Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire: Jan. 28
As the first month of 2018 winds down, here are my five fantasy basketball waiver wire pickups for the coming week.
All data, ownership rates and such are through game action on Saturday, Jan. 27.
Terrance Ferguson, SG, Oklahoma City Thunder
Andre Roberson (ruptured patella tendon-left knee) is out for the season after being injured Saturday night, so the Thunder have a bit of a void to fill. Ferguson is in that mix for more minutes, above what he has already be doing recently (22.7 minutes per game over his 12 games-seven starts).
During that recent 12-game stretch, Ferguson is averaging 6.6 points, 1.3 rebounds and perhaps most importantly 4.6 three-point attempts per game.
With Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony around, Ferguson’s usage rate (11.6 percent this season) is not likely to move much even with Roberson out. Big games will be few, and probably far between, but owners in deep leagues should have an eye on Ferguson now.
Yahoo! Ownership: 2% ESPN Ownership: 0.8%
Wayne Selden, SG, Memphis Grizzlies
In a fairly thin week, I’m going with pretty big dart throw. Mike Conley (Achilles) is done for the season, and other than Tyreke Evans (who may be traded) no one seems primed to step up for the Grizzlies.
So I give you Selden, who has topped 26 minutes in three of the last four games while starting the last two contests. He had a 31-point game against the Pelicans on Jan. 20 to start that stretch, and while it has to be kept in context the second-year man out of Kansas averaged 22.7 points per game in Vegas Summer League last summer.
Selden is simply a fantasy stash right now, as Memphis surely starts to embrace a lost season, goes into tank mode and becomes a clear trade deadline seller. But adding him could pay off nicely, if you have the ability to carry someone based only on hypothetical upside right now.
Yahoo! Ownership: 1% ESPN Ownership: 0.3%
Kyle Anderson, SF, San Antonio Spurs
With Kawhi Leonard (quad) out indefinitely and Rudy Gay (Achilles) out for a bit longer, Anderson has started 12 of the last 13 games for the Spurs. His scoring has been up-and-down over that span (7.1 points per game), but the fourth-year man out of UCLA has contributed well in other categories (6.5 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 2.1 steals and one blocked shot per game).
Gay is not expected to return until after the All-Star break, and Leonard’s return timetable is up in the air. So Anderson’s run of nearly 30 minutes per game is not going away for at least a few weeks, and he’s worth adding for solid multi-category output.
Yahoo! Ownership: 40% ESPN Ownership: 26.4%
Darius Miller, SF, New Orleans Pelicans
Over his last five games, Miller is averaging 13.4 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game along with 6.8 attempts from beyond the arc over that span.
Miller had 20 points (6-for-10 from three-point range) against the Houston Rockets on Friday night. DeMarcus Cousins also went down for the season with a ruptured left Achilles tendon in that game, and Miller is expected to step into some of that significant void. He has only started two games all season, but that’s in line to change as Alvin Gentry tries to find the right combination to replace Cousins’ production.
Any downturn from Miller’s current hot streak may be offset by a good amount of playing time and more consistent opportunities than he has seen most of season to this point. Scoring and three-pointers drive his fantasy value, and that’s worth adding in most fantasy leagues.
Yahoo! Ownership: 29% ESPN Ownership: 6.3%
Dejounte Murray, PG, San Antonio Spurs
Over his last four games, since taking the starting point guard job away from Tony Parker, Murray is averaging 12.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 2.8 steals per game. In 18 starts this season, he is averaging 9.6 points, 7.2 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.4 steals per game.
Murray will not be confused with a high volume or prolific three-point shooter, as he’s just 4-for-18 from beyond the arc so far this season and 13-for-41 over his 89 NBA games. But it’s a sign of faith that he has usurped Parker, and Parker himself implied that arrangement is not going away.
Murray’s ownership rates have skyrocketed since he became the Spurs’ starting point guard. But for now, there’s still ample room to add him in ESPN and Yahoo! leagues.
Yahoo! Ownership: 50% ESPN Ownership: 42.3%