The Wire Troll: Lance Stephenson Getting Gritty in Grizzlyland
Welcome back to another week of Fantasy basketball action.
This week, referee and legendary shot-caller Joey Crawford has hung up the whistle (fancy way of saying he has retired); Kobe Bryant and LeBron James had their final showdown (an entertaining show it was); and Super Mario Chalmers got brutally waived by the Memphis Grizzlies after getting a season-ending torn Achilles’.
There isn’t a mushroom that could save Chalmers right now, as it will sadly be the last time he is mentioned in our Wire Troll for a while.
Now for this week’s waiver recommendations…
Lance Stephenson, SG/SF, Memphis Grizzlies (ESPN: 27.8 per cent; CBS: 46 per cent): Stephenson had a 33-point outburst to go along with seven rebounds, four assists, two steals and a block in Friday’s overtime win against the Pelicans. It was by far his best performance with Memphis, and will have more than enough opportunities for these types of showings with teammates Mike Conley and Mario Chalmers both sidelined with Achilles’ injuries.
The fact that the Grizzlies were forced to waive Chalmers opens up the floor even more for Stephenson, as he will look to reestablish himself as the gritty swingman he once was when he was with Indiana. At the very least, Stephenson has the dance moves down pat (see video below).
Markel Brown, SG, Brooklyn Nets (ESPN: 4.9 per cent; CBS: 18 per cent): Brown’s last two contests haven’t been stellar, but he started off the week with a career-high 23-point performance. While things still look muddy in Brooklyn, he is racking up a ton of minutes and getting the occasional start, which may ultimately result in more production. Seek Brown out if you need a potential offensive contributor.
JaMychal Green, PF, Memphis Grizzlies (ESPN: 34.9 per cent; CBS: 43 per cent): Green went into “grizzly mode” in a win Monday against Cleveland, notching 16 points, 10 rebounds, six assists, four steals and two blocks. He continued to make the most out of the injured Memphis’ frontcourt with two more double-double performances to follow. Green will continue to suck up Zach Randolph’s (knee) minutes while Z-Bo is sidelined, and could even be set for a main role going forward in Memphis after these showcases. You would be silly not to grab this Green as you read this.
Mike Dunleavy, SF/SG, Chicago Bulls (ESPN: 11.7 per cent; CBS: 12 per cent): If your team is lacking veteran experience, Dunleavy could be that guy to help you follow through with the playoffs approaching. He’s still capable of occasional scoring outbursts, and guarantees perimeter shooting contribution. Dunleavy should also be guaranteed a starting role on the wing, giving him plenty of time to display why he’s such a wily vet.
Miles Plumlee, C/PF, Milwaukee Bucks (ESPN: 2.2; CBS: 6 per cent): Not a lot of centres are capable of flirting with 20-point games. Plumlee did that in a Wednesday win against Miami with 18 points, four rebounds, an assist and a steal. Though his role will be uncertain upon the return of teammate John Henson (back), Plumlee’s versatility of playing not only the five, but also the four could make him a worthwhile waiver grab if you need help.
Meyers Leonard, C/PF, Portland Trailblazers (ESPN: 7.2 per cent; CBS: 28 per cent): Leonard last appeared in our Wire Troll just over a month ago, and has given us double-double reasons to return. He notched 10 points alongside 10 rebounds and three assists off the bench Friday in a loss to the Warriors. Leonard continues to produce decently while playing only a modest amount of minutes in a deep frontcourt rotation. Give him a look for help on the glass and some scoring efforts.
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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