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Monday December 31, 2007 2:51 pm

Wire to Wire - 12.31.07

Bonzi Wells - 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.

Can a week go by without a big-named player landing on the injury report?  It’s not looking to be the case this week as two of the game’s more prominent small forwards will miss considerable time, and the possible Rookie of the Year may lose a bit of ground.  Things are still quirky in the Big Apple, and a trade between Utah and Philadelphia may change the fantasy landscape for a few players.  With that said, this will be the last Wire to Wire for 2007.  Enjoy.

Shallow Leagues (Less than 12 Teams)

Bonzi Wells, SG, Houston Rockets
Last week, I had Wells listed for addition in standard formats.  If you haven’t seen the latest news, Tracy McGrady could miss at least the next two weeks with wonky left knee.  Wells has notched double figures in the last two games including a 13 point, 10 rebound performance that also included three steals and a block.  In fact, Wells has blocked at least one shot in his last six games – recording 11 steals in the same span.  Hustle stats galore, add Wells in all formats.  He’s this week’s “go get him now” guy.  So…go get him.  Now.

Michael Finley, SG/SF, San Antonio Spurs
Last week, I touched on the injury to the finger of Manu Ginobili.  While I mentioned a couple of guys that I thought would see the biggest bump in production, little did I know that one of them would get injured as well.  Enter Michael Finley.  After back-to-back games of at least 20 points with solid rebounding totals and a bevy of threes, Finley deserves to be picked up.  Reports are out that Manu himself thinks he is ready to return, so do not count out a drop off in production for Finley – but you need to get what you can out of him, while you can.

James Jones, SF, Portland Trailblazers
Four-game weeks increase value a lot more than you may lead to believe.  While other owners are trying to stretch out their Derek Fisher’s of the world for two games this week, you can plug Jones in for four contests and try to get some of his latest production.  Jones has recorded double figures in three of the last four games with at least one three in each.  He won’t offer much aside from a bit of instant offense, but if you need a small boost in threes this week (say, if you’re a Kevin Martin owner), Jones should be able to fill in the gaps.

Nate Robinson, PG, New York Knicks
This just in: the New York Knicks are a mess.  With Stephon Marbury still enduring “personal issues,” and Jamal Crawford a bit nicked up, Isiah Thomas has turned to all 5’9” of Nate Robinson to run the point for the Knickerbockers.  The big guy has averaged almost 18 points per game over his last four, has always been a long-ball threat, and has even stepped up his defense; coming off of a three-steal night against the Bulls.  There’s no telling what will happen next in New York, and while it’s never good when Nate Robinson is your most reliable option, as long as he’s playing, he should be owned in all formats.

(Last Week: Nazr Mohammed, Al Thornton, Ryan Gomes, Erick Dampier)

Standard Leagues (12-14 Teams)

Francisco Garcia, SG/SF, Sacramento Kings
The banged-up Kings take another hit as Ron Artest will undergo elbow surgery to repair a chipped bone and is out indefinitely.  This provides a ton of playing time for Garcia who has had flashes of potential all season.  While he has been up and down, the swingman is coming off of a 30-point performance and is a solid contributor in steals, threes and even the occasional blocked shot (four in the last three games).  Kevin Martin’s return will obviously not be good for Garcia’s long-term potential, but as long as he and John Salmons are the main options on offense, give him a shot.

Louis Williams, PG/SG, Philadelphia 76ers
The trade that has sent Kyle Korver to Utah will open up a few more shots for all players not named Andre Iguodala.  Specifically, Louis Williams.  While his as undeniably struggled over his past handful of games, his breakout is just around the corner.  It may take an Andre Miller trade for Williams’ potential to be fully maximized (as he is a point guard), but if you need any proof of what the kid can do, do yourself a favor and find the highlights from Philly’s game against Miami.  Dwyane Wade still wonders what happened. 

