Week 12 Fantasy Basketball Stock Market: Waiver Wire Pickups and Drops
Wesley Johnson (Owned in 16 percent of Yahoo leagues): We have gone through countless Lakers players this season, as have they, and now Wes Johnson has emerged as a legitimate fantasy threat. He’s been playing a ton of minutes of late and has scored double-digit points in five straight games. Over that stretch, he’s averaging 36 minutes, 13 field goal attempts, 16 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.4 blocks, and 1.8 threes. The Lakers will eventually heal up and his minutes could take a dip but right now Johnson is on a hot streak that’s definitely riding.
Jared Sullinger (49 percent): Remember when Sully was benched for Kris Humphries, fell to low-double digit minutes, and lost all his fantasy value? Me neither. Brad Stevens is shuffling once again, giving Sullinger 39 minutes on Wednesday against the Raptors. Sully responded with a monster 25 point, 20 rebound, four assist, two steal game. He has now recorded double-digit rebounds in four straight games and 14+ points in three of his last four so he’s definitely out of the dog house and earning a lot more minutes. He should be off of every fantasy basketball waiver wire until Stevens inevitably starts tinkering again.
D.J. Augustin (20 percent): Although he’s still coming off the bench, Augustin played 40 minutes on Tuesday against the Magic and has played 35+ minutes in two of his last three. He’s also recorded at least seven assists in five of his last six and is averaging 12.7 points, 7.5 assists, 2.5 rebounds, and 1.7 threes over that stretch. He’s shooting an ugly 35 percent over those six games as well and has never been a particularly efficient shooter but that should move closer to a passable 40 percent with time.
Terrence Jones (54 percent): There’s been very few fantasy pieces to leave my desk that didn’t mention Jones. I have been enamored with his big game potential ever since he displaced Omer Asik early in the season and, despite some inconsistency issues, his averages are exactly what you’re looking for in a fantasy big man. Over his last five games, Jones is averaging 15.4 points, 11.6 rebounds, 2.4 blocks, a steal, and shooting 50 percent from the floor. He’s hot but those numbers aren’t that much higher than what he’s done all season. Since taking over for Asik, he is averaging 12 points, 8.3 rebounds, 1.7 blocks, and shooting 51 percent. If he can stop shooting threes, which he isn’t good at making, he can be even better.
Jordan Crawford: Crawford has been traded to the Warriors where he is expected to move from a 32+ minute role to a backup role behind Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. Those guys are averaging over 36 minutes per game so it’s hard to see Crawford getting an awful lot of minutes. It’s a shame since Crawford had proven to be a solid fantasy contributor in Boston but it’s time to cut him loose.
C.J. Miles: The Luol Deng trade moved Miles from a 30+ minute per game role to a 20+ minute per game role and, now, to a 12-15 minute per game role. That’s how much Miles has played over the Cavs’ last two games and he isn’t expected to play more than 24 minutes on any night.
Jarrett Jack: Miles isn’t the only one who is seeing a decreased role with Deng coming over and Dion Waiters and Matthew Dellavedova getting more minutes. Jack has played less than 20 minutes in three straight games and hasn’t scored more than four points in any one of those. There’s no reason to hold on to him.
O.J. Mayo: Last season, Mayo looked strong as he averaged nearly 36 minutes a game in Dallas. This season, he’s down to about 28 minutes per game in Milwaukee. He hadn’t been starting since late December but at least he was still playing close to 30 minutes per game. In his last two, he’s played 17 minutes against the Raptors and less than seven minutes against the Grizzlies. There could be some value left since he always has the potential to score 20 but the lack of other stats, the inconsistency, and now, the lack of minutes, mean that Mayo isn’t likely to help your team much in the immediate future.