Time’s running out in the fantasy basketball season and, while the competition in standings is getting ferocious, it’s merely foreplay compared to the battles taking place on the waiver wire. Injuries and lack of production from once reliable options have fantasy gamers searching of any sort of free production they can find. Available options are getting increasingly more difficult to come by, but there are four names floating out there, ready to give your squad a boost.
Shane Battier (SG/SF)
Something clicked in Battier over the last month. Posting goose eggs in the scoring column most nights apparently won’t cut anymore for the Heat swingman. At least not after realizing he can just jack open threes whenever he damn pleases. Sure, he’s still only averaging around 10 points a game over the last four weeks, but they’re all coming from behind the arc. Making them, essentially, double-points from a Roto standpoint. Since February 1, Battier’s knocking down just under four triples a game, putting him inside the Top 5 of all players in that category over that time.
Donatas Motiejunas (SF/PF)
It was assumed when the Rockets shipped Patrick Patterson off to basketball Hell in Sacramento, that the man who came to Houston in exchange, rookie Thomas Robinson, would dominate most the minutes at power forward. Wrong, Wrong. Instead, a 22-year-old Lithuanian, averaging more DNPs than minutes per game was thrust into the starting five. And you know what, he’s proved to be quite effective. In three games as a starter, Motiejunas is averaging 13 points, six rebounds, and a three. Not too shabby. On top of that, the big man is donating three assists per night. I suppose you’re just prone to sharing if you were born behind the Iron Curtain.
My guess is that Motiejunas’ extended run is just an F-U from Daryl Morey to punish all the basketball writers that have been critical of his dealings, because committing the proper spelling and pronunciation (“Don-tzeh Mah-tee-june-as”, FYI) to memory may be a fate worse than suffering through a night in The Conveyor. Regardless of motivation, it’s paying dividends on the stat sheet.
Tobias Harris (SF/PF)
Orlando may have found a steal in Tobias Harris. Coming over in the J.J. Redick deadline deal, he’s flourished with the Magic, averaging 20 points, 7 rebounds and a three per game with his new team. Plus, he’s chipping in a steal and block every night as well. That was before Sunday night’s stinker against the Grizzlies, though. Harris transformed back into the guy who couldn’t sniff the court in Milwaukee, making just three of 14 shots, including a dismal 0-for-5 performance from behind the arc.
Inconsistency is something you’ll have to endure from most pickups, and let’s face it: he wasn’t going to keep shooting 73% from the field. Still, knowing he was afforded the opportunity to hoist up 14 shots, despite being off the mark, is encouraging enough news to think he’ll get it together. I mean, everyone is allowed a few off-nights. He’s readily available and should be considered a fringe Top-10 option at SF the remainer of the season.
Luke Ridnour (PG/SG)
Assists don’t pop up on the waiver wire very often, at least not ones that are accompanied with some scoring punch. The passels of injuries in Minnesota have forced Ridnour into a larger role in its offense, and fantasy glory is slowly following. If you can sustain the hit in field-goal percentage, the T-Wolves combo guard will immediately help with his passing and scoring prowess. Since February 8, Ridnour is averaging five assists and 15 points per night, while converting on 90% of his freebies.
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