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As with every fantasy basketball season, point guards are once again at a premium while big men are anything but. This week’s waiver market is littered with big men and for good reason. First, big guys are more likely to get hurt which opens the door for bench players to step in often. Second, their proximity to the basket gives them automatic points and rebounds, a point guard doesn’t get automatic assist increases, they have to make them happen. When someone like Anthony Davis or Marc Gasol goes down, you need to immediately get on that waiver wire and dial up their replacements.
Let’s take a look at the top centers and power forwards floating around on the waiver wire this week and some guys we can drop from our squad to make room for them.
Al-Farouq Aminu (Owned in 13 percent of Yahoo leagues): Aminu was on the bench on Sunday against the Knicks but returned with a vengeance on Monday against the Bulls with Anthony Davis going out with a fractured hand. In two starts since, he has put up 30 points, 30 rebounds, six steals, and is shooting 52 percent from the floor. As long as Davis is out, Aminu should see a ton of minutes and bring in a ton of rebounds and steals, with some points as well.
Jason Smith (21 percent): The other Pelicans big man should see a bump in Davis’ absence as well with his minutes jumping from the mid-20s to 47 on Monday and 36 on Wednesday. Over those two games, Smith has put up 24 points, 23 rebounds, two blocks, and a steal. He’s not as attractive an option as Aminu but he is averaging a solid 13.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks per 36 minutes on the season.
Taj Gibson (32 percent): It’s tough to tell how long this hot streak will last but Gibson has been killing it over his last three games. Over those contests, he is averaging 22.3 points, 8.7 rebounds, 2.0 blocks, and shooting 67 percent. He’s playing more minutes, including a season-high 44 minutes on Monday, and deserves a look from any team looking for a big man.
Kosta Koufos (31 percent): I’ve been touting Koufos ever since Marc Gasol went down and the kid continues to roll with 9.8 points, 12.3 rebounds, 2.5 blocks, and 1.0 steal per game since being put in the lineup. He’s a very reliable source of rebounds and blocks until Gasol returns and shouldn’t be left on any waiver wires.
John Henson (42 percent): Like Koufos, Henson has run with his new starter job, averaging 12 points, 9.0 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks per game over three starts. On the season, Henson is averaging a very strong 14.9 points, 9.2 rebounds, and 3.1 blocks per 36 minutes and shooting 50 percent from the floor so he’s in must-own territory now.
Channing Frye (52 percent): Over his last eight games, Frye is averaging 15.9 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.3 steals, 1.0 block, and 3.0 three-pointers per game while shooting 57.6 percent from the floor and 48 percent from downtown. On the season, Frye is now averaging 14.4 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.3 steals, 1.1 blocks, and 2.4 threes per 36 minutes. That’s right around where we expect him to be and he should be owned universally.
Gerald Green: After putting up some good numbers in place of an injured Eric Bledsoe, Green has found his way back to the bench with the starter back and played a mere 17 minutes on Wednesday. In two games since Bledsoe’s return, Green is shooting just 2-for-16 and doesn’t figure to be fantasy relevant unless he returns to the lineup at some point in the future.
Jordan Hill: I was very excited about Jordan Hill’s potential early on but he has really hit a wall of late and is not a must-own guy that you have to leave on your bench until he levels out. He has played a combined 30 minutes over his last two games and has scored a combined six points over his last three games. He’ll still be on the waiver wire if he gets going again.
Markieff Morris: Like Hill, Morris showed a lot of promise early on but has been too inconsistent to rely on. Over his last three games, he’s averaging just 7.7 points, 6.3 rebounds, and shooting a lousy 32 percent. He’s a typical waiver wire floater who will only have value for a week or so while he’s hot and then immediately drop back down to irrelevance so he’s not worth owning anywhere.
Louis Williams: With Kyle Korver back, Williams is done with his short starting stint and is back in a 14-17 minute per game role on the Hawks bench. In Korver’s first game back, Williams played just 17 minutes, shooting 1-for-5 for three points, four rebounds, and two assists. He’s certainly not worth owning unless someone else gets hurt and he’s back in the lineup.
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