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Thursday November 9, 2006 12:11 pm

Wire To Wire

Wire 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.

Jarrett JackOne week down, many more to go.  The first week of the NBA season, though short, gives NBA fans as well as fantasy owners an idea of what coaches have in mind for their rotations.  We see which players are actually going to receive some burn, while others were simply preseason mirage with a side dish of hype.  As you may see from my last installment, I’d say I hit about .500, falling into the hype trap on a few – but hitting for solid contact on others.  And, if I may add, I’m quite a fan of Yahoo! using entire player names within their database.  Too many Jones’, if you ask me.  Plus, it just looks better.  Anyways, with a week down, this week’s WTW will allow us a slightly larger sample size.  Of course, there are others that may have been worth the mention, but given the circumstances, I felt these were the twelve worth the word.  Enjoy.

Just Getting In…

Luke Walton, SF, Los Angeles Lakers
5 G; 30.4 MPG; 14.0 PPG; 5.8 RPG; 3.8 APG; 1 3PM; 61.7 FG%; 83.3 FT%; 1.2 SPG; .8 BPG; 2.6 TO

I realize that as I’m writing this, that Luke Walton has been one of the hottest pickups thus far.  However, there’s a chance that he’s still out there in shallow leagues.  While I had my doubts at first, assuming Walton gets his minutes, how can you pass up the all-around production?  A bomb a game with solid percentages and hustle stats?  This deadhead has a home on my roster.  Drop any dead weight you may have and go with Walton.

Andrew Buynum, C, Los Angeles Lakers
5 G; 21.1 MPG; 13 PPG; 7.6 RPG; 1.6 APG; 0 3PM; 67.7 FG%; 76.7 FT%; 0 SPG; 1.4 BPG; 2 TO

Two Lakers in a row?  “Sarge, you crazy!”  Believe it or not, other members of the Lakers are finding some value early on.  While he was listed last week in the deeeeep section of this article, Buynum may provide value in shallower leagues, especially for owners of any currently injured big men.  If the kid can somehow extend his minutes closer to 30 a game, look out.  Of course, be aware that if/when Mihm and Brown come back, the minutes will be shared.  Just hope Buynum takes advantage for now.

Grant Hill, SF, Orlando Magic
4 G; 30.2 MPG; 17 PPG; 3.5 RPG; 2.0 APG; 0 3PM; 58.3 FG%: 83.9 FT%; 1.3 SPG; .3 BPG; 2.0 TO

While I’m one that’s gotten burned in the past, you can’t argue with Hill’s production thus far.  On a Magic team that’s struggling to find a rhythm, Dwight Howard and Grant Hill seem to be the only ones entrenched in the lineup.  Only, it’s Hill that can be had for the keeping in shallow leagues.  If you need scoring with incredible percentages, the former Blue Devil is the way to go.

Jarrett Jack, PG, Portland Trailblazers
4 G; 36.3 MPG; 12.0 PPG; 3.0 RPG; 6.3 APG; .5 3PM; 50 FG%; 83.3 FT%; 2.3 SPG; 0 BPG; 2.3 TO

Jack was one of my sleepers coming into the season, but slowly became more mainstream as the preseason wore on.  Logging 36 minutes a game, it’s safe to say that Portland trusts the kid running the offense.  Add in the fact that rookie guard Brandon Roy may be hobbled a bit, and Jack’s short-term value gets a nice boost.  Nice percentages, great assist numbers, and over two steals a game.  Frustrated owners of Speedy Claxton or Damon Stoudamire may have their answer right here. 

Getting Deeper…

Etan Thomas, PF/C, Washington Wizards
3 G; 26.2 MPG; 11.7 PPG; 8.7 RPG; .7 APG; 0 3PM; 76.2 FG%; 25 FT%; 1 SPG; 3 BPG; .7 TO

When he’s not beating up Brendan Haywood, he’s logging in nearly a double-double along with three blocks a game – in limited minutes.  In his only contest where he was given over 30 minutes, Thomas logged 14 points, 15 boards, and six (SIX!) blocks.  Amazing field goal percentages thus far, and limited turnovers.  And come on….six blocks? 

