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Wired: Week 15 Top NBA Pickups

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Wired: Week 15 Top NBA Pickups
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Steve Alexander breaks down this week's top free agents as Waiver Wired looks ahead to Week 15. It's …

Games Played For Week 15

4 Games: BRK, CHI, CLE, DAL, DEN, DET, IND, LAC, LAL, MEM, MIN, NOP, NYK, OKC, ORL, PHI, POR, SAS, SAC, WAS

3 Games: ATL, BOS, GSW, MIA, MIL, PHX, TOR, UTA

2 Games: CHA, HOU

Point Guards

Kendall Marshall (Lakers), Darren Collison (Clippers) and Brian Roberts (New Orleans) should all be owned and held until their injury replacements are back and effective. This week's Wired is guard heavy, as the options on waivers are simply better and more plentiful than big men. 

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D.J. Augustin CHI 56% owned in Yahoo! leagues

D.J. Augustin should be owned in all fantasy leagues. I think he’s listed here every week and it’s just more of the same. He’s averaging 18.4 points, 5.4 assists and 2.8 3-pointers over his last five and I don’t see that changing much the rest of the season. Kirk Hinrich doesn’t have the skill to replace him and Derrick Rose is done for the year. Wind him up and watch him go.

Shaun Livingston BRK 6%

Livingston is another guy who shows up weekly on this list, or so it seems. He’s hot again, racking up 24 and 16 points in each of his last two games, and averaging 12.4 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.4 steals over his last three games. He’s not a great assists guy for a point guard, but is spending a lot of his time at shooting guard these days. And given the wobbly state of Deron Williams, who might be the new “Doritos ankles,” Livingston looks like a smart buy right now, as he has for much of the season.

Nick Calathes MEM 2%

Mike Conley is going to miss at least a week with a sprained ankle and Calathes looks like his replacement. He went off for 22 points, five rebounds, three assists, a steal and four 3-pointers in 40 minutes on Saturday and the Grizzlies play four times this week. I don’t think he’s a long-term stash, but I am all for picking him up this week, and am expecting solid production from him for as long as Conley is out.

Patty Mills SAS 2%

The Spurs are as banged up as any team in the league and Mills is getting 22 minutes per game over his last five. He’s making the most of them, averaging 11.0 points, 1.2 steals and 2.4 3-pointers over that stretch. He isn’t a great option for assists, but is worth a look if you need threes and steals this week.

Tony Wroten PHI 7%

MCW is battling another injury, this time his shoulder, and missed Saturday’s game. Wroten took advantage and had 18 points, five dimes and a steal, and while he’s ice cold from downtown right now, he is attempting 2.4 threes per game right now. I don’t like him nearly as much any time MCW is in the Sixers’ lineup, but any time he’s out, Wroten looks like a strong play, especially in daily money leagues.

Shooting Guards

Randy Foye DEN 56%

Foye hit just 4-of-13 shots for 10 points and eight turnovers on Friday, but also handed out a career-high 16 assists in 43 minutes. Nate Robinson is likely done for the season and Ty Lawson is iffy for Monday with a shoulder injury. With or without Lawson, Foye looks like a must-own player and is averaging 16.2 points, 3.0 rebounds, 6.2 assists, 1.2 steals and 2.4 3-pointers over his last five games, which included a 33-point, 7-assist explosion on Wednesday.

Evan Fournier DEN 7%

Fournier has been hot for two straight games, averaging 18.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 2.5 steals and 3.0 3-pointers. Nate Robinson is done for the year and Fournier will pick up all his minutes. Ty Lawson sounds like he could play through his shoulder injury on Monday, which will hurt Fournier a bit, but he still looks like a quality player to add right now.

Tim Hardaway Jr. NYK 14%

Hardaway Jr. has been crushing lately off the Knicks bench, averaging 18.0 points, 2.2 rebounds, 0.8 steals and 3.4 3-pointers while shooting 56 percent from the floor. The Knicks are thin and he’s getting more than 31 minutes per game over his last five. The Knicks go four times this week and Hardaway should be owned in a heck of a lot more than 14 percent of the leagues out there.

Courtney Lee MEM 20%

Lee has been up and down as of late, but is getting 32 minutes per game over his last five, averaging 11.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.0 steals and 0.8 3-pointers on 54 percent shooting. And with Mike Conley shelved for the week with an ankle injury, Lee should be set up for a big week.

Jarrett Jack CLE 19%

Jack moved into the starting lineup on Saturday at shooting guard, replacing C.J. Miles. He didn’t do much, hitting just 3-of-9 shots for seven points and six assists, but if he sticks in the starting five, good things could be coming. He’s not a must-start, or even must-own player this week, but now is the time to move on him in hopes that he gets hot and continues to start for the Cavs.

Small Forwards

DeMarre Carroll ATL 31%

Carroll’s ownership is on the rise and for good reason. He’s been starting all year and is averaging 10 points and 5.6 rebounds on the season, but comes in at 14.8 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 2.5 steals and 2.0 3-pointers on 51 percent shooting over his last five games. The time is now.

