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Waiver Wire: Lin is quite a gem

Fantasy Writer
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Fantasy owners have made it through seven weeks of the season and there are still players out there who can help lead the charge to the playoffs. Some have come out of nowhere while others have finally stepped up after weeks of underachieving.

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Either way, many things can happen between now and the end of the season so the coming weeks will determine whether or not owners will be winning their leagues or just missing out.

This week we are looking at Jeremy Lin.

Lin became the gem of the waiver wire this past week after breaking out for 25 points with seven assists and five rebounds on Feb. 4 against the Nets. Then, after being moved to the starting lineup, he bested that with 25 and 8 against the Jazz to open up Week 7 (Feb. 6-12). While he went just 1 for 7 from beyond the arc in those two contests, he shot 55 percent overall from the floor. The 23-year-old has looked impressive running the point for the Knicks lately and could be the answer to their woes at point guard. However, owners should note that the Harvard alum is in uncharted territory as he has never come close to posting numbers like this.

Still, Lin has a favorable schedule lined up for Week 8 (Feb. 13-19) and could be in for more success. With Toronto, Sacramento, New Orleans and Dallas on tap for the upcoming scoring period, owners in need of some guard help should grab Lin off waivers before it's too late.

Guards

Add 'Em

Greivis Vasquez, Hornets
Owned: 62 percent
Analysis: Owners have been waiting for Vasquez to step up in the absence of Jarrett Jack and it looks as though he is finally taking advantage of his increased playing time. He began Week 7 by scoring in double figures for the sixth consecutive contest, and averaged 15.2 points with 7.8 assists over that span. The 25-year-old has the skill set to fill up the stat sheet on a nightly basis and he should be able to keep his scoring up as long as he continues to see steady playing time. The Hornets want to cut Jack's minutes slightly once he returns and Vasquez should be the guy who spells him. While he can go through cold spells at times, Vasquez will face the Jazz, Bucks and Knicks during Week 8, which should keep him productive for owners. Even those in larger formats should consider scooping up Vasquez for the upcoming scoring period.

Randy Foye, Clippers
Owned: 10 percent
Analysis: With Chauncey Billups likely lost for the rest of the season, Foye is expected to see a larger role for the Clippers going forward. Foye, who averaged 16.1 points with four assists in the 24 games he started a year ago, was in the starting lineup in the first game of the post-Billups era. Even though Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and Caron Butler are counted on for the majority of the scoring in Los Angeles, he has never been afraid to shoot the ball when open and should be able to contribute on a nightly basis. As long as he can see consistent starter's minutes, the 28-year-old could end up being an add off the waiver wire that pays off for weeks to come. Owners in deeper formats should definitely give Foye a look heading into Week 8.

Avoid 'Em

Roddy Beaubois, Mavericks
Owned: 39 percent
Analysis: Beaubois has been seeing some consistent run for the Mavericks with Jason Kidd out but his production has taken a hit of late. After averaging 15.7 points with 6.3 rebounds over a three-game stretch, he has not scored more than nine since and began Week 7 with a zero-points performance. While he has been able to contribute in other categories, his value in Fantasy will continue to slip if he cannot start scoring more. Delonte West could also dip into his playing time, and Kidd is not too far away from returning. Owners in deeper formats should look elsewhere for production at this point.

Forwards

Add 'Em

Linas Kleiza, Raptors
Owned: 20 percent
Analysis: After missing a game due to a knee injury, Kleiza has looked like a different player since returning and is starting to score more for a Raptors team in desperate need of points. He began Week 7 with a 30-point performance, which capped off a week during which he averaged 20.7 points with 4.3 rebounds over a three-game stretch. With Andrea Bargnani out for awhile, Kleiza will have every opportunity to keep his production up and has a favorable schedule for Week 8. With the Knicks, Spurs and Bobcats -- all at home -- due up, consider Kleiza a worthwhile addition.

