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Waiver Wire: Biyombo climbing the ranks

Fantasy Writer
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With teams more than 20 games into the season, there are still a ton of question marks in Fantasy. Roles are still being defined and adjusted as some teams continue to move starters to the bench and vice versa. Injuries also continue to pile up with the condensed schedule and some players that were looking good earlier in the season have been unable to maintain consistency. This has opened the door for guys whom owners might not be too familiar with, but good thing we're here to sift through the waiver wire for them.

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This week we are looking at Bismack Biyombo.

Biyombo was unable to do much with his playing time early on, but he has stepped up his production of late and is starting to see an increased role. Bobcats coach Paul Silas has said he plans to use the rookie primarily, if not exclusively, at center moving forward. While he is not as big as some of the other centers in the league, he played physical against Orlando's Dwight Howard and posted his first career double-double in that contest.

Biyombo played in Spain while the lockout was going on and appears to be finding his groove. He should be able to continue to put up decent scoring and rebounding numbers on a Charlotte team that is desperate for production in the frontcourt. While he will face off against the Lakers and Portland in Week 6 (Jan. 30-Feb. 5), he also has a contest against the Suns, who are not known for their defensive prowess. Consider Biyombo a viable pickup in deeper Fantasy formats heading into the upcoming scoring period and beyond.

Guards

Add 'Em

Luke Ridnour, Timberwolves
Owned: 65 percent
Analysis: Despite the additions of Ricky Rubio and Jose Juan Barea at the point guard spot, Ridnour has been able to keep his stats up so far this season and is actually averaging more than the 11.8 points he posted a season ago. He put up 14.4 points with 5.6 assists and 46 percent shooting over a five-game stretch that ended on Jan. 23 and continues to see 30-plus minutes per contest. He has also been running with Rubio in the backcourt and has shown no signs of losing his current role. The 30-year-old is not as valuable as some of the other guards out there but with double-digit scoring, a fair amount of assists and a steal per contest, Ridnour has value in deeper Fantasy leagues.

Ronnie Brewer, Bulls
Owned: 4 percent
Analysis: With Luol Deng suffering from ligament damage in his wrist and being considered "week to week," Brewer stands to gain the most on the Bulls. He has already stepped into the starting lineup -- scoring in double digits his first time out -- because of the injury and has a fairly favorable schedule in Week 6. Chicago will take on Washington, Philadelphia, New York and Milwaukee during the upcoming scoring period. Brewer proved in his days with the Jazz that he can consistently score in double figures when given the minutes and he is also helpful in Fantasy for some low-end rebounding and defensive stats. The 26-year-old should see a boost in his value while Deng is out so consider picking Brewer up in deeper Fantasy leagues in the short-term.

Avoid 'Em

Nate Robinson, Warriors
Owned: 36 percent
Analysis: Robinson was able to put together a few decent performances while Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis were injured but his minutes have gone down since both have returned, which has hindered his production. After averaging 14.7 points with 4.8 assists over a six-game stretch, he started Week 5 having scored in single digits in three straight contests. While he has still been able to post some respectable assist totals, he will likely not remain on the court long enough on a nightly basis to be a solid contributor in Fantasy. While he is not a bad stash candidate -- considering how often Curry gets hurt -- owners would be wise to avoid Robinson in larger formats heading into Week 6.

Kawhi Leonard, Spurs
Owned: 60 percent
Analysis: Leonard was a hot pickup in Fantasy after Manu Ginobili went down with his injury and was putting up some decent stats for owners for awhile, but his production has tailed off. He started Week 5 with a goose egg against New Orleans, which ended a poor four-game stretch for the rookie. He averaged just 3.5 points with shot 23 percent from the field over that span. While he has still done a decent job on the boards, his value will rise and fall with his scoring. Leonard will face off against the Grizzlies, Rockets, Hornets and Thunder during Week 6, so leave him on waivers for the time being.

Forwards

Add 'Em

Grant Hill, Suns
Owned: 38 percent
Analysis: Hill had a difficult time finding his shot in the early goings, but his performances of late suggest he is turning things around. He started Week 5 with a season-high 19 points and hauled in eight rebounds, and shot 49 percent from the floor during a five-game stretch that ended on Jan. 24. The 39-year-old has revived his career since coming to Phoenix in 2007-08. With the Suns' wide-open offense, he should be able to pick up his production going forward. Hill will face off against the Mavericks, Hornets, Rockets and Bobcats during Week 6 -- which should help his resurgence -- so start getting the seven-time All-Star active in deeper Fantasy formats.

