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Thursday January 25, 2007 12:10 pm

Wire to Wire: 1.25.07

Wanted: SunglassesLast week proved to be a solid week to hit up your waiver wires, as we’ve seen an increase in play from David West, Troy Murphy, and Stephen Jackson.  While last week’s article focused primarily on the trade between the Warriors and Pacers, this week takes a different turn and mentions several players from the same team – the Boston Celtics.  It’s getting ugly in Beantown, as most fans can’t remember the last time their Celts have brought home a win.  However, fantasy potential can be found underneath the current mess that is the Boston roster, and owners need to exploit these opportunities.  Now, on to this week’s recommendations…

(Statistics as of Wednesday)

Shallow Leagues:

Ryan Gomes: Default Fantasy Stud?

Ryan Gomes, SF/PF, Boston Celtics
38 G; 30.1 MPG; 11.6 PPG; 5.9 RPG; 1.9 APG; 0 3PM; 48.7 FG%; 83.1 FT%; 0.5 SPG; 0.2 BPG; 1.3 TO

Just because the Boston Celtics haven’t won a game since January 5th doesn’t mean that there is a lack of fantasy value.  After a rough spell earlier this month, Gomes has rattled off five straight games with playing time in the 40s, and has done a solid job filling in for the various injured Celtics.  Big men that can shoot from the stripe should come at a premium, but there’s a chance that this one is still on a waiver wire out there.  If he is, scoop him up.

Jason Kapono, SG/SF, Miami Heat
40 G; 23.5 MPG; 10.0 PPG; 2.4 RPG; 1.1 APG; 1.6 3PM; 51.3 FG%; 88.6 FT%; 0.6 SPG; 0 BPG; 1.0 TO

You’re telling me that neither Cleveland nor Charlotte could’ve used Kapono’s game?  How can two teams that severely lack outside shooting let this guy get away?  Rarely do you have a player that can drain the long ball, and still keep his percentages in such great shape.  He may have an off night during those games when Dwyane Wade just takes over, but even when Shaquille O’Neal is back to full strength, Kapono should be a fantasy asset for any format.

Delonte West, PG/SG, Boston Celtics
34 G; 27.1 MPG; 10.2 PPG; 2.5 RPG; 3.7 APG; 1.0 3PM; 42.3 FG%; 90.3 FT%; 0.8 SPG; 0.5 BPG; 1.8 TO

I was one of the few that questioned why the Celtics weren’t comfortable with West as their primary point guard this year.  He had a solid fantasy season last year, and of course that translates to solid NBA production, right?  Well, thankfully for West, he’s been handed the job by default as Sebastian Telfair simply has not cut it this year (or any for that matter).  He’s likely not available in most leagues, but if he is, don’t even hesitate to add him.

Standard Leagues:

There's a new Power Forward in town

Steven Hunter, PF/C, Philadelphia 76ers
32 G; 17.1 MPG; 4.7 PPG; 3.7 RPG; 0.3 APG; 0 3PM; 61.2 FG%; 44.2 FT%; 0.1 SPG; 1.4 BPG; 0.7 TO

You can count me in on the group that picked up Joe Smith in a few leagues once the Chris Webber news broke.  Well, it seems that Smith was in fact not the answer in Philly, and Steven Hunter has been given the starting nod.  Hunter is huge on the boards, and has blocked at least one shot in each game since the promotion.  If you picked up Smith, definitely consider the swap.  If you didn’t pick up Smith, you can still go with Hunter as a back-up big man.

Quinton Ross, SF, Los Angeles Clippers
41 G; 22.5 MPG; 6.4 PPG; 2.6 RPG; 1.2 APG; 0 3PM; 50.7 FG%; 77.1 FT%; 1.0 SPG; 0.6 BPG; 0.5 TO

Mentioning Ross here is likely the kiss of death, as I’ve had terrible luck timing his game in the past.  However, the Clippers have given Ross an increase in minutes as of late, and it’s transpired into three straight wins.  Also a strange turn of events is the increase in scoring by Ross, who’s mostly known for his defensive prowess.  Add Ross for his steals (seven in his last three games), but appreciate the percentages and offensive improvement.

Steve Blake, PG, Denver Nuggets
(DEN statistics) 6 G; 33.2 MPG; 11.2 PPG; 2.8 RPG; 5.5 APG; 2.7 3PM; 47.1 FG%; 75.0 FT%; 1.8 SPG; 0.2 BPG; 1.5 TO

With JR Smith and Carmelo Anthony back, Blake’s production will obviously decrease.  However, using the amount of games left can be used to your advantage with the Denver Nuggets have 41 games remaining after this week – the most in the NBA.  Only two teams have 14 games played in the last four weeks of the season, and guess what?  Denver is one of them.  So, maximize your games played going forward, and pick up this Nugget.

Nené, PF/C, Denver Nuggets
22 G; 18.3 MPG; 8.2 PPG; 5.7 RPG; 0.9 APG; 0 3PM; 45.1 FG%; 69.4 FT%; 0.8 SPG; 1.1 BPG; 0.9 TO

Along the same lines, Nené has potential to be a nice second half addition.  He’s provided three straight games of double-digit production and has been great with the hustle stats despite limited minutes.  If Marcus Camby were to miss any time, the Brazilian will likely see a huge spike in his burn.  Of course, Nené is quite the injury concern himself, so at this point; he may be more of a “monitor” than “add.”

Deep Leagues:

Cheap threes in a high powered offense

James Jones, SF, Phoenix Suns
35 G; 14.2 MPG; 5.5 PPG; 2.1 RPG; 0.5 APG; 1.0 3PM; 35.5 FG%; 87.5 FT%; 0.3 SPG; 0.4 BPG; 0.3 TO

The Phoenix Suns do not tend to use a deep rotation, giving all players earning playing time some fantasy value.  Jones will do little beyond playing 20 minutes, draining a few threes, occasionally block a shot, and then call it a night – but if you’re in need of cheap distance, he’s your man.  Some players like Bruce Bowen will be ranked higher due to steals and such, but I think Jones will have more value going forward. 

Kendrick Perkins, PF/C, Boston Celtics
30 G; 20.1 MPG; 3.9 PPG; 4.5 RPG; 1.1 APG; 0 3PM; 49.0 FG%; 42.1 FT%; 0.4 SPG; 1.4 BPG; 1.2 TO

Yes, this makes the third Celtic that I’m mentioning; as I’m a firm believer that someone has to produce.  I was pretty high on Perkins going into this season, but was rudely interrupted by a bad case of plantar fasciitis that added Kendrick to the list of other Boston starters to be injured.  The struggling Celts could use another inside presence, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see this big man’s minutes increase in the near future.  He’s more of a shot-blocking specialist than anything, but may surprise you from time to time with some nice rebound totals.  Of course, his foot issue can act up again as well, so proceed with caution.

Bostjan Nachbar, SF, New Jersey Nets
37 G; 16.2 MPG; 6.4 PPG; 2.5 RPG; 0.7 APG; 1.0 3PM; 38.7 FG%; 86.7 FT%; 0.3 SPG; 0.4 BPG; 0.7 TO

Last week, I mentioned Nachbar as a high potential play, and hinted towards a possible Richard Jefferson absence.  And while I’m not a fortune teller by any mean, the latter came true, and RJ will miss a considerable amount of time.  Mikki Moore will likely seen an increased role, but I think it’s Nachbar that will be the biggest beneficiary at the small forward position – even if the Nets do start Hassan Adams.  If he’s available in deep leagues, snag him immediately for his offensive potential.  Standard league owners should definitely monitor the situation.

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Q. Ross again, Sarge?

This must be your latest man crush.


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