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Waiver Wire: Who can help bring a title?

Fantasy Writer
  •  

It is coming down to the final matchups of the Fantasy season and a roster move can make a huge difference at this point. As playoff teams prepare for their respective playoff runs, owners are left to decipher which players have enough left in the tank to lead them to a championship of their own.

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The first 15 weeks of the Fantasy season have led up to this point, so here are some players who can help owners hoist the trophy in their leagues.

This week we are looking at J.J. Hickson.

Hickson has looked like a different player since being claimed by Portland off waivers and is making the most of his time on the court. While he scored just four points against the Jazz on Monday, he is averaging 16.2 points with 7.4 rebounds and one steal in his last four games. Along with shooting 63 percent over that span, he has been seeing over 30 minutes per contest and that should continue down the stretch. The 23-year-old showed in his days with the Cavaliers that he can be a viable option in Fantasy and should be well-rested after not seeing a huge role with the Kings earlier in the year. Hickson will face off against the Houston, Golden State, Dallas and his former squad -- Sacramento -- during Week 16 (April 9-15) so consider him a worthwhile addition in the majority of Fantasy formats.

Guards

Add 'Em

Iman Shumpert, Knicks
Owned: 65 percent
Analysis:The injury to Jeremy Lin has opened the door for Shumpert and he has taken advantage of his increased role. While coach Mike Woodson has said that Baron Davis will be the starting point guard in New York for the time being, Shumpert has been the more productive of the two recently and poses more value going forward based on Davis' fragile nature. He entered Week 15 averaging 15.4 points with 3.4 rebounds and 2.4 steals in his previous five games and shot 46 percent from downtown over that span. Lin's injury could keep him out for the rest of the regular season so the Knicks will need Shumpert's production in order to hang onto their playoff spot. The 21-year-old can be streaky at times and is not the main scorer on the team but could definitely help out some owners in need of some guard help, especially at this point in the season.

Randy Foye, Clippers
Owned: 37 percent
Analysis: After being benched for Nick Young on March 20, Foye has picked up the pace for the Clippers and is playing some of his best ball of the year. He began Week 15 (April 2-8) with a 28-point performance against the Mavericks, in which he made a career-high eight 3-pointers. That capped off a five-game stretch in which he averaged 15.8 points with 2.6 assists and shot 45 percent from beyond the arc. Foye has scored in double figures five times since his benching and appears primed for a solid run down the stretch. Owners know that the 28-year-old can go off at any point and is someone to consider adding off the waiver wire heading into Week 16.

Avoid 'Em

George Hill, Pacers
Owned: 25 percent
Analysis: Hill had a nice little run in Fantasy a few weeks back but has not been doing as much for owners of late. With his 2-point performance on Sunday, he is averaging just five points with three rebounds and 2.8 assists in his last five games. He shot 34 percent from the field over that span and a lowly 22 percent from 3-point land. The 25-year-old continues to see about 20 minutes off the bench in Indiana but his production will likely remain minimal as long as he is shooting poorly. Now is not the time to add Hill off waivers in Fantasy.

C.J. Watson, Bulls
Owned: 13 percent
Analysis: Watson has started 19 games this season while Derrick Rose has dealt with injuries and proved to be valuable in Fantasy at certain points. But his production has slipped of late and could be on the verge of seeing a lessened role once again. Rose is targeted a return for Thursday's game against the Celtics and even if he does not come back for that contest, a Week 16 return is all but likely as the Bulls want to get him ready for the playoffs. Watson began Week 15 with just two points against the Rockets and has averaged 7.8 points with 4.2 assists and 1.4 rebounds in his last five contest. Owners in deeper formats that had been utilizing the 27-year-old might want to look elsewhere heading into the upcoming scoring period.

Forwards

Add 'Em

Tayshaun Prince, Pistons
Owned: 76 percent
Analysis: Prince is having one of the worst campaigns of his career but has picked up his scoring of late and starting to make some noise in Fantasy once again. He ended Week 14 (March 26-April 1) with four straight games scoring in double digits, including two 20-point performances. He averaged 18.2 points with 4.6 rebounds and 3.6 assists over that span while shooting 45 percent from downtown. The 32-year-old is clearly on the downside of his career and playing for a bad team certainly doesn't help things. Still, Prince has the opportunity to be productive for owners down the stretch and could help out in larger formats with Orlando, Charlotte, Milwaukee and Chicago on the schedule for Week 16.

Kevin Seraphin, Wizards
Owned: 28 percent
Analysis: Seraphin has picked up his production over the last week or two and has earned a larger role in Washington as a result. He scored 15 points on Monday against the Bucks, which marked the fifth time in the last six games in which he recorded double-digit points. While his rebounding has been sporadic, the 22-year-old should continue to see significant minutes as long as the Wizards are banged up in the frontcourt. He has some favorable matchups on tap for Week 16 with the Bobcats, Magic, Knicks and Cavaliers due up so consider Seraphin a worthwhile add in deeper Fantasy formats.

