Trust is reserved for known commodities. Fantasy owners will doubt anyone they have not heard of time after time on ESPN and often avoid investing in them on the fantasy basketball waiver wire. Look, if they want to miss out on a 17-rebound game from Terrence Jones or a six-block game from John Henson, a more shrewd fantasy owner will gladly take the flier, and the free points.
We usually focus on players who are unowned in the vast majority of leagues, and there’s a couple of those today, but there are more than a few players still available in about half of fantasy leagues that deserve universal or near-universal ownership. Let’s take a look at who’s burning a hole on the waiver wire this week.
Patrick Patterson (Owned in 10 percent of Yahoo leagues): I was a big fan of Patterson’s fantasy value last season when he was in Houston and averaged 16.4 points 5.8 rebounds, and a block while shooting 52 percent from the floor in games where he played 30+ minutes. He was subsequently traded to Sacramento where he moved to the bench and failed to produce. He’s in Toronto now and has found his way into the fold, scoring double-digit points in four of his last five games. Those are the four he played 22+ minutes in; averaging 15.8 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.5 threes, and one block over those contests. He’s played 28+ minutes in two of his last three games and his role should continue to increase as he earns more trust.
D.J. Augustin (18 percent): He had a dud of a game on Friday against Milwaukee but bounced back nicely on Saturday with 20 points, 12 assists, a steal, and a block over 35 minutes. He’s posted seven or more assists and double-digit points in three of his last four games and should continue to excel in the pass game, even with Jimmy Butler returning. There’s long-term value here too as Kirk Hinrich is highly likely to be traded which would leave D.J. as the starting point.
Kendall Marshall (49 percent): Over five games since moving to the starting lineup, Marshall is averaging 13.6 points, 11.2 assists, 4.8 rebounds, and two-threes per game while shooting 46 percent from the floor and 43.5 percent from downtown. What is he still doing on any waiver wires? Short-term pickup or not, Marshall’s ability to explode for 15+ assists and close to 20 points in any given game is a must-have in fantasy land as long as it’s available.
Terrence Jones (48 percent): Terrence Jones is back! The Patrick Patterson of 2014 is averaging a double-double over his last nine games, putting up 13.1 points, 10.4 rebounds, and two blocks per game while shooting a strong 51 percent from the floor. I’ve been high on him all season and, despite some inconsistency, he has plenty of fantasy value with his ability to blow up on any given night and an average of 29 minutes and 10 field goal attempts per game over 28 games since becoming relevant and displacing Omer Asik.
John Henson (49 percent): Henson is returning from a high ankle sprain and, while there’s been some shuffling in his absence, he’s probably Milwaukee’s best big man. In 12 games before he got hurt, Henson averaged 15.6 points, 10.6 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks while shooting 52 percent from the floor. He’s capable of producing that on a consistent basis and can bring a huge 5+ block or 13+ rebound game any night of the week.
Randy Foye (50 percent): In seven games since he was benched, Foye has been reborn as a starter, averaging 16.7 points, 4.3 rebounds, 4.1 assists, and 2.9 threes. More importantly, he’s shooting an excellent 52 percent from the floor and 46 percent from deep over that stretch. The field goal percentage is unsustainable but he’s always been a strong three-point shooter and has been filing up the stat sheets of late.
Kris Humphries (42 percent): It’s tough to trust him and it’s tough to trust Brad Stevens’ lineup tinkering but Humphries is starting for the Celtics and he’s bringing value. He has now posted eight or more rebounds in six of his last seven games and has scored double digits in three of his last four. In three games since becoming the starter, he’s averaged 32 minutes per game and there’s no reason to assume he’ll disappear as long as he keeps producing. Over those three games, he’s averaging 10.7 points, 10 rebounds, two blocks, and a steal while shooting a strong 52 percent.
Jared Sullinger (42 percent): I was done with Sully not long ago after Humphries displaced him to the bench and played under 20 minutes in three straight games. Brad Stevens has been playing Humphries and Sullinger together over the last two games, however, so it looks like Sully hasn’t been banished after all. Over those two games, he’s getting 30 minutes and 15.5 field goal attempts despite coming off the bench and is averaging 17.5 points and 10.5 rebounds. The benching has clearly lit a fire under Sullinger, who had been playing solid ball anyway, so he’s definitely worth picking back up.