The Wire Troll: Jarrett Allen Joins Starting Five for Nets
Luc Mbah a Moute hurt his shoulder earlier this season, but is rolling now. (Shanna Lockwood-USA Today Sports)
Welcome back to another week of Fantasy basketball. With the NBA trade deadline just days away, you need to be ready to pounce on players that are put in better situations because of a deal.
This week, LeBron James shot down rumours that he’s considering signing with the Warriors this summer; after getting bought out by Phoenix, Greg Monroe will sign with Boston; and Russell Westbrook had to act as his own security when a fan got in his face in Denver on Thursday.
And now let’s get to this week’s Fantasy basketball waiver wire recommendations…
Jarrett Allen, PF/C, Brooklyn Nets (ESPN: 11.1 per cent; CBS: 38 per cent): Allen recently took over as the starting centre in Brooklyn, and has looked better each game since the move. Allen’s PT is up, his FG accuracy has been off the charts and each game his scoring has gone up, culminating in 20 points in just 24 minutes on Friday. The rookie will need to watch his turnovers, but looks poised for a big second half as he gets more acclimated to the NBA. You can already see the progress he’s making month to month, and at this stage, he’s nearly looking like a top 50 player. Allen isn’t huge for a centre, but makes up for it with a massive wingspan, great reach and a projectable frame.
Luc Mbah a Moute, SF, Houston Rockets (ESPN: 0.9 per cent; CBS: 3 per cent): Mbah a Moute has already seen a recent uptick in PT but with Eric Gordon (back) out, he looks like a real nice short-term or DFS play. Mbah a Moute is really more of a deep league asset, but every now and then he’s capable of helping out (see video below), and he has averaged 10 points over the last three games. His touches are up recently, continuing a trend in which he took two more shots per game in January. The veteran is seeing his most PT since 2014-15 after falling into obscurity for a couple of seasons on a deep Clipper squad.
Marreese Speights, PF, Orlando Magic (ESPN: 0.3 per cent; CBS: 1 per cent): With Aaron Gordon (hip) out, Speights has been getting it done, averaging 19 points over the last two games while canning seven treys. Speights really hasn’t seen enough PT this season to have any use, but is reminding us what he’s capable of when he gets 20+ minutes. His shooting touch has been much better of late, especially in the last two (12-for-22), and he should continue to either start at PF or see enough time to offer value while Gordon is out. Speights is capable of getting red-hot offensively, as he showed Friday when he scored Orlando’s final 10 points of the first half as the Magic hammered the Lakers.
Marco Belinelli, SG, Atlanta Hawks (ESPN: 3.7 per cent; CBS: 19 per cent): Belinelli did not shoot well on Friday (2-for-8), but what jumped out for us was the 10 trips to the charity stripe. He nailed nine of them en route to 15 points after pouring in 22 on Wednesday, when he was a perfect 6-for-6 from the line. We’d like to see Belinelli get a bit more PT, but if he keeps earning trips to the line, he’ll be an asset in points. Another thing that will help is if he heats up from the floor; he struggled in that regard in January. Overall, it’s been a down shooting season for Belinelli, as he’s dropped to 41 per cent after canning 42.9 per cent of his attempts last season. Note that he’s on an expiring contract, so could be headed somewhere at the deadline, and as a long-time three-point threat, he could be quite useful if he lands in the right situation.
- Boston SF Jayson Tatum went off for a career-high 27 points on Friday, and he suddenly has 26 made buckets in the last three games. This rookie looks poised for a big second half.
- Laker centre Brook Lopez finally showed some offense, scoring 19 points against his former team (the Nets) on Friday for his highest output since November 19. His bucket count is up a tad lately, which is a good sign as he seemed to be sinker fewer and fewer as the season has gone along.
- In his first NBA game in nearly a year, Milwaukee PF Jabari Parker made an immediate impact with 12 points in 15 minutes on Friday. Be patient as his minutes slowly ramp up, but if you own him, he could provide a great boost down the stretch.
- Brooklyn PG Spencer Dinwiddie has stepped up his offensive game of late, scoring 50 points over the last two games combined. On Friday, he flirted with a triple double with 23 points, nine assists and seven boards. It’s nice to see his three-point game return over the last two contests following him going silent from downtown recently.
- Knicks centre Enes Kanter is also on a nice scoring run, having put up at least 16 points in each of his last six games. Even better, over the last three, he’s had 20, 17 and 18 boards, while seeing an uptick in PT recently.
- After winning Eastern Conference Player of the Month honours in January, Toronto SG DeMar DeRozan doesn’t look like he’s ready to slow down in February. On Friday, he matched a season high with 26 first-half points en route to a 35-point night as he nailed 11-of-22 from the floor (including 6-of-10 from beyond the arc). He’s scoring more from the stripe lately, with 16 points over the last three games combined.
Now it’s your turn. Let us know in the comments below who your favourite Fantasy basketball waiver wire pick of the week is.
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