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Thursday January 4, 2007 9:47 am

Wire to Wire: 1.4.07

If you added Juwan, Ju-WonWire 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.

The holidays have come and gone, but the NBA continues to keep rolling.  From buzzer-beaters by Leandro Barbosa to Kevin Garnett going off with the old style ball, basketball addicts have had plenty to keep them busy during the time of season that is saturated by NFL “what if” scenarios and college football bowl games. 

The last edition of Wire to Wire was nearly created by chance more than choice due to all the huge injuries that had occurred.  This week should prove to be a little different, but first, let’s check out last week’s recommendations…

Shallow Leagues:

Shane Battier: Since the recommendation, Battier has fallen into a bit of a shooting slump that has grossed 12 points combined in the last two games.  He’s still getting near 40 minutes a game, so there’s a lot of promise.  Ride out the slump, and you’ll be alright.  But, I have no choice but to take the miss on this one.
Jorge Garbajosa: In a low-scoring night against the Bulls, Garbajosa managed to grab seven boards and dish out seven assists.  He’s also ripped seven steals in the last two games.  Seven’s the magic number for the Garbage Man this time around.  Hit.
Hedo Turkoglu: Double-digit scoring in each game since his return, nearly 80% from the line, and seven long balls in his last three games.  He may be The Magic Man to Dwight Howard’s El Diablo!  Shake n’ Bake, Hedo.  Hit.

Standard Leagues:

Jannero Pargo: Rebounded nicely from two rough outings by giving owners 24 points (on 56% from the field), eight dimes, three three-balls, and two steals against Golden State.  Only a sign of things to come with Chris Paul’s injury.  Hit.
Josh Childress: Back-to-back double-digit outings, including his second double-double of the season.  Since his return, he’s also averaging two blocks a night, and has yet to miss a free throw (in nine attempts).  Need I say more?  Hit.
John Salmons: When I mentioned Salmons last week, I wasn’t counting on a complete 180 by Ron Artest and his feelings towards Sacramento.  Then again, I’m not sure anyone was.  Either way, it doesn’t bode well for Salmons’ fantasy value.  Miss.
Rasho Nesterovic: Some may not even know Nesterovic is still in the Association, but he’s rattled off double figures in eight of his last nine games while teetering around seven boards a night.  He has also taken enough field goals to positively impact your percentage.  Chris Bosh is supposed to return this week, so it will definitely cut into his production, but not bad for a short-term fix.  Hit.

Deep Leagues:

Mickael Gelabale: I included a picture last week, assuming that not many people knew who Gelabale was.  Well, apparently, there was a reason for that.  Miss.
Juwan Howard: I’d like to know if there was another last name in the NBA to rebound more basketballs than “Howard” last week.  Does anyone want to look into this?  Between Dwight, Josh and Juwan, it had to be a good week.  And you have to love 20 of his last 22 from the line.  Big time hit.
Alexander Johnson:  Still grabbing rebounds and fouling people left and right.  The boards aren’t worth the addition at this point.  Miss.

(Overall 6-4)

If I would’ve kept Juwan Howard as my only deep league recommendation, I would’ve been an amazing 6-2 on the week…but that wouldn’t have been any fun to write without throwing a few shots in the dark.  Plus, it wouldn’t have exactly been a great read if there was only one deep league addition.  (Well, assuming that it was a great read to begin with, but we won’t go there) 

What also works out is that players like Howard, Childress, Pargo and Turkoglu should continue to produce over the next few weeks, and aren’t just short term fill-ins. 

