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Wednesday February 20, 2008 9:23 am

Wire to Wire - 02.20.08

Beno Udrih - 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

It is admittedly getting tough to find some weekly additions from the waiver wire at this time of year.  While we have the trade deadline looming, most of the transactions from here out will be based on either injuries or scheduling.  Four-game weeks are going to become crucial as we head into the playoffs.  Those that are behind on games in roto leagues will need to start making well-thought moves to get the game totals as close to 72 to as possible before it is all said and done.  With that said, here are this week’s recommendations.


Shallow Leagues (Less than 12 teams)

Beno Udrih, PG, Sacramento Kings
When Mike Bibby came back, many Udrih owners cut bait as he went from producing at a high level to doing absolutely nothing.  Hopefully, you were one of the owners that held on as Bibby was bound to be moved to another team.  If you are in a league that had an owner grow tired of waiting, jump all over this opportunity as it appears that Udrih will be the starting point guard for the foreseeable future.  If he’s owned, I would consider making a move for him before the stats start to roll in.  He’s this week’s “must own in all formats” guy.  Go get him.

Earl Watson, PG/SG, Seattle Supersonics
I mentioned Watson in the “deep league” portion of this article not long ago, and followed it up with a mention in the “standard league” area last week.  Though we only saw the Sonics play twice last week, Watson averaged 17 points, 12 assists, two steals and 1.5 threes.  Even if he is not moved to another team, it is to the point where he should be added in all formats going forward.  Watson is the clear-cut starter, is pulling 30 minutes a night, and has made up for any rough scoring nights with his bevy of assists and steals.  His dual-eligibility makes things that much better.

Paul Millsap, SF/PF/C, Utah Jazz
As I mentioned above, it is getting to be “slim pickins” in shallow leagues.  The cream has already risen to the top, so it comes down to statistical needs and scheduling.  I chose to add Paul Millsap here due to his hustle stat contribution, his ability to play three positions, and his upside.  If either Carlos Boozer or Mehmet Okur were to go down for any period of time, Millsap would get an instant boost in value.  If he scores 10 points for you at any point, consider it a bonus; but watch the rebounds and blocks pour in, even at 20 minutes per contest. 

Andray Blatche, SF/PF/C, Washington Wizards
If Millsap is already gone, and you are in dire need of another big man, another option for all formats is Washington’s Blatche.  Caron Butler is still a little banged up and the Wiz have given the starts to the 21-year old forward.  He has responded with double-digit scoring in five of the past six games to go with decent rebounding totals.  While he is typically a solid source of steals and blocks as well, Blatche also has six blocks in the same span, but only four steals.  Give him a look if you need the boost.

(Last Week: Larry Hughes, Shaquille O’Neal, Fred Jones, Jameer Nelson)

Standard Leagues (12-14 teams)

Hakim Warrick, SF/PF, Memphis Grizzlies
After I mentioned Warrick two weeks ago, he decided to put up some shoddy numbers only to totally redeem himself(!) a week later with three straight 20-point games.  He’s pulling over 30 minutes per game, is crashing the boards, and is getting about 15 shots per night.  If Mike Miller is moved before the trade deadline, Warrick’s value can only increase from here.  I hesitate to say “add him in every format,” but if you’re holding onto a low-producing swingman like Morris Peterson, the swap makes complete sense.  While I would not expect 20 per game from here out, 14 and eight is a decent range to place the bar. 

Brandon Bass, SF/PF, Dallas Mavericks
Now that the Jason Kidd fiasco has been completed, one player that really had no part in the deal with New Jersey, but could see the biggest boost in production is Brandon Bass.  I liked Bass last week as the Mavs played more games than anyone else and while he responded with single-digit outputs in each of the three games, I’m not really looking to dump him just yet.  Malik Allen may push for minutes, but with DeSagana Diop and Trenton Hassell heading out of Dallas, Bass’ minutes should increase.  Monitor him in the short-term and add him at the first sign of increased playing time.

Anthony Carter, PG, Denver Nuggets
A player who had been struggling with the best of them prior to this week, it looks like Anthony Carter is finally “ownable” again.  He’s likely to start at the point guard slot for the rest of the season, and while he will not be asked to score often with Allen Iverson and Carmelo Anthony on the same team, there’s a reason that three of the past five games have seen his assist totals at eight per game.  Couple all of this with at least one steal in each of the past 10 games, and Carter should be a solid addition from her out.

Nazr Mohammed, C, Charlotte Bobcats
Don’t look now, but it appears that Nazi Mohammed is back on the double-double track.  Over the past six games, Mohammed has averaged 11 points and nine rebounds to go with the occasional blocked shot and steal.  With an impressive 22-point, 11-rebound game last week, the Bobcats look comfortable starting Mohammed at the center slot for the rest of the season with Emeka Okafor sliding to the “four.”  Plus, if Gerald Wallace keeps up his recent shooting, there will be plenty of chances for the occasional offensive rebound-put back.  You can’t argue with that!

(Last Week: Earl Watson, Dorrell Wright, Mickael Pietrus, Roger Mason)

Deep Leagues (14+ teams)

Nenad Krstic, C, New Jersey Nets
With Sean Williams coming off of the bench for the foreseeable future, the Nets have given Nenad Krstic his old starting slot in the frontcourt.  The only downside is that New Jersey has recently acquired rebounding and shot-blocking extraordinaire, DeSegana Diop.  When you add in Josh Boone, Stromile Swift and Williams, the Nets are starting to look like the Sacramento Kings by attempting to make up for a lack of post presence by rostering about a half of a dozen big men.  We’ll see how it works, but Krstic definitely deserves to be back on the radar with his starting role.

Kyle Korver, SF, Utah Jazz
Outside of Earl Watson, I haven’t offered up much in terms of a player who can be additive to your scoring and three-point shooting.  With that said, I’ve seen Kyle Kover available in almost every league I am in, and if you’re hurting for treys, he’s worth a look.  As players tend to live and die by the three, you will have to endure the bumps and bruises inherent.  However, Korver has dropped double-digit scoring in five of the past seven games, including two in the 20-plus range.  With 15 three-point field goals over the same stretch, you could do a lot worse from your forward spot.

Daniel Gibson, PG/SG, Cleveland Cavaliers
Now if you would prefer to get your long-range from the guard slot, the value of Daniel Gibson may not get much lower than it is now.  Coming off of the bench for an “instant offense” of sorts, you all saw what Gibson can do from downtown as he drained 11 threes in the Rookie-Sophomore game.  Once the Cavaliers get back on the healthy track, there is no doubting that the second-year guard will be called upon to spread the floor for LeBron James and Company.  If you have the space, Gibson may be a player that can make or break a few weeks for you over the second half – at least in the 3PM category.

Ike Diogu, PF/C, Indiana Pacers
This is purely speculative, but if Indiana makes any moves before the deadline, it will likely involve the upside monster in Ike Diogu.  He’s coming off of a few solid scoring efforts despite limited minutes, is still on his rookie contract and can provide depth for any team that needs it.  He has capitalized on injuries and garbage time for much of his career, so if he winds up in the right spot, his value can shoot through the roof.  As I said, he’s not a screaming “buy” right now, but could have a ton of potential within the next 24 hours.  Stay tuned.

(Last Week: Jose Juan Barea, Nick Young, Joakim Noah, Leon Powe)



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