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Playing the Waiver Wire for Week 5

Fantasy Writer
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There wasn't much movement on waivers wires this week, at least not until the weekend. Friday's rash of serious injuries to stars around the league caused Fantasy owners to rush to pick up their replacements.

Beyond Derrick Rose, Marc Gasol and Andre Iguodala's replacements, this was a pretty quiet week overall on the wire. Terrence Jones' continued breakout as the Rockets' starting power forward propelled him to the top of the most-added list, but he was one of just three players added in more than 25 percent of CBSSports.com Fantasy leagues this week.

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The big-time injuries are going to dominate Fantasy owners' minds, but that doesn't mean we can't take a look at the rest of the most-added and dropped players. If you missed out on Kosta Koufos or Kirk Hinrich to replace Gasol and Rose, you need to know if Martell Webster or Jared Sullinger will be worth picking up and plugging in instead.

Most Added

Terrence Jones, F, Rockets: It's hard to believe Jones is actually still available in one out of every five CBSSports.com Fantasy leagues. Did your rosters lock at the start of the season or something? Jones is averaging 28.0 Fantasy points per game since joining the starting lineup, putting him into a tie with Nene for 23rd among forwards over the last two weeks. Maybe his recent play is a fluke that he can't sustain, but it's not like Jones isn't a talented player -- he was considered a potential lottery pick coming out of Kentucky. His production (15.0 points, 8.7 rebounds, 1.7 blocks as a starter) is buoyed a bit by an unsustainable 53.8 percent mark on 3-pointers, however all of his shots from long range have come on catch-and-shoot chances, which means he understands his role and is succeeding. The Rockets have the kind of shallow bench that could force them to continue leaning on the starting lineup heavily, so 30 minutes and 10 shots seem likely to be a nightly occurrence for Jones at this point. (78 percent owned; +37 percent)

Martell Webster, G, Wizards: Webster proved pretty definitively last season that he is a great fit in the Wizards' starting lineup, so it was certainly a disappointment to see Trevor Ariza open the season as the starter. Even with Ariza playing pretty well to open the season, Webster might be a better fit with the starters in the long run. Webster is averaging 14.8 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game as a starter, but there is some uncertainty surrounding what his role will be when Ariza comes back. His current 54-percent ownership seems low for Webster in his current role, but the uncertainty makes it difficult to consider him a sure-fire add moving forward. (54 percent owned; 18 percent)

Glen Davis, F, Magic: I understand the appeal of Davis, who had 20 points and five rebounds in his season debut against Miami on Saturday. I'm just not sure I see the wisdom in adding him. I think he's a skilled enough scorer to be a solid Fantasy option, as he showed while averaging 26.1 Fantasy points per game before his 2012-13 season came to an end. Of course, that came when he was averaging 31.3 minutes per game. I don't think his role can possibly be as big this season, as the Magic are deep and actually reasonably talented in the frontcourt right now, especially with Tobias Harris nearly back from an ankle injury. Adding Davis is a fine risk to take, but I'm certainly not rushing out to grab him at this point. (49 percent owned; +17 percent)

Andray Blatche, C, Nets: If we knew how long Brook Lopez was going to be sidelined by his ankle injury, I don't think there is any question Blatche would be someone to rush out and add. His production as a starter last season showed what he can do when Lopez goes down; he averaged 17.9 points and 9.3 rebounds per game in eight starts. Blatche hasn't been in the starting lineup with Lopez out, but his production has jumped up in a big way regardless, as he is averaging 17.5 points and 6.0 rebounds in the last four games entering Sunday. Even a little bit of clarity about Lopez's timeline would make judging Blatche's Fantasy value in the short term much more simple. To put it as simply as possible, as long as Lopez is out, Blatche is an excellent streaming option. (28 percent owned; +21 percent)

Most added players (as of 11/25)
Player % change
1. Kirk Hinrich, G, Bulls 43
2. Kosta Koufos, C, Grizzlies 37
3. Glen Davis, F, Magic 29
4. Terrence Jones, F, Rockets 28
5. Gerald Green, G, Suns 22
6. Martell Webster, G, Wizards 18
7. Marvin Williams, F, Jazz 18
8. Harrison Barnes, F, Warriors 17
9. Jared Sullinger, F, Celtics 16
10. Rodney Stuckey, G, Pistons 16