Avoid 'Em

Boris Diaw, Spurs
Owned: 49 percent
Analysis: After averaging 11.3 points with five-plus rebounds each of the last two seasons, Diaw has been a huge disappointment in Fantasy this season and the move to San Antonio has not helped matters. He did not play in Saturday's contest against the Pacers and is averaging just 2.5 points with 3.8 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.3 steals through four games with his new team. The Spurs have always been known for getting the most out of their players but it looks as though the 29-year-old will just provide them with depth down the stretch. Leave Diaw on waivers in the majority of Fantasy formats at this point.

Jonas Jerebko, Pistons
Owned: 17 percent
Analysis: Owners should not be fooled by Jerebko's 18-and-5 performance against the Bobcats on Saturday as it was his first time scoring in double figures since March 21. That capped off a five-game stretch in which he averaged 8.6 points with 5.4 rebounds and one steal while shooting 48 percent from the field. The 25-year-old was a viable option in Fantasy earlier in the year and while he still sees around 20 minutes per game, leave Jerebko for the deepest of formats now that the playoffs have started.

Centers

Add 'Em

Marcus Camby, Rockets
Owned: 71 percent
Analysis: Camby struggled in his first few games with Houston but has picked up the pace of late and is starting to regain some value in Fantasy. He posted his first double-double since Feb. 15 on Monday against the Bulls, which capped off a five-game stretch in which he averaged seven points with 9.4 rebounds and 2.6 blocks. While he is expected to return to a reserve role once Samuel Dalembert gets over his illness, the 38-year-old should continue to see decent minutes off the bench and can provide owners with some much-needed blocks and rebounds. Consider grabbing Camby in deeper Fantasy formats heading into Week 16, especially Rotisserie.

Byron Mullens, Bobcats
Owned: 46 percent
Analysis: Mullens has regained a larger role in Charlotte once again -- starting at forward over Tyrus Thomas -- and put together a solid performance while starting over the weekend. He led the Bobcats with 20 points and nine rebounds on Saturday against the Pistons and followed that up with a 20-and-14 performance against the Raports his next time out. He is averaging 12.4 points with 8.4 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in his last five contests and should be able to help out owners at such a thin position in Fantasy. With Washington, Cleveland, Detroit, Miami and Boston on the schedule for Week 16, Mullens can be added in most formats.

Avoid 'Em

Bismack Biyombo, Bobcats
Owned: 43 percent
Analysis: With Mullens taking off again, Biyombo has fallen by the wayside in Charlotte and is not looking like a viable option in Fantasy down the stretch. With his 5-and-5 performance on Tuesday, he is averaging 5.4 points with 4.8 rebounds and a block in his last five contests. While he is shooting 50 percent over that span, he is still an unfinished production on offense and Mullens will likely continue to be the more productive of the two heading into Week 16. Owners in need of help at center should look elsewhere than Biyombo.

Nikola Vucevic, 76ers
Owned: 10 percent
Analysis: Vucevic has seen his playing time hit rock bottom with the return of Spencer Hawes and cannot seem to find the floor of late. He did not play on Saturday, which marked the third time in the last six games he had DNP next to his name on the stat sheet. Coach Doug Collins said on Tuesday that the rookie is "tired" and Tony Battie will play until he is up to speed again. Vucevic proved to be a viable stopgap in Fantasy earlier in the year but is someone to avoid in all Fantasy formats down the stretch.

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Player News
Hornets center Al Jefferson looking to improve defensive presence
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(5:25 pm ET) Hornets center Al Jefferson said he is tired of being a defensive liability and is looking to make sure opposing teams don't target his pick-and-roll defense, according to The Charlotte Observer.

"I refuse to continue getting picked on at the end of games. It’s not fun," Jefferson said. "Last year at the end of games teams always put me in high pick-and-rolls. I got sick of them thinking that was to their advantage, and it was to their advantage."

Coach Steve Clifford said he was happy that Jefferson brought up the subject of his defensive issues and saved the coaches from having to point it out.

"He’s working hard. His attitude is great. I sense more of a hunger than any kind of complacency," Clifford said. "He sees what the possibilities are for the group. He’s competitive and wants to win."


Pistons coach speaks highly of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(5:14 pm ET) Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy spoke highly Wednesday about second-year guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, according to the team's official website.

"You always look at players first to their strengths, where can a guy be great," Van Gundy said. "I think he can be an elite defender in this league at the two guard and we’ll look for that every night. I think he is a high-energy guy who can get up and down the floor and attack the basket in transition. Those two things have got to be his foundation."

Caldwell-Pope averaged 24 points per game in the Summer League. However, he's still not at the stage in his career where the Pistons are counting on him to be one of their top scorers.

