Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire Pickups

  • Pat Mayo,

Time’s running out in your quest for the postseason. Only four weeks remain in the fantasy basketball regular season, magnifying the importance of every block and steal. If you’re lucky, you may be able to pluck a gem off the waiver wire, but those types of players don’t remain available for long. Instead, you’ll probably have to settle for some marginally productive and generally inconsistent options. Still, if you can identify which categories need the most reinforcements, there are an abundance of alternatives ready to provide assistance.

Point Guard – Jordan Crawford (PG/SG)

Know this: do not add Crawford if you’re an avid watcher of Celtics games. His ridiculous shot selection and lack of basketball IQ will systematically destroy your psyche, leaving you begging for the same fate as McMurphy at the end of Cuckoo’s Nest. There’s definitely some upside to be had, though. If Doc Rivers can curb Crawford’s impulsive play, you’re looking at a readily available guard that can fill it up from downtown and can even contribute in assists and rebounds. Not bad.

Other options: Chauncy Billups, C.J. Watson.

Shooting Guard – Gordon Hayward (SG/SF)

Hayward was exiled to the waiver in a slew of leagues after his late-January shoulder injury. After a 10-game lapse of truancy, he returned with a flurry of fantasy goodness, and gamers were quick to notice. While his shooting remains relatively inconsistent, Hayward’s ability to generate points from the free throw line makes him an outlier among available options. Though his ownership levels are charting back towards 100-percent, there’s still time to stop reading, make a pit stop at your waiver wire and see if he’s available.

Other options: Alan Anderson, Jason Terry.

Small Forward – Jeff Green (SF/PF)

This is the Jeff Green the Celtics thought they were acquiring two years ago when they sent Kendrick Perkins to Oklahoma City. Proving to be the ultimate wing man, Green subbed in for a banged up Kevin Garnett Friday night, delivering his most useful fantasy outing of, well, possibly his career: 31 points on 11 of 14 shooting, three 3-pointers, seven rebounds, four assists, two steals, and five (!) blocks. Don’t get used to that type of production though; Green is heading back to the bench upon KG’s return. But his impactful play over the last three weeks will earn him enough minutes to continue his assault on every fantasy category.

Other options: Tony Allen, Vince Carter.

Power Forward – Jason Thompson (PF/C)

Need a banger with some scoring punch? Jason Thompson’s your guy. Over the Kings past seven contests, he’s averaging 16 points, 8.5 rebounds and 1.9 BLK + STL per game, seeing just over 35 minutes of floor time per night. The arrival of Patrick Patterson from Houston shouldn’t impact Thompson’s minutes, as Patterson will, presumably, fill the role Thomson Robinson vacated. Thompson is now taking a more active role in Sacramento’s offensive sets, and as the Kings continue to play trial and error with their rotations, the opportunity is there for Thompson to be transformed into a Top 100 fantasy option. O

Other options: Charlie Villanueva, Bismack Biyombo

Center – Jermaine O’Neal (C)

Finding a band-aid for your center slot off the waiver is not an easy endeavor. Truth be told, the pickings are rather slim. O’Neal will drive you mad with his capricious court time, but, on the whole, he’ll deliver what you need: an elevated field goal percentage, rebounds and blocks. He’ll even assist in solidifying your free throw percentage, a rarity for a man of his imposing stature. Since the Suns seem it to be all-in on their quest for the worst record in the West, O’Neal’s minutes may eventually evaporate. At present, though, he’s a capable addition.

Other options: Kosta Koufos, Elton Brand