Jason Thompson, Kings
Owned: 63 percent
Analysis: Thompson has played well since being promoted from the bench and has showed no signs of losing his new gig. He entered Week 7 having averaged 13.7 points and 10.7 rebounds, including three consecutive double-doubles, in his previous four contests. While he combined for just 11 points and five rebounds during the first two games of the scoring period, the 25-year-old has showed in his younger days with the Kings that he can be a viable option in Fantasy and is definitely worth a look off the waiver wire. Considering that he will play the Bulls, Knicks, Pistons and Cavaliers during Week 8, owners in need of some help should think about adding Thompson.

Avoid 'Em

Derrick Williams, Timberwolves
Owned: 51 percent
Analysis: Williams saw his most extensive playing time in over a week on Tuesday against the Kings and came through with 14 points and eight rebounds while seeing 26 minutes on the court. He had scored a combined 16 points in his five games prior. This might appear as though the No. 2 overall pick in the 2011 draft is on the verge of turning things around but owners should note that Minnesota did not have Kevin Love for that contest, and Williams' minutes will likely go back down once the All- Star returns. He has yet to find a consistent role for the T-Wolves during his rookie campaign so leave Williams on waivers in larger Fantasy formats.

Chandler Parsons, Rockets
Owned: 26 percent
Analysis: Parsons was putting up some decent numbers off the bench earlier in the year but his production has not been the same since being moved into the starting lineup. He scored just two points in his first contest of Week 7, and averaged just 6.6 points with three rebounds and 1.4 steals in the five games prior. The Rockets have liked what Chase Budinger has done off the bench since making the switch so while Parsons could continue to start, owners in the majority of Fantasy leagues should leave the rookie on waivers at this point.

Centers

Add 'Em

Kosta Koufos, Nuggets
Owned: 8 percent
Analysis: With all of the injuries to the frontcourt in Denver, Koufos has been seeing more playing time and has been able to come through with some decent numbers. He posted a double-double in the final game of Week 6 and should continue to start while both Nene and Timofey Mozgov are injured. While his rebounding has not been as consistent as some owners would like, Koufos is shooting better than 50 percent from the floor and definitely could help in Fantasy. Since his position is usually thin, consider picking up Koufos in deeper formats heading into Week 8.

Matt Bonner, Spurs
Owned: 8 percent
Analysis: Bonner has a different skill set for a center and obviously does not hold value in larger Fantasy formats, but his recent play could definitely help out some owners. He has begun to pick up his 3-point shooting since the turn of the calendar year and continues to see around 20 minutes off the bench for the Spurs. Bonner has made at least one 3-pointer in each of his last 11 contests and is shooting 48 percent from behind the arc over that stretch. DeJuan Blair and Tiago Splitter have also been struggling of late so the 31-year-old could earn some more minutes going forward. Bonner should be considered a viable addition in deeper category-based formats, especially at a thin position in Fantasy.

Avoid 'Em

DeJuan Blair, Spurs
Owned: 62 percent
Analysis: Blair has had a down campaign all around thus far but his numbers have really taken a hit recently. He started Week 7 with a five-point, five-rebound performance, which capped off a five-game stretch in which he averaged just 4.4 points with 4.6 boards. His 38 percent shooting percentage over that span certainly had something to do with that, but his minutes have been affected by his struggles and he could be in for even more trouble in Week 8. Blair will face the Suns, Mavericks, Grizzlies and Thunder during the upcoming scoring period, which pose some mismatches for the third-year man out of Pitt. Owners in larger formats should leave Blair on waivers until he picks up his production.

Zaza Pachulia, Hawks
Owned: 35 percent
Analysis: Pachulia had a golden opportunity to step up when Al Horford went down, but his production has been spotty for those owners who picked him up. He averaged just 6.6 points with 5.2 rebounds during a five-game stretch that ended on Feb. 6, despite shooting 65 percent from the floor over that span. He will continue to see his minutes in Atlanta -- due to the lack of big men on the roster -- but that doesn't mean owners should start him. Pachulia should be left for deeper Fantasy formats heading into Week 8.

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