Nene Hilario, PF/C, Denver Nuggets
Since his return three games ago, Nene’s shooting has been pretty rough.  But if you had the former lottery selection on the end of your bench last week, while Marcus Camby was hogging all of the glass-cleaning glory, Nene pulled down 21 boards of his own, even blocking a pair of shots against the Warriors.  A sore right hamstring has been hobbling Kenyon Martin, so the Brazilian big man is in line for another solid week.  Just be wary of the two-game week that the Nuggets have coming up – you may need to find an alternate route come that time. 

Luther Head, PG/SG, Houston Rockets
Think of Bonzi Wells, but just replace all of his hustle stats with three-pointers.  With McGrady about to miss a slew of games, Luther Head is slated to pick up a bunch of the slack on the offensive end – providing a deep threat if defenders close in on Yao Ming and Company.  Four of his last five games have been in double-digits, sinking 15 treys in said contests.  Just because he’s not starting doesn’t mean he can’t help you.  Back-to-back four game weeks for the Rockets will mean plenty more with that came from, so get a Head in your lineup and expect to come out ahead in threes made for the foreseeable future.  No pun intended, of course.

(Last Week: Yi Jianlian, Dorrell Wright, Bonzi Wells, Brent Barry)

Deep Leagues (14+ Teams)

Jeff Green, SF/PF, Seattle Supersonics
Along with Ron Artest, another big name on this week’s injury report will be rookie stud Kevin Durant who missed a slew of playing time on Saturday after injuring his finger.  While he will undergo more X-rays this week, one beneficiary of any time that Durant will miss will be fellow rookie Jeff Green.  Green has been inserted into the starting lineup and should instantly provide double-double potential with a few blocked shots thrown in the mix.  With a solid jump shot, Green may become one of the top scoring options for a rebuilding Sonics team.

Carlos Arroyo, PG, Orlando Magic
Back injuries and poor all-around play have hampered the recent production of Jameer Nelson.  In his place, the Magic have opted to start former Jazz guard Carlos Arroyo.  It was only a few years ago that the Puerto Rican guard was averaging 13 points and five assists per night.  In his first start for Orlando, Arroyo actually surpassed those numbers by recording 16 points, four rebounds and six assists against the Bobcats.  While there’s no telling how long this starting status will remain, Arroyo is worth an add where you have room.

Chuck Hayes, SF/PF, Houston Rockets
It must be a good time to own the Houston Rockets.  It isn’t often that three players from the same team get a mention in Wire to Wire, but such is the case as we wrap up 2007.  Hayes will not offer a ton of scoring, and actually has one of the worst free throw attempts in the league, but if you’re in need of some short term rebounds and steals, look no further.  With eight games in the next two weeks, it wouldn’t be far fetched to expect over 60 rebounds and 15 steals from the little-known forward.  Give him a shot, especially if you’re in need of a replacement for someone like Ron Artest.

Wally Szczerbiak, SG/SF, Seattle Supersonics
Like Green, the former Oxford, Ohio star will be asked to carry some of the load for any time missed by Kevin Durant.  Up and down for most of the season, Wally World has strung together a slew of double-digit games and has historically been one of fantasy best producers of efficient percentages.  Shooting 50 percent from the floor over the last six games and draining 84 percent of his free throws on the season sounds about right to me.  You could do a lot worse for an end-of-bench swingman in deeper leagues.

(Last Week: Ime Udoka, Luis Scola, Roger Mason, Charlie Bell)

And that about wraps up 2007.  Have a safe and enjoyable New Year, and we’ll catch you all again when the calendar reads 2008.  Until then…



I agree.

Great work Sarge. I especially love this column!

In Fight Club, with all the churning going on, most of your shallow league picks are available (depending on the day) in Fight Club.

I’m usually on top of “hot” pick-ups, but you never fail to point out a few more that payoff.

I had a statue of you placed in my front yard. No, really!

Yes it is, and the sculptor didn’t Michelangelo your David either, he was generous.


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