The Wire Troll: Drew Eubanks Could Deliver Value
Drew Eubanks is taking advantage of injuries in Portland. (Nick Wagner, AP Photo)
Welcome back to another week of Fantasy basketball. February has arrived and we’re nearly two-thirds of the way through the season, so be sure to harvest the waiver wire!
This week, LeBron James has pulled within 63 points of becoming the game’s all-time leading scorer; things got testy in Cleveland on Thursday, leading to All-Star Donovan Mitchell getting ejected; and Giannis Antetokounmpo is on fire, scoring 50 or more three times in the last 11 games (for context, he’s done this five times in his career).
And now, let’s get to this week’s…
Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire Picks
Drew Eubanks, PF/C, Portland Trail Blazers (ESPN: 3.1 per cent; CBS: 17 per cent): In late-March, we gave Eubanks a nod, and it turned into one of our best picks of the season as his touches kept rising in April. Unfortunately, this season has been a slog as his PT has really dropped and he’s mostly been coming off the bench. However, with Jusuf Nurkic (calf) out, Eubanks moved back into a starting role, and while “stupid mistakes” led to him being in foul trouble on Friday (see video below), he showed what he can do on Wednesday with a double-double. Consider Eubanks a short-term sleeper pick given how hard he works and his rebounding potential.
Aaron Nesmith, SF, Indiana Pacers (ESPN: 1.4 per cent; CBS: 14 per cent): Didn’t we just pimp Nesmith at Christmas? Yup… but he cooled off a bit since then despite getting more PT. Well, he’s heating up again with four straight double-digit scoring games and his teammates are really noticing the growth. Nesmith has been providing good value all season, but over the last week, he’s absolutely killing it from downtown, so if you need treys, this is your guy.
Seth Curry, PG/SG, Brooklyn Nets (ESPN: 18.8 per cent; CBS: 29 per cent): When we last checked in on Curry, he was dealing with COVID, and (perhaps because of this) he was fairly inconsistent over the rest of that season before enjoying a solid effort in 2021-22. Now he’s been getting a chance to start while Ben Simmons (knee) is sidelined, and while he hasn’t necessarily blown up, the PT has been there. In January, Curry was shooting away from downtown, averaging a season-high 5.5 attempts per month, so if you need treys, he’s a great option. One concern is that he could lose PT if Brooklyn adds wing help at the deadline (Jae Crowder, perhaps?); of course, Curry could be dealt himself, which could be a boost to his value considering how good a shooter he is (assuming he lands in a situation that provides him with more touches).
Patrick Beverley, PG, Los Angeles Lakers (ESPN: 8.7 per cent; CBS: 11 per cent): When Beverley isn’t getting suspended or playing cupid, he occasionally offers up some decent value. He went on a scoring binge last week, has been seeing extra PT of late, and even when the touches aren’t there, he’s contributing in other ways (four assists, three steals and two blocks on Thursday, when he moved back into the starting lineup). As for Beverley’s touches, they’ve been rising all season long, so that trend — combined with playing his most minutes since 2018-19 — makes him worthy of Fantasy consideration, especially in deeper formats.
- Saddiq Bey was a Wire Troll All-Star in 2020-21, and was even better last season, but has taken a step back this season as he isn’t starting every game. However, he’s definitely turning it on lately, scoring 16 or more in nine of the last 10 games. Bey’s PT was back up last month, so we’re bullish on a big finish, especially after the Pistons clear even more minutes for him at the trade deadline.
- John Collins‘ offensive regression has continued this season, and after a nice run at the end of January, he’s failed to top 10 points in either game this month. After getting hurt earlier this season, he looked healthy in January and seemed to be coming around, but is ice cold now. Still, Collins starts every game and the PT is there, so all you can do is hope the scoring picks up enough for you to peddle him.
- Back in November, we bemoaned the lack of triple-doubles for Nikola Jokic. Uh, yeah. About that. He’s recorded trip-dubs in two straight and eight of the last 10 to surge into the NBA led in player efficiency rating. Yup, Jokic is unstoppable… except for his hammy, that is (he’s questionable to play on Saturday).
RotoRob Tune of the Day
Monty Python consisted of Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin. Among their many classic skits, one of our personal faves (and among their most popular ever) is “Nudge, Nudge.”