Welcome back to another week of Fantasy basketball action.
This week, the 2016 All-Star Game ballot launched (so go vote right now!); Kevin Garnett became the NBA’s all-time leader in defensive rebounds (take that Karl Malone); Al Jefferson didn’t say no to drugs and has been suspended five games for violation of the NBA’s anti-drug policy (tsk tsk); and the still undefeated Golden State Warriors advanced to 24-0 after a thrilling double-overtime win against the Boston Celtics Friday — pretty much the closest anyone has come yet to stopping this steamroller of a team. It’s pretty much smooth sailing for Dub City between now and the huge Christmas day tilt against the Cavs.
Though we can’t ensure your league team will go undefeated like the current Warriors (you’ve probably stomached some losses by now), we can guarantee you some great waiver wire recommendations this week. Let’s get to ‘em…
O.J. Mayo, SG, Milwaukee Bucks (ESPN: 18.3 per cent; CBS: 43 per cent): Like Matt Barnes last week, Mayo is also bashing his way back to relevance. With Milwaukee off to a not-so-hot start this season (9-15), and most of its backcourt (Jerryd Bayless, Greivis Vasquez and Tyler Ennis) hurting, Mayo has bucked back into the starting lineup recently.
Mayo has scored double-digits in four of his last five contests, and although not naturally a point guard, he’s been dishing out dimes with a season-high eight on Wednesday against the Clippers. With a solid 30 minutes per game, he should continue to produce in points, three-pointers and assists for your team even with the rest of the backcourt eventually returning. Mayo might just be the right condiment in Milwaukee’s sandwich of a lineup as Coach Jason Kidd continues to experiment with the right ingredients. Just don’t ask Mayo to guard Michael Jordan, who nearly a decade ago — even at age 43 — schooled a 19-year-old Mayo (see video below).
Bojan Bogdanovic, SG, Brooklyn Nets (ESPN: 11.6 per cent; CBS: 20 per cent): With rookie Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (ankle) out, Bogdanovic has been moved into the Nets’ starting lineup, and should stay there for the time being. Bogdanovic has enjoyed back-to-back double-digit scoring performances and a steady incline in minutes should result in a steady increase in production — he dropped 19 points and five boards in a season-high 38 minutes Wednesday. Take advantage of this swingman in your deep league format now, as he looks to take advantage while Hollis-Jefferson remains sidelined until around the All-Star break.
Jon Leuer, PF, Phoenix Suns (ESPN: 24 per cent; CBS: 44 per cent): Leuer is shining in a starting role, scoring double-digits in six consecutive games. If that apparent consistency isn’t enough to entice you into picking him up, perhaps his stat sheet filling, 41-minute performance of 10 points, 11 rebounds, four assists, and three blocks in a loss against the Grizzlies Sunday is. With rumours of a Markieff Morris trade (you didn’t hear this from us), Leuer might be a low-risk, high-reward steal worth stashing in your standard league formats — or even a great temporary roster filler while Phoenix gets things straightened out with Morris.
Omri Casspi, SF, Sacramento Kings (ESPN: 27.7 per cent; CBS: 48 per cent): Seven-year pro Casspi is a getting-more-popular-by-the-minute waiver add this week and for obvious reasons. Apart from the consecutive double-digit scoring results in his last four games, he surprised us all (maybe even himself) with his second double-double of the season (19 points, 11 rebounds) on Tuesday against Utah. If Casspi can keep this up, the extra minutes he’s been allotted recently with Willie Cauley-Stein (finger) out, could become more frequent and something you can leverage in your deep format teams heading forward this season.
Cody Zeller, C/PF, Charlotte Bobcats (ESPN: 8.2 per cent CBS: 22 per cent): Zeller has been mostly stellar (yes, we’re poets at heart) over the four games (okay, maybe not so much over the last two). Regardless, his season-high of 20 points with six boards and two blocks on Monday did raise some eyebrows. With Jefferson (calf/suspension) out, Zeller will try to take advantage and gain more minutes and confidence in the low post. Playing pivot is giving Zeller a chance to shine in areas we don’t normally expect from him; he’ll contribute with boards, points and occasional blocks.
Kelly Olynyk, Boston Celtics (ESPN: 12.2 per cent CBS: 36 per cent): Olynyk has shown he could do great things in only a modest amount of minutes. With a well-deserved season-high of 37 minutes on Friday, he produced 28 points, six rebounds, three assists, three steals and a block. That’s two straight games of at least 15 points for Canadian head-bander, who seems to only do better with more minutes. Note that the big minute total Friday came in a double-overtime contest, but still, we suggest you run — don’t walk — to the waiver wire and add him to your team immediately.
Now how about some appreciation? Leave a comment in the section below and let us know how you feel about this week’s recommended waiver picks and particularly… your favourite.
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