The Wire Troll: Ramon Sessions Returns to Relevance
Welcome back to another week of Fantasy basketball. This marks the season finale of the NBA Wire Troll, and we hope that our waiver wire recommendations have helped steer you to glory. Congrats if you’re still in the running. If so, we’ve got a few names to throw at you — especially for those of you seeking steals.
This week, Tyronn Lue has returned to the Cavs, and will soon be back coaching the squad as he gets past his health issues; Kevin Durant says his desire to repeat as champion is behind all his techs and ejections this season; and Robin Lopez’s tirade at the officials will cost him $25,000.
And now for our final set of Fantasy basketball waiver wire picks of the season…
Ramon Sessions, PG, Washington Wizards (ESPN: 0.2 per cent; CBS: 1 per cent): Given his inconsistent minutes, Sessions is a deep-league add only, but if you need steals and dimes, he might help you down the stretch. Twice he’s had multi-steal efforts over the last five, and he’s coming off back-to-back six-assist games. Sessions’ PT is up a bit lately, and he’s getting his most touches in March since the beginning of the season. The veteran has been strictly a backup since landing in Washington, but he still has something left to offer. Just note that with John Wall (knee) expected back Saturday, this may be the end of Sessions’ run. Still, Sessions is a player that has looked great running an offense at a very high tempo over his career. Hell, the former Wolfpack star has his own performance centre at the school (see video below).
Stanley Johnson, SF, Detroit Pistons (ESPN: 1.7 per cent; CBS: 20 per cent): Johnson hasn’t necessarily enjoyed the breakout that many anticipated, but you’ve got to love his work in the thefts department. On Thursday, he had four steals, and last week he enjoyed a five-swipe game. Johnson isn’t sinking as many buckets lately and his rebounding has dipped in each of the last three months, but if you need steals, he can help. He’s done a better job of getting to the line this season, and that’s a trend that will have to continue if he’s going to enjoy a real breakout. Johnson likes to tease owners by showing real ability in the supporting stats from time to time, and that makes him difficult to own over the long haul.
Anthony Tolliver, PF, Detroit Pistons (ESPN: 1.8 per cent; CBS: 4 per cent): With Blake Griffin out, Tolliver is proving he still has something left in his tank. Tolliver has three straight games of at least 14 points, going 16-for-30 from the field and 12-for-12 from the line. His touches were actually down this month, so this recent uptick has really salvaged his value. Overall, the veteran has sunk his most buckets per game since his breakout campaign in 2009-10. As long as Tolliver is starting for Griffin, he’s a fine play, and it’s nice to see the journeyman get his moment in the sun.
- Chicago rookie PF Lauri Markkanen didn’t exactly shoot well Friday (4-for-10), but his 13 points helped the Bulls snap a seven-game skid. Unfortunately, he’s been tough to use given that he’s been in and out of the lineup recently as the team is trying to manage his workload in the wake of a back woe.
- Sacramento small forward Garrett Temple (ankle) missed his fourth straight game on Thursday. Before getting hurt, he had finally started jacking up three-balls at a rate closer to what he was doing at the start of the season.
- Orlando PF Aaron Gordon has put up 22 three-point attempts over the last three games as he continues a season in which this has become a vastly bigger component of his game. We especially love the fact he’s doing a better job of staying out of foul trouble.
- Dallas SF Harrison Barnes has three steals in his last two games, which shouldn’t be noteworthy. But the thing holding him back from being a bigger Fantasy asset is his ability to contribute in other categories. If Barnes can even average one steal per game, he’d be more appealing.
- Despite playing just 27 minutes on Friday, Philadelphia rookie PG Ben Simmons picked up his fifth triple double in the last 10 games as the 76ers continue to roll. Um, this kid is pretty good, isn’t he?
- Minnesota big man Karl-Anthony Towns continues to raise the bar. He’s an automatic double-double (64 in 77 games), but is now playing heavy minutes (41.3 over the last three) while amazing us with his talents. How about 56 points on Wednesday, and then another 20-20 game on Friday? What’s this 22-year-old’s ceiling?
- Atlanta rookie SG Damion Lee announced himself as a possible Fantasy option on Friday, putting up a career-high 20 points in 32 minutes, with two treys and two steals. He’s not a kid (25), but clearly has some skills.
- Dallas rookie PG Dennis Smith Jr. has started to find his stroke from downtown, canning 8-of-15 over the last three games combined. Rookie wall? Clearly, no. The kid has reached double digit points in seven straight games.
- LeBron James scored 27 points on Friday, just missing a triple double, but more importantly reaching double-digit points in his 867th straight game. That’s a new NBA record, toppling the mark the King had shared with Michael Jordan. Have you noticed that James is arguably enjoying his finest season at the age of 33?
- Ersan Ilyasova has a chance to step up his game with Joel Embiid out, and he did just that on Friday, pouring in 21 points with 16 boards in 30 minutes. If Ilyasova keeps getting bigger minutes down the stretch, he’ll be a great addition.
Now it’s your turn. Let us know in the comments below who your favourite Fantasy basketball waiver wire pick of the week is.