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Playing the Waiver Wire for Week 6

Fantasy Writer
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There wasn't a ton of movement on the free-agency front last week, as Fantasy owners must surely be shell-shocked from the rash of major injuries last week. We're still waiting to see exactly how things play out moving forward. And the hits just kept coming, with Bradley Beal and J.J. Redick going down with serious injuries.

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I discussed Martell Webster's Fantasy value moving forward in this space last time, but that was within the context of him playing in Trevor Ariza's place. He finds himself in the top-five most-added players yet again this week, as Beal's injury came about just as Ariza was ready to come back. With Beal out, Webster and Ariza are playing next to each other, and Webster's production has remained consistent.

In four games since Ariza has returned from his hamstring Webster has still played a huge role for the Wizards. He has averaged 16.3 points per game in that span, while topping 37 minutes in each game. The Wizards' bench is simply a disaster at this point, so you can't blame them for relying on Webster heavily, especially with how well he plays with John Wall. He is now up to 40.7 percent from three-point range on the season, and is pouring in four 3-pointers per game over the last five.

Webster is up to 76-percent ownership, and as long as Beal is out, I think that number ought to climb higher. He is a viable starting Fantasy option as long as he remains in the starting lineup for the Wizards.

Most Added

Channing Frye, F, Suns: That Channing Frye is even playing right now makes him one of the better stories in the league, after he was forced to sit out all of last season with a heart ailment. That he is on fire from long range and thriving as a stretch-four, however, should come as little surprise. That's what Frye does. The Suns have received contributions from a number of options at the power forward spot this season, but Frye's got the longest track record of them, so this increased role just might stick. He is averaging 17.0 points and 6.4 rebounds per game over the last five games, while shooting 45.5 percent from three-point range. Those numbers are probably a bit high for what we've come to expect from Frye, but his role in the offense is enough to make me buy into him.(54 percent owned; +37 percent)

Derrick Williams, F, Kings: Williams is still out of position, but at least he's playing. His first game with the Kings wasn't an unqualified success (12 points on 13 field-goal attempts), but it was good enough to make me think Williams can turn into something useful. I'm not sure he'll ever be a good enough shooter to develop into a game changer at small forward; I think playing power forward full time next to DeMarcus Cousins would be tremendous for Williams' short-term and long-term potential. For now, however, the former No. 2 pick looks locked into a full-time role, and is definitely worth picking up -- I snagged him in two of my leagues. (53 percent owned; +28 percent)

Rodney Stuckey, G, Pistons: Fantasy owners have been strangely hesitant to buy into Stuckey, who ranks 15th among guards in Fantasy scoring over the last two weeks. He doesn't do much beyond score, but Stuckey has been putting up 20-plus points on a nearly nightly basis over the last few weeks. Stuckey doesn't really shoot threes, but he has still managed to score at least 16 points in each of his last nine games at this point, thanks in no small part to his ability to get to the free throw line. For a team that is absolutely desperate for perimeter scoring, Stuckey is playing a huge role. I'm not sure why his ownership is so low, but I'd rather own him than, say, Brandon Knight (77 percent) or Jose Calderon (85 percent). (69 percent owned; +24 percent)

Marvin Williams, F, Jazz: Williams has moved into the starting lineup for the Jazz, and his production has been quite solid recently. Williams is averaging 14.4 points on 50.9 percent shooting over the last five games, though he is bringing little else to the table at this point. We know who Marvin Williams is, and he isn't a 50-percent shooter or a particularly efficient scorer overall, so I'll go on record as not buying Williams' recent surge. He is playing 30-plus minutes, and can be useful, but I wouldn't drop anyone I like for him. He's probably a desperation play at this point.(34 percent owned; +17 percent)

Aaron Brooks, G, Rockets: In his seventh NBA season, it's pretty clear what Aaron Brooks is. He's bounced around to four different teams in his last three seasons, but he's always been able to score, as he carries a 17.4 points-per-36 minutes average for his career. With James Harden slowed by a foot injury and Jeremy Lin out with a knee issue, Brooks has stepped up with double figures in three of the last five games. Lin is going to miss a few weeks with his injury, so Brooks should figure into the rotation as the third guard for the Rockets, but his production is likely to be sporadic. I could envision a scenario where Brooks emerges as a viable Fantasy option down the road, but I wouldn't bet on it happening unless one more Rockets' guard goes down.(14 percent owned; +12 percent)

Most Dropped

Zaza Pachulia, C, Bucks: Early in the season, Pachulia's familiarity with coach Larry Drew earned him a larger-than-expected role in the first few weeks of the season. That early leash has all but disappeared, and that probably shouldn't come as much of a surprise. Pachulia is a solid backup center, but he's never really proven worthy of a bigger role than that. He is averaging just 5.3 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game over the last 10, and his 25.3 percent mark from the field is a clear sign that he is being asked to do too much offensively. John Henson replaced Zaza Pachulia in the starting lineup recently, and at this point, even 37-percent ownership is far too high for Pachulia. (37 percent owned; -12 percent)

