Wednesday, November 08, 2006

FANTASY NBA: Digging Deep on the Waiver Wire

Fantasy basketball enters Week Two, and I suddenly feel a sense of urgency after crawling into the cellar of a Yahoo! Public league. In my defense, the team hasn't been looked at in a week since the draft, but if that's anything other than a short-term excuse, that's not exactly a compliment. It is now time to step up my game and do what I do best: Find free agents. Here are some of the best undervalued commodities out there, and there is a strong possibility that more valuable guys are available

F/C Andris Biedrins, Golden State
I wanted to pick up Biedrins before he blocked six shots on Tuesday night, and now I'm thinking it's an absolute must. If you're looking for blocked shots, Biedrins has a nice pedigree (11th overall, 2004 draft), is playing consistent minutes and is shooting a ridiculously high percentage from the floor (17-of-21, 80.9%). Foul trouble plagued the 20-year old in his first two seasons, but he seems to have gotten a handle on those problems this season. Even if you don't need a center or blocks, it would still be a good idea to pluck an upside guy with blocks potential off the waiver wire and keep your opponents from getting better.

PG Jamaal Tinsley, Indiana
It's only three games into the season, but his numbers across the board are starting to take the same shape of his numbers from the 2005-06 season. He won't have the freedom to take a lot of shots, but if he can keep setting up his teammates (6.7 assists/game) and racking up steals (1.7 steals/game), he should be on somebody's roster. Any kind of injury or inconsistency from Tinsley likely lands him back on the waiver wire, but take a chance now if you could use a true point guard.

SF Luke Walton, Los Angeles Lakers
Walton was a tease at portions of last season because he flashes eight-category potential. He also found a way to essentially disappear from December through February last season, then came back and played well in the final month and the postseason. He's a nice fit in the Triangle offense, so as long as he remains an important part of the Lakers' rotation, he could keep putting up double-figure scoring games (4 in 4 games this season), strong shooting numbers and a little bit of everything else.

PF Craig Smith, Minnesota
If Smith keeps scoring big points in small minutes, he's bound to see more playing time. He's scored in double figures again tonight and has scored 48 points in his last 70 minutes on the floor. Don't worry about the low rebounding numbers, if he can start pushing 25 minutes per night, he'll hit the boards.

PG Carlos Arroyo, Orlando
He doesn't have to unseat Jameer Nelson in the backcourt to have value in fantasy hoops. We've seen point guards coexist in the backcourt before, and we'll see it again. If Arroyo can keep scoring the basketball, he'll keep playing and helping your team.

PF Travis Outlaw, Portland
It's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hide with Outlaw early, so take a wait-and-see approach and look for an improvement in his discipline. If he can avoid picking up fouls in bunches, he'll get into a better rhythm with the offense and produce more consistent results. That might be a big 'if' though.

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