This basketball season is not yet even a few months old, and we have already seen a plethora of players fall victim to injuries. Some of the more popular players include Anthony Davis (non-displaced fracture in his left hand), and Jeremy Lin (Grade 1 Knee Sprain). So what happens now? Those minutes aren’t going to go away. Someone has to claim them right? Today we look at a few good waiver wire sleepers and pickups to boost those fantasy teams that have suffered an injury or two.
Waiver Wire Pickups – Guards & Forwards
Patrick Beverley - Houston Rockets, PG
Perhaps the main beneficiary of Jeremy Lin’s injury, Beverley has seen his playing time rise to over 34 MPG over his last seven games. In that time, he’s averaging two 3-pointers, 1.7 steals, and nearly 10 points– nothing that jumps out at you, but if you have space on your roster, he might be a good investment to make.
Marco Belinelli - San Antonio Spurs, SG
Quietly off to an efficient start, Belinelli is certainly fitting into his new role with the Spurs. Since last week, Belinelli is averaging 14 points and 2.6 3-pointers, and shooting at a spectacular 60% clip. Even though he mainly functions as a role player, he is a guy who can contribute in multiple categories for your fantasy team.
Jared Sullinger – Boston Celtics, PF
An interesting player coming out of college, many teams shied away from Sullinger because of his back problems. Now in his second year, Sullinger seems to be transitioning into the Celtics’ plans quite smoothly. Over his last seven games, he’s averaging 15.4 points and 9.9 rebounds, all while hitting 48% of his shots. Considering that the team is going through a rebuilding phase, the opportunities for young players like Sullinger to showcase their talent will be there all season.
Al-Farouq Aminu – New Orleans Pelicans, PF/SF
Aminu is another player whose role has increased because of the injuries to his teammates. Aminu has now rejoined the Pelicans’ starting lineup. On Monday night, he posted 14 points, nine rebounds, one assist, three steals and one 3-pointer on 6-of-10 from the field. This is a pretty good approximation of the stat lines you can expect to see from Aminu going forward.
The second overall pick of the 2008 draft is now back with the Miami Heat. He seemingly lost his way after Miami traded him to Minnesota in 2010. Beasley, 24, might now be in the best possible position he could have hoped for heading into this past summer. The Heat know he has always been talented, and now there is absolutely no pressure on him to perform as one of the main go-to options thanks to the star-studded roster the team has. That said, with Dwyane Wade taking off multiple games lately, it has paved the way for extra playing time for Beasley, just as on Tuesday night, when Beasley executed wonderfully with 23 points (9-16 FG, 3-3 3Pt, 2-3 FT) along with four rebounds, one assist and one steal. Wade is likely to sit out quite a few more games, especially as we get closer to the playoffs.
The recent trade of Williams to the Sacramento Kings might be a blessing in disguise for both him and his fantasy owners. With the Minnesota Timberwolves, he was stuck playing a minimal role, along with sporadic minutes. The Kings are willing to give him a chance to show what he’s got. So far, he is averaging over 26 minutes per game with his new team. While I would proceed with caution, he is one to keep an eye on. Let’s see if the former first round pick can truly play up to his billing.
Come back next week as RotoBaller will continue to look at the best fantasy basketball waiver wire pickups for you to own and scout.