Steve Alexander

Waiver Wired

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Wired: Hot NBA pickups Week 12

Sunday, December 31, 2017


Games Played Week 12

 

4 Games:  CHI, LAL, MIL, MIN, NYK, PHX, POR, SAS

3 Games: ATL, BKN, BOS, CLE, DAL, DEN, DET, GSW, HOU, LAC, MIA, OKC, ORL, TOR, UTA, WAS

2 Games: CHA, IND, MEM, NOP, PHI, SAC

 

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Point Guards

 

Ish Smith Pistons 41 percent owned in Yahoo! leagues – Reggie Jackson (ankle) is down for several more weeks and Smith is ballin’, averaging 14.6 points, 4.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 0.6 steals on 52 percent shooting over his last five games. He’s been especially good in his last two and despite a lack of 3-pointers, looks like an automatic pickup in any competitive league. 

 

Tyus Jones Timberwolves 30% - Jeff Teague (knee) is also down, but probably won’t be out for as long as Reggie Jackson will be, making Jones a little less exciting than Ish Smith over the long haul. Jones has played just one game without Teague recently and he had six points, four boards, five assists and five steals in 35 minutes of Thursday’s loss to the Bucks. Jones is a bit of an unknown commodity, but should get 30-plus minutes for at least two-to-four weeks and should be closer to 65 percent owned a week from now.

 

Tyler Johnson Heat 49% - Johnson is on fire, dropping 31 points on Saturday and averaging 19.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 0.8 steals and 1.8 3-pointers on 49 percent shooting over his last five games. The Heat are super banged up on most fronts and Johnson has now scored in double figures in five straight, and six of his last seven games. He’s also played at least 33 minutes in those six games, and got 28 minutes in the seventh one. He should be owned in more leagues.

 

Milos Teodosic Clippers 36% - Slowly but surely, Milos is starting to come on. He had 11 points, five boards, seven assists, a steal and two 3-pointers on Friday after Tuesday’s eight-point, 10-assist performance with two more 3-pointers. He’s averaging 8.5 points, 3.8 rebounds, 7.3 assists and 1.8 3-pointers over his last four, but is shooting just 36 percent. I’m all for owning Teodosic still, but I think I’d rather take a flier on Smith or Jones, as they seem to be more capable of a short-term, bananas-like breakout.

 

Frank Ntilikina Knicks 11% - Frankie Smokes had 11 assists and three steals on Thursday and has been playing better, averaging 6.4 points, 3.4 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 1.0 steals and 0.4 3-pointers over his last five. He’s shooting just 36 percent, which is the problem, but if you need assists and steals, he might be able to help. Additionally, the Knicks are thinking about starting him, which would be a nice bonus.

 

Bonus: Shabazz Napier Blazers 13% - Man, if you picked up Napier on a flier for last week you have to be smiling right now. He’s been killing it with Damian Lillard sidelined with a hamstring injury for the past four games and we still don’t know if Lillard will play on Monday or Tuesday, although I think he’s more in than out. Napier is averaging 19.8 points, 4.5 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 2.5 steals and 2.0 3-pointers over his last four games, playing at least 34 minutes in each of them. If Lillard is good to go on Monday, Napier takes an obvious hit, but if Lillard misses any more time, get ready to fire Napier up in DFS leagues, as well as season-longs where you can get him in your lineup. And even when Lillard’s back, Napier might still be able to stay relevant. 

 

Editor's Note: Looking for an edge in your fantasy leagues? The NBA Season Pass provides weekly projections, rankings, the popular Pickups of the Day column, exclusive columns and customizable stat options. It's the extra tool that can take your fantasy basketball teams to the next level.

 

Shooting Guards

 

Jordan Clarkson Lakers 64% - JC has scored 20, 22, 17 and 18 points in each of his last four games, averaging 16.2 points, 4.2 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.8 3-pointers on 41 percent shooting over his last five. He gets a big boost with Lonzo Ball (shoulder) out and Ball has already been ruled out for Monday against the Wolves. It’s possible that he’s back on Wednesday against the Thunder, but even if that happens, Clarkson is still worth owning in most leagues.

 

Wayne Ellington Heat 29% - Ellington is playing big minutes with Dion Waiters (ankle) out and blew up for 28 points and eight 3-pointers on Dec. 22. Over his last five he’s at 15.6 points, 3.6 rebounds and 4.2 3-pointers in 34 minutes per game and we still don’t know when Waiters will be back.

 

Delon Wright Raptors 3% - Wright is quietly showing signs of a breakout, scoring in double figures in three of his last five games while racking up steals, blocks and 3-pointers, i.e. the fantasy gold. He’s averaging 10.4 points, 3.4 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.4 steals, 1.0 blocks and 1.0 3-pointers on 49 percent shooting over his last five. He’s getting 23 minutes a night but played 29 minutes against the Hawks on Friday, when he had 13 points, seven boards, two assists, two steals, a block and a 3-pointer. He can play both guard spots and small forward, and is currently trending up in a hurry.

 

Buddy Hield Kings 57% - Hield keeps flirting with good stuff but rarely comes through. He’s averaging just 11.2 points, 3.2 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 0.4 steals and 2.0 3-pointers over his last five games, shooting 40 percent. The minutes have only been over 25 once over that stretch, but there’s still a decent chance he can break out in the second half. Just don’t cut someone good if you want to pick him up.

 


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Steve "Dr. A" Alexander is the senior editor for the NBA for Rotoworld.com and a contributor to NBCSports.com. The 2017-18 NBA season marks (at least) his 16th year of covering fantasy hoops for Rotoworld. Follow him on Twitter - @Docktora.
Email :Steve Alexander



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