams has been playing well off the bench, while Damian Lillard is currently slumping a bit. Williams had 16 points, five boards and six dimes on Saturday, and is averaging 9.6 points, 3.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 1.2 steals and 0.8 3-pointers over his last five. If you’re looking for steals and threes, he’s a better option than Sessions, who is a better consistent scorer. Just beware that the Blazers only have two games this week.

Greivis Vasquez Raptors 53%

Vasquez was on fire for a minute, hitting double figures in scoring in three straight games and racking up eight assists per game before falling off in his last two. Kyle Lowry went nuts on Friday with a triple-double and followed it up with a double-double on Saturday, which is why Vasquez was quiet in both of those games. And while it doesn’t appear likely that Lowry is going to be traded, Vasquez has been getting solid minutes and might be worth grabbing if he can get some run at shooting guard. And with DeMar DeRozan iffy for the week with an ankle injury, now might be a good time to take a chance.

Shelvin Mack Hawks 3%

Jeff Teague is going to miss at least one more game with a sprained ankle and Mack looks like a better option than Dennis Schroder for the Hawks. He had just nine points and four assists against the Bucks on Saturday, but played 24 minutes and outplayed Schroder. Mack isn’t a must-own player, but I expect him to be a decent fill-in for as long as Teague is out.

Phil Pressey Celtics 2%

Pressey is worth keeping a close eye on and might be worth handcuffing if you own Rajon Rondo. He’s averaging 7.8 points and 5.4 assists over his last five games, but had 20 points and five 3-pointers when he started for Rondo on Wednesday.

Shooting Guards

Rodney Stuckey Pistons 53%

Stuckey is back from his injury and scored 20-plus points in four straight games before cooling off on Friday, when he scored just nine. He’s still averaging 20.4 points over his last five games, but the rest of his numbers are weak. He’s not stealing or hitting many threes, but he does get to the line a lot, is a good free throw shooter and is hitting 53 percent of his shots from the floor in his last five.

Randy Foye Nuggets 55%

Foye missed a game with an illness last week, but has scored in double figures in 13 straight games now. And in January, he’s averaging 16.3 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 0.7 steals and a whopping 3.2 3-pointers per game. The problem is that the Nuggets only have two games this week, but if that doesn’t matter in your league, pick him up.

Courtney Lee Grizzlies 14%

Lee is rolling as the starting shooting guard in Memphis, scoring between 15 and 19 points in each of his last four games, and averaging 15.8 points and 1.4 3-pointers over his last five. He’s shooting 57 percent from the field during that stretch, and has also made 26 straight free throws. Maybe Lee will go back to the bench once Tony Allen is back from his broken hand, but with four games this week, Lee looks like a nice add in all formats. And while it may be true that the Memphis D has taken a hit without Allen, they’ve won seven of their last eight, giving Lee a chance at keeping the job. And what would be ideal, in my opinion, would be to put Allen at small forward in place of ancient Tayshaun Prince and let Lee keep the SG job. But I’m not the coach, or John Hollinger.

Marcus Thornton Kings 43%

Thornton came out of nowhere for 42 points, five rebounds and seven 3-pointers on Friday night. I hinted that an explosion might be coming in a recent blurb, simply because Thornton is too good of an offensive player to keep being invisible when he’s getting 28 minutes a game, which is what he’s averaging over his last five. However, he has been absolutely dreadful in those minutes, except for Friday. I have no idea when he might get loose like this again, but after the recent explosion, I’m willing to take a flier on him in case the Kings are going to start running plays for him.

Shaun Livingston Nets 6%

Livingston has cooled off recently, averaging 6.0 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists and a steal over his last five games. He’s still getting 24 minutes a night and often starts at shooting guard. And with Deron Williams’ ankle a constant concern, Livingston could heat up again at any time. He’s not a must-own player, but could be useful in deeper leagues.

Small Forwards

Terrence Ross Raptors 21%

Like Thornton, Ross absolutely exploded on Saturday night after DeMar DeRozan went down with a sprained ankle that required X-rays, hitting 16-of-29 shots and 10 (yeah, 10!) 3-pointers for 51 points to go along with nine rebounds and a steal. He had scored a grand total of 14 points over his previous three games, so he was on a lot of benches on Saturday, and in many cases, had just been cut by his owners. DeRozan has already been ruled out for Monday, making Ross a very intriguing four-game pick up. I doubt we’ll see anything close to what we saw on Saturday, but he’s worth grabbing if you have someone to drop.

DeMarre Carroll Hawks 18%

Carroll has missed two of his last five games, but has played very well in the three he was able to go in, averaging 16.0 points, 6.7 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 0.7 steals and 3.0 3-pointers. His hamstring injury is hopefully behind him and the short-handed Hawks go four times this week. Go get him.

James Anderson Sixers 8%

Anderson has been starting at shooting guard, but should qualify at forward in your league, as well. He had 19 points, five boards, three steals, a block and a 3-pointer on Saturday and is averaging 12.8 points, 5.0 boards, 1.8 dimes, 0.8 steals and 0.6 3-pointers over his last five. His inconsistency can be a bit maddening and the return of Tony Wroten on Saturday isn’t going to help, but Anderson is playing well enough to be owned in a lot of leagues right now.

