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Thursday February 1, 2007 12:01 pm

Wire to Wire: 2.1.07

Delonte West has been a great addition for fantasy ownersWire 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.

Once again, injury news has spawned a few new names that can benefit fantasy leagues of all shapes and sizes.  The biggest, of course, is the news that Carlos Boozer will miss the next four to five weeks with a leg injury.  Read below to check out how owners should handle this news, along with a rotation shake-up in Orlando, a new point guard in Cleveland, and the return of a few injured stars.  On to this week’s recommendations…

(Statistics as of Jan 31)

Shallow Leagues:

Stop reading this and go get Paul Millsap

Paul Millsap, SF/PF, Utah Jazz
46 G; 16.0 MPG; 6.2 PPG; 4.6 RPG; 0.6 APG; 0 3PM; 53.9 FG%; 69.7 FT%; 0.7 SPG; 1.0 BPG; 1.1 TO

I had Millsap slated as a standard league addition all week long, thinking that he would be a good fill-in for a couple games.  Now, with the word on Boozer being out for a few weeks, things have changed drastically.  The rookie has averaged 15 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks a game over his last three.  In fact, he’s blocked two shots in each of his last five contests, and is becoming more of a defensive force than his colleague Andrei Kirilenko.  Millsap is a must-add in all formats, as he should continue these totals until Carlos Boozer returns.

Jason Richardson, SG/SF, Golden State Warriors
23 G; 29.5 MPG; 12.7 PPG; 4.0 RPG; 2.6 APG; 1.3 3PM; 37.4 FG%; 60.3 FT%; 0.7 SPG; 0.4 BPG; 1.4 TO

Though he’s still a couple weeks from returning, Richardson is another player that should be added in all leagues.  Teams out there that are holding on to “The Matts” (Barnes and Carroll) should definitely consider swapping out, as J Rich’s upside is too high to be ignored.  With the plethora of off-guards in Oakland right now, Richardson will likely not get the same minutes as he has in the past, but his ability to score in buckets and drain the long ball are a good fit for any team.

Charlie Villanueva, SF/PF, Milwaukee Bucks
23 G; 24.3 MPG; 12.4 PPG; 6.0 RPG; 1.0 APG; 0.5 3PM; 49.2 FG%; 82.0 FT%; 0.8 SPG; 0.2 BPG; 1.6 TO

Brian Skinner has been a decent source of rebounds over the last few games, but his one-trick pony has been put to pasture.  Villanueva is back, and should be a solid front court player for the hurting Bucks.  If he can stay out of foul trouble, he has double-double upside every night and can even hit the occasional long ball – all while posting solid percentages.  With the drought of healthy big men this season, C Vill should be a decent addition to any league.

Standard Leagues:

Darko Milicic and Devin Harris: Two solid standard league additions

Darko Milicic, PF/C, Orlando Magic
45 G; 22 MPG; 7.2 PPG; 5.0 RPG; 1.1 APG; 0 3PM; 42.1 FG%; 56.5 FT%; 0.5 SPG; 1.7 BPG; 1.8 TO

Patient owners have been rewarded over the last few games if they have held on to Milicic.  If you’re in a league without one of these owners, I recommend adding Darko before someone else does.  His numbers have increased over the last few games, and he’s already getting more minutes than current starter Tony Battie.  It’s only a matter of time before we see what Milicic can do when given consistent minutes.  He has double-double potential every night, and if he gets the playing time, let the shot blocking commence.

Devin Harris, PG, Dallas Mavericks
45 G; 26.4 MPG; 10.6 PPG; 2.3 RPG; 3.8 APG; 0.2 3PM; 48.7 FG%; 85.3 FT%; 1.1 SPG; 0.3 BPG; 2.0 TO

Many owners will look at Harris’ 10 points and low assist totals and decide to pass on him as a point guard option.  These owners may want to reconsider this, as it’s hard to turn down a guard that can give you the percentages that Harris provides.  The kid can’t hit a long jump shot to save his life – and he knows it.  For this reason, he’s able to give owners near 50% from the floor, and solid efforts from the line.  If you can handle not getting any three point field goals from your guard position, Harris is your man.

