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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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Player News
Napier doubtful, Whiteside questionable for Heat on Sunday
(6:16 pm ET) Guard Shabazz Napier (right hip pain) is listed as doubtful and center Hassan Whiteside (right hand laceration) has been upgraded to questionable for the Heat on Sunday against the Pistons, according to the team’s injury report.

Napier is averaging 5.1 points and 2.5 assists this season as primarily a reserve.

Whiteside (11.0 points, 9.8 rebounds per game) cut his hand in Monday’s loss in Milwaukee.


Spurs C Aron Baynes (ankle) upgraded to probable for Sunday
(5:33 pm ET) Spurs center Aron Baynes (sprained right ankle) has been upgraded to probable for Sunday's game against the Grizzlies, reports the San Antonio Express-News.

Baynes has missed the last three games after suffering the injury March 22 in the team's win in Atlanta.

Baynes is averaging 6.2 points and 4.4 rebounds as a reserve this season.

Nuggets pick up G Ian Clark off waivers
(5:20 pm ET) The Nuggets have claimed shooting guard Ian Clark off waivers, according to the Denver Post.

Clark was released Thursday by the Jazz.

In 23 games with the Jazz this season, Clark was averaging 1.9 points and 7.0 minutes per game.

Hornets F Cody Zeller (shoulder) out Saturday against Hawks
(5:13 pm ET) Hornets forward Cody Zeller will miss his fourth straight game Saturday against the Hawks with a shoulder injury, according to the team.

Zeller suffered the injury March 9 against the Wizards. He sat out the next four games before returning March 20, but has not played since - missing nine of his last 10 games before tonight.

Zeller is averaging 7.6 points and 5.8 rebounds per game this season.

Rodney Hood probable, Derrick Favors doubtful for Jazz on Saturday
(4:09 pm ET) Jazz guard Rodney Hood (gastrointestinal distress) is listed as probable for Saturday against the Thunder while forward Derrick Favors (back spasms) is doubtful, according to the team.

Hood has missed the last two games as a result of the illness.

Favors is dealing with back spasms suffered in Friday's loss.

The Jazz are six-point underdogs against the Thunder.


Hawks to sit starters for rest Saturday in Charlotte
(3:56 pm ET) With the top seed in the Eastern Conference wrapped up, the Hawks will not play their starting five on Saturday in order to rest them, reports the Atlanta Journal Constitutional

Forwards Paul Millsap and DeMarre Carroll, guard Kyle Korver and center Al Horford will sit out Saturday's game in Charlotte.

Starting guard Jeff Teague is already out with a left ankle sprain.

It's expected that backups John Jenkins, Mike Muscala and Elton Brand will get the start tonight.


Hornets SF Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (ankle) out for Saturday
(3:26 pm ET) Hornets small forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (ankle sprain) will not play Saturday against the Hawks, reports the Charlotte Observer.

Kidd-Gilchrist suffered the ankle sprain in Friday's loss in Washington.

Guard Jeff Taylor is expected to see more time as a result of Kidd-Gilchrist's injury.

Lakers G Jeremy Lin (sinus issues) believes he'll play Sunday
(2:38 pm ET) Lakers guard Jeremy Lin has been taking antibiotics and pain killers to treat issues with a sinus but says he should be ready to go Sunday in Brooklyn, according to the L.A. Daily News.

Lin completed all of Saturday’s practice and afterwards seemed confident that he'd be healthy enough to play on Sunday. 

“Yeah,” Lin said. "Unless it gets worse.”


Stevens has reason not to change Celtics' struggling starting lineup
(2:23 pm ET) In contention for the seventh and eighth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, the Celtics' starting five have been outscored this season by 11.3 points, worse than the NBA-worst Knicks, giving coach Brad Stevens thoughts of changing it up, reports MassLive.com 

"We've had that discussion almost every day," Stevens said. 

But his relucatance to change the starting five is due to the strong bench play from forward Jae Crowder and guard Isaiah Thomas, especially when they're on the floor at the same time with reserve center Kelly Olynyk and guard Jonas Jerebko

"The first six minutes of a 48-minute game are the first six minutes," Stevens said. "You want to start as well as you can, but you also want to create rotations that you like. If your second unit's really playing at a high level, then you have to factor that in - that if you mix it up, your second unit might not play at a high level."


Pistons' Tayshaun Prince hopes to move to contender in offseason
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(2:08 pm ET) Tayshaun Prince was traded back to the Pistons at the deadline, but the 35-year-old doesn't want to be part of the team's rebuilding effort. 

"I'm not going to jump to conclusions," Prince said, per MLive. "But as you guys know, and as of my time in Boston before I got traded to Detroit, my intention was to get to a contender. You know, you can never say never, but obviously, at this point in my career, I think that's where I help teams the best."

Coach Stan Van Gundy isn't thinking about Prince's future. "When we get to the end of the year ... you know, I have no idea what his goals are going forward, either," he said. "So that's a discussion for after the season."


 
 
 
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