by Will Overton
Working the waiver wire is about knowing what you need as a fantasy basketball owner, position and stat category. It’s also about knowing who is hot though and tracking which guys are rolling hose bandwagon you may want to jump on and ride out until it falls apart.
Adding guys in fantasy basketball is a long term thing at times; ideally you want someone who can help you for the rest of the season. Still, you shouldn’t pass up a guy who is hot just because you think he’s going to cool off at some point. Ride out those hot streaks and when they die off cut bait as needed.
It can be a lot of work to keep up on who is hot and who isn’t, but fantasy basketball is a lot of work if you want to win. We’re still here to help make your job easier though. And so I am going to list some guys who are hot that you may want to consider adding:
Shabazz Muhammad – SF, Minnesota Timberwolves: Muhammad is listed as a small forward, but his value has come recently from his playing power forward in an ultra small lineup while Thaddeus Young has been out for personal reasons. In that last two games Muhammad has scored 35 points combined and he only played 14 minutes in one of those games. Muhammad only has one game remaining without Young though so does his value go beyond this one game?
I think there’s a chance. Muhammad’s struggles with consistency on the court and maturity off of it has us forgetting the amount of upside he possessed and still does possess. Muhammad has a serious ability to fill the basket in a short amount of time. I think at this point Muhammad has likely passed Anthony Bennett on the depth chart given that he was who started this last game and not Bennett. So once Young is back he’ll go to the bench, but he’ll be one of the first wing guys off the bench with Corey Brewer, who may be getting traded, and now that we know he can play the four if called on his value off the bench only increases. I think he’s worth a flier for fantasy teams, especially deep league teams.
Wilson Chandler – SG/SF, Denver Nuggets: Chandler was drafted in most leagues and then dropped in a ton early on, now holding a 20% ownership rate on ESPN. It might be time for that number to start climbing again though. Chandler is playing consistent minutes while starting in place of Danilo Gallinari who looks to be coming along slower after his last injury than expected. Chandler is starting to find his range with eight three-pointers made in his last three games. He’s also more efficient as a scorer lately, making 50% or more of his baskets in five of his last seven games. Chandler can contribute in so many different areas that his value could be long term, I don’t expect his ownership rate to be this low again at any point this season.
Steven Adams – C, Oklahoma City Thunder: Being on a hot streak isn’t all about scoring points. I would argue that Steven Adams is heating up nicely, even though you can’t always see it on the points line of his box score. Adams is only averaging eight points per game in his last five games which is his season average. However he has been turning away shots left and right, totaling 11 blocked shots in two games recently and averaging over three per game for his last four games. For the most part Adams is a non-factor on offense, but his rebounding and shot blocking make him valuable to fantasy owners and right now he’s swatting shots at a really nice clip.
Harrison Barnes – SF, Denver Nuggets: Another swingman getting it done here as of late. I’ve talked a lot about Harrison Barnes and how much I like his upside in fantasy basketball. Here lately he has been making good on that upside finally. Barnes has scored in double digits in five straight games, averaging 15.4 PPG, shooting 58% from the field and making 1.8 3PG. Barnes has also been good for 5.2 RPG. His numbers may be even better, but he’s been limited in minutes a little the last two games due to blowouts. It surprised many to see Barnes in the starting lineup this season, but he’s definitely starting to earn his keep in that role and I think there is a ton of long term value here. He clearly won’t keep shooting 58% from the field, but even when the shot cools a little the value will remain.