NBA Wired: Top Pickups Week 6

Steve Alexander
Andrew Bynum's Saturday explosion came just in time for Waiver Wired, while Brandon Knight nearly triple-doubled. Are they fool's gold?

Games Played Week 6



2 Games: CHA, LAL, MIN, WAS

A few housecleaning items…

Kobe Bryant could play on Friday and I think that he will. Of course, I also thought he had a chance to play on opening night, so I’m not exactly an expert in predicting when he’ll be ready to debut after Achilles surgery. But all signs are pointing to Friday, and I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t play. Wes Johnson hit 9-of-11 shots and six 3-pointers for 27 points and three blocks on Friday, but had scored seven or fewer points in three of his previous four games. And with Kobe coming back soon, Johnson’s fluky Friday doesn’t appeal to me all that much. The Lakers, Bobcats, Timberwolves and Wizards all have just two games this week, so owners of them in weekly leagues are going to have some tough decisions – especially with superstars like Kevin Love and John Wall.

Pay close attention to the four-game weeks in this scoring period, as there are only 11 teams going four times. Loading up with decent four-game options can be a game changer in weekly lineup leagues, especially if you’re facing several players who only have two games.

Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $35,000 Fantasy Basketball league for Monday night's games. It's $25 to join and first prize is $6,000. Starts at 7pm ET on Monday. Here's the FanDuel link.

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I’m cranking this one out early so that I can drive across the country on Sunday in peace. Hopefully there are some players here that can help your team.

Point Guards

Trey Burke Jazz 65% owned – Burke had a career-high 20 points and four 3-pointers on Saturday night and is getting better by the day. He shouldn’t be available in your league, but just do a double check to make sure he’s not sitting out there.

Brandon Knight Bucks 43% owned – Knight messed around and flirted with a triple-double on Saturday. Maybe he’s finally over his hamstring, although he appeared to be bothered by a shoulder problem Saturday. He returned to play through it, the Bucks finally won a game, Knight finally looked like an NBA point guard and the Bucks play four times this week. It’s a perfect storm for Knight to help steal you a win, or have an injury setback and cause mass destruction. He’s a true risk vs. reward player right now. He’s played at least 30 minutes in three straight and has scored 37 points over his last two.

Jordan Crawford Celtics 48% owned – Crawford had a triple-double on Friday and backed it up with 18 points and five dimes on Saturday. He’s going to take a hit once Rajon Rondo is back, but until then, he looks like a must-own player.

Jordan Farmar Lakers 11% owned – After cooling off and being dropped in many leagues, Farmar is suddenly hot again. He’s scored 22, 15 and 13 points in each of his last three games, hitting 10 3-pointers over that stretch. He’s also rebounding, assisting and stealing the ball, and I like using him in daily leagues right now. Yes, the return of Kobe Bryant should hurt Farmar, but I’m actually more worried about Nick Young and Wes Johnson taking the bigger hit.

Aaron Brooks Rockets 9% owned – Brooks disappeared on Saturday, playing just 18 minutes and hitting just 1-of-8 shots. But prior to that dud, he was rolling, scoring 26, 3, 21 and 14 points in four games, while also handing out assists, hitting 3-pointers and stealing the ball. I think Saturday was a bit of a fluke and Brooks still looks like a solid option for as long as Jeremy Lin is out with his knee injury. However, it’s important to remember that most of his good games this season have come with James Harden sidelined with a foot injury, and Harden is now back.

Tyshawn Taylor Nets 1% owned – Taylor started over Shaun Livingston on Saturday and had just six points and zero assists in 21 minutes. However, he had 16 points and 12 assists in his previous game, and with Deron Williams still extremely iffy with his ankle injury, Taylor could be a sneaky play at times over the next week.

Shooting Guards

Dion Waiters Cavaliers 61% owned – Waiters is feeling it for the Cavs, averaging 18 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 0.8 steals and 1.8 3-pointers over his last five games. He’ll cool off at some point and could eventually lose his job to Jarrett Jack or be traded, but for now, Waiters looks reliable.

