The Wire Troll: CJ McCollum Flashing His Potential
By McCade Pearson and RotoRob
Welcome back to another week of Fantasy basketball. With the season winding up Wednesday, this marks the season finale of the Wire Troll. Congrats if you’re still in the running and here’s hoping our weekly picks played a large role in your success.
Chicago plans to increase Derrick Rose’s workload with the playoffs looming; the NBA is investigating the arrest of Atlanta’s Thabo Sefolosha; and Indiana’s Chris Copeland — stabbed earlier in the week — is now out of the hospital. It’s been a crazy week for off the court incidents!
At this point you may be looking for quantity more than quality.The Suns’ and Clippers’ seasons both end on Tuesday, while the Suns’ 81st game is on Sunday, so stay away from picking up anyone on Phoenix. Meanwhile, the Raptors, Celtics, Wizards, and Pacers finish with back-to-backs on Tuesday and Wednesday, so players from any of these teams could be picked up on Tuesday to help pad your stats for the final run.
With the NBA playoffs just around the corner, our bet loving readers will want to get to know the NBA lines at Mybookie.ag.
Now let’s get to this week’s Fantasy basketball waiver wire picks.
CJ McCollum, PG/SG, Portland Trail Blazers (ESPN: 7.3 per cent; CBS: 11 per cent): After coming off the bench on April 1 and scoring 13 points (including shooting 3-for-4 from deep and 5-for-6 overall) in 13 minutes, McCollum received a significant boost in minutes and he hasn’t let up. The next game he scored 27 in 27 minutes and has now scored in double figures his last six games while putting up good rebounding numbers for a guard. With the Blazers having all but locked up the four seed, McCollum could get a start if the team opts to rest Damian Lillard for a game. Opposing players better not have a nap around him because McCollum is also one sneaky little bugger (see video below).
Rodney Hood, SG/SF, Utah Jazz (ESPN: 5.4 per cent; CBS: 20 per cent): Hood, a Wire Troll recommendation in early January before he got hurt again, has finally lived up to our predictions at the time. He’s averaged 20 points and five boards over his last four games, while shooting the three-ball well and canning 93 per cent from the line. With Gordon Hayward getting fewer and fewer minutes every game as the season winds down, Hood is getting more and more looks. Hood is a great last minute pick up, and as we discussed in mid-March, he is a solid dynasty option.
Omri Casspi, SF/SG, Sacramento Kings (ESPN: 3.6 per cent; CBS: 8 per cent): While Casspi has averaged 12 points over his last 15 games, he has been especially impressive lately with Rudy Gay out. Over the last four games, Casspi has gone 10-for-16 from deep while averaging five rebounds. His big game came Tuesday when he went off for 31 points against Minnesota. With two games against the Lakers and one against the Nuggets on his schedule — plus both Gay and DeMarcus Cousins sitting the final three — Casspi could be in store for a few more big games.
Wesley Johnson, SF, Los Angeles Lakers (ESPN: 5.3 per cent; CBS: 30 per cent): We slotted Johnson just inside the top 25 in Small Forward Rankings this season, but he hasn’t even played at a top 40 level despite getting to the line more often than ever before. He’s been massively inconsistent and the free agent to be could be nearing the end of his Lakers’ career. However, Johnson’s recent play may give LA pause to think about bringing him back next season. He’s been logging a big load lately, and while his shooting leaves something to be desired, Johnson has reached double digit points in four of the last five (including a team-high 16 on Sunday), while canning plenty of treys and pitching in with more boards than usual (although, overall, his rebounding is down slightly after averaging a career-best 4.4 last season).
Mike Muscala, C/PF, Atlanta Hawks (ESPN: 0.2 per cent; CBS: 2 per cent): A second round pick by Dallas in 2013, Muscala has yet to make any Fantasy waves in his career… until now, that is. With Al Horford out, Muscala has stepped up big time. Friday, he nailed 8-of-9 from the field en route to 17 points as the Hawks reached 60 wins for the first time. Muscala has sunk 21-of-25 shots over the past four, providing a huge boost in field goal percentage formats. His secondary stats have been inconsistent, but Friday he did add six boards and a three-pointer, so he’s not completely a one-trick pony. Maybe this is merely Muscala’s 15 minutes while Horford is out, but so what? Grab Muscala and ride him for all he’s worth. He may even carve himself out some rotation time in the playoffs based on his recent play.
Dewayne Dedmon, Orlando Magic (ESPN: 0.1 per cent; CBS: 2 per cent): We gave Dedmon some love on Valentine’s Day, and he came through with more field goals in February and then managed even more PT in March before hurting his ankle. Since returning to action on April 1, Dedmon was moved back into the starting lineup and has consistently flirted with double-doubles while shooting a nice percentage and pitching in with some swats. Best of all, he’s really helped improve the Magic D with his presence, and that’s going to guarantee him regular minutes.
Now it’s your turn. Let us know in the comments below who your favourite Fantasy basketball waiver wire pick of the week is.