James Anderson PHI 9%

Anderson starts at shooting guard, but should qualify at SF, as well. He’s pretty inconsistent and failed to score after missing all six of his shots on Friday, but is still averaging 10.6 points, 5.8 boards, 1.2 steals and 0.8 3-pointers over his last five games. And with Michael Carter-Williams hurting again, Anderson could see his role increase this week. He’s not a must-own, must-start player, but if you use him on the right night, he can help your team.

Al-Farouq Aminu NOP 11%

Aminu is still starting at small forward and should continue to do going forward. He’s averaging 10.8 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.0 steals on 62 percent shooting in 30 minutes a game over his last five. And with Ryan Anderson out indefinitely, and Tyreke Evans unable to put together consistent performances, Aminu is a guy who could have some very nice games over the next few weeks. He had 18 points, 12 rebounds, a steal and a block on Wednesday, so the potential is there for that type of line every time he takes the court.

Richard Jefferson UTA 4%

Jefferson exploded on Saturday, hitting 6-of-10 shots and four 3-pointers for 19 points, four boards, a steal and a block. He came into that one struggling and it probably helped that Derrick Favors was out. I simply don’t trust RJ, but if he’s about to get hot again, he could be worth a flier in deep leagues.

James Johnson MEM 19%

Johnson was pretty bad in three straight games recently, scoring no more than four points in any of them, but came through on Saturday with 14 points, four boards, two assists and two blocks after getting 23 minutes. His minutes were the issue in the three bad games, and there’s no way to know if he’s going to get 25 or 13 on any given night. But despite the poor scoring and inconsistency, he’s still averaging 7.2 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.2 steals and 0.8 blocks over his last five games. He’s no longer a must-own player after cooling down, but could get hot again at any time.

Power Forwards

Taj Gibson CHI 45%

Gibson saw teammate Carlos Boozer bounce back last week, but still held his own off the bench. Gibson is averaging 14.6 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in 29 minutes over his last five games, and is a Joakim Noah or Boozer injury away from near superstardom. But even when those guys are healthy, Gibson has proven he’s worth owning this season.

Mike Scott ATL 5%

Scott has quietly racked up double digits in scoring in 11 straight games, yet is still unowned in almost every league. He finished January with averages of 13.4 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.0 3-pointers, but those numbers jump up to 14.4 points and 5.4 rebounds over his last five games. He’s not going to get you many steals or blocks, but is a solid scorer who will also get you some boards and 3-pointers.

Ryan Kelly LAL 7%

Kelly has scored in double figures in back-to-back games and is averaging 10.0 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 0.8 blocks and 1.0 3-pointers over his last five games. If he can keep the starting PF job for Mike D’Antoni, he could be primed for a big Week 15, although it’s far from guaranteed. But with four games and a starting gig, I’m willing to roll the dice to find out.

Brandon Bass BOS 38%

Bass had 19 points and nine rebounds on Sunday and looked very good, whereas Kris Humphries returned from a knee injury and had just two points in 13 minutes. Bass has hit double digits in scoring in four of his last five games and always does a decent job on the glass. He’s averaging 12.4 points, 6.0 rebounds and 0.6 blocks, and his lack of shot blocking is a buzzkill. Humphries could get hot again at any time and rain on Bass’s parade (again), but for now, I’d rather roll the dice on Bass.

Centers

Jared Sullinger BOS 49%

There have been times when Sully has looked like a must-own, must-start player this season, and there have been times when he looks like he belongs on waivers. We saw both versions last week, as he averaged 22.5 points and 14.5 rebounds in Wednesday and Sunday’s games, but averaged just 5.0 points and 4.0 rebounds in his previous two.  Kris Humphries is banged up again and did nothing on Sunday, while Sullinger is starting to heat up again. I’m not saying he’s a must start player after his two big games, but he’s at least in the ballpark again.

Timofey Mozgov DEN 13%

Mozgov had just six points and three rebounds in his last game, but only saw 18 minutes against the Raptors. He double-doubled in his previous game and is still averaging 11.6 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.2 blocks over his last five. His random disappearing acts make him tough to start with confidence, but if you’re hurting for a starting center, Mozgov is playing well enough right now to be given a look.

Jason Thompson SAC 13%

Thompson continues to quietly start and play well for the Kings, but isn’t putting up any mind-blowing numbers. He is, however, averaging 11.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 0.8 blocks over his last five games, and shooting 58 percent from the field during that stretch. He’s had issues with foul trouble recently, and the return of DeMarcus Cousins (ankle) could slow him down some, but he’s still the starting power forward for the Kings and should still put up consistent numbers, with or without Cousins.

Boris Diaw SAS 18%

Diaw had just four points and three boards on Wednesday, but has been pretty stellar recent outside of that one. Yes, Tiago Splitter is back, but the Spurs are banged up enough that Diaw should continue to get close to 30 minutes per game off the bench. He’s averaging 15.2 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 0.8 blocks and 1.6 3-pointers on 58 percent shooting from the field over his last five games. He’s no longer the Boris Diaw we all remember from three years ago, but he’s seeing enough minutes right now to do some fantasy damage.

Ronny Turiaf MIN 4%

Turiaf’s not going to score many points, but he will do some other things. Over his last five he comes in at 6.4 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.0 blocks. And with Nikola Pekovic out for the upcoming week, Turiaf could be a nice pickup for owners in deeper leagues. 

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