The Wire Troll: Cook-ing up value
Anderson Varejao, Cleveland Cavaliers: Even with Zydrunas Ilgauskas back in the lineup, “Sideshow Bob” continues to put up quality numbers, including a 13-point, 13-rebound effort off the pine on Christmas night. There will be some ups and downs with the fifth-year pro, but he’s a nice depth addition and good choice to boost a fantasy squad with sagging rebound totals.
Best of the Rest
Time is running out on the Nets to match Oklahoma City’s offer sheet for Nenad Krstic, who could join the Thunder by the end of this week. He averaged 16.4 points and 6.8 rebounds per game in ‘06-07 before tearing up his ACL and struggled to work his way back last year. If healthy, he could provide a nice boost; add him now if you’ve got the roster flexibility… Matt Bonner’s numbers have bottomed out recently, but outside of an abbreviated outing on Saturday, he has played more than 20 minutes in all but one game this month. He’s more of a flier at this point, but remains an option in deeper leagues.
Tyrus Thomas, Chicago Bulls: It seems like Thomas’ game is finally starting to match his phenomenal athletic ability. In his last five full games, he has scored 15 or more points four times while adding 41 rebounds, 11 steals and 10 blocks. If he’s still available in your league, add him immediately.
Luke Walton, Los Angeles Lakers: While it took north of a month, Laker coach Phil Jackson has finally identified that Vladimir Radmanovic is a useless minute sponge that brings next to nothing to the table. That realization is a boost for Walton, who has moved into the starting lineup and is averaging 5.9 points, 3.0 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game as a starter. Those aren’t great numbers, but he contributes in a lot of areas. Owners in deep leagues should take notice.
Tim Thomas , New York Knicks: The enigmatic forward is reunited with Mike D’Antoni, whom Thomas had some of his best recent success with back in 2005-06 with the Suns. He’s averaging 10.5 PPG in 15 games with the Knicks and has knocked down multiple threes in five of his last seven games. Thomas is someone for consideration in deep leagues only at this point.
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Dominic McGuire has started Washington’s last three games, hauling in 29 rebounds and 11 assists and even scoring a dozen points in his most recent start after scoring just two points combined in his first two. He has done a lot of good work on the glass in limited burn this season, making him someone to watch if he continues seeing 20-plus minutes a night…Keep an eye on Anthony Randolph, who continues to post solid totals every time he gets minutes – the problem is those minutes aren’t coming with any consistency, hence the wait and see recommendation…Andres Nocioni has quietly strung together six straight outings with double-digit points while also chipping in with 31 boards. He can be sloppy with the ball, though (13 turnovers during that run), and is foul prone. Still, he’s worth considering if you’re shorthanded at the forward spot.
Daequan Cook, Miami Heat: We mentioned him in this space last week, but this time around he gets a more prominent position on the list. The second-year guard has reached double figures in eight of his 11 games this month and has hit at least three three-pointers in seven straight games. He’s an absolute lights out shooter from beyond the arc and is worth owning in all leagues.
Derek Fisher , Los Angeles Lakers: With Jordan Farmar (knee) out two months or more following knee surgery, Fisher is the Lakers’ only reliable point guard option. In 14 December games, he is averaging 12 points and 3.9 assists per contest. Fisher is not going to post huge totals very often, but he’s a steady contributor and someone that you can easily and safely plug into your lineup.
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Sebastian Telfair has seen a boost in minutes with Mike Miller (ankle) out of action, and he’s responded by averaging 14 points and 4 assists per game. His minutes are tenuous at best, however, making him little more than a short-term stopgap. His teammate, Rashad McCants, has eclipsed 20 points in three of his last six games and could be added to provide a boost in scoring…Daniel Gibson is back after missing five games and has tallied 23 points in three games since returning – he was racking up the points before getting hurt so watch him closely to see if he starts scoring at that rate again…Things have gone well for Mike James since being traded to Washington. In nine games with the Wizards, he is averaging 12.3 points per game and making nearly two three-pointers per contest. He is playing a ton lately (better than 32 minutes in six straight) and can provide a lift to fantasy teams in both scoring and three-point shooting.