Welcome back to another week of Fantasy basketball action. A reminder that we are in the new year of 2016, people — so don’t forget to change the year date on your papers. Lucky for us, the internet takes care of that.
This week, Timofey Mozgov got violated with a backside fan touch during an inbound play (they just could not resist); injury-plagued stud Anthony Davis can’t seem to stay healthy, going out with a lower back contusion; and Kobe Bryant — not only stiff-armed a referee while going coast-to-coast on the Thunder (perhaps a late-career in the NFL is the Mamba’s secret reason to retire), but he joined Kareem-Abdul Jabbar and Karl Malone in more Lakers history as a 33,000-point scorer.
Now, let’s get to this week’s waiver recommendations…
Marco Belinelli, SG, Sacramento Kings (ESPN: 21.8 per cent; CBS: 22 per cent): Belinelli has scored at least 11 points, canned tons of treys and pitched in with some steals in his last six games — and played 43 minutes in a Tuesday’s double-OT loss to the Mavericks. Obviously, the extra 10 minutes of game time led to the season-high in minutes, but the fact is Belinelli is seeing extra time given a number of Sacramento injuries. He’s worth owning in deeper leagues, and if he could just up his three-point production and keep gloving steals, his minutes and Fantasy value will go up.
Mario Chalmers, PG, Memphis Grizzlies (ESPN: 17.4 per cent; CBS: 25 per cent): Super Mario Chalmers is back again looking to replace Mike Conley (achilles) as the main point guard. The Thunder seems to bring out Chalmers’ best — he flirted with a triple-double with 23 points, nine assists and eight rebounds (amazing considering he came off the bench in this game). With Conley out indefinitely, you might want to take temporary advantage of this opportunity to let Chalmers battle the “Bowsers” (metaphor for your opponents) of your league formats with some fireball treys and star-flashing assists.
Larry Nance Jr., PF, Los Angeles Lakers (ESPN: 20.2 per cent; CBS: 37 per cent): Nance Jr. notched a nice double-double with a steal on Sunday in a win against the Suns. He may not be on the “Rookie of the Year” radar like Kristaps Porzingis and Karl-Anthony Towns, but Nance is a freshman worth watching thanks to lines like that. If you have room to stash him, take Nance Jr. as a deep league resort for steals (which he’s picked up lately) and boards.
Amir Johnson, SF/PF, Boston Celtics (ESPN: 28.5 per cent; CBS: 40 per cent): The ex-Raptor stamped a double-double in Wednesday’s loss against the Pistons with 16 points, 11 rebounds, two blocks and two assists. Despite some consistency issues this season, Johnson has still performed well enough recently to be worth owning in your leagues. When healthy, he should be able to provide double-digit scoring, a pair of blocks, and a decent number of boards while putting up a sweet field goal percentage.
Ian Mahinmi, Indiana Pacers (ESPN: 24.8 per cent; CBS: 48 per cent): Although he’s been enjoying some good games this season (see video below), the NBA universe really took notice of Mahinmi on Friday when he exploded against the Pelicans for 17 points, 10 rebounds, four blocks and an assist. His ownership percentage has jumped to 48 on CBS, which means your league competition is starting to take notice as well. You should grab him quicker than quick for that rebound and block production. With Roy Hibbert out of the Indiana picture this season we could only hope Mahinmi finds a consistent groove to keep this up as the Pacers’ go-to centre.
JaVale McGee, Dallas Mavericks (ESPN: 1.5 per cent; CBS: 5 per cent): If you’re in immediate need of a rim protector, you could try your luck with the McGeezer. He may have the tendency to often end up on Shaquille O’Neal’s Shaq’n-A-Fool reel for silly-made possession choices, but with the likes of Dirk Nowitzki and Zaza Pachulia occasionally resting, McGee could see some extra minutes and luck you with some blocks or even a surprise double-double. This is a deep league special only.
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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