Jason Smith, Hornets
Owned: 26 percent
Analysis: Smith has done a decent job since being moved into the starting lineup and should continue to see an improved role as long as he is in the good graces of coach Monty Williams. He averaged 10.4 points with five rebounds and 1.8 blocks during a five-game stretch heading into Week 5 and has some favorable matchups for Week 6. He will face off against the Heat to start the scoring period before taking on the Suns, Spurs and Pistons. The 25-year-old does not have the track record of other Fantasy options but consider him a worthwhile addition for Week 6.

Avoid 'Em

Jon Leuer, Bucks
Owned: 9 percent
Analysis: Leuer had a nice little run in which he scored in double figures five times over a six-game span, but he began Week 5 with his third straight scoreless performance and has seen his minutes drop off significantly. The Bucks currently have a logjam at the forward spot and the rookie out of Wisconsin has been unable to distinguish himself as a candidate for more minutes. While he has shown flashes of being a viable option in Fantasy, continue to ignore Leuer in the majority of formats heading into Week 6.

Marvin Williams, Hawks
Owned: 62 percent
Analysis: Williams averaged 11.8 points and 6.7 rebounds while seeing around 27 minutes over the first eight games this season, but his production has dropped off significantly of late. He started Week 5 with a six-point performance, which capped off a five-game stretch in which he put up just 7.8 points and shot just 35 percent from the field. The 25-year-old continues to start in Atlanta but since his scoring has been erratic, he is proving once again why he is not as valuable in Fantasy. Leave Williams for deeper formats heading into Week 6.

Centers

Add 'Em

Timofey Mozgov, Nuggets
Owned: 7 percent
Analysis: Mozgov capped off Week 4 with a 16-point, seven-rebound performance and played a season-high 30 minutes. He has stepped up when Nene has been banged up and his ability to provide some low-end scoring and rebounding makes him an intriguing option in Fantasy. While he remains too inconsistent to start in the majority of formats, deeper leagues and category-based formats seem like a perfect fit for the 25-year-old. Owners should expect a high shooting percentage from him on a nightly basis and with his value at a thin position in Fantasy, Mozgov might be worth a look with the Grizzlies, Clippers, Lakers and Trail Blazers on the schedule for Week 6.

Ian Mahinmi, Mavericks
Owned: 17 percent
Analysis: Mahinmi has been able to take his game to the next level this season and is seeing some decent minutes in Dallas. He started Week 5 with 17 points and nine rebounds against the Suns and has scored in double figures six times thus far. While his production can be sporadic at times, the Mavs seem to favor him over Brendon Haywood and the 25-year-old has a favorable schedule for Week 6 with the Suns, Thunder, Pacers and Cavaliers on the docket during the upcoming scoring period, so consider Mahinmi a worthwhile addition in deeper formats, especially at a thin position in Fantasy.

Avoid 'Em

Ben Wallace, Pistons
Owned: 1 percent
Analysis: Wallace has been able to earn some starts in Detroit but it has not led to more production from the veteran. He began Week 5 with his ninth scoreless performance of the season and is not doing much on the boards for the Pistons. The 37-year-old continues to see limited minutes and is no longer the defensive presence he was in his younger days so continue to ignore Wallace in all Fantasy formats at this point.

Enes Kanter, Jazz
Owned: 16 percent
Analysis: Kanter has shown flashes of being an option in Fantasy so far during his rookie campaign, but his current role in Utah hinders his value. He scored in double figures just once through his first 15 games -- which came on Jan. 17 against the Clippers -- and he has not come close to repeating the 11 rebounds he posted in his NBA debut. While the No. 3 overall pick in the 2011 draft has a ton of upside, he is currently stuck behind Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap, and Derrick Favors is also standing in his way for more minutes. Continue to stash Kanter deeper Fantasy formats.

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Player News
Rockets' Corey Brewer, Alexey Shved unavailable Saturday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(6:25 pm ET) Rockets small forward Corey Brewer and point guard Alexey Shved will be unavailable for Saturday's game against the Hawks, the team announced. Both players were acquired in a three-team deal involving the Timberwolves and 76ers Friday.


Wizards G Martell Webster on track for late-December return
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(6:01 pm ET) Wizards guard Martell Webster appears on track to make a late-December return, according to Comcast SportsNet Washington. Webster has not appeared in a game this season and is working his way back from a third back surgery this offseason. Washington has six games remaining in December. He'll likely be on a minutes restriction once he returns.