Obviously, other guys I’ve mentioned in the past (like Rasual Butler, Brandon Roy, etc) will continue to be solid as well, but it doesn’t help to keep repeating names each week.  For some more fresh ones, let’s get into this week’s recommendations…

(Note: Statistics as of Wednesday)

Shallow Leagues:

He may be here to stay

Randy Foye, PG/SG, Minnesota Timberwolves
29 G; 17.1 MPG; 8.0 PPG; 1.9 RPG; 1.7 APG; 0.4 3PM; 44.4 FG%; 84.1 FT%; 0.8 SPG; 0.3 BPG; 1.7 TO

Foye was a hot commodity coming off of the summer leagues, but failed to produce once the regular season rolled around.  Likely being cut in nearly every league, Foye has since turned out a solid December that earned him Rookie of the Month honors, and has seen his minutes consistently reach the mid 20s.  We all know he can produce when given the chance.  A sprained thumb for Marko Jaric might mean just that.  Monitor Foye’s minutes, but you may want to pick him up before it’s too late.

Dorell Wright, SG/SF, Miami Heat
30 G; 26.4 MPG; 7.7 PPG; 6.1 RPG; 1.9 APG; 0.1 3PM; 41.7 FG%; 77.8 FT%; 0.8 SPG; 0.9 BPG; 1.1 TO

Fewer players have been as on-again-off-again as Wright this season.  With Shaquille O’Neal going down early, Wright showed signs of fantasy brilliance.  Sporadic playing time led to him being ditched in several leagues, and rightfully so.  However, the last two weeks have seen solid outings from Wright, which should give owners enough to pick him up in any format.  Bonus points if Dwyane Wade (wrist) is out for any extended period of time.

Tony Allen, PG/SG, Boston Celtics
29 G; 22.2 MPG; 10.2 PPG; 3.7 RPG; 1.4 APG; 0.2 3PM; 50.2 FG%; 78.3 FT%; 1.1 SPG; 0.4 BPG; 2.0 TO

I’ve neglected to mention Allen to this point due to the fact that I feel his roster spot will be in jeopardy a lot sooner than others that have graced this column.  However, if a guy can rattle off three straight 20 point games while doing a solid job on the glass and doing even better in terms of percentages, it’s hard to leave him on your waiver wire regardless of league size.  If you’re holding onto someone like Peja Stojakovic or David West, it may be worth the chance – especially considering that they’ll likely go untouched for at least a few more weeks.

Standard Leagues:

Get that weak stuff outta here!
Dikembe Mutombo, C, Houston Rockets
29 G; 10.0 MPG; 2.0 PPG; 4.1 RPG; 0.1 APG; 0.0 3PM; 48.8 FG%; 65.4 FT%; 0.2 SPG; 1.0 BPG; 0.3 TO

Who wants…Mutombo?  The answer to this should be simple: Fantasy owners.  With Yao Ming going down, Houston suddenly has a few new weapons to show opponents.  They’ve rattled off three straight wins, and Mutombo has pulled down double-figure rebounds in each of these games.  Add in the thirteen blocks in the past five contests, and you have yourself a decent option at center.  He was likely scooped up in deep leagues the second Yao went down – but he should still be there in standard leagues.  Go get him.

Andrew Bynum, C, Los Angeles Lakers
31 G; 18.0 MPG; 7.2 PPG; 5.1 RPG; 1.1 APG; 0.0 3PM; 55.9 FG%; 72.4 FT%; 0.1 SPG; 1.5 BPG; 1.5 TO

From waiver pick-up of the century to waiver fodder in only a matter of weeks, Bynum has had himself a rocky sophomore fantasy season.  However, nothing should provide the prep-to-pro big man with more playing time than the ankle injury to Kwame Brown – coupled with the season-ending injury to Chris Mihm.  While Ronny Turiaf could be slated for more minutes as well, I’m betting that Bynum gets the starting nod.  Buy on Bynum.

Jason Kapono, SG/SF, Miami Heat
29 G; 20.2 MPG; 8.3 PPG; 1.9 RPG; 0.7 APG; 1.3 3PM; 48.4 FG%; 90.0 FT%; 0.5 SPG; 0.0 BPG; 1.0 TO

Never really given a chance to flourish in Cleveland or Charlotte, Kapono has finally gotten a shot in Miami.  Along the same lines as Wright, Kapono has done a solid job since getting a bump in playing time.  He’s hovered around the 32 minute mark since before Christmas, and has provided deep league owners with a cheap source of scoring and threes without killing the field goal percentage (a la Rasual Butler, etc).  I think it’s time that shallow league owners gave Kapono a chance.

