James Anderson is starting to roll for the Sixers. (AP)
As with Fantasy football, injuries can lead to playing time opportunities for several players who may be “under the radar” in your Fantasy basketball league. With the still to be determined diagnosis of Derrick Rose (possible ACL tear of the other knee), and injuries to Andre Iguodala (hamstring), Eric Bledsoe (shin), Trevor Ariza (leg), Marc Gasol (MCL) and others, we take a look at this week’s bargain basement potential adds for your team.
Avery Bradley, PG/SG, Boston Celtics: Bradley has developed nicely as the shooting guard in Boston’s offense and has taken advantage of the offseason defections of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. Bradley is averaging 13 points, 3.9 rebounds and nearly 1.5 steals per game. This week, he scored 27 points versus Portland and put up 19 in San Antonio against a stingy Spurs squad. Hey, the 6′2″ Bradley has even been known to throw it down, as you can see in the video below.
James Anderson, SG/SF, Philadelphia 76ers: Like Bradley, Anderson is a player we had on our preseason “watch” list. After a mildly disappointing start to the season, he has picked up his game over the last week as he begins to feel comfortable with his new 76er teammates. Anderson registered 13 points, nearly three treys and over one steal per game during his last three contests.
Gerald Green, SG/SF, Phoenix Suns: With the aforementioned injury to Bledsoe, Green has stepped in and performed impressively for the surprising Suns. In a pair of contests against Sacramento this week, Green scored 23 per game including 10 three-pointers. The sleek shooting swingman is now averaging 14.8 points per game this season and will be a major factor as long as Bledsoe is sidelined.
Kirk Hinrich, PG/SG, Chicago Bulls: The severity of Rose’s injury is still to be determined, but there is speculation (as of this writing) that he tore the ACL in his right knee. The same injury in the opposite knee resulted in him missing all of last season. This would be a cruel and unfortunate blow to the Bulls, but Hinrich will be expected to pick up the pieces for Rose. This could also provide an opportunity for young Marquis Teague, drafted out of Kentucky last year. Keep an eye on this situation closely over the next couple of days and grab Captain Kirk now as a solid speculative pickup.
Martell Webster, SF/SG, Washington Wizards: Webster showed signs of life last season for the Wizards after having been deemed a first round bust (originally drafted by Portland with the sixth overall pick in 2005). Since Ariza’s injury, Webster has averaged 15 points, 2.5 treys, seven rebounds and three assists per game as the starting small forward. Should Ariza be out for a lengthy amount of time, Webster can prove to be a very valuable asset for your team. Even when Ariza returns, Webster’s sharpshooting off the bench should still be useful.
Caron Butler, SF, Milwaukee Bucks: When Butler is healthy, and that’s a rarity, he certainly makes a contribution from the small forward position. Known for his scoring touch, including threes and steals, he struck for 38 points, eight rebounds, three assists and three steals on Friday night versus Philadelphia. Butler is the only real option the Bucks have at small forward with Carlos Delfino now likely out for the season (foot), so he should be guaranteed nice minutes as long as he’s healthy enough to actually take advantage.
DeMarre Carroll, SF/PF, Atlanta Hawks: We watched the entirety of the Hawks-Pistons game on Friday and Carroll played a significant role in Atlanta’s victory. He is the type of player whose engine never stops and he chips in nicely in several different statistical categories. If you are looking for rebounds, steals and three-pointers from the forward position, consider Carroll.
Samuel Dalembert, Dallas Mavericks: Please keep in mind that Dalembert has never been the most reliable Fantasy centre. However, he is known for being streaky and when he gets in a groove like he’s in now, he can be beneficial to your squad. Over the last three games, Dalembert has averaged 12 boards and three blocks and showed a sweet touch in Friday’s win against Utah when he went 8-for-8 from the field en route to 18 points. He’s also the only true centre option on the Mavs (especially with Brandan Wright out), so playing time shouldn’t be an issue.
Channing Frye, C/PF, Phoenix Suns: Frye missed last season with a heart ailment, yet has resumed his status as the starting power forward (with centre eligibility) for the Suns. Another player that lacks statistical consistency, he has been outstanding in two of his last three contests, scoring 20 and 17 respectively with ample rebounds and blocks. Frye’s ability to hit the three-pointer as a big man can truly provide an edge for a Fantasy team.
Kosta Koufas, C/PF, Memphis Grizzlies: Koufos was a Wire Troll recommendation in mid-March and it was a decent call as he did a great job on the glass in March before seeing a bit less PT in April. When Memphis dealt for him in June, it really beefed up its frontcourt depth, which is going to come in very handy now that starting centre Gasol is out indefinitely with an MCL sprain. Koufas is expected to take over the starting role and he should be an instant double-double candidate after flirting with one in each of the last four games despite limited minutes. Throw in the potential block party that Koufas can throw (four swats on Monday) and you have what can be a very productive big man for the next few weeks.
Now it’s your turn. Let us know in the comments below who your favourite waiver wire pickup of the week is.
For Fantasy hoops player alerts during the week, follow Bob on Twitter @hoopsbobray.