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Friday December 8, 2006 1:46 pm

Wire to Wire: 12.08.06

Captain Underrated: Anthony ParkerWire 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.

After a great week in the Association that featured a 20 assist night from Steve Nash, as well as Joe Johnson making 30 points the “norm,” there were also a few guys that may have flown under the radar in your fantasy leagues.  Who are they?  You’ll see.

First, let’s grade last week’s picks.

Shallow Leagues:

Anthony Parker: He’s hovering at double-digit shots per game, and simply refuses to turn the ball over.  He’s sneaky good despite the rough shooting night against the Knicks.  Fred Jones may crimp his style a bit, but 17 and 18 point nights mixed in with a few boards, assists and steals make him very underrated.  Hit.
Mike James: Thank you sir, may I have another!?  James averaged 19 points a game last week along with his eight long-balls.  He’ll likely peak at about 6 assists a night, but if he was on your wire and you didn’t listen…well, serves you right!  Hit.
Mike Dunleavy, Jr: Okay, this one didn’t work out so well.  The Golden State rotation will plague owners all year long.  I think he’s alright long term, but last week was awful.  If he can get his field goal attempts up, be thankful.  Miss.

Standard Leagues:

Joel Przybilla: The minutes are creeping towards the high 20s, and he’s still blocking about two shots a game.  He won’t help you at all offensively, but the boards and blocks will come in buckets.  Jury’s still out on this one, as he’s just getting warmed up.
Chucky Atkins: The one game that he was held to single-digit scoring, he poured in 11 dimes.  If you check out my piece on HoopsHype.com, you’ll see what I think about his minutes, but if you picked him up last week you were the recipient of solid scoring, threes, assists, steals and free throw percentage. Hit.
Chris Duhon: Owners can thank the double-double to Kirk Hinrich foul trouble.  They can also blame the Wizards game on a concussion…which he still logged eight assists.  He’s as streaky as ever, but will reward those that are patient.  With only one good game last week, I’ll take the heat for this one.  Miss.
Dorell Wright: I tried to convince myself that the game against the Clippers was due to foul trouble.  Then, Wright logged 14 minutes in the following game.  To borrow from the great Tom Hamilton, “Swiiiiiiing and a miss!”

Deep Leagues:

Speedy Claxton: Pleading the fifth on this one.  We’ll see what happens when/if he gets the minutes. (C’mon Speedy…bail me out here)
Bonzi Wells: Um….next. (Miss)
Jordan Farmar: “Long term flier.”  Long term flier that still isn’t getting his deserved minutes, but may pan out.  Low risk, but still didn’t produce.  Miss.
Jeff Foster: 18 is the magic number for the big man, as he logged 18 boards not once, but twice last week.  A consistent double-double threat, and has a near 1:1 steal-to-turnover ratio.  I’m a big fan.  Hit.

(Overall 4-5-2)

It’s hard to take the misses on the deep league guys, as they’re definitely long term fliers.  However, Foster was the man, so if I’m taking the credit for that, I may as well take it on the chin for the other three.  It’s getting rough in a few situations to find guys to plug and play, as the cream is definitely rising to the top in a lot of leagues.  Just remember, it was mid-season last year when we finally caught on to guys like Kevin Martin and Boris Diaw, so stay patient.  On to this week’s thoughts…

Just Getting In…

(Note: It’s getting especially tough to find waiver wire gems in shallow leagues, but if you play them all as temporary solutions, they may just exceed your expectations!)

Jeff Foster: More rebounds than John Stamos' career

Jeff Foster, PF/C, Indiana Pacers
20 G; 21.2 MPG; 5.2 PPG; 7.8 RPG; 0.5 APG; 0 3PM; 49.4 FG%; 67.7 FT%; 1.2 SPG; 0.7 BPG; 1.2 TO

Yes, I liked my Foster pick so much that I’ve actually added him in a 10 team league that I’m in.  I’m not expecting much, but as a C3/4 you can play the match-ups right to net you some huge evenings.  Against smaller lineups, the Pacers slide Jermaine O’Neal over to the post, but against most teams with true centers, Foster gets the nod.  If he gets you 15 boards one night and five the next, you still have to enjoy the production for the week.

Nick Collison, PF/C, Seattle Supersonics
19 G; 25.1 MPG; 8.0 PPG; 6.6 RPG; 0.6 APG; 0 3PM; 42.3 FG%; 71.4 FT%; 0.5 SPG; 0.7 BPG; 1.6 TO

We have ourselves a white center special, folks.  After trying out several different guys in the post, Supersonics coach Bob Hill is grasping for straws to save his job.  Enter the 6’9” Collison.  He won’t be throwing any block parties, but is a solid double-double threat every night.  Plus, how many starting centers are available on your waiver wire?  That’s what I thought.

Getting Deeper…

Al Jefferson when healthy
Al Jefferson, PF, Boston Celtics
10 G; 23.1 MPG; 9.3 PPG; 7.5 RPG; 0.4 APG; 0 3PM; 48.6 FG%; 75.8 FT%; 0.2 SPG; 1.1 BPG; 1.6 TO

With Kendrick Perkins nursing his jacked-up foot, yet another sub seven-footer is a starting center.  Jefferson is always an injury risk as well, but as long as he’s getting the minutes, he will produce.  I’ve been burned by him countless times over the years, but he just has to be picked up in standard leagues.  You just have to love his 75% charity stripe contributions thus far.  And his 12 rebound, two block night is just a sign of things to come. 

