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Playing the Waiver Wire for Week 12

Fantasy Writer
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The most recent winner of the NBA's never-ending injury sweepstakes is Pelicans guard Brian Roberts, who went from utter irrelevance to the most-added player in CBSSports.com Fantasy leagues over the last week thanks to Jrue Holiday's stress fracture injury.

Holiday's injury is likely to cost him a month or so of action, and Roberts will be the primary recipient. In the first four games following Holiday's absence, Roberts has been thrust into a starting role and 30.0 minutes per game in that role. His production hasn't been fantastic yet, averaging just 11.3 points, 4.3 assists and 3.8 rebounds per game in that span, but those are certainly numbers worth owning in most Fantasy formats.

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There is some evidence that Roberts might be able to do even more than that down the road, as he thrived in a five-game cameo as a starter last season. In those five games, he averaged 12.6 points and 10.0 assists per game, albeit in 41.7 minutes per game. Still, he has shown some upside in a starting role, and he has one of the league's premiere pick-and-roll big men in Anthony Davis to help him rack up easy assists.

Austin Rivers is also seeing a bump in his playing time, topping 20 minutes in each game since Holiday's injury. He has cut into Roberts' assist totals a bit, but Rivers could return to his previously smaller role once Tyreke Evans returns from an ankle injury. While Evans will be the team's primary playmaker when healthy, he is also a more potent offensive force than Rivers, giving Roberts just one more option when it comes to racking up assists.

Roberts might not be the sexiest Fantasy option around, being a 28-year-old with limited success at the NBA level on his resume. Still, assists are the rarest commodity in the game, and Roberts is in prime position to provide a bump there. Fantasy owners have made Roberts the most-added player this week, but he is still sitting at just 40-percent ownership. Given his role and the likelihood for an increase in production, Roberts is worth adding in most deeper formats, and should top 50 percent before long.

Most Added

Randy Foye, G, Nuggets: Foye has been shooting the ball incredibly well recently, and that is pretty much the entire reason he is the second-most added player in our leagues. He is averaging 19.2 points on just 11.6 field-goal attempts per game over the last five, and is doing that without getting to the free-throw line much. His increased value has not come from some change in his approach to the game; he is just shooting and making more shots than usual. Foye is a solid shooter, but he is making 55.2 percent of his field-goal attempts over the last five and 53.8 percent over the last 10. If you are adding Foye with the expectation that he is going to score in the high-teens like he has been recently, you are in for a world of disappointment. However, Foye has plenty of value in category-based Fantasy formats given his high-volume three-point shooting. (56 percent owned; +27 percent)

Kris Humphries, F, Celtics: Last week, I referred to Humphries as "the definition of waiver-wire fodder", and my opinion hasn't changed much despite another significant jump in his ownership this week. One thing has changed since we last looked at Humphries, and it might be enough to make his current ownership level stick. Humphries started his fifth game at center Wednesday against the Raptors, giving him center eligibility in CBSSports.com leagues for the remainder of the season. While his 9.8-point, 9.0-rebound averages in eight January games are pretty mediocre for the forward position, it does make him a borderline starting candidate at center. You probably shouldn't expect much in the way of secondary statistics, but if he can remain near a double-double while playing 25-30 minutes, Humphries has a place on many Fantasy rosters. (56 percent owned; +24 percent)

Patrick Patterson, F, Raptors: Like Foye, Patterson's rise is fueled more by a hot shooting stretch than anything else. Patterson has the ability to be one of the better stretch-fours in the game, but he was shockingly cold to open the season with the Kings. Since a trade to Toronto, however, he is connecting on 50.4 percent of his field-goal attempts and 48.0 percent from three-point range. Patterson isn't really taking better shots since the trade; 61.4 percent of his shots came within five feet of the rim or beyond three-point range prior to the trade, compared to just 50.4 percent since. Patterson's true talent level likely lies somewhere between his slow start with the Kings and his blazing run with the Raptors, and neither outcome points to a useful Fantasy option beyond deeper leagues. (27 percent owned; +11 percent)

Shaun Livingston, G, Nets: Livingston has been playing more recently due to Deron Williams' continued ankle concerns, averaging 36.5 minutes per game in the month of January. Even with that big increase in playing time, Livingston is averaging 10.5 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game over that span, hardly numbers that should make Fantasy owners run out and grab him. With Williams likely to return within the next few games, there is little reason for anyone who already hasn't snagged Livingston to do so. (27 percent owned; +16 percent)

Most Dropped

Ryan Anderson, F, Pelicans: Anderson has been diagnosed with a herniated disc in his back as a result of a collision with Gerald Wallace, and this one very well could cost him the remainder of the season. As things stand, Anderson is out two months at least, and is not willing to rule out the possibility of undergoing season-ending surgery. Given his timeline, and the very real possibility he will need to go under the knife, it is hard to justify keeping Anderson around. I've already dropped him in one league, and would not think twice about doing so in the vast majority of yearly Fantasy leagues. (82 percent owned; -14 percent)

