Whether your team is already dominating your fantasy league, decimated by injuries or just plain stinking up the joint, the waiver wire can be your best friend. If you’re in a shallow to medium-sized league, the waiver wire is usually filled with players ripe for the picking that can help your roster if it’s in a tough spot and in need of all-around help or assistance in certain categories. Below are five players who could be dangling on your league’s waiver wires that you should consider picking up right now.
Arron Afflalo (SG – Nuggets): He had a solid preseason and hasn’t disappointed so far, shooting ridiculous percentages and hitting 1.5 threes per game through six contests. Afflalo also offers all-around help in rebounds and assists, adds a steal per game and doesn’t turn the ball over often. With the starting SG gig and around 34 minutes a game all his, there’s a lot to dig about his fantasy value this season. And a word to the wise: If (or is it when?) the Nuggets are forced to deal Carmelo Anthony away for some meager help, long-term projects and draft picks, who do you think is one of the Nuggets who stands to get significantly more touches and shots?
Daniel Gibson (PG/SG – Cavaliers): Boobie showed flashes of being on the verge of busting out big fantasy guns in previous seasons but never quite got there. He was always relegated to a sharpshooter who hopped off the bench and launched threes after being dished the ball from No. 23. Well, those days are over with, and Gibson has himself an opportunity to really shine. After six games he’s averaging 15/4/4 along with 1.7 threes and 1.2 steals in just a shade more than 28 minutes a game. Sure, half of those games were played without Mo Williams, but in the three games with Williams in the lineup, Gibson has averaged 15 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.3 threes in 26:38 per game. Pick him up and enjoy the ride (and the chance to say “Boobie” a lot more this season).
Grant Hill (SG/SF – Suns): Yeah, he’s 38 years old but Hill has managed to squeeze every last drop of juice out of those old bones of his. Though the Suns are overstocked with players who can plug the SG/SF spots, Hill is still playing around 28 minutes a night and is averaging around 11/6/2 along with nearly a steal and half a block per game. He’s also shooting fairly well from the floor and remains a solid 80+ percent shooter from the free-throw line. With Josh Childress struggling with a broken finger and a bum hip, Hill should remain a source of solid overall help in most leagues for the foreseeable future.
Richard Hamilton (SG/SF – Pistons): Another old soul. Hamilton may be another year older and one of the more frail dudes in the NBA, but he’s still a starter for the Pistons and continues to offer helpful stats in most categories. He won’t carry your team’s field-goal percentage, but Rip will get you 15+ points, 2.5+ rebounds, 2+ assists and around a three and a steal per game. He’s also a career 85.3 percent shooter from the line (95 percent through five games played this season). Until there’s a change in the starting lineup, don’t be scared to use Hamilton when he’s healthy.
Eric Bledsoe (PG/SG – Clippers): If he’s not already picked up in your league, all your opponents are probably thinking about it. Baron Davis has missed the last four games with a sore left knee and Bledsoe has filled in admirably in his absence, averaging 13/4/7 along with a three and 1.8 steals in those games, along with 55 percent shooting from the field. He’s this season’s version of Darren Collison so far. So why is he still available in the majority of leagues? Because of the mysterious status of Davis, who is targeting this Friday for his return. If, however, Davis has to miss an extended period of time to tend to his knee, Bledsoe will immediately become the most popular waiver-wire add of the year. Even if Davis returns, Bledsoe has likely played himself into a heavier load of minutes. There’s also the off-chance that he could retain the starting gig. Either way, if you have dead weight at the end of your roster or if you feel adventurous enough, stash Bledsoe on your bench and see how this pans out.
Honorable mentions: Kirk Hinrich, James Jones, Taj Gibson, Amir Johnson, Kyle Lowry
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