Jared Sullinger, F, Celtics: The Celtics have opted to lean on Sullinger very heavily this season, and it might be time for Fantasy owners to do the same. He has scored in double figures in all but two of the 13 games he has played this season, while averaging 21.5 Fantasy points per game overall. Sullinger has been given tons of freedom on offense, as he has attempted 28 3-pointers and 18 shots between 16 and 23 feet. He is also trending upwards right now, having played 30-plus minutes in each of his last three games, a great sign for his value moving forward. In four games with 30-plus minutes played, Sullinger is averaging 18.3 points and 9.8 rebounds per game. On a team that doesn't have many dependable options, Sullinger's role can only grow. If I saw him on waivers right now, I'd go grab him. (73 percent owned; +14 percent)

Most Dropped

Markieff Morris, F, Suns: On Nov. 13, I wrote that Morris might be forcing me to change my mind on him, after downplaying his Fantasy value early in the season. In his next four games, Morris averaged just 4.3 points on 19.0 percent shooting from the field. Clearly, I have no idea what to make of Morris. No player is as good or bad as their best or worst stretches show, but we haven't seen anything in the middle from Morris this season. Given the upside he has shown and his role on the team, I'm still not quite ready to jump ship with Morris, but another poor week could tip the scales for me. (75 percent owned; -15 percent)

Gerald Wallace, F, Celtics: I'm not sure why Wallace is still owned in 42 percent of leagues. I don't see any reason to own this guy at this point. We're more than a year removed from him actually being a useful Fantasy option, and he has only regressed in his move to Boston. At 31, "Crash" is no longer able to use his athleticism like he used to, and his game simply hasn't evolved enough. At 12.7 Fantasy points per game, Wallace is basically useless. 42 percent owned; -11 percent)

Chris Kaman, C, Lakers: Similar to Wallace, Kaman was once useful but has flamed out with his new team. This shouldn't come as too much of a surprise, as his scoring has dipped pretty steadily since he peaked at 18.5 points per game in 2009-10. Kaman is the third big man in the Lakers' rotation right now, and simply isn't getting the kind of playing time some Fantasy owners might have hoped for. Kaman simply doesn't fit into a fast-paced offense and has little place on your Fantasy roster right now. (29 percent owned; -11 percent)

Flavors of Next Week

-- by Joe Polito (@JoePo89)

Bust out the comfort food and cue the sad country music, because this is the depressing injury edition of your usual waiver column.

Let's start with perhaps the worst news of this young NBA season: Derrick Rose is out indefinitely with a torn right MCL, which could end up costing him yet another season. This means that Kirk Hinrich (44 percent) will assume full-time starting point guard duties, so D-Rose owners might as well pick him up in the hopes that he can build on his 10.7 points and 5.9 assists per 36 minutes so far this year.

The problem with Hinrich is there's not much upside to his game. As much as it pains me to say, Jordan Crawford's ability to score will probably give him more value than Hinrich's more traditional point guard play. Hinrich is comparable to Steve Blake, but doesn't have the benefit of a Mike D'antoni, PG-boosting offense to enhance his stats. The lone bright spot in Hinrich's game is his ability to set up teammates, which he led the Bulls in even before Rose got hurt. He recorded seven assists in his first start post-Rose against the Clippers.

Point guard is one of the deepest positions in Fantasy, so for now, unless you have Rose, only deep leagues should drop a point guard for Hinrich -- maybe those depending on timeshare guys such as Mo Williams and Jordan Farmar. Use Crawford, the most droppable starting point guard in Fantasy, as a guage for whether or not Hinrich deserves a roster spot.

Kosta Koufos, C, Grizzlies (29 percent): Next stop on our tour of pain and despair: Memphis, where franchise cornerstone Marc Gasol has been ruled out indefinitely with an MCL sprain. Enter Koufos, who the Grizzlies signed in the offseason after a nice year in Denver. He's no Gasol, but Koufos averages a double-double and almost two blocks per 36 minutes for his career, so he's a capable replacement at the center position. He's the only other center on the roster, so expect him to log heavy minutes as opposed to the 22 per game he averaged last year platooning with JaVale McGee. Consistency alone should put him ahead of many of the up-and-down centers being added and dropped in your league. If you need production now, Kevin Garnett and Andrew Bynum are the kinds of unreliable bigs to drop for a steady Koufos. The Grizzlies bank on physical play and points in the paint, so Koufos should get his share of touches close to the basket.

