In our weekly look at the waiver wire in fantasy basketball, RotoBaller Brad Leibfried gives us some in-depth NBA analysis about which forwards and centers to target off the waiver wire, and which forwards and centers to continue scouting. Fantasy owners would do well to check out Brad's Week 9 Guards Pickups, as well. RotoBaller covers the best fantasy basketball waiver wire pickups each week, so stay tuned!
Waiver Wire Pickups at the Forward and Center Positions
Waiver Wire Must-Add Forwards and Centers
Tyson Chandler: After suffering a leg injury on November 5, Chandler was finally able to return to the lineup Wednesday. The great news for Chandler was that he was immediately plugged back into the lineup and played 37 minutes in a win over Milwaukee. He put up a respectable 9 points, 9 rebounds and 3 blocks, which is about right at the level fantasy owners were expecting. Coach Mike Woodson preaches defense and Andrea Bargnani is nowhere near the defensive force that Chandler is, so he should quickly regain a ton of playing time. Chandler is a double-double machine and also a stud in blocks, so if he is still available in your league, make sure to pick him up right away.
Larry Sanders: If you have solid roster depth, Larry Sanders would be a great pickup in any league. The defensive star of the Bucks has been out with a broken thumb but has started practicing with the hopes of returning in the next few weeks. Sanders broke out last year averaging 9.8 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.8 blocks a game. He is still extremely raw on the offensive end, but the Bucks are starving for any source of offense, and Sanders may be able to fill that role and get into double-digit scoring for the first time in his career. He struggled mightily to start this year, however with Zaza Pachulia and Ersan Ilyasova both out, there are plenty of frontcourt minutes available for Sanders to pick up when