Why. Yes. I. Did. Now from when did I miss you is another question? From last year’s playoffs when Zach Lowe awarded you an island after your own name? Or was it just from this year when you provided 6th round value out of someone essentially undrafted?
For the first time this year, we have a second-timer as the highlight. And yes, Dion Waiters, you actually deserve it. Coming back from injury wasn’t enough to get back to the top of the scrap heap. No, you needed a few games to get your legs back. I get it. Haha, goodness, at 30 I need a few weeks to get my legs back. I’m also not an NBA vet, though (sadly). Nope, just a washed up college volleyball player. And before you think too much of me, that would be club volleyball, because in the south boys don’t play volleyball growing up. And neither did I, but white boy shooters without enough quickness to blow by smaller defenders don’t get the chance to play big league basketball. Thankfully, Dion has it, though. And enough swag where I probably could have borrowed some. Oh, and thankfully for fantasy…he’s vastly under-owned.
Oh, wait, you thought I looked like the other Deion?
(Or do I?)
The 7 Ahead
- 5-game week: N/A
- 4-game weeks: ATL, BKN, BOS, CHA, CHI, CLE, GSW, HOU, IND, MIA, MIL, NOR, NYK, OKC, PHI, SAC, SAS, TOR, UTA, WAS
- 2-game week: DET, LAL
Top Weekly Waiver Options (<40% owned in Y!/games this week):
- Dion Waiters (26%/4) – I mentioned most of the hype above, but a further look into the stats breathes a little affirmation to the gaudy proclamations you just read (hopefully. Can I assume you read that?). Since really rounding back into form four games ago he’s averaging over 30 MPG, which may be the biggest reason to take a trip out to his island once more. The Heat are a clustereff (yep, that’s a word. There may be children reading) where journeymen like Wayne Ellington and James Johnson can hoist 10+ shots per contest. Give me Waiters and his 15+ shots as a lock. He plays with the ball in his hands, has a few weapons around him to finish when he forces his arms to pass the ball, and is always a threat to blow up like he did Saturday night: 33/3/3/1 in 33 minutes on 64.3% shooting. WAY too many 3’s were mentioned perviously, so I’ll just spell out that he drained five three’s, as well. Of all the options, he’s the most predictable for high scoring outbursts. He’s the gem.
- Tim Hardaway Jr. (33%/4) – Many times my focus for these highlights is on the past 7 days, but with Hardaway the track record can be stretched well beyond that. Over the past month THJ’s putting up more than 10 shots per game, leading to 13.2 PPG at a healthy 48.1% clip. He’s not going to blow your opponent away with the side stats, but he offers enough consistent scoring and 3PM to be worthy of the add, especially on the 4-game weeks like this one. Anything 12-team and deeper deserves a look this way.
- Caris LeVert (20%/4) – Is it finally time to unleash this beasty rookie in New Jersey? Haha, why the hell not if you’re the Nets. Oh, wait…did I say New Jersey? Sorry, that’s just the last time this franchise was worth anything (and don’t give me the past their prime KG/Pierce/Joe crew. They’d rather play BINGO in Brooklyn than basketball). What else are you trying to do this year? The Michigan product, LeVert, is an athletic freak of genetics with enough ball skills to provide in multiple categories. If they take the training wheels off him to provide the green light for aggressiveness his three-game line of 13.3/3/4 in less than 25 MPG could become the floor. He won’t get the minutes to rise too much higher this year, but those stats, on his good shooting, are worth a stash at minimum.
- Frank Kaminsky (17%/4) – Frank the Tank’s back to his scoring ways the past week or so. He’s not just streaking around the quad, but he’s doing it with both offensive and defense lately. Cody Zeller is still the better big white man in Charlotte, but Kaminsky’s averaging 2+ 3PM and 2+ SPG in his past three games. He’ll keep streaking, because, well, that’s what he does, but with four contests he’s sneaky PF/C addition if you’re in need of 3PM and scoring. The steals? Don’t bank on them, but they’re a bonus.
- Iman Shumpert (12%/4) – I almost highlighted Shump given what he’s done since entering the starting lineup to start last week: 16/5/1/2 with 3.5 3PG and shooting 61% from the field. In this offense, and playing next to playmakers far better than him, he was never going to shine as a fantasy option, but he’s more than a perimeter defender with an occasional shot. Shumpert was a do everything guy in college, and with the Knicks showed he can produce in multiple cats, so if the minutes and shots start coming his way this is a sneaky add. The biggest add, though, is the 3’s. 14 in his past 4 games. A little LeBron James DNP wouldn’t hurt, either.
