Welcome back to another week of Fantasy basketball. We’re now into late-January, and less than two weeks from the trade deadline — with all the Fantasy disruption that can cause. Be prepared to pounce on opportunities on the wire.
This week, Nugget centre Nikola Jokic earned a one-game suspension; Houston’s James Harden has now reached 30 points in 21 straight games; and despite promising to not go this year, Dallas point guard Dennis Smith Jr. has changed his mind and will participate in the slam dunk contest.
And now, let’s get to this week’s Fantasy basketball waiver wire recommendations…
Jerryd Bayless, PG, Minnesota Timberwolves (ESPN: 0.6 per cent; CBS: 2 per cent): With both Jeff Teague and Derrick Rose out, Bayless got a spot start for Minnesota on Friday and came through with 11 points, eight boards, five assists, three treys, a steal and a block in a whopping 40 minutes of action. If Bayless got to the line more often, he’d be capable of regularly reaching double digits in points, and while he’s turning it over a bit more in January, he’s established himself as a key rotation player this month. At this stage of his career, his PT is way down overall, but he’s proving recently he can still be counted on when he gets the chance. As long as the T-Wolves backcourt resembles a M.A.S.H. unit, Bayless makes for a fine play. The dude is athletic and has tremendous quickness (see video below), even if he never achieved his lofty potential (some considered him a Gilbert Arenas type when he came into the NBA).
Mo Bamba, C, Orlando Magic (ESPN: 21.1 per cent; CBS: 44 per cent): A guy off the Fantasy radar to date, Bamba is not for use in standard formats, but if you’re in a deep league seeking category help in blocks, he’s tailor made for you! Hell, Travis Scott even wrote a song about Bamba (not really). Bamba had three swats on Friday, giving him at least one block in five straight games. He’s also been shooting well from downtown lately, in the limited times he’s tried, and his FT shooting has improved in January. If Bamba ever started getting 20+ MPG, he’d be a major asset.
Cedi Osman, SF, Cleveland Cavaliers (ESPN: 10.2 per cent; CBS: 46 per cent): Osman looked like a breakout candidate when he opened the season with a double-double and followed it up with 22 points and eight assists in the second game. However, he shot poorly in November and didn’t jack up as many trey attempts in December. Well, the Turkish forward is back now, scoring 25 points with eight boards on Wednesday and then pouring in a career high 29 on Friday. Osman is getting more touches lately, and has been sinking more buckets this month. He’s canning way more three-pointers this season, so time to give him a look.
Shabazz Napier, PG, Brooklyn Nets (ESPN: 2.0 per cent; CBS: 16 per cent): With Spencer Dinwiddle (thumb) needing surgery that will keep him out three weeks, Napier is slotted to see a lot more PT. Napier is actually enjoying his best season, scoring wise, thanks to getting to the line a career high 2.5 times per game. He should provide help in points, treys and steals.
Trey Burke, PG, New York Knicks (ESPN: 47.5 per cent; CBS: 16 per cent): Seeking a decent streaming option in deeper formats for the upcoming week? How about Burke? He can provide help in scoring, treys and dimes, especially now that Emmanuel Mudiay is out. On Friday, Burke went off for 25 points, five assists, two treys, two steals and a block. He looks like a real nice add for the next two weeks.
Lance Stephenson, SG/SF, Los Angeles Lakers (ESPN: 8.2 per cent; CBS: 6 per cent): Last Saturday, Stephenson proved he can still produce, scoring 16 points off the bench. On Monday, he dropped five dimes in limited action, and shot well in 22 minutes on Thursday. Stephenson’s PT (and therefore, nice games) have been sporadic, but his minutes are up with LeBron James still out.
Jahlil Okafor, C, New Orleans Pelicans (ESPN: 12.8 per cent; CBS: 34 per cent): Okafor has been getting a chance to start lately with Anthony Davis out, averaging about 30 minutes since. On Thursday, Okafor scored 18 points, just missing out on a third straight double-double. Grab him while the Pelicans’ frontcourt is injury-riddled.
Marco Belinelli, SG/SF, San Antonio Spurs (ESPN: 7.4 per cent; CBS: 15 per cent): As he has been wont to do over his career, Belinelli has become a key man off the Spurs bench, hitting double digits in points in seven straight games. He nailed four treys on Wednesday, giving him a dozen over the last four games combined. The veteran is averaging 14.6 points this month and is proving to be effective despite playing exclusively as a reserve.
RotoRob Tune of the Day
Brian Eno, who also dabbled in visual art, has collaborated with pretty much everyone under the sun. In 1995, he teamed with Jah Wobble to record the instrumental album, Spinner. “Marine Radio” featured session drummer Richard Bailey, who has also worked with Steve Winwood.
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Now it’s your turn. Let us know in the comments below who your favourite Fantasy basketball pickup of the week is.