Fantasy Basketball: Week 4 – Top 10 Waiver Wire Pickups

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Los Angeles LakersFantasy basketball just finished its third week of play…and the injury bug has plagued some key fantasy players. This is when researching depth charts can drastically change your team’s production.

Steve Nash, Ersan Ilyasova, Trevor Ariza, Dion Waiters, Chauncey Billups and Michael Carter-Williams are all dealing with injuries. This post focuses on their replacements for the week and a few gems who are earning more playing time.

Most of these players are owned in less than 50% of leagues (and some are owned in less than 25%). You should pick these guys up or at least keep a close eye on them.

  • Jordan Hill – PF (Los Angeles Lakers) – He’s only owned in 50% of leagues, really? The guy has been a double-double machine. In his last four games, he has averaged 18.8 points, 12 rebounds and nearly two blocks per game. He’s worth a pickup in all leagues.
  • Michael Kidd-Gilchrist – SF (Charlotte Bobcats) – Yes, he’s still only owned in 75% of leagues. I’ve been touting his pickup for nearly a month. The guy scores in double-digits and is a nice source of rebounds as a small forward.
  • Steve Blake – PG (Los Angeles Lakers) – Steve Nash’s injury opened up a spot for Blake. Nash looked like an old man out there, so Blake is an upgrade. In his last six games, he has averaged 10.5 assists.
  • John Henson – PF (Milwaukee Bucks) – Ersan Ilyasova is injured, so Ekpe Udoh and Henson are getting extended minutes. Henson has been out-producing Udoh in less minutes. This could lead to something in the future. As for now, he’s a short-term pickup used as a fill-in.
  • Tony Wroten – PG (Philadelphia 76ers) – Wroten got a triple-double in the first start of his career. He got the start because Michael Carter-Williams was out with an injury. MCW is expected to miss a few more games, so Wroten is a nice pickup for the week.
  • Terrence Jones – PF (Houston Rockets) – Omer Asik is in the doghouse after asking for a trade and Jones is the beneficiary. He’s averaged a double-double and 2.5 blocks since then. I’m a Kentucky Wildcats fan, so I’m well aware of what he can do. He’s the kind of player that can help you in all the second-tier stats like steals and blocks, for his position. If you have Larry Sanders, Trevor Ariza, JaVale McGee or Asik on your fantasy team, add Jones instead.
  • Alec Burks – SG (Utah Jazz) – I’m still a believer in Burks. Tyrone Corbin has played guys like Mike Harris, Diante Garrett and John Lucas, instead of just having Burks play 35 minutes a game. I expect Corbin will be canned in the near future and the next coach will realize Burks is MUCH better than anyone in that trio. Burks is an add and stash at this point.
  • Avery Bradley – SG (Boston Celtics) – He’s been a bit erratic, but he has the ability to score 20+ points per game. He has already done that a few times. He’s only owned in 25% of leagues, so he’s available to stream in and out of your lineup. He’s also a nice source of steals if your team is light in that area.
  • Martell Webster – SF/SG (Washington Wizards) – Trevor Ariza injured his hamstring this weekend. Webster started in his spot and averaged 17.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 2.5 steals since. It’s a small sample, but expect Ariza-level production from him.
  • Robin Lopez – C (Portland Trailblazers) – Lopez is getting more minutes each game for the Blazers. He started out the season coming off the bench in a limited role, but has averaged more than 30 minutes a game in the last two weeks. He’s a nice source of double-digit rebounds and has the ability to score 10-15 points. If you own a center or power forward on the injury report, he’s a nice fill-in.

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sweetbob-author-picAbout the Author…

Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot ClicksGuyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.

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