Jason Williams, PG, Miami Heat
9 G; 23.4 MPG; 7.8 PPG; 1.6 RPG; 4.2 APG; 1.4 3PM; 33.8 FG%; 90.0 FT%; 0.3 SPG; 0 BPG; 1.0 TO

Always a solid assist/turnover guy, I assumed the Heat would bring Williams back slowly.  However, White chocolate had other ideas by going off for 14 dimes (and zero turnovers) against the Grizzlies.  He’ll give you assists, threes, and is usually automatic from the free throw line.  Couple this with his current 4.2 A/TO ratio, and Williams may provide you with that point guard help that your team needs. 

Rasual Butler, SF, New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets
17 G; 21.5 MPG; 7.6 PPG; 2.7 RPG; 0.7 APG; 1.2 3PM; 39.5 FG%; 46.7 FT%; 0.6 SPG; 0.3 BPG; 1.0 TO

In my Infirmary Report last week, I mentioned that Peja Stojakovic’s injury will open a few doors for Butler.  Well, Butler decided to simply kick them open to the tune of 33 points and seven long-balls, followed by a 22 point, two 3PM night.  With Peja slated to be out for at least two or three more games, Butler is definitely a short-term play, but will likely provide you with plenty scoring and three point field goals.  If you can stomach the free throw shooting (poor man’s Bruce Bowen), I suggest you make the move.

Luther Head, PG/SG, Houston Rockets
18 G; 24.5 MPG; 9.9 PPG; 3.6 RPG; 1.8 APG; 2.3 3PM; 43.6 FG%; 82.4 FT%; 0.9 SPG; 0.2 BPG; 1.8 TO

One of the greatest names ever in the NBA is featured as instant offense for the Rockets.  Head comes off the bench (um…carry on), launches a few bombs, cashes in on about two or three a night, and then simply goes about his business for the remainder of the evening.  He’ll take 10 shots a night, with six of them being from about 35 feet away, but hey…it works.  He has at least one three in every game since opening night.  Cheap threes are a fantasy owner’s dream come true.

Hold Your Breath…

Damien Wilkins getting extra burn
Damien Wilkins, SG/SF, Seattle Supersonics
19 G; 18.1 MPG; 5.8 PPG; 2.6 RPG; 1.1 APG; 0 3PM; 41.8 FG%; 89.3 FT%; 1.1 SPG; 0.3 BPG; 1.2 TO

In my Injury Impact, I mentioned that Ray Allen may miss some time with a foot injury.  Latest news to hit the wire has Jesus Shuttleworth to miss the next seven games, likely taking up the majority (if not all) of the next two weeks.  Wilkins had some nice games last year in Allen’s absence leading me to believe he can do it again.  If he’s still out there, I suggest grabbing him for some short-term production.  Don’t make me mention his steals-to-turnover ratio! (Oops!)

Gerald Green, SF/PF, Boston Celtics
16 G; 11.5 MPG; 5.8 PPG; 1.8 RPG; 0.6 APG; 1.1 3PM; 56.7 FG%; 82.4 FT%; 0.2 SPG; 0.4 BPG; 0.9 TO

In our DroppingDimes.com Expert League (which I’m getting crushed in, by the way), Nels Wadycki of Give Me The Rock fame went all Bill Simmons this week and picked up this second year guy from the Celtics.  Team management has given Green their vote of confidence, but it’s really the playing time that will make the difference.  The kid can flat out score, and is efficient from both the field and the line.  What would truly rocket Green’s value would be a trade of Paul Pierce, but for now, Green will take what he can get.  If he can keep a mid-20s range on his playing time, scoring, threes and percentages will all help your fantasy team.

Daniel Gibson, PG/SG, Cleveland Cavaliers
8 G; 14.4 MPG; 6.4 PPG; 1.8 RPG; 0.6 APG; 1.3 3PM; 42.9 FG%; 71.4 FT%; 0.1 SPG; 0 BPG; 0.5 TO

Homer alert.  If you don’t know by now, I’m a born and raised Cleveland, Ohio native.  By default, I’m forced to latch on to potential that can hopefully one day lead to a championship (in any major sport) in my lifetime.  Will Gibson lead the Cavaliers to the promise land?  Probably not.  However, as long as Larry Hughes keeps getting injured and Eric snow continues to be an offensive non-factor, I think Gibson may prove that he’s worth more than 14 minutes per game.  Keep an eye on this kid.

Salim Stoudamire, PG/SG, Atlanta Hawks
13 G; 20.2 MPG; 7.5 PPG; 1.6 RPG; 0.9 APG; 1.3 3PM; 38.8 FG%; 93.8 FT%; 0.4 SPG; 0.1 BPG; 0.8 TO

Think Luther Head without the field goal percentage.  He’s averaged just under three long balls a game over his last four contests, and was a huge part in the Hawks’ two-point win against the Nuggets.  He’s getting time due to injuries to Claxton and Josh Childress, but don’t complain on the reasons.  Exploit the opportunities.  I hate to say it, but Salim may prove to be the better Stoudamire this season.  Yes, I’m still bitter about Damon. 

That’s all for now.  Have a great weekend, ya’all!

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