The Wire Troll: Boris Diaw is Back on the Fantasy Radar
Jeremy Pargo is getting a shot in Cleveland with Kyrie Irving out.
Welcome back to another installment of Fantasy basketball waiver wire picks. It was another week of madness in the NBA: Former All-Star Michael Finley wants to make a comeback; the Raptors got clawed by a missed call; and Gerald Wallace (ankle) crashed back into action Friday after missing six games.
Let’s get to the recommendations for the week. As always, these players are available in at least 50 per cent of leagues.
Jeremy Pargo, PG, Cleveland Cavaliers: Sad but true, the last time we talked about Pargo he was still at Gonzaga. Now, with Kyrie Irving out for a month with a busted digit, it’s Pargo’s time to shine in the NBA, and so far he’s getting it done. In his first start as a Cav on Wednesday all Pargo did was pour in 28 points, can four treys, pull down five boards and dish four dimes. He followed that up Friday with another 15 points in 30 minutes Friday. Okay, so the assists aren’t exactly flowing and his defense leaves something to be desired, but that huge debut has Pargo flying off the wire so grab him while you can.
Nate Robinson, PG, Chicago Bulls: Last March, we recommended Robinson and it was a great call as he put up some nice numbers that month and then went hog wild from downtown in April. He’s never been afraid to get his shot off, but hasn’t always exhibited good judgment when it came to jacking ’em up. Still, with Derrick Rose out, it has been KryptoNate getting it done off the bench while starter Kirk Hinrich scuffles, so don’t be shocked if he winds up starting. But can Robinson facilitate the offense and play D well enough to start? We saw what we can do Wednesday, going off for 21 points while dropping five dimes against just two turnovers. He even pulled down five boards, but don’t get used to seeing that. Robinson is trying to break out of that one-trick pony pigeonhole and the fact that he’s never shot it better could help him do just that until D-Rose returns to crush his value.
Others to Consider
Jason Kidd, PG, New York Knicks: Yes, he’s 39 and can’t score anymore, but Kidd just keeps putting up balanced lines that definitely offer some value.
Aaron Brooks, PG, Sacramento Kings: Isaiah Thomas’s PT keeps plummeting and Brooks has been there to take advantage, going off for a season-best 17 points Friday. Roster Brooks while you can.
Shawn Marion, SF, Dallas Mavericks: Heading into the season, we ranked Marion among the top 25 in our Small Forward Rankings, but he has yet to live up that billing in the early going. However, that’s mostly because he missed five games with an MCL sprain. Well, the Matrix is back now and his minutes have been on the rise the past few games. Last Saturday, he put up a double-double and Wednesday he flirted with another one with pitching in with a couple of steals and a trey. And just ask Carmelo Anthony how good Marion’s D still is. Once he gets back up to full speed, he’ll be a fine asset, so we recommend buying in low.
Linas Kleiza, SF/PF, Toronto Raptors: In early February we recommended the Lithuanian forward because he can score and sure enough he shot brilliantly that month before slumping in March and then rebounding somewhat in April. This is a deep league special because his minutes have been all over the map, but Kleiza got 24 Friday and while he didn’t do much on offense, he did drop three dimes and block a shot. If his knee stays sound enough for him to play 25 minutes or more, the points and treys will be very enticing.
Others to Consider
Tayshaun Prince, SF, Detroit Pistons: Prince’s 16 points helped the Pistons squeak past Toronto Friday and gave him double digits in nine straight games.
Markieff Morris, PF, Phoenix Suns: Morris has moved into the starting lineup the past two games and has really responded, throwing down a career-high 23 points Friday to help lead the Suns to a furious comeback win over the Hornets.
Boris Diaw, C/PF, San Antonio Spurs: When we put Diaw in the top 20 of our Power Forward Rankings last year we talked about how he might have to play centre, but the fact is, he wasn’t even a top 50 PF in 2011-12. This season, Diaw has popped back onto the Fantasy radar to an extent as a reclamation project in San Antonio after a late-season deal to the Spurs last season. He’s spent a good portion of the early part of the season starting at centre and even though he’s coming off the bench now, he’s still getting more PT than starter DeJuan Blair. Foul trouble reduced Diaw’s effectiveness on Friday, but on Wednesday he had six points, seven boards, five assists, two treys and a block – the kind of line that has seriously sneaky value. Tiago Splitter can’t seem to gain any headway here, so for now, Diaw is getting burn making him worthy of an add in deeper formats.
Jonas Valanciunas, Toronto Raptors: We liked this rook enough to rank him among the top 25 in our Centre Rankings heading into the season. Well, he’s not there yet, but he’s getting damn close with his recent play. He enjoyed back-to-back double-doubles earlier this week and Friday he shook off a leg injury and wound up flirting with another double-double while swatting a pair. Coach Dwane Casey says Valanciunas is going to get more burn going forward, and that has to be music to the ears of prospective owners.
Others to Consider
Tyler Zeller, Cleveland Cavaliers: Another freshman, Zeller dealt with some injury issues early on, but looks like he’s rounding into form now, just missing a double-double Friday while pulling down a career-high nine boards.
Kwame Brown, Philadelphia 76ers: Brown is now starting for the Sixers, and while he’s done next to nothing, he needs to be on your radar as coach Doug Collins really wants to make his big men a larger part of the offense.