James Johnson Grizzlies 20%

I really wish Johnson was starting over Prince in Memphis, but he’s not. And he’s getting just 23 minutes off the bench over his last five games. Despite both of those things, he’s still playing well and is averaging 9.2 points, 4.8 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 1.6 steals, 2.4 blocks and 0.6 3-pointers per game over his last five. His scoring can be painful for owners, as he had just two points last Monday, but he’s doing enough of everything to be owned in most leagues.

Mirza Teletovic Nets 12%

Teletovic disappeared for a bit, but has exploded back onto the scene in his last two games. He had 14 points, two steals and four 3-pointers on Tuesday and then went nuts with 34 points, six rebounds, a block and seven 3-pointers on Friday. I have no idea if he’ll keep it going, but he’s averaging 14.6 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.6 3-pointers over his last five games. If you’re desperate for threes, pick him up and ride him for three games this week.

Omri Casspi Rockets 2%

Casspi played very well when Terrence Jones was out with his thigh injury, going for 20 points and 12 rebounds in one game, and 15 points and eight boards in another, while hitting five 3-pointers. Jones has been back for two games and Casspi is averaging 7.0 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.0 3-pointers in those two games. But if Jones continues to struggle, or suffers another injury, Casspi will be the guy to own.

Power Forwards

Derrick Williams Kings 19%

Derrick Williams looked like a must-own player when Rudy Gay (Achilles) and DeMarcus Cousins (ankle) both went down on Wednesday. Williams had 22 points, 11 boards and three 3-pointers in that one, but fizzled on Friday with seven points, 11 rebounds and five fouls. Cousins is probably going to miss more time, while Gay appears to be close to a return. Williams is averaging 31 minutes per game over his last five, so he should continue to see plenty of run even with Gay back. He’ll be inconsistent, but I still think he’s a nice piece to own until the Kings are back at full strength.

Markieff Morris Suns 35%

Morris is finally putting up solid numbers consistently, scoring in double figures in five straight games, averaging 19.2 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 0.8 steals and 1.2 3-pointers on 58 percent shooting. He hasn’t blocked a shot in any of those games, but his offense appears to be clicking right now, which has hurt Channing Frye’s production. And while I didn’t go with Gerald Green in this edition of Waiver Wired, he should be owned in all leagues with Eric Bledsoe likely done for the season.

Taj Gibson Bulls 42%

Gibson has forced his way into a timeshare with Carlos Boozer and is the future in Chicago. He’s averaging 15.4 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.0 steals and 1.8 blocks over his last five games, and may end up being an even better option than Boozer going forward. And any time the fragile Boozer or Joakim Noah go down, Gibson becomes a must-own, must-start player.

Mike Scott Hawks 4%

Pero Antic is out for the next 10 days or so with an ankle injury and Scott, while not starting, is still playing well. He’s scored in double digits in five straight and is averaging 12.6 points, 3.6 rebounds and 0.8 3-pointers over that stretch. He’s not getting many steals or blocks, but should continue to get 23 minutes a game, and the Hawks will need him to play well over the next couple weeks.

Ryan Kelly Lakers 12%

Four of his last five games have resulted in double-figures scoring, which are his only double-digit totals of the season. Entering Sunday, he was averaging 14.4 points, 4.8 rebounds, 0.6 steals, 0.4 blocks and 1.4 3-pointers on 50 percent shooting over his last five games, and started again against the Knicks on Sunday. As long as Mike D’Antoni is starting Kelly, he deserves a look in most fantasy leagues.

Centers

Andray Blatche Nets 34%

Blatche is hot again, despite coming off the bench, and scored 18, 19 and 20 points in three straight games before going for eight on Friday. He’s averaging 14.2 points, 8.0 rebounds and 0.8 blocks over his last five games, and has hit a couple 3-pointers as well. He’s shooting 59 percent right now and with Brook Lopez out for the season and Kevin Garnett on one leg, should be added in almost all leagues.

Enes Kanter Jazz 70%

Kanter is somehow owned in 70 percent of leagues, despite scoring four points in two of his last five games. But he scored between 18 and 25 points in the other three, and is averaging 15.0 points and 6.0 rebounds over his last five, but has blocked just one shot during that stretch. He’s still coming off the bench and Derrick Favors is back from his hip injury, but Kanter is still a guy I’m in favor of owning in all my leagues in case the Jazz ever decide to start him.

Jason Thompson Kings 11%

With Cousins possibly out this week with a severely sprained ankle, Thompson simply has to play heavy minutes. He was a disaster on Friday with just one point, 10 rebounds and a block on 0-of-8 shooting against the Pacers, but they are the best defensive team in the league. Prior to that one, he had scored in double digits in four straight games, averaging 9.0 points, 8.4 rebounds and a block over his last five. And with Cousins in doubt for the upcoming four-game week, I’m pretty comfortable rolling with Thompson this week.

Boris Diaw Spurs 11%

Tiago Splitter and Kawhi Leonard aren’t due back any time soon and Diaw is getting heavy minutes off the bench in their absence. I was in attendance when he torched the Hawks for 21 points, five boards, two assists, a steal, a block and three 3-pointers on Friday night, and he backed it up with 15 points and three more 3-pointers on Sunday. Diaw is averaging 13.6 points, 2.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists, a steal and 1.6 3-pointers over his last five games, and looks like a decent three-game play this week.

Elton Brand Hawks 8%

Brand is going to get solid minutes with Pero Antic out for the Hawks, and had 10 points, five rebounds, a steal and two blocks on Saturday. He’s a shell of his former self at this point, but could be a sneaky four-game play if you’re desperate for a big man. 

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