Thursday, December 18, 2008

Waiver Wire Watch (12/18/08)

Waiver-wire watch will be a series of posts keeping you updated with a collection of players close to being fantasy relevant, not must-pick-ups. Acquisition of the listed players will depend on your own team needs. However, make sure to keep an eye out for these guys.

Mike Conley has been somewhat of a disappointment this season. While many expected the second year player to improve, Conley has experienced a drop across most stat categories. Despite his underwhelming performances thus far, his only real competition for the point position is Kyle Lowry, who hasn't done much to impress anyone either. Conley is currently averaging 8pts, 4assists, and 3 rebounds in 25 mins. You'd think with Mayo and Gay at 2 and 3, Conley would be able to dish out a few more assists. He has the potential to bust out given some more minutes, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

Kyle Korver has been relatively quiet this year. However, Jerry Sloan has recently expressed his unsatisfaction with his current starting lineup, and has proposed to shake things up a bit. Ronnie Brewer and CJ Miles are on their way out of the starting five, and Korver is looking to take one of those spots. If he starts, look for 25-30 minutes a game. "Ashton" Korver won't provide much else besides 3 pters, but he shoots good percentages and keeps his turnovers low, so he won't harm your team either. Look for him to be Jason Kapono of the West. Speaking of Kapono...

Jason Kapono has seen enough minutes to be fantasy relevant, but has not produced with the minutes granted. Though he has shown flashes of brilliance, he is wildly inconsistent. In his last five games, he's scored 5, 17, 7, 16, and 25 points while shooting 28%, 46%, 21%, 40%, and 68% respectively. He's getting his shots, but isn't making them on a consistent enough basis to warrant a roster spot. However, if you're up for a risk, Kapono could pay off huge.

Nick Young started off the season on fire. In fact, I even had him on my own team for a good 3 weeks. However, since mid-November, the 2nd year player that was supposed to step up in place of injured Gilbert Arenas fell off the map. Like Eddie Jordan, Ed Tapscott is keeping a short leash on all his bench players. Recently, the Washington Post reported:
"I'm going to take a little blame for Nick's troubles," Tapscott said. "I've had him thinking a little too much... Some guys are better just playing in the flow, so I gave him the release today. I said, 'Look, I'm going to play you the full segment and leave you alone and let you play.' "
In other words, Young is in line for more minutes once again. And it's not like the Wizards are going anywhere at the moment. Optimistically, Young will be a good source of points with an occasional three. Other than that, don't expect much else in peripherial stats.

Marreese Speights is the guy I'm actually most excited about on this list. Elton Brand just went down yesterday with a dislocated shoulder, and is expected to be out at least a month. In his abscence, look for Speights to get more minutes and produce. This Florida product has an NBA ready body, and can bang with the bigs of the East. The 76ers are in desperate need of some reliable post production, and while Thaddeus Young will get some of Brand's minutes, he's not a traditional PF. In his last game, Speights put up 12pts, 7 rebs, and a steal while going 6-7 from the free throw line in 18 minutes. With Brand out of the picture, look for him to get at least 25 minutes a game.

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