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Tuesday January 22, 2008 3:23 pm

Wire to Wire - 01.22.08

Ryan Gomes - Fantasy BasketballWire to Wire aims to be your waiver wire resource for all of your fantasy basketball needs. It will dive into playing time trends, injury replacements, and even an occasional category specialist—all of which can be found on a typical waiver wire within your fantasy league at any given time.

Another week, and some more big-name injuries to tend to in the fantasy basketball world.  As if Andrew Bynum wasn’t enough, the Lakers are now going to be without Trevor Ariza.  The Nuggets are now contending with the loss of another forward, the Pacers may be missing an All-Star for the rest of the season, and we may be seeing a long-term answer at the starting off-guard for the Bulls.  With all of this having fantasy implications, let’s dig into this week’s edition of Wire to Wire.

Fig Cap: B-Diddy Can Testify!

Shallow Leagues (Less than 12 teams)

Ryan Gomes, SF/PF, Minnesota Timberwolves
While the rest of your league tries to time the whole Sebastian Telfair/Marko Jaric mess, do yourself a favor and just pick up Gomes.  I mentioned him last week in this section, and I promise you that this will be the final time I do such.  Coming off of a career game in which he produced 35 points, 11 rebounds, with 11-of-15 from the floor and 11-of-12 from the line, there are fewer players on the wire that will be able to help you from this point forward; and Gomes is one of them.  He’s averaging 21 points and seven boards over the past six games.  Just get him now.

Matt Barnes, SF, Golden State Warriors
While he has recently been inserted in to the starting lineup as a center, I would focus more on the fact that he is starting more than anything else.  If the current small forward of the Golden State Warriors gets center-eligibility, consider it a bonus.  Don Nelson tired Barnes out down low several times during last season’s playoffs, and it worked extremely well.  He’s a on the block and can drain the occasional three.  Given the rest of the scoring assets in Oakland, Barnes will rarely top 17 or 18 points a game, but couple that with some decent rebounding totals and a few threes thrown in for good measure, and Barnes is definitely ownable in all formats.

Kenyon Martin, PF, Denver Nuggets
After missing some time with the dreaded staph infection, Martin returned on Monday night and recorded a very nice line: 16 points, 11 rebounds, two steals and a block.  With Nenê missing the foreseeable future after his surgery, and Carmelo Anthony possibly missing time with an ankle injury, Martin is in a prime position to flourish for the Nuggets as well as fantasy owners.  He has always been a solid contributor on the hustle stats, but I would look for a boost in his scoring as well.  Monitor the Anthony situation, but Martin should be just fine even when the All-Star returns. 

Kareem Rush, SG, Indiana Pacers
When you have a player who tends to rely on the long ball, he’s bound to have up and down scoring nights.  But after three straight games of solid scoring (22 points per game), we can’t ignore Rush’s game any longer in shallow leagues.  The absence of Jermaine O’Neal (possibly for the season) will open up plenty of chances for the other members of the Pacers to flourish.  Draining 12 treys in the past three games is a decent start, and playing near 37 minutes in his last contest is a sign of things to come.  You have to worry a bit about Marquis Daniels (day-to-day) stealing time, but as long as Rush is sinking his shots, he is worth owning. 

(Last Week: Kwame Brown, Jameer Nelson, DeShawn Stevenson, Ryan Gomes)

Standard Leagues (12-14 teams)

Jordan Farmar, PG/SG, Los Angeles Lakers
Another Los Angeles Laker bites the dust.  This time, Trevor Ariza, who will miss the next few weeks with a foot injury.  Though coming off of the bench, Farmar has now tallied double-digit games in each of the past five nights out, averaging 14 points and 1.5 steals.  Luke Walton (mentioned last week) will continue to get the starts, but Farmar’s latest surge deserves some consideration in most standard formats.  A nice bonus is his dual-guard eligibility.

Sean Williams, PF/C, New Jersey Nets
Tangled within all of the news regarding Nenad Krstic’s progress and the New Jersey Nets rolling off six losses in the past seven games has been the recent play of rookie big man Sean Williams.  The power forward has averaged 13 points, seven rebounds and three blocked shots over the past three games despite struggling to record 30 minutes of play.  Williams’ value may be altered in the near future if the Nets are to make a trade, but as long as the rookie can stay out of foul trouble, he provides a boatload of upside to an already stellar ability to hit the glass and block shots. 

Jeff Foster, C, Indiana Pacers
As I mentioned above, Jermaine O’Neal could miss considerable time – even the remainder of the season.  One guy who seems to be quite alright with that is Pacers center Jeff Foster.  The veteran big man has pulled down 33 rebounds in the past three games, averaging over a steal in each of the contests.  He’s never been a big scoring threat, and is dreadful from the free throw line, but coupling his rebounds with a decent, point-producing big man will give you solid weeks from here out in your fantasy league.  Foster is an excellent compliment to someone like Yao Ming – I can speak from experience.

Kendrick Perkins, C, Boston Celtics
While last week’s Kwame Brown experiment didn’t exactly go as planned, I have a feeling that if we set the expectations a bit lower, Kendrick Perkins will get the job done.  Perkins has always been consistent on the boards and blocks, but now he appears to have been stepping up his offensive game a bit as well.  Fresh off of a 24-point effort, I would temper my expectations for a repeat performance.  However, there is no reason why Perkins cannot put up the occasional double-digit point game.  Pick him up for rebounds and blocked shots.  Everything else will follow.

(Last Week: Luke Walton, Anthony Carter, Maurice Evans, Marquis Daniels)

Deep Leagues (14+ teams)

Thabo Sefolosha, SG/SF, Chicago Bulls
Ugh.  Just when Sefolosha looks like he’s primed to be a huge addition off of the waiver wire, he puts up a six-point, 30 minute effort against the Memphis Grizzlies.  But if you can take anything away from his recent performances, he has amassed 10 steals in his last five games to go with a slew of potential in terms of scoring and rebounding.  If you recall last season, Sefolosha showed us a few brilliant games in terms of steals, so let’s hope that he gets his shot back and can give deep-league owners a lot to be thankful for in the mess that continues to be Chicago.

Eddie House, SG, Boston Celtics
Though he is not starting any longer – thanks to the return of Rajon Rondo – House will still log considerable minutes as Rondo’s backup.  He provides a solid long-range threat and has the potential for double figures on any given night.  If the Celtics start steamrolling teams again, the amount of garbage minutes that House receives should increase.  As a fantasy owner, this should be considered a good thing.  I wouldn’t hurry out and add him right now, but monitor House’s use over the next week to see how much he contributes.

Marko Jaric, SG/SF, Minnesota Timberwolves
If you have the stomach to watch the up-and-down box scores, Marko Jaric might be your man.  After putting up a handful of awful games, thus being dropped in many leagues, Jaric has now put up two straight games of double-figure points to go with healthy assist and steal totals.  A near triple-double against Golden State should be discounted a bit as the Warriors tend to inflate opposing offenses, but the previous game against Denver is nothing to be ashamed about.  Randy Foye’s return will likely crimp Jaric’s minutes, but until that happens he may be able to help out some deep league owners.

Earl Watson, PG, Seattle Supersonics
Aside from assist totals, Watson has done nothing much to deserve consideration in any format.  However, recent rumors have had the point guard’s name swirling, and if he were to end up anywhere that would allow him to have an elevated roll in an offense, his value would exponentially increase.  Add Watson for the assists and steals for now, but keep his upside in mind as a team like Cleveland is still looking for a point guard, and Watson could be the answer. 

(Last Week: Ronny Turiaf, Luke Ridnour, Charlie Bell, Thaddeus Young)



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