With so many injuries in this abbreviated season, here are five waiver wire pickups readily available in most leagues..
1. Gustavo Ayon-PF/C-Hornets- Even though the Mexican born 6′ 10″ 245 lb. big guy can hardly speak any English, he’s been doing his talking on the floor where he’ll continue to get big minutes filling in for Carl Landry (knee) and Emeka Okafor (knee) both out until after the All Star break. In his last 3 games, Ayon has averaged 9.0 points, 9.3 boards, 1.3 steals, and 1 block. (These numbers have risen over the last two games with Okafor out). Ayon faces Tyson Chandler and the red hot Knicks on Friday & if Chandler gets into foul trouble Ayon could have a big night. He’s available in 90% of most leagues and is a must add until Landry & Oakafor return.
2. Chris Andersen-PF/C-Nuggets-With Nene (calf) out at least until the All Star break, the short term pickup is Andersen who, in extended minutes over the past 2 games has averaged 11 points, 9 rebounds, and 3.5 blocks. His minutes which were averaging around 14 has swooned to 22 while his numbers have balooned. The veteran back up who has played 7 of his 10 years in the league for Denver, had 6 blocks vs Phoenix on Valentine’s Day. Available in 95% of Yahoo leagues!
3. Mareese Speights-PF/C-76ers- Another big guy for those of you in deeper leagues in need of rebounds, Speights, subbing for Zach Randolph (knee-torn MCL), will be starting until March 7th-the target date for Zach’s return. Over the past 4 games, Speights has averaged 13.5 ponts and 10.8 boards. He can be a little inconsistent with his points (19-7-8-20) over his last four, but the former 1st round -16th overall pick of the 76ers in the 2008 draft could help fill the void left by an injured center in your league. He’s available in 80% of most leagues.
4. Markieff Morris-PF-Suns- No explanation for the sudden surge in numbers for Morris. His minutes have increased slightly to 24 over his last four games from a season average of 20:36. His stat sheet looks enticing if he could keep up this pace for the rest of the season. In his last 4 games he’s averaged 14.3 points, 5.2 rebounds, 1.3 threes, 1.5 steals, and 1.8 blocks! We recommend that you take a flier on Morris and see if this latest trend continues. He’s widely available in almost 90% of Yahoo! leagues.
5. Marco Belinelli-SG-Hornets- Another player, this one a starter for every game this season except 3, has really turned it up a notch lately. Over his last five games, Belinelli has avgeraged 15.6 points, 2.4 threes and 2.5 assists in just around 34 minutes a game. His shooting is sporadic at best but for those of you in 12 team leagues and higher, he will be serviceable especially in points & threes until he cools down. He too is available in 90% of most leagues.