Waiver Worthy: One Man’s Trash Is Another Man’s Treasure

by Will Overton

We’re not even two full weeks into the season at this point, but there are already a whole lot of snap judgments being made about players and some rather irrational moves going down based on a very small sample size.

Working the waiver wire in the early parts of the season can be a little tricky. You definitely don’t want to miss out on adding a guy who can give your team a boost for the next several months or even the whole season. At the same time you don’t want to cut bait on a guy who just has a couple bad game to start the season and you end up seriously regretting a few weeks later.

We’re going to look at a handful of guys who have been cut in a large amount of leagues already this season. I’m going to break down their slow start and tell you whether I think that guy is a treasure preparing to break out, or a guy who belongs in the trash heap of the waiver wire:

Gary Harris – SG, Denver Nuggets: Missing the first handful of games this season led to some impatient owners getting a little trigger happy on Gary Harris whose ownership is down to 21% right now. Harris is back now, and the Nuggets seem to be easing him back in with just 16 minutes in his first game and 22 last night. Harris has a good window to playing time right now with Will Barton and Wilson Chandler banged up. Harris is coming off an impressive sophomore season and I think the Nuggets want him to be their shooting guard going forward. I say jump on him now to lock in a good 12 – 14 PPG with 1.5 3PG and 1.5 SPG.
Verdict: Pick Up the Treasure

Robert Covington – SF, Philadelphia 76ers: The 17% shooting from the field and 4.0 PPG is the reason Covington is being dropped all the over the place, and it makes sense. That said, Covington is still logging big minutes, and he’s averaging 4.4 RPG, 1.0 BPG, 2.6 SPG an 1.0 3PG. Fantasy basketball isn’t all about the points and Covington is getting a lot done in other areas. The shooting percentage is troubling and the return of Nerlens Noel could cut into Covington’s minutes, but Covington is a streaky shooter and I think it comes around in time as long as the minutes keep up. I have some reservations with Covington, but I think things even out in time for him and the steals are elite level.
Verdict: Pick Up the Treasure

Al Jefferson – C, Indiana Pacers: I liked the Indiana Pacers addition of Al Jefferson in the offseason as a nice big man off the bench and a veteran mentor to Myles Turner. I didn’t like the fact that Al Jefferson was being drafted in most leagues though and being drafted too high most often. Those owners seem to be getting it now and are dropping Jefferson. His rebounding rate is still solid, but the minutes just aren’t there and I don’t think they’re going to be there with how well Turner has played so far.
Verdict: Leave Him in the Bin

Willie Cauley-Stein – PF/C, Sacramento Kings: I like the idea of Willie Cauley-Stein and so do fantasy owners. I want him to be good and I think he should be good, but it’s just not happening. Cauley-Stein’s minutes have been up and down, but even when he gets a boost in minutes he isn’t capitalizing. Cauley-Stein is an odd fit in Sacramento and doesn’t seem to be a big hit with the coaching staff right now. If he gets traded or minutes open up my opinion might change, but right now I just don’t see the value in holding onto Cauley-Stein.
Verdict: Leave Him in the Bin

Dario Saric – SF/PF, Philadelphia 76ers: There are going to be ups and down all season for the Croatian rookie and we’ve already seen both so far. Just this week Saric scored 35 points in two games and then went out and scored only three the next game in just 18 minutes. Saric is managing to get boards even on his off shooting nights and I think the assists rise as the season rolls along. There is a whole lot of upside in Saric and if the Sixers stick with him, which I expect them to do, he will pile up numbers. You’ll have to struggle with the highs and lows, but I think the averages will come out well in the long run and he’ll only get better as the season goes along.
Verdict: Pick Up the Treasure

Mirza Teletovic – PF, Milwaukee Bucks: I am one who liked Mirza Teletovic as a late round flier in drafts, and I still like him for deep leagues, but I am not sold in standard leagues anymore. Teletovic’s minutes are inconsistent and in true Bucks fashion they play a deep and way to evenly divided rotation. Teletovic is a great three point shooter and he’s knocking down a pair per game, so if you’re desperate for threes you can hold out for sure. I just think you could find someone else on the wire making the threes, but also doing other things such as J.J. Barea, C.J. Miles or Bojan Bogdanovic.
Verdict: Leave Him in the Bin

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