Happy New Year to all of you from all of us! As the football regular season has come to a close, more focus and attention will now be placed on fantasy basketball. Those of you who have been juggling several leagues can know give your basketball league the attention it deserves (and probably has lacked…) Here are some waiver wire additions you may want to consider for your first pickups of the New Year. Good luck!!
John Salmons-SG/SF-Kings- Salmons is perfect for those in deeper leagues if you can deal with his inconsistency. In his last seven games he has had single-digit scoring games in three games, scoring as low as 5 points in his 12/21 matchup vs the Clippers in 29 minutes and against the Celtics this past Sunday he poured in 23 to go along with his 6 boards and 4 assists. His opportunities have increased some since Tyreke Evans (knee) has been out. (Evans will get a 2nd opinion on Wednesday). Salmons is just 2 years removed from his last relevant season (with Milwaukee) when he averaged 14 pts., 3.6 reb., 3.5 assists, 1 steal, and 1 three. Low risk, high reward and only owned in 15% of leagues.
Andre Drummond-PF/C-Pistons- ‘Got Boards?’ Here’s a sleeper in the offing that’s widely available in 70% of leagues. We got an opportunity to see Drummond play in Storrs, Ct. last year and because of the need for centers we weren’t surprised when he was the 9th overall pick in the ’12 draft. He has finally begun to show why he was picked so high with his double-digit rebounds in four of the last five games. He also averages 1.5 blocks per game on the season while turning back 9 shots in his last five. Consider grabbing him if you’re in 12+ leagues.
Tristan Thompson-PF/C-Cavs- While on the subject of big men, Thompson is another who can play the 4 or the 5 and has been on fire since December 18th, tallying 5 double-doubles and just missing a sixth! He also has amassed 10 blocks over the seven game stretch. He’s almost averaging a double-double on the season with his 9.2 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. Thompson should be rostered in all leagues and formats if you’re lacking in boards & blocks. This 1st round pick, fourth overall in the ’11 draft was touted by us, along with two other Thompsons, Klay and Jason. Should be fairly easy to nab as he is available in 65% of leagues.
Chris Copeland-SF/PF-Knicks- This undrafted 28 year old rookie, when given the opportunity, has not disappointed Mike Woodson or his teammates with his superlative play. While Carmelo has been ailing from his hyper-extended knee, Copeland has seen a surge in his minutes. He has logged an average of 35 minutes over his last two games and averaged 18.5 points. He won’t get you anything else except points and threes so let the buyer beware. We think that even when Melo returns, Copeland will see some extra time on the floor although once Amare is back you might have to monitor how Woodson utilizes him. Take a flier on him for now or plug in until Melo returns.
James Johnson-SF/PF-Kings- It was Johnson, the 1st round pick of the Bulls out of Wake Forest in the ’09 draft that scored the winning basket last Friday in a bizarre game vs the Knicks. N.Y. had trailed by 27 in the 1st half but lost on Johnson’s buzzer-beater. He finished the night with a season high 17 points and has scored in double-digits in four of his last six games. He’ll provide you with some blocks, steals, and points but his worst enemy is time on the floor. Strictly for those in deeper leagues and/or with room on their benches.