Harrison Barnes, F, Warriors (76 percent): Hope you've still got some chocolate ice cream left in the freezer, because we've got yet another universally owned Fantasy starter out indefinitely. Andre Iguodala was thriving at point forward for the Warriors until he felt a pop in his hamstring Friday night and was diagnosed with a strain. Barnes had already been handed a bigger role with Stephen Curry also missing time with injury, so Iguoadala being sidelined extends Barnes' stay in the starting lineup. He showed he's capable of stepping up in times of need, as he filled in admirably for David Lee in last years' playoffs. This opportunity could be what jump starts Barnes' breakout, so grab him now if you don't want to miss it. Markieff Morris and Maurice Harkless are some middling forwards I'd drop for Barnes' upside and opportunity. Tougher decisions would involve Caron Butler, Martell Webster and Shawn Marion, all of whom don't have the high ceiling of Barnes, but have still been too consistent to drop so far.

Mike Dunleavy, F, Bulls (13 percent): We're not out of the woods yet. Jimmy Butler has turf toe and has been deemed "week-to-week." Filling in during those weeks will be Dunleavy, who scored 14 points on two made three pointers against the Lakers Sunday night. If Dunleavy can start cracking the 30-minute mark, he's a good enough shooter to help category players in threes, points and shooting percentages. Combine that with a relatively weak shooting guard selection, and Dunleavy could end up a useful piece in deeper leagues as he picks up the injury slack in Chicago. Because the other available options include volatile players such as Gerald Green, Rodney Stuckey and Avery Bradley, Dunleavy could become a shooting guard you can count on any minute now.

Josh McRoberts (54 percent): I just can't stop writing about McBob. This is his first mention outside of the Roto Fact Sheet (click here for the latest installment), but his diverse production can no longer be ignored. He currently has more Fantasy points than Kawhi Leonard, Jared Sullinger, and Amir Johnson in the same number of games. He's tied with Kevin Love for second among power forward eligible players in assists at 4.5 per game. He doesn't often crack double digits in any category, but his single-digit production is widespread enough for him to be a factor, so don't hold it against him. So if you like big-man assists and an abundance of hair, then McBob is the free agent for you.

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Player News
Heat add Reggie Williams
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(8/16/2014) The Heat signed guard Reggie Williams to a free-agency contract last week, the team announced. Terms of the deal are not known.

Williams appeared in just three games for the Thunder last season, and has played 180 games over parts of five NBA seasons. He averages 8.5 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game, while shooting 46.0 percent from the field and 37.1 percent from three-point range for his career.  


Isaiah Thomas undergoes wrist surgery
by Joe Polito | CBSSports.com
(8/15/2014) Suns newcomer Isaiah Thomas underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left wrist, the team announced Thursday.

Thomas dealt with a sprained wrist last season but was able to play through it on his way to a career year. An MRI in February revealed no ligament damage, which would indicate this latest procedure is nothing to worry about. The team expects him to be ready for training camp. 


DeMarcus Cousins avoids serious injury at Team USA practice
by Joe Polito | CBSSports.com
(8/15/2014) Kings center DeMarcus Cousins dodged a bullet Thursday when the MRI on his right knee came back negative.

According to Yahoo Sports, Cousins limped off the court during a Team USA training session after Anthony Davis landed on his knee during a scrimmage. Cousins later tweeted that he was "fine," helping to suppress any concerns of a serious injury. 


Pacers shopping Roy Hibbert, call Pistons about Greg Monroe
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(8/11/2014) The Pacers are shopping center Roy Hibbert, and they have called the Pistons regarding a potential deal involving restricted free agent Greg Monroe, Detroit Sports 105.1 reports.

There's no word about whether the Pistons would be interested in a Monroe-for-Hibbert spot, but they are pretty well set in the middle with Andre Drummond in the starting lineup. It's a rumor that seemingly has very little chance of coming to fruition.


Rockets sign Kostas Papanikolaou
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(8/11/2014) The Rockets have signed small forward Kostas Papanikolaou .

Papanikolaou gets $4.8 million guaranteed in the upcoming season, with a team option of $4.6 million for the following season. He has been playing in Europe since being drafted in the second round of the 2012 draft.