Trevor Booker, F, Wizards: Booker looked like a sold Fantasy option when he first joined the starting lineup, averaging 9.7 points and 9.5 rebounds per game in his first 10 starts. He has slowed significantly since then, picking up double-digit points or rebounds in just two games each over the last eight. His slump has pushed Nene back into the starting lineup and left Booker scrounging for minutes, averaging 22.7 per game over the last eight. Booker is just a borderline Fantasy-relevant player at the best of times, and can be completely ignored otherwise. Drop him in all but the very deepest of leagues. 16 percent owned; -13 percent)

Flavors of next week

-- by Joe Polito (@JoePo89)

We've already written ad nauseam about J.J. Redick and Jodie Meeks, and my colleague Chris Towers has already covered Randy Foye. I can only assume the reason you haven't added them is because you're all set at guard. Well here's a forward that demands some attention from the Fantasy masses: James Johnson of the Grizzlies. At 29 percent owned, he's probably the free agent forward with the most potential -- especially in category formats.

His most recent stat line is enough to probably land him among the most added players next week. He scored 15 points, grabbed six rebounds, passed out five assists, snagged two steals and swatted six shots. The range of verbs I was forced to use in that sentence shows the kind of versatility he offers. I'm hard-pressed to come up with a handful of guys who can help out in any category on any given night, and on good nights, all of them at once. He's averaged 27.3 minutes a game over his last five, and the Grizzlies have won four of them, meaning there's a good chance this could continue.

For Fantasy purposes, liken him to Terrence Jones, but with fewer rebounds (because he shares the court with Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol) and more assists. Pick him up with the hopes that the Grizzlies are ready to trust an exciting athletic 'tweener the same way the Rockets have with Jones. Johnson is averaging a ridiculous 13.0 points, 7.1 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 2.3 steals, and 2.7 blocks per 36 minutes this year. And as a bonus for Roto players, he's made 88.2 percent of his free throws on the season. He's like a more athletic Josh McRoberts, or a way, way more athletic Boris Diaw. I've already picked him up, because when you look at the rest of the Memphis roster, you can see that they're in dire need of a multi-talented player. With only 15 games under his belt this season, it's hard to trust such a small sample size. Still, if you're frustrated with the Morris twins, bored with Brandon Bass, or tired of waiting on Danilo Gallinari, then what do you really have to lose?

Enes Kanter, C, Jazz, (76 percent): We had high hopes for this Swiss big man coming into the season, so it's nice to see he's found a way to reach his potential in the new year. Kanter has scored in double figures every game since Jan. 2 and has done so with great efficiency, shooting 61.7 percent from the field during that six-game stretch. He's also recorded three of his nine double-doubles on the season over that span. The Jazz are finally utilizing him as a weapon in pick-and-roll and pick-and-pop situations. He's got the footwork and patience to be a mismatch nightmare in the post, so as long as he's getting enough minutes and rebounding, he has the potential to be one of the better centers in Fantasy. Kanter was being drafted in the ninth round, so if he's available in your league, you can grab him at great value. There are only 30 starting centers in the league, so having one of the more talented ones fall in your lap is an opportunity you can't afford to pass up -- even if Kanter slumps back into mediocrity. Consider him a must add in keeper and Roto leagues, and a good upside add in standard scoring.

Andray Blatche, C, Nets, (62 percent): If you can't get your hands on Kanter, you might take a chance on another inconsistent but talented option. Blatche became the hot pickup when Brook Lopez went down but didn't exactly blow anyone out of the water. In fact, he did quite the opposite, averaging just 8.8 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.5 assists over an eight-game stretch. But Thursday in London, Blatche put on the kind of display that warrants giving him another chance, going for 20, 14 and six against the Hawks in 27 minutes. Hopefully Blatche can gain some momentum after this start and play up to his talent level going forward. Jason Kidd has been experimenting with the Nets' lineup on a per game basis, but Blatche's size and skill set should warrant him a regular share of game time as Brooklyn establishes an identity. Because of his upside, I'd take Blatche over Amar'e Stoudemire, Jordan Hill and Kris Humphries.

Luke Ridnour, G, Bucks, (18 percent): "Flavors of next Week" couldn't be a more appropriate phrase for the fluctuating Fantasy options in Milwaukee this season. Ridnour is the latest Larry Drew darling being added in Fantasy. He's started at point guard six out of the last eight games and has run the pick and roll to the tune of 5.5 assists per game over that span. He's totaled 29 assists in his last four games and only two of those were starts. On a team full of combo guards, Ridnour is the closest thing to a point guard the Bucks have. Pick him up in standard leagues where his assist potential matters most. As long as he's getting at least 20 minutes per game, consider Ridnour a good pickup in deep head-to-head leagues.

Wesley Johnson, G/F, Lakers, (35 percent): This one's a long shot. Johnson's started the last six games for the Lakers, and he's scored in double figures and logged 30-plus minutes. The Lakers have lost all of these games, but that might be the goal going forward as their team has been decimated by injuries. This pickup is best kept for deep Roto leagues, as Johnson can help out with a few three pointers, blocks and steals. The Lakers play at a pace that can boost anyone's value, so view him as more of a situational streaming option than a player to hang on to. The second his minutes dip below 30 or he comes out of the starting five, feel free to drop him.