Trenton Hassell, SG/SF, Minnesota Timberwolves
43 G; 32.3 MPG; 7.7 PPG; 3.3 RPG; 2.8 APG; 0.1 3PM; 53.8 FG%; 83.3 FT%; 0.3 SPG; 0.4 BPG; 1.2 TO

Along the same lines as Harris, Trenton Hassell won’t wow anyone with his nightly totals, but his efficiency is top notch.  His field goal attempts have increased drastically as the season has progressed, and he may wind up being one of the biggest beneficiaries of the coaching shake-up in Minnesota.  While the non-Garnett shot attempts are typically split up between the rest of the Timberwolves, Hassell’s efficiency allows him to produce for owners regardless of not getting consistent double-digit attempts.  If you need percentage help from your wing positions, go for Hassell.

Ime Udoka, SF, Portland Trailblazers
46 G; 28.4 MPG; 8.6 PPG; 3.6 RPG; 1.5 APG; 1.1 3PM; 46.1 FG%; 75.7 FT%; 1.0 SPG; 0.2 BPG; 1.1 TO

Similar to my Jason Kapono piece last week, Udoka’s ability to log minutes, hit three point field goals and not kill your field goal percentage makes him very valuable.  The difference between he and Kapono lies in the recent lack of consistency in minutes, as Udoka’s has just picked up over the last week or so.  While the small forward position is pretty talented this season, there may still be room for Ime’s production on a standard league roster – especially one looking to fill in for an injured wing man like Rashard Lewis.

Deep Leagues:

Shooting Guard in Orlando has been quite the revolving door

Keith Bogans, SG/SF, Orlando Magic
35 G; 14.5 MPG; 4.6 PPG; 1.4 RPG; 0.8 APG; 0.9 3PM; 44.8 FG%; 72.5 FT%; 0.5 SPG; 0 BPG; 0.8 TO

A few media outlets have recently discussed a slight rotation in the playing time for several members of the Orlando Magic.  One of the biggest beneficiaries of any shake-up will likely be Keith Bogans, as his minutes have crept into the high 20s.  If this continues, there will definitely be value in Bogans’ game – especially from the scoring front.  He and Hedo Turkoglu are splitting minutes for now, but keep an eye on this as he may be worth the flier.

Daniel Gibson, PG/SG, Cleveland Cavaliers
33 G; 14.5 MPG; 4.5 PPG; 1.6 RPG; 1.1 APG; 0.9; 41.1 FG%; 70.8 FT%; 0.2 SPG; 0.1 BPG; 0.6 TO

Playing time is always a huge factor in fantasy basketball – unless it pertains to Eric Snow.  Luckily, it seems that Snow’s time running the point for the Cavaliers has come to an end, at least for now.  Coach Mike Brown has given the reigns to rookie Daniel Gibson for the time being, and his upside is worth a look in deep leagues.  He’s more of a shoot-first Delonte West type guard, but if he can notch over 30 minutes a game, he can produce for a fantasy team.  Don’t get too excited just yet – but definitely someone to keep an eye on.

Brevin Knight, PG, Charlotte Bobcats
19 G; 22.1 MPG; 11.9 PPG; 3.5 RPG; 7.3 APG; 0.1; 45.2 FG%; 87.8 FT%; 1.6 SPG; 0.1 BPG; 2.7 TO

While I have seen several different sources give different opinions on the return of Brevin Knight to the Charlotte rotation, one thing is for sure: When this happens, he’ll be an asset to any standard-to-deep fantasy league.  I can’t blame owners that cut bait a while back when Knight was on the shelf, but I also will blame them if they leave him on a deep league waiver wire.  His production is definitely lumpy, but where he helps, he helps a lot.

LaMarcus Aldridge, SF/PF/C, Portland Trailblazers
36 G; 18.7 MPG; 6.9 PPG; 3.7 RPG; 0.4 APG; 0 3PM; 48.1 FG%; 74.1 FT%; 0.2 SPG; 0.9 BPG; 0.7 TO
This recommendation is based on increased production with a side dish of trade speculation.  I’m still waiting for something to go down, mostly involving Jamaal Magloire.  However, recent news of the Memphis Grizzlies looking at Aldridge as well definitely speaks volumes about the kid’s potential.  If Magloire moves, Aldridge’s value skyrockets.  I suggest jumping on this before it’s too late. 

That’s all for this week.  Have a great weekend…

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