Waiver Wire Pickups for the Playoffs: Threes or Punt

RotoBaller Trevor Crippen brings you waiver wire pickups for your fantasy basketball playoffs. Target the right categories and you could come out a champ.

Trevor Crippen - RotoBaller

It’s time for the playoffs!  Better get your team set up and ready to go.  Here are a couple players who can help fantasy basketball managers edge out their opponents in key categories.  Figure out the five categories where you’re most likely to beat your playoff opponent and go all in.

Waiver Wire Pickups for your Fantasy Basketball Playoffs

Threes: Pero Antic (C – Atlanta Hawks)

By This photo is a work by Artem Korzhimanov. You can find more of my works in my gallery and in the category Photos by User:Artem Korzhimanov. Even more of my works can be found in my galleries at Picasa and Panoramio. (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia CommonsIf you’re going for a small ball win (typically where you concede FG% and blocks to a team with superior big men), it’s key to make sure you lock up threes.  Antic is a rare center who will get you quite a lot of them.  In 10 starts over the course of the year, he’s averaged 2.1 three pointers made per game.  He’s also averaged 5.6 rebounds in those games, so he’s not a total loss in that category if you don’t want to completely concede it.

Since coming back from an injury that’s kept him out since January, Antic has been particularly hot, shooting a .531 FG% in 4 games, including .450 from three point range.  He will continue to start at C for the Hawks and have free reign to shoot.

But the best quirk about Pero for the playoffs is the start to the week for the Hawks.  They are the only team to play both Monday and Tuesday in Week 21, which makes Antic a nice pickup before the week starts who you can then drop after two games in two days for someone else who’s still scheduled to play 3 games in the next four days, then someone else starting Sunday who targets your closest category.  In this way, you can max out the roster spot with 6 starts on only 2 transactions.  Remember, quantity beats quality in 6 of the 9 categories.

Punting Threes: Andray Blatche (PF/C – Brooklyn Nets)

Now instead maybe you’re going against some team that has Curry, Lillard, Korver and Isaiah Thomas, and you have no hope of winning threes.  In that case, a fine pickup if you’re pouring over the scraps of 20-25 mpg centers like Antic would be Andray Blatche from the Nets.  They have a nice little three game home stand against the Suns, Bobcats and Celtics on Monday/Wednesday/Friday, before heading to Dallas on Sunday.  A fairly soft schedule, with a couple games where the starters might not be too taxed and Blatche should get some run.

If you’re not trying to win threes, Blatche should help a little bit everywhere else, to the point that he’s a nice overall value.  His per game stat line on the season is a respectable .470 FG%, .759 FT%, 11.6 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.5 blocks and 1.4 turnovers, in 22:11 minutes/game.  Except for the assists – which you don’t expect out of your center anyway, those rates are all basically average to a bit above average.

There's nothing sexy in its own right, but the overall package makes a decent fill-in for the week.  Meanwhile, he does have upside, as his minutes have been trending up lately.  I think they will only continue to do so as the Nets start resting their elderly starters for the playoffs.

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