Eduardo Najera, SF/PF, Denver Nuggets
29 G; 22.5 MPG; 7.7 PPG; 4.7 RPG; 1.0 APG; 0.0 3PM; 58.1 FG%; 75.0 FT%; 1.0 SPG; 0.5 BPG; 0.8 TO

Several players have benefited after the fallout of the “brawl” between the Nuggets and the New York Knicks.  However, Najera may now benefit even more due to the knee problems that are currently being experienced by Nené.  I doubt that he completely lights up the box scores, but Najera should provide double-double potential until the gunslingers in Carmelo Anthony and JR Smith return.  He may be worth a roll of the dice in standard formats.

Devin Brown, SG, New Orleans Hornets
7 G; 27.2 MPG; 9.1 PPG; 6.6 RPG; 3.0 APG; 1.0 3PM; 30.8 FG%; 70.8 FT%; 1.0 SPG; 0.0 BPG; 1.4 TO

Recently added to the Hornets roster, Brown has been used very frequently from the offset due to the lack of depth that they’re currently experiencing.  Likely picked up in deep formats after a few solid games, Brown is coming off of a recent disappointing game where he went one for 10 from the field.  The fact that he’s getting double-digit shots, even in reduced minutes is a good sign.  The rebounding totals are a surprise to me, but hey…I’ll take it.

Deep Leagues:

Usually good for about six or seven of these a game

Trevor Ariza, SF, Orlando Magic
28 G; 23.1 MPG; 8.8 PPG; 4.3 RPG; 1.2 APG; 0.0 3PM; 54.8 FG%; 57.5 FT%; 1.1 SPG; 0.3 BPG; 1.2 TO

While I mentioned Hedo Turkoglu last week, owners should not overlook Ariza, who has chalked up seven straight double-digit games.  He’s logging a few extra minutes as of late, thanks to a Grant Hill foot injury – which is about as surprising as an Adam Sandler movie featuring Rob Schneider.  He’ll do some damage to your free throw percentage, but in deep leagues, you can do a lot worse. 

Mikki Moore, PF/C, New Jersey Nets
28 G; 18.2 MPG; 6.0 PPG; 4.4 RPG; 0.4 APG; 0.0 3PM; 65.6 FG%; 73.8 FT%; 0.4 SPG; 0.6 BPG; 1.1 TO

While it may not seem like it at first glance, Moore is the replacement for the injured Nenad Krstic for the Nets.  He’s coming off of a solid game against the Timberwolves, but has not shown much up to that point.  If you’re hurting for some front court fantasy production, Moore may be worth a roll of the dice.  He has more upside potential than downside risk, and who knows?  Maybe Coach Frank realizes that Moore can tally some buckets.  If you’re still stashing a Nick Collison or Johan Petro, give Mikki a chance.

Matt Carroll, SG, Charlotte Hornets
26 G; 17.2 MPG; 9.4 PPG; 1.6 RPG; 1.0 APG; 1.1 3PM; 44.3 FG%; 96.2 FT%; 0.7 SPG; 0.1 BPG; 0.8 TO

With gunners like Matt Barnes and Mike Miller lighting up box scores, it seems that this guy out of Notre Dame is going a bit unnoticed.  Gerald Wallace’s shoulder injury has allowed for some more playing time for Carroll, and he’s responding quite well by averaging 24 points, four rebounds, four threes, and a flawless free throw percentage over his last three contests.  He’s still coming off of the bench, but I can see him supplanting Derek Anderson as soon as the next game.  If he’s still out there in your league, I suggest jumping all over this heat wave.

That’s all for this week.  Now get out there and hit up your waiver wires!  See you all next week…



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