Well, here we go: the final week of the 2015-16 NBA regular season — and a short one at that! So with it marks the final installment of the NBA Wire Troll. We’d like to thank Adrian Wallace for all his great work this season, but he’s day-to-day with a cold, so this week’s column is being handled by your dear old editor.
Note that most teams play twice next week, but Denver, Golden State, New York and Portland only play once each, so steer clear of anyone that’s not a superstar on those teams, and keep a close eye for players that are being rested. It’s a short week, but a tough one, given that dynamic.
This week, Dallas’ playoff hopes took a hit when J.J. Barea went down with a groin strain; Ben Simmons has decided to skip playing for Australia at the Summer Olympics; and the Pistons wrapped up a playoff spot to return to the postseason for the first time since 2009.
Without further ado, let’s get to this week’s Fantasy basketball waiver wire picks.
Raymond Felton, PG, Dallas Mavericks (ESPN: 8.5 per cent; CBS: 25 per cent): Felton was still considered a top 35 PG heading into the 2014-15 season, but injuries decimated his campaign. This season’s been better for the veteran, although he has continued to mostly come off the bench. With Barea getting hurt, however, there’s a chance for Felton to finish with a flourish. On Friday, Felton dished a season-high 14 dimes (see video below), and Dallas’ most seasoned point guard will team with Devin Harris to help guide the Mavericks’ offense the rest of the way.
Tim Frazier, PG/SG, New Orleans Pelicans (ESPN: 44.1 per cent; CBS: 28 per cent): Now here’s a dude that hasn’t really gotten any Fantasy love, but with all the injuries in The Big Easy, Frazier is getting a chance to shine. He shook off an ankle woe and started Friday, putting up a dozen assists in the process. Frazier is solidifying his job on the Pelicans for next season while averaging nearly 15 points, 10 assists, 1.5 treys and two steals over the last five games.
Justin Anderson, SF/SG, Dallas Mavericks (ESPN: 1 per cent; CBS: 4 per cent): Here’s another dude that’s been off the Fantasy radar until recent injuries allowed him a chance to show what he can do. Anderson is starting for the injured Chandler Parsons and the rookie is getting the job done. Anderson poured in a career-high 19 points and added three blocks Friday as part of a double-double. The former Virginia Cavalier clearly has some skills, but for most of the season, he’s struggled to maintain a rotation spot. Anderson is establishing himself as a potentially important part of the Mavericks’ future.
Bobby Portis, PF/C, Chicago Bulls (ESPN: 4.5 per cent; CBS: 34 per cent): Portis headlined our waiver wire recommendations column two months ago and it was a nice pick as he hoisted up more treys in what was likely his best month of the season in February. In March, he didn’t get as many touches, and so far in April, he’s really struggled from beyond the arc. However, with Taj Gibson hurting, former Razorback Portis has a golden opportunity to finish strong. It’s exciting to see what Portis has accomplished in limited PT (Tuesday he had 12 points, seven boards and two blocks in 19 minutes and then in 20 minutes on Thursday he managed six points and 10 rebounds), so assuming he gets around 25 or more minutes, he could really do some damage.
Cole Aldrich, Los Angeles Clippers (ESPN: 3.9 per cent; CBS: 3 per cent): We last recommended Aldrich just under a year ago when he was toiling for the Knicks. It was a solid call as he played heavier minutes in March, before his PT waned somewhat in April. This season, Aldrich has taken a step back on a deeper Clippers’ squad, but in the last week, he’s showing why he was the 11th overall pick in 2010 as he flirted with double-doubles in back-to-back games with limited PT before exploding in a spot start on Friday (season highs of 21 points and 18 boards with five steals in 40 minutes). It seems the former Jayhawk has some game, after all!
Tyler Zeller, Boston Celtics (ESPN: 0.9 per cent; CBS: 6 per cent): We considered Zeller a top 45 centre heading into last season, and he justified our faith by putting up his finest campaign, mostly as a starter. This season, however, he’s almost exclusively come off the bench and his touches are down significantly. But every now and then, you get a sense of what he can do, like on Friday, when he went off for a career-high tying 26 points with four blocks in 25 minutes. We’re not suggesting it will happen again with Boston still fighting for home court advantage, but if you need big man help, Zeller could be worth taking a flier on.
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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