- T.J. McConnell (28%/4) – The gem of last week is still absolutely worth the add if you need the assists, but the impending debut of Ben Simmons, and the scoring possibilities of Waiters, make McConnell lost the luster. But only slightly. It’s still rare to find his assists on the wire, so when there are four games on the docket go grab him if you’re in need. Since returning from his little injury nonsense he’s averaging more than 33 minutes per game, and just dropped 11 dimes against the Hawks Saturday. You can’t find that everywhere. Or anywhere, for that matter, on the waivers. He’s worth the rental. Still.
And now a look at the daily rhythms of the NBA for this week!
Monday: 9 GAMES – Take note of the NBA’s rhythm: 9 games seems to be the standard for Mondays. Coming off a lite Sunday, Mondays have been on the heavier side of things lately. Not complaining, though! Not with the NFL about to be in full hiatus for a total of three weeks. I can’t wait to watch Enes Kanter (have you seen how good he’s been lately for fantasy?) and Steven Adams bang down low against Rudy Gobert and the Jazz, but my eyes will be fixed to the Giannis Antetokounmpo v. James Harden rubber match. Harden’s been playing a lot better than the Greek Freak lately, and I wouldn’t expect that to change in Milwaukee on Monday. Side note, it’s a four-game week for Russell Westbrook again this week after just two over his past seven. And all the Russy owners in weekly leagues collectively exhaled a big ‘Hallelujah!’
Tuesday: 6 GAMES – A decent stream day with six contests, we get to see the upstart 76ers (did I just write that?) host the depleted Clippers. He’s owned too much to mention him, but grab Austin Rivers if he’s not owned with the Chris Paul injury. DeAndre Jordan became an absolute monster since Blake Griffin went down, but I’m hesitant to say he can keep it up without CP3 running the offense. No worries, though, because really I just wanna see Joel Embiid hit the court again after missing him in Atlanta Saturday. Sadness. Process. I trust it. I’m just jealous.
Wednesday: 10 GAMES – It’s a heavier week for the league period, but this is the most amount of teams to take the floor in over two weeks. Your stars should fill most of your roster on Hump Day, but the Houston/Boston matchup takes the cake as the best. The third best team in each conference should provide plenty of fireworks and offense. Money’s on Houston, though.
Thursday: 4 GAMES – Another stream day highlighted by Phoenix’s visit to Utah. Have you seen Devin Booker‘s stats in January? This joker’s 20 year’s old and averaging 26.8/2.5/3.0 on 49% shooting with 2.4 3PM. The big difference for his emergence is his increased aggression and ability to get to the line. The FTA are up nearly three a game to 6.9 per contest. When you shoot 85.5% from the line that’s nothing but helpful. His percentages are incredibly strong for his high volume, and, folks, we have a budding star down in the desert. Now, if he can do it up in Salt Lake, that would be a feat against the league’s best defense.
Friday: 10 GAMES – When 20 teams take the floor you’re relying on your studs, but if you have a gap here’s a great opportunity to see what Chris LeVert can give to you. Facing the Cavs, his Brooklyn Nets are sure to lose, but with the elevated competition, will LeVert up his game? I’m guessing so, and along with the huge point differential likely coming their way, plenty of garbage time could pad some stats for him. He’s so far away from the guys in this game, but it’s a good showcase to see what he can do.
Saturday: 7 GAMES – The Clippers @ the Dubs gets the national spotlight, but do you really think LA minus CP3 can hang? Um, no, boo boo. So, instead, check out how many points Isaiah Thomas drops in the fourth quarter against the Bucks. The Celtics are a legit threat in the East, and with the way Isaiah is playing to close out games he absolutely deserves to be an All-Star. In fact, he should be starting. Over Kyrie Irving. Easy. And I’d take Kyle Lowry over DeMar DeRozan, but no one’s asking me. I turned my single fan ballot in, for whomever was looking for it out there, haha.
Sunday: 8 GAMES – Remember that whole lite on Sunday, heavy on Monday thing? I was just playing, haha. It’s the NFL’s bye week before the Super Bowl, so here’s your outlier. The Cavs are in full cruise control mode, so the visiting Thunder probably won’t be as fun as it should be. I doubt LeBron wants to triple-double race with Russy in January. Instead, the nightcap could bring some fun basketball. Remember that time Damian Lillard dropped 50 on the Warriors? Well, let’s see if he can do it again Sunday night in Portland, because that’s the only way they can steal a game from Golden State.
Now, DROP THOSE COMMENTS! And don’t be afraid to send along any questions on trades, pickups or life! Good luck in Week 14!