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Player News
Suns' Goran Dragic picks up 20 points on Wednesday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(1:19 am ET) Suns guard Goran Dragic picked up 20 points on Wednesday against the Wizards. 

Dragic shot 8-15 from the field, including 2-4 from beyond the arc. He sunk two of his free throws during the contest. Dragic also finished with three rebounds and two assists. 


Kris Humphries doubles up on the Suns on Wednesday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(1:16 am ET) Wizards forward Kris Humphries posted a double-double against the Suns on Wednesday.

Humphries shot 4-8 from the field. He sunk three of his four free throws, finishing with 11 points. Humphries proved to be active on the boards, pulling down 15 rebounds. Six of those came on the offensive side of the court. Humphries also had one assist during the contest. 


Report: Knicks to sign Lance Thomas for the rest of the season
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12:41 am ET) The Knicks will sign forward Lance Thomas for the rest of the season, according to ESPN.

Thomas has signed two 10-day contracts with the club this season. His second 10-day contract is set to expire on Friday, and the Knicks have decided to bring him back for the remainder of the season. Thomas is averaging 6.0 points and 3.7 rebounds per game. 


Thunder's Brooks: Lance Thomas will 'play another 10 years'
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12:22 am ET) Thunder coach Scott Brooks praised Knicks small forward Lance Thomas after New York's 100-92 win Wednesday, in which Thomas scored 17 points on 8 of 13 shooting.

''Lance plays hard. He plays every possession like it's Game 7 of a championship series.'' Brooks said after the game, per the Associated Press. ''That's why he's in the league and that's why he's going to play another 10 years. When you have guys like that, you win.''

Thomas, who signed a second 10-day contract with the Knicks last week, has scored 49 points in his last three games combined, making 23 of his 37 shots during that stretch. He played 22 games (13 starts) with the Thunder before joining the Knicks, averaging just 5.1 points on 35.7 percent shooting.


Rockets C Dwight Howard dealing with edema in knee
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12:00 am ET) An MRI on the injured knee of Rockets center Dwight Howard has revealed edema, the team announced.

The team didn't specify whether Howard is dealing with swelling within a bone or in the soft tissue of the knee, but the center will be "evaluated further in the coming days." He missed his second straight game Wednesday, and the Rockets have two more games scheduled for Friday and Saturday before receiving a three-day break. Howard will not travel with the team for the two-game road trip, the Houston Chronicle reports.


76ers SG JaKarr Sampson scores 13 in rare start Wednesday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1/28/2015) 76ers shooting guard JaKarr Sampson started for the first time since Dec. 30 Wednesday and scored a season-high 13 points on 5 of 6 shooting while grabbing eight rebounds in his team's 89-69 win over the Pistons.

''His energy, his toughness and athleticism really complemented the starting group,'' coach Brett Brown said after the game, per the Associated Press.

Sampson, who also recorded two steals in 24 minutes, entered the game averaging just 4.8 points and 12.7 minutes in January, but the team was able to lean on him for a season-best scoring performance on an efficient shooting night. He'll square off with the Timberwolves Friday.


Knicks SF Carmelo Anthony questionable to play Thursday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1/28/2015) Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony said after Wednesday's win that he's unsure whether he'll play Thursday against the Pacers, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Anthony was rested Saturday before coming back strong Wednesday night, scoring 31 points on 12 of 28 shooting and hauling in 10 rebounds. However, he may get to rest his knee yet again Thursday after seeing 38 minutes of action Wednesday night.

The Knicks are 9-point underdogs in Indiana Thursday.


Jazz C Enes Kanter delivers 21-11 line vs. Clippers Wednesday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1/28/2015) Jazz center Enes Kanter scored a team-high 21 points on 8 of 16 shooting while hauling in 11 rebounds in his team's 94-89 loss to the Clippers Wednesday.

It's the fourth 20-point performance and third double-double in Kanter's last five games despite averaging just 14.1 points and 7.5 rebounds heading into Wednesday's action. The center also managed to record one assist and one block in 36 minutes of action. He'll square off with the Warriors Friday.


Clippers SG Jamal Crawford scores 21 points vs. Jazz
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1/28/2015) Clippers shooting guard Jamal Crawford shared the team scoring lead with 21 points on 5 of 14 shooting, including 4 of 7 shooting from three-point range, in his team's 94-89 win over the Jazz Wednesday.

Crawford played a season-high 40 minutes in Wednesday's win, and he's delivered back-to-back 20-point efforts for the first time this month. He also kicked in three rebounds and two assists in the victory. Crawford will square off with the Pelicans Friday.


Clippers PG Chris Paul scores 21 points vs. Jazz
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1/28/2015) Clippers point guard Chris Paul shared the team scoring lead Wednesday, tallying 21 points on 8 of 16 shooting in his team's 94-89 win over the Jazz in Utah.

Paul played 35 minutes as the Clippers won their sixth straight game, but he managed just six assists to go with five rebounds and one steal. The Clippers will look to keep rolling Friday in New Orleans against a Pelicans team that may be without Anthony Davis (groin).


 
 
 
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