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, F, Bobcats: Even before Kidd-Gilchrist was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis, his play has been flagging recently. Kidd-Gilchrist got off to a solid start to the season, but is averaging just 7.4 points and 4.9 rebounds per game over the last 10 contests. He is likely to miss just one game due to his injury, but plantar fasciitis is a nagging issue that has felled even great players in the past. Kidd-Gilchrist has never been a big Fantasy contributor, and my expectations are even lower than usual as long as he is dealing with this foot injury. Feel free to cut him. 68 percent owned; -10 percent)

Maurice Harkless, F, Magic: Harkless was supposed to break out this season, after a solid rookie year where he flashed a varied skill set. Unfortunately, he has struggled to maintain a consistent place in the rotation, and has been benched in recent games. Harkless has scored in double figures just once over the last six games, and has not played more than 20 minutes in the last four games. I think this Magic roster is going to look quite a bit different than it currently does by the time the trade deadline comes around, so Harkless could get back into the rotation down the road. Go ahead and drop him now. (49 percent owned; -10 percent)

Flavors of next week

-- by Joe Polito (@JoePo89 )

Part of any long-term Fantasy sport is letting your struggling draft picks go with the hope that once they realize their potential they'll fly right back to your roster. Brandon Knight was hard to keep on your team when a hamstring injury left him sidelined for the first few weeks of the season. But with three-straight thirty-minute games and a near triple-double Saturday against Boston, Knight looks ready for 90-plus percent ownership. He's already approaching that, moving up to low eighties this week, but if for some reason Knight is still out there in your league, go ahead and drop an injured J.J. Redick or a struggling J.R. Smith to grab him.

While Knight isn't great at anything, he's pretty good at everything. His athleticism alone gives him an edge on opponents, so you can think of him as capable of Lance Stephenson-type numbers, but with more long-term upside. At the very least, Knight's play-making abilities will keep him in games because he's exciting to watch and there's not much else to cheer in Milwaukee these days when it comes to the hardwood.

The turnovers will be there, but the guy just turned 22 so he's far from fully developed as a point guard. Plus, this is his second team in less than three years, so he'll need some time to get completely acclimated to his new new teammates. The Bucks play four times against sub-par defensive teams this week, so it's time to at least roster Knight before he goes off and your opponents beat you to it.

Dion Waiters, G, Cavaliers, (79 percent): Cleveland didn't try to hide their intentions when reports swirled that they were looking to move second-year guard Dion Waiters in a trade. It seems their first attempt to swap for Iman Shumpert didn't work out, but look for the Cavs to keep rolling Waiters out there to prove his trade value to the rest of the league.

Waiters has three straight games of 20-plus points, and he's getting to the free throw line enough to make it seem sustainable. I'm not a big believer in Waiters' ability, but Fantasy can be more about opportunity, which Waiters has been granted at least for the short term. Depending on where he lands in a trade, Waiters' long-term value could change, probably for the worst. Still, Cleveland isn't going to draw potential suitors by parking Waiters on the bench, so expect him to play and continue to shoot for the time being.

Taj Gibson, F, Bulls, (38 percent): The question of "who steps up for the Bulls?" is gradually being answered. We've seen rookie Tony Snell make a little noise in the starting lineup, but for now I'm more interested in Taj Gibson. The younger, skinnier version of Carlos Boozer has back-to-back games in double-figures, including a 23-point, eight-rebound performance last week against Detroit.

As Chicago becomes acclimated again to life without Derrick Rose, I can see them leaning more on fresher legs like Gibson's rather than continually asking Boozer and Joakim Noah to keep logging heavy minutes. Gibson hasn't eclipsed the thirty minute mark, but I'm expecting that to change soon enough. Take a shot on Gibson while he's taking shots in the middle of Chicago's rotation - one that will need offense more than defense.

Glen Davis, C/F, Magic, (72 percent): Before this week, it was hard to roster anyone on the Magic not named Jameer Nelson, Arron Afflalo or Nikola Vucevic. But then Tobias Harris had a setback with his ankle and Vucevic tripped over a cameraman, sidelining him for up to two weeks. So now it's time to go ahead and grab Glen Davis, who will at the very least find ways to score while Vucevic is out. He put up 33 points in a double-overtime affair Tuesday night against the 76ers, so consider that a hyperbole of what Davis can do on an average night when given ample space and minutes.

The fact that he's eligible at both forward and center also gives you some flexibility when deciding to start him. His value will likely fall again once Vucevic returns, but there's a slim chance Davis can do enough in the next week or so to warrant more playing time down the road, or even more likely, prove he's healthy enough for another team to trade for him.

Robin Lopez, C, Trailblazers, (73 percent): Center has been the biggest question mark for Portland over the last few years, and with a 14-3 record to start the year they seem to have found an answer in Robin Lopez. This is another pick up best kept for Roto and deep leagues, as most of his production will come from hustle on rebounds and defense. If blocks and rebounds are what you seek, then Lopez can provide a consistent boost at the expense of points.

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Player News
Lakers SF Nick Young scores team-high 21 vs. Suns
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12:06 am ET) Lakers small forward Nick Young scored a team-high 21 points on 7 of 15 shooting, including 4 of 6 shooting from three-point range, in his team's 116-107 loss to the Suns Sunday.