Martell Webster, SG/SF, Portland Trailblazers
4 G; 19 MPG; 8 PPG; 1.8 RPG; .5 APG; 2.3 3PM; 55 FG%; 20 FT%; .3 SPG; .3 BPG; .8 TO

Yes, at first glance, these statistics aren’t exactly what you want.  However, it’s not the past that you’re paying for, it’s the future!  As many may know, I’m pretty high on Webster, dating back to last season when I felt he could’ve been used a lot more in his rookie year.  One season under his belt, along with increased opportunity with the injury to Brandon Roy.  It may not be for long, but I fully expect Webster to show what he can do when given the time.  Oh, and don’t let the FT% fool you.  He shot over 85% from the line last season – one bad game this year providing some “noise.”  Let the threes rain!
Monta Ellis, PG/SG, Golden State Warriors
5 G; 29.3 MPG; 16 PPG; 2.8 RPG; 1.8 APG; 1 3PM; 50.9 FG%; 77.3 FT%; 1.2 SPG; .2 BPG; 3 TO

Caveat Emptor: Don’t let the point-guard eligibility fool you.  This guy is all shooting.  However, it’s hard to ignore any player getting 30 minutes a game that can score with the frequency of Ellis.  I was high on this guy coming in, but started to doubt him after watching Baron Davis’ preseason.  Who would’ve known it would be the OTHER Warrior guard with the injuries.  Any further injuries only benefit Ellis.  If he can do this now, just imagine what he can do given more time.

Derek Fisher, PG, Utah Jazz
4 G; 22.2 MPG; 12.3 PPG; 1.5 RPG; 4.8 APG; .5 3PM; 56.7 FG%; 92.9 FT%; 1 SPG; 0 BPG; 1.3 TO

It’s hard to recommend a guy that’s not even starting for his own team.  However, if you look beyond the starting five, you find Fisher – and a lot of statistical production.  He’s getting time behind Deron Williams (hence the four plus assists per game), as well as the off guard.  Even when he got over 30 minutes a game last year, his assist-to-turnover ratio was over 2:1.  Nearly five assists a game at 22 minutes isn’t too shabby for a “bench guy.”  Add him to yours, and reap the benefits. 

Hold Your Breath…

Tyronn Lue, PG, Atlanta Hawks
4 G; 25.4 MPG; 12 PPG; 2.3 RPG; 4 APG; 1 3PM; 50 FG%; 66.7 FT%; .3 SPG; 0 BPG; .5 TO

It’s not a secret to any Speedy Claxton owner that the veteran just hasn’t performed yet.  Enter Tyronn Lue.  If you saw what he did to the Cleveland Cavaliers when given 35 minutes, you know the potential that Lue has in store.  Couple Claxton’s recent knee injury with the fact that he’s just not comfortable yet in the ATL, and Lue might be getting the near-term minutes.  Use them to your advantage.

Fabricio Oberto, C, San Antonio Spurs
4 G; 19,4 MPG; 6 PPG; 6 RPG; .8 APG; 0 3PM; 78.6 FG%; 50 FT%; 0 SPG; .3 BPG; 1 TO

With the “Big Fundamental’ entrenched at the power forward, the question in San Antonio was “who’s playing center?”  Well, as I type this, I’m watching Oberto log his 36th minute, while shooting 10 of 10 from the floor, and grabbing his ninth rebound.  His main competition for the job (Elson) hasn’t even seen double-digit minutes.  Make that 11 for 11.  If you need the center help, Oberto could be the answer.

Thabo Sefolosha, PG/SG, Chicago Bulls
4 G; 17.4 MPG; 8.3 PPG; 2.8 RPG; 2 APG; .5 3PM; 52 FG%; 83.3 FT%; 1.5 SPG; .3 BPG; .5 TO

With the logjam in Chicago, it’s hard to recommend any player not named Hinrich or Gordon.  However, if you’re hurting for steals, this Switzerland native is your man.  In limited minutes, Sefolosha has ripped the rock away from his opponents nearly twice a game.  The minutes will be hard to come by, but in a deep league, you can afford to roll the dice on Thabo.

David Lee, SF/PF, New York Knicks
4 G; 23.2 MPG; 6.8 PPG; 9 RPG; .8 APG; 0 3PM; 55 FG%; 83.3 FT%; .8 SPG; .2 BPG; 1.5 TO

Raise your hand if you used a mid-round pick on Channing Frye’s upside.  (Raises hand)  Well, if you raised yours, you’re well aware that Frye has struggled bid time thus far.  With that being the case, David Lee has been capitalizing on the glass – and BIG time.  In limited time, Lee has himself at least eight boards in three of four games.  If Frye continues to struggle, look for Lee’s playing time to reach about 28 to 30 minutes.  If that happens, enjoy




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