"On the offensive end, he’s going to have to slow down a little bit, get under control, and like a lot of people it will come down to how many shots he can make, how efficient he can be shooting the ball, how consistent can you be," Van Gundy said. "But I think he’s got a great foundation with the defense and energy that will get him on the floor and give him a chance to develop in those other areas."


Lakers forward Ryan Kelly suffers hamstring strain
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(4:31 pm ET) Lakers forward Ryan Kelly suffered a moderate left hamstring strain Wednesday. The Lakers will have more information about the severity of his injury Thursday, according to the Los Angeles Daily News.

Pacers forward C.J. Miles not worried about calf strain
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(4:24 pm ET) Pacers forward C.J. Miles has been unable to complete a full practice at the start of training camp due to a calf strain, according to VigilantSports.com. However, Miles is not worried about the injury.

"It’s just a little strain, nothing crazy," he said Wednesday. "I’m pretty much healed. I’m doing everything just monitoring the contact a little bit just because of the wear and tear on it.

"It doesn’t make sense for me to be out with a strain for three weeks now when I could take a couple days just two get it all the way back, finish the month and be ready for the first game of the season. But I’m well past sitting out. Just monitoring it, that’s all."

Miles added he only sits out a portion of practice.

"I do everything throughout the whole practice until like just a little bit of the contact just towards the end," he explained. "Since the first practices are long, they don’t want me go through the wear and tear of the whole practice."


Jonas Jerebko will be part of Pistons' 10-man rotation
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3:24 pm ET) Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy indicated Wednesday forward Jonas Jerebko will be part of a 10-man rotation this season.

"We'll play at least nine on a nightly basis but probably 10 a lot, based on the way Jonas has played in September and in camp," Van Gundy said after Wednesday's morning practice, per the team's official website. "I've been really happy (with him). Nobody put more time in here this summer than Jonas did. Because of his play with the national team in years past, he's never really been able to devote as much time to his own development and his own game. He's gotten stronger. He's in tremendous shape.

"I think the key to Jonas -- and we talked about this early on -- is he has to get back to being the guy he was when he first came into the league, that hungry guy playing with incredible energy, trying to make his spot. What we've seen in September, he looks like a guy who is committed to being a high-energy guy."


D.J. Stephens added to Pelicans' training camp roster
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2:34 pm ET) The Pelicans added guard/forward D.J. Stephens to the training camp roster, according to The Times-Picayune. Stephens appeared in three games for the Bucks in 2013-14, averaging 2.3 points and 1.7 rebounds.

Josh McRoberts expects to be ready by Heat season opener
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2:31 pm ET) Heat forward Josh McRoberts will not play in Wednesday's scrimmage due to a toe injury, according to the Sun-Sentinel. McRoberts, who had toe surgery in the offseason, said he has dealt with the issue for years.

"I've needed surgery for a couple years," McRoberts said. "We kind of figured out last year before the season started. I knew right when the playoffs ended, so it was something I had planned for."

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said the Heat are just being cautious to avoid McRoberts aggravating the injury. However, McRoberts expects to be ready by the season opener in late October.

"I'm just kind of easing back into things," McRoberts said. "It takes time to recover from something like this. I'm just trying not to overdo it."


Heat forward Chris Andersen working on jump shot
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2:24 pm ET) Heat forward Chris Andersen is spending extra time after practice during training camp to work on jumpers from the elbow and baseline, according to the Sun-Sentinel. Andersen is putting in the extra work because the Heat feel he can be used in more than just pick-and-roll situations.

"To step out and have that confidence to shoot the 15-footer, a lot of people haven't seen it or don't expect it," Andersen said. "This year, [coach Erik Spoelstra] says he's going to implement it into the game plan. I look forward to getting that opportunity."


Norris Cole looking to become a scoring threat for Heat
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1:43 pm ET) Heat guard Norris Cole said he wants to become more of a scoring threat this season, according to the Sun-Sentinel.

"We had so many playmakers [last year] that there were times I deferred to let those guys make the plays," Cole said. "They were great at it…. But I also I saw [plays] where I could have been more aggressive to attack."

The Heat are expected to have more balanced scoring in 2014-15 since LeBron James is no longer on the roster.

"He's gotten better individually for sure," guard Dwayne Wade said. "He had a hell of a summer working out and getting prepared. Defensively, he's a monster. The next wave for him is how to be effective as a point guard and effective as a scoring guard. He's going to have to figure out the perfect way to do that. It's not always easy for guys but if he can figure it out he can be very dangerous for us."


Blazers' LaMarcus Aldridge expected to attempt more 3-pointers
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1:35 pm ET) Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts expects power forward LaMarcus Aldridge to attempt more than the 15 3-pointers he took last season during the 2014-15 campaign, according to The Oregonian. However, it doesn't appear Aldridge will become a 3-point specialist any time soon.

"This summer, I worked on it a lot more, so we'll see this season," he said. "If it's there, I'll take it. I'm not going to force it at all."


 
 
 
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