Trail Blazers F Nicolas Batum set to return at New Orleans
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(5:54 pm ET) Trail Blazers small forward Nicolas Batum (wrist, knee) will return to the floor Saturday night against New Orleans, per the Oregonian. Batum sat out Friday's game against the Spurs after getting injured in a nasty spill Wednesday night. He's averaging 8.8 points, 5.6 rebounds and 5.2 assists in 22 games.

Portland is a 5 1/2-point road underdog on Saturday.


Hornets' Lance Stephenson most likely out through Christmas
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(5:38 pm ET) Hornets coach Steve Clifford told reporters Saturday guard Lance Stephenson will most likely be out through Christmas.

Stephenson is dealing with a pelvis sprain and he would miss the Hornets’ next three games if he doesn't play until after Christmas. His first opportunity to play after Christmas would be Dec. 26 at Oklahoma City.

Guard Gerald Henderson replaced Stephenson in the starting lineup during Friday’s win over the 76ers and scored 11 points and dished out four assists in 32 minutes.


Pelicans G Tyreke Evans gets the green light vs. Portland
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(5:27 pm ET) Pelicans guard Tyreke Evans will play Saturday night against the Trail Blazers, according to the team's official website. Evans is dealing with a sore knee which caused him to miss Thursday's game against the Rockets. In 24 games, Evans is averaging 17.0 points, 5.3 rebounds and 5.8 assists.

The Pelicans went from a 5 1/2-point to a 6-point home favorite vs. Portland.


Lakers F Wesley Johnson expected to play vs. Kings
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(5:07 pm ET) Lakers forward Wesley Johnson missed another practice on Saturday with a stomach issue, but is expected to play Sunday against the Kings, according to the team's official website. Johnson has appeared in all 26 games this season for Los Angeles, averaging 8.8 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.6 assists while shooting 42.5 percent from the field and 35.6 percent from downtown over that span.

Knicks F Carmelo Anthony scores 25 points in loss
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(4:55 pm ET) Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony returned from a one-game absence and scored a team-high 25 points, but it was not enough as the Knicks fell to the Suns 99-90 Saturday.

Anthony missed Thursday’s game against the Bulls while dealing with knee soreness. He shot 9 of 19 from the floor, but was 1 of 4 from the 3-point line. He also added 11 rebounds to record his second double-double of the season. Anthony also recorded three steals, three assists and one block.

The Knicks next play Sunday at Toronto and Anthony indicated he will play despite the discomfort in his knee, reports Newsday.


Suns' Eric Bledsoe notches double-double in win Saturday
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(4:47 pm ET) Suns guard Eric Bledsoe scored a team-high 25 points to help lead the Suns to a 99-90 victory over the Knicks Saturday.

Bledsoe shot 8 of 15 from the floor which was the first time Bledsoe shot more than 50 percent in a game since Dec. 12. He also shot 8 of 9 from the free-throw line. Bledsoe added 10 rebounds and three assists. It was Bledsoe’s fourth double-double of the season.

The Suns next play Sunday at Washington.


Nets coach Hollins: It's doubtful Deron Williams will play Sunday
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(4:45 pm ET) Nets coach Lionel Hollins told reporters point guard Deron Williams will "most likely" not play Sunday against Detroit, according to ESPN. Williams exited Friday's 95-91 loss to Cleveland with a low-grade right calf strain.

"He's not playing tomorrow, most likely," Hollins said "It's doubtful that he is going to play. I would say he's not but he may wake up in the morning and feel 100 percent. But I doubt it."

Williams is averaging 15.6 points and 6.8 assists this season. If he's unable to play, the team will likely turn to Jarrett Jack for the start. Brooklyn (10-15) is a 6-point home favorite against the Pistons (5-22).


Nets C Brook Lopez in danger of losing starting job?
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(4:40 pm ET) Nets center Brook Lopez has resumed light basketball activities and will be evaluated on a daily basis until he's ready to return, ESPN reports. Lopez is working his way back from a lower back strain that has caused him to miss seven games. Coach Lionel Hollins would not reveal if he'll keep Mason Plumlee in the starting lineup once Lopez is ready to return.

"I am not going to squeal until I get stuck and I will cross the bridge when I get there," Hollins said. "I have my thoughts on it but I don't want to share them. I have been thinking about it but it is not something that needs to be talked about at this point."


 
 
 
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