Young made just six of his 22 shots in his previous two games before Sunday's quality effort. He kicked in two assists and one rebound in 25 minutes off the bench in the loss, his team's third straight. The Lakers will match up with the Nuggets Tuesday.


Suns SG Goran Dragic scores team-high 24 vs. Lakers
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12:03 am ET) Suns shooting guard Goran Dragic scored a team-high 24 points on 9 of 16 shooting, including 4 of 6 shooting from three-point range, in his team's 116-107 win over the Lakers Sunday.

The Suns have won six straight games since Dragic was sidelined for two games with a lower back strain in mid-December, ending a six-game losing streak upon his return. He kicked in two rebounds, two assists and one steal in 34 minutes Sunday. The Suns will square off with the Pelicans Tuesday.


Nuggets PF Kenneth Faried doubles up vs. Raptors
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12/28/2014) Nuggets power forward Kenneth Faried scored 17 points on 8 of 19 shooting while racking up 19 rebounds in his team's 116-102 loss to the Raptors Sunday.

Faried came off a monster 26-25 line in Friday's win over the Timberwolves and followed it up with another quality performance, his third straight double-double. He also added two assists in 38 minutes of action in the loss. Faried will square off with the Lakers Tuesday.


Raptors SG Lou Williams scores team-high 31 vs. Nuggets
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12/28/2014) Raptors shooting guard Lou Williams scored a team-high 31 points on 11 of 18 shooting, including 4 of 7 shooting from behind the arc, in his team's 116-102 win over the Nuggets Sunday.

Williams played a season-high 34 minutes with Landry Fields out and capitalized on the opportunity, topping 10 made shots for the first time this season. He added five rebounds, two assists and one steal in the win. The Raptors will square off with the Blazers Tuesday.


Raptors PG Kyle Lowry doubles up vs. Nuggets Sunday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12/28/2014) Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry scored 30 points on 12 of 20 shooting, including 3 of 5 shooting from three-point range, while dishing out 11 assists in his team's 116-102 win over the Nuggets Sunday.

Lowry's double-double was his sixth in the month of December, but his 60 percent success rate from the field represented his best performance of the month. He also racked up seven rebounds, one steal and one block in 38 minutes. The Raptors will look for their third-straight win Tuesday in Portland.


Blazers SG Wesley Matthews scores team-high 28 vs. Knicks
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12/28/2014) Trail Blazers shooting guard Wesley Matthews scored a team-high 28 points on 10 of 21 shooting, including 6 of 15 shooting from three-point range, in his team's 101-79 win over the Knicks Sunday.

Matthews set a season high with 14 three-point attempts Friday and topped it one game later, though he wasn't as efficient on his attempts from behind the arc in Sunday's blowout win. He also recorded five assists, four rebounds and one block in 32 minutes. The Blazers take a three-game winning streak into Tuesday's matchup with the Raptors.


Knicks C Cole Aldrich doubles up vs. Blazers
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12/28/2014) Knicks center Cole Aldrich scored 12 points on 6 of 16 shooting while racking up a career-high 19 rebounds in his team's 101-79 loss to the Blazers Sunday.

Aldrich easily topped his previous season high of 10 rebounds while posting his second double-double of the season Sunday, adding a season-high four steals, two assists and one block in 34 minutes of action, which also represented a new season high. The Knicks take an eight-game losing streak into Wednesday's game against the Clippers.


Knicks SF Carmelo Anthony (knee) will not return Sunday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12/28/2014) Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony will not return to Sunday's game against the Blazers due to a sore left knee, the team announced.

Anthony scored 13 points on 5 of 14 shooting in 19 minutes and grabbed five rebounds before leaving Sunday's game for good. The knee issue has persisted for weeks, causing the small forward to miss two of his team's last nine games. He played 43 minutes Thursday and 46 minutes Saturday before having to come out of Sunday's game.

The Knicks have a few days off before facing the Clippers Wednesday.


Mavericks PF Dirk Nowitzki scores team-high 30 vs. Thunder
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12/28/2014) Mavericks power forward Dirk Nowitzki scored a team-high 30 points on 8 of 13 shooting in his team's 112-107 win over the Thunder Sunday.

Nowitzki, who made the rare start at center with Tyson Chandler sidelined, made all 12 of his free-throw attempts to help buoy his point total in the win, and his 30-point effort matches late-November performance as his best of the season. He also added five rebounds, two assists, two blocks and one steal in 29 minutes in the win. Nowitzki will match up with the Wizards Tuesday.


Thunder PF Serge Ibaka scores season-high 26 vs. Mavericks
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12/28/2014) Thunder power forward Serge Ibaka scored a season-high 26 points on 11 of 14 shooting, including 3 of 4 shooting from behind the arc, while racking up 10 rebounds in his team's 112-107 loss to the Mavericks Sunday.

Ibaka has posted back-to-back double-doubles for just the second time this season, but the big news was his efficient shooting performance, which matches an 11-for-14 effort from early November as his best shooting night of the season. He's made three three-pointers in three straight games. Ibaka will square off with the Suns Wednesday.


 
 
 
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