Millions of fantasy owners hung their head with the news of Derrick Rose‘s most recent injury. To a lesser extent, so did Marc Gasol owners. In every injury, however, there is opportunity. Many of the players on this week’s waiver wire have assumed their roles because of injuries and, certainly, we need to take a closer look at Kirk Hinrich and Kosta Koufos after last week’s big time injury news. Let’s see who’s floating around on the waiver wire this week and where they can help you the most.
Terrence Jones (Owned in 48 percent of Yahoo leagues): Since becoming the every day starter in Houston, Jones has failed to score double-digits just once in six games and has been a demon on the glass. In six games since taking over, Jones is averaging 15 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks per game while shooting a phenomenal 59 percent. He’s playing a consistent 32 minutes or so per game and is a must-own, must-start guy in all leagues.
Kosta Koufos (19 percent): With Marc Gasol out with a sprained MCL, Koufos is the odds-on favorite to inherit the big man’s minutes. He was the every day starter in Denver last season and showed some promise with 8.0 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game on just 22 minutes of court time. That extrapolates to 12.8 points, 11.1 rebounds, and 2.0 blocks per 36 minutes. He’s not a big time scorer and we’d like to see his field goal percentage (48 percent) closer to the 58 percent we saw last season but the seven-footer is averaging 8.0 rebounds, 1.7 blocks, and 1.3 steals per game (just 7.7 points) off the bench and is about to see a bump in minutes. I would definitely grab him for the consistent onslaught of rebounds and blocks until Gasol comes back.
Gerald Green (34 percent): As a member of the Pacers in 2012-13, Green didn’t factor into the game much. In Phoenix, he’s become a spot starter and a reliable one at that. It’s unclear what his role will be when Eric Bledsoe comes back from his injury but, even as a sixth man, he has the ability to contribute a lot of points. When he is in the lineup, he’s a must-start. He has averaged 17.5 points, 3.7 rebounds, 1.9 assists, one steal, and one block per game when as a starter. Over his last four games, Green is averaging 20 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 1.0 steal per game while shooting a solid 48 percent. He’s played like this all season so this isn’t just a short hot streak.
Rodney Stuckey (56 percent): After a down year last season, Stuckey looks like the player we saw consistently put up double-digit points between 2009 and 2012. He has put up double-digit points in 10 of his 12 games this season and is averaging 19.2 points, 3.2 assists, 2.7 rebounds, and 1.0 steal per game over his last six. He’s shooting 52 percent from the floor over that stretch and should continue to pile up the points and add some assists and steals while he averages 30+ minutes per game.
Martell Webster (46 percent): Webster continues to start and do well in the absence of Trevor Ariza – so much so that he may see an increased minutes load off the bench even when Ariza returns. In six games since Ariza went down, Webster has been unstoppable, averaging 15.8 points, 6.2 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.3 steals, and 3.0 three-pointers per game. He’s shooting a phenomenal 39 percent from downtown and is one of the best sideline shooters in the league. Once Ariza returns, however, we will have to reevaluate Webster’s role on the Wizards.
Kirk Hinrich (32 percent): With Derrick Rose out for the season and Hinrich starting in his place on Sunday, it’s safe to assume that Hinrich will handle point guard duties going forward. Hinrich’s numbers are short of impressive but his ability to give you a decent flow of assists and the occasional steal gives him decent fantasy value if he plays around 30 minutes per game. In five games in which he has played 30+ minutes, Hinrich is averaging 11.4 points, 4.8 assists, and 4.2 rebounds per game. That’s right around what fantasy owners should expect.
Tobias Harris (65 percent): The 21-year-old made his season debut on Sunday from an ankle injury that’s kept him out for the early part of the year. He only played 16 minutes but is expected to ramp up his court time fairly quickly and will likely be the starting forward for the Magic very soon. After not playing a lot of minutes in Milwaukee, Harris broke out when he was traded to the Magic last season. In 27 games, he averaged 17.3 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks per game. As a starter, he averaged 17.5 points, 9.3 rebounds, 1.6 blocks, and one steal per game. He continues to mature into a very strong forward and, as XN’s own Bogar Alonso points out, is a perfect fit for the Orlando Magic offense.