The Wire Troll: Tristan Thompson Working the Boards for Boston
When he isn’t getting raked by the Kardashians, Tristan Thompson is providing decent rebounding numbers. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
Welcome back to another week of Fantasy basketball. We’re into late-February now, nearly 30 per cent of the way through the season, so there’s still tons of time for you to improve your team through the wire. This week, we’ll focus on a couple of players that are ideal for those seeking offensive rebounding help in deep formats.
This week, LeBron James and Kevin Durant were named All-Star Game captains; Anthony Davis will now be out for four weeks; and Bradley Beal played the hero as Washington is starting to roll with three straight wins.
And now, let’s get to this week’s…
Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire Picks
Tristan Thompson, PF/C, Boston Celtics (ESPN: 11 per cent; CBS: 48 per cent): Thompson’s arrival in Boston was supposed to render Daniel Theis useless, but that hasn’t really happened so far. However, Thompson’s recent play suggests he may be taking over, and despite seeing less PT this season, he’s really offering owners help on the offensive rebounding side of things. His minutes are up this month — especially this week, as he’s flirted with double-doubles in each of the last two games. If this trend of Thompson’s minutes rising continues, he’ll be a useful Fantasy asset down the stretch. And clearly, he can still throw it down in practice (see video below). Considering Cleveland was criticized for reaching for him as the No. 4 pick in the 2011 draft, he’s had a pretty solid career as a role player capable of regularly racking up the double-doubles. However, speaking of racks, the Kardashians apparently are not big fans of Thompson.
Robin Lopez, C, Washington Wizards (ESPN: 1.6 per cent; CBS: 8 per cent): Another veteran big whose been helping in rebounding (although not to the same extent as Thompson) is Lopez. We last recommended Lopez two years ago, and that worked out very well as he had a fantastic second half. He fell a point shy of a third straight double-digit scoring game on Wednesday, and although he’s never developed his outside game like big brother Brook, he can still supply some decent scoring efforts that have a bit of value in very deep leagues. And with Thomas Bryant (ACL) done for the season, the centre position is up for grabs in Washington.
- With D’Angelo Russell (knee) out for the next 4-to-6 weeks, Ricky Rubio needs to be owned. Rubio had been going off all week until cooling on Friday.
- Last month, we predicted that Nicola Vucevic‘s rebounding would bounce back soon. Cha-ching! After putting up his third career triple double on Friday, how about 13.5 RPG he’s putting up so far in February? Vucevic is averaging a career-best 9.5 defensive rebounds. Wow.
- Mikal Bridges‘ production has been inconsistent, but last week he scored 21 or more points twice in a stretch of four games to give you an idea of his upside. He hasn’t been attempting as many treys this month, but overall has become a much bigger source of them this season.
- Stephen Curry had his second straight poor shooting game on Friday, yet in each of those contests he contributed elsewhere with 11 assists and seven boards, so Fantasy owners will take that. His work from downtown this month has been absurd (45.5 per cent) and the fact that he’s seeing his most MPG since 2015-16 tells you he’s finally fully healthy again.
- Brandon Ingram had a nice night Friday, scoring 25 points with a couple of steals. His PT is down a smidge in February and, overall, his touches are down slightly this season as he hasn’t quite been able to duplicate his breakout 2019-20 campaign, even if he’s been a tad more efficient.
- Jamal Murray — who had already been on an offensive tear with four straight games of at least 22 points — went ballistic on Friday, putting up a career-high 50. Amazingly, he’s the first player in NBA history to hit the 50-point mark without getting to the charity stripe once. Murray’s touches are up this month, but he’s not supplying quite as many dimes as he has over the last couple of seasons.
- Although he only managed 16 points on Friday, Andrew Wiggins recorded a pair of steals for the third time in the last four games as he proves he’s more than an offense-only player. He’s been seeing more action this month, but overall has been hurt by his worst FT shooting since 2017-18.
- Cleveland has lost nine straight, but don’t blame Collin Sexton. He’s been incredibly consistent lately, scoring between 22 and 25 points in four straight games as his minutes are way up this month. What we really love is that Sexton is getting to the line more often this season, adding a point per game to his average as a result.
- After seeing some big minutes last week in the wake of Orlando frontcourt injuries/shake ups, Khem Birch‘s PT has dropped off the table again since Wednesday, so feel free to drop him. He’s been pitching in with more blocks this month, but the fact that he’s solely been a bench player this season has made it tougher to own him given the variance in his performances.
RotoRob Tune of the Day
One of my personal faves growing up was Quebec prog rockers Harmonium, who began in 1972, but were unfortunately short-lived, breaking up in 1978. In 1974, they released their eponymous debut, with the track “Attends-Moi,” opening up Side Two.