Report: Greg Oden faces felony charge
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(8/11/2014) Free agent Greg Oden is facing a felony charge after allegedly attacking his former girlfriend after a night of drinking, the Indianapolis Star reports.

Oden is accused of punching the woman in the face three times and fracturing a bone in her nose, according to court documents. The felony offense carries a penaly of one-to-six years in prison.


Markel Brown out with broken hand
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(8/11/2014) Nets guard Markel Brown will be held out of basketball activities for four-to-six weeks after being diagnosed with a nondisplaced fracture of the fourth metacarpal in his right hand, the team announced Monday.

Brown was selected 44th overall in this year's draft, and the Nets acquired him for cash considerations on the night of the draft. He averaged 17.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.9 assists in his senior season at Oklahoma State.


Report: Wolves to swap Anthony Bennett for Thaddeus Young
by Joe Polito | CBSSports.com
(8/8/2014) Though the trade can't go official until August 23, the deal reportedly struck between the Cavaliers and Timberwolves will lead to another trade between Minnesota and the 76ers.

The Philadelphia Daily News reported early Friday that Minnesota, upon receiving Anthony Bennett from the Cavs as part of the Kevin Love trade, would then trade him for Thaddeus Young. The Timberwolves have been showing interest in Young since Love stated his desire to be traded.

Meanwhile, the 76ers want to move Young because he's entering his prime at age 26 and only has one additional year left on his contract. Acquiring Bennett would complete a core of young talent to develop over the coming years. Young was one of the most productive forwards in the league last year playing in Brett Brown's up-tempo offense, averaging 17.9 points, 6.0 rebounds and 2.1 steals per game. Bennett, on the other hand, failed to make any impact what so ever but did show signs of growth during the Summer League. 


Landing in Minnesota should improve Andrew Wiggins' value
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(8/7/2014) The prize of the trade that ultimately sent Kevin Love to Cleveland will likely be the Timberwolves' acquisition of No. 1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins , assuming there are no unexpected changes in the deal the two sides agreed to.

If Wiggins does ultimately land in Minnesota, as expected, this should be a boon to his Fantasy value. Though Wiggins will have substantially less help as he makes the transition to the NBA than he would have in Cleveland, he is also likely to be much more of a featured option than he otherwise might have been.

Wiggins was likely going to be the third or possibly even fourth offensive option for the Cavs, and likely would have been so for some time, given the presence of LeBron James and Kyrie Irving on long-term deals. Now, the Timberwolves get to build around Wiggins as their long-term centerpiece, and he should be given plenty of rope as the team tries to navigate their upcoming rebuild.

Wiggins is raw, but still put up 17.1 points and 5.9 rebounds in 32.8 minutes per game as a freshman at the University of Kansas. There are some questions about how well his game will translate to the NBA, but he will at least have some help, in the form of point guard Ricky Rubio, who knows exactly how to set up teammates for shots they like.

Wiggins is mostly upside right now, but should be considered a second-round pick in all keeper-league Fantasy formats. In yearly re-draft leagues, he is more of a mid-round option at this point, albeit one with tremendous upside. 


Anthony Bennett a bit more intriguing following trade
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(8/7/2014) After a rookie season that can be charitably described as lost, a change of scenery is probably the best outcome Anthony Bennett could have hoped for this offseason. He got that Thursday, with the news that the long-awaited Kevin Love trade has landed him in Minnesota.

Last year's No. 1 overall pick luckily doesn't have to join the Cavaliers with the pressure of replacing Love as the face of the franchise -- this year's No. 1 pick, Andrew Wiggin, will take that on. Bennett gets to join a Timberwolves team that can give him more consistent playing time than last year's Cavaliers afforded him, but which won't ask him to do more than he is capable.

Bennett might end up starting at power forward for the Wolves, though a bench role seems more likely at this point. He had a disastrous rookie season after entering the season out of shape, but appeared to be in better shape while playing with the Cavaliers during the Summer League in Las Vegas. He still shot the ball poorly in Vegas -- 42.6 percent from the field and just 4 of 16 from three-point range -- but Bennett looked much more capable during his time there.

Based on his rookie season, Bennett has a long way to go before he is contributing at a high level. However, Fantasy owners in deeper category-based leagues should consider taking a chance on the 21-year-old in the later rounds, because he will have the chance to earn a large role if he proves worthy. 


 
 
 
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