Patrick Beverley Rockets 28% owned – I know, I know. How can I tell you to pick up a guy that I’ve basically been telling you to drop for a few weeks? Well, the drop advice, if you want to call it that, was usually given with a tagline of “keep him if you can,” as I still don’t doubt his talent. Beverley is not a must-start fantasy player, and the fact he’s only owned in 28 percent of leagues means he’s not really a must-own guy, either. But with Jeremy Lin out with a knee injury, Beverley is simply going to have to play heavy minutes. He had 11 points, six boards, five assists, three steals, a block and three 3-pointers on Saturday, and is averaging 9.8 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.2 steals and 2.2 3-pointers on .391 shooting over his last five games. I still own Beverley in several leagues and have not cut him in any. If he was dropped in your league and you need a guard, give him a look. I still think he’s going to be a disappointing scorer, but it’s hard to argue with the rest of his numbers. And there’s still enough time in the season for him to get hot and turn this thing around.

Nate Robinson Nuggets 23% owned – Robinson has now scored in double figures in six straight games and is averaging 13.8 points, 1.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.2 steals and 2.0 3-pointers on 45 percent shooting over his last five games. He’s coming off the bench and could cool off at any time, but looks like a very sneaky four-game pickup this week.

Tony Snell Bulls 3% owned – Snell is starting at shooting guard and we still don’t know when Jimmy Butler is going to return from his toe injury. And with Mike Dunleavy refusing to step up (he’s been terrible), Snell is quietly enjoying some success. He’s averaging 15.5 points, 3.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.5 steals and 3.0 3-pointers over his last two games and should continue to start for as long as Butler is out. But with three games this week, you can probably find a more reliable four-gamer.

Marco Belinelli Spurs 4% owned – Belinelli is quietly cooking off the Spurs bench, averaging 13.4 points, 2.6 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 0.6 steals and 2.8 3-pointers on 53 percent shooting. If you need 3-pointers in a weekly league, Belinelli could be the answer.

Small Forwards

Gerald Green Suns 36% owned – Green’s run appears to be coming to an end, as Eric Bledsoe (shin) started over him in the second half of Saturday’s loss. But I still think there’s a chance Green could steal P.J. Tucker’s starting small forward job at some point, and even if he doesn’t, Green has played well enough to be held in all leagues. He’s averaging 13.8 points, 3.4 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.2 steals and 3.0 3-pointers over his last five, and while I expect him to cool off, is still a guy I want to own until he fades away.

Derrick Williams Kings 15% owned – Williams started at small forward for the Kings on Friday and had 12 points, six rebounds and four assists on 6-of-13 shooting in 32 minutes. I picked him up in the leagues where he was available and I really think he could keep the starting job and end up being one of the waiver-wire pickups of the year. Then again, he could also play like Derrick Williams and fall out of the Kings’ rotation. But for now, I’m going to hold him, play him and see what happens. He’s also an extremely cheap daily option, considering that he’s starting and only costs the minimum salary in most leagues.

Khris Middleton Bucks 5% owned – Caron Butler’s going to miss a week with a knee injury and the Bucks play four times in Week 6. Middleton has been starting and is averaging 12.4 points, 4.4 boards, 2.2 assists, a steal and 1.2 3-pointers on 50 percent shooting over his last five games. And when you add in the fact that coach Larry Drew seems to love him, he looks even better.

Richard Jefferson Jazz 4% owned – Jefferson is still somehow starting for the Jazz and is averaging 10 points, 2.8 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.2 3-pointers on 50 percent shooting over his last five games. The Jazz have four games this week and while Jefferson could post a couple of dud lines, he should also have a couple nice ones, as well.

Marvin Williams Jazz 11% owned – Marvin is starting at power forward for the Jazz, but should also qualify at small forward in your leagues.  He’s been pretty hot for over a week, averaging 14.4 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.0 steals and 2.0 3-pointers on 51 percent shooting. I don’t really trust him, based on our past history together, but looks like a sneaky four-game play. And you simply can’t argue with those five-game averages.

Power Forwards

Channing Frye Suns 39% owned – Frye continues to start for the Suns and has been crushing it, hitting double figures in scoring in six straight games and averaging 17 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.2 steals, 1.0 blocks and 3.0 3-pointers over his last five. He is a must-own player and the Suns go three times in Week 6.

John Henson Bucks 32% owned – Henson finally got into the starting lineup for the Bucks on Saturday and guess what? They won! He had 13 points, 13 boards and three blocks, and is now averaging 10 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 2.6 blocks over his last five. If he can somehow stick in the starting lineup the rest of the way, he’s going to be fun to own. And injuries to Ersan Ilyasova and Larry Sanders are only going to help his cause. Go get him.

Terrence Jones Rockets 51% owned – Jones is still hot for the Rockets and had 10 points, 16 rebounds, a steal and a 3-pointer on Saturday. He’s also scored in double figures in eight straight games with three double-doubles, and is averaging 12.8 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.6 blocks and 1.0 3-pointers over his last five games. I don’t understand how he’s available in 49 percent of the leagues out there.

Taj Gibson Bulls 16% owned – Gibson is simply on fire for the Bulls right now, hitting 18-of-23 shots for 41 points and 12 rebounds over his last two games. Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah are healthy, but with Mike Dunleavy stinking, and Jimmy Butler and Derrick Rose in street clothes, Gibson is getting some run and hitting shots. He’ll cool off sooner than later, but is worth a look in deeper leagues with three games this week.

Tyler Hansbrough Raptors 5% owned – I’m hearing rumblings that Hansbrough might be ready to crack the starting lineup for the Raptors, possibly replacing a struggling Amir Johnson or Jonas Valanciunas. And if it happens, deep leaguers will want to plan ahead and beat the rush to Hansbrough. He’s averaging just 6.4 points and 7.6 rebounds over his last five games, and is not a shot blocker. But those numbers are going up if he does end up starting for the Raptors.


Andrew Bynum Cavaliers 74% owned – Bynum came out of nowhere on Saturday for 20 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks in 30 minutes, which has generated some internet snark because Rotoworld hasn’t been on his bandwagon this season. And really, why would we have been? He still can’t really run or jump, although he looked great last night, and has caused enough headaches this season that they easily outweigh Saturday’s jaw-dropping effort. I still think the other shoe is bound to fall and that Bynum may have a setback after playing so well over the weekend. But no one, including me, can sit back and fully ignore what he did in the win over the Bulls. If you need a center and he’s sitting out there, take a flier on him and see what happens. Just don’t yell at me if he ends up getting shut down indefinitely at some point, because it’s hard to imagine that not happening.

Jared Sullinger Celtics 40% owned – Simply put, Sullinger should be owned in more than 40 percent of Yahoo! Leagues. He’s been starting at center (Kelly Olynyk is banged up) and averaging 15.2 points, 9.4 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.8 blocks and 1.6 3-pointers on 49 percent shooting over his last five games. My guess is he keeps it going even when Olynyk is healthy and our prediction that he’d lead the Celtics in rebounding this season is looking like a good bet to come true. And when you add in the fact that he’s got the green light to shoot 3-pointers (7 in his last three games), he is a must-own player.

Andray Blatche Nets 19% owned – Brook Lopez, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Deron Williams, Andrei Kirilenko and Jason Terry are all banged up for the hapless Nets, and Blatche is one of the few reliable weapons at Jason Kidd’s disposal. Blatche let a lot of us down with zero points in 10 minutes on Friday, but bounced back with 21 points, eight boards, a steal, a block and three 3-pointers on Saturday. Props to you if you had him in a lineup or two for that explosion. Even with the goose egg, he’s averaging 13.8 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.4 steals, 1.0 blocks and 0.6 3-pointers over his last five, and is worth holding as long as the Nets are a walking infirmary.

Kosta Koufos Grizzlies 26% owned – Koufos isn’t a scoring machine, but has hit double figures in rebounds in three straight games and blocked eight shots over that span. He’s averaging 7.6 points, 10.4 rebounds, 1.0 steals and 1.8 blocks over his last five games, although he’s shooting just 39 percent from the field over that stretch. Marc Gasol may not be out for as long as originally believed, but he’s also not close to playing right now due to a knee injury. And as long as he’s out, Koufos looks like a very solid center to add.

DeJuan Blair Mavs 17% owned – Blair quietly keep chugging along as Samuel Dalembert’s back up and is averaging 9.8 points, 10.6 rebounds and 1.4 steals over his last five games. Sadly, he doesn’t have a block over that stretch, but should be able to get one at least every other game or so going forward. And when you consider that starter Samuel Dalembert is averaging just 7.2 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.6 blocks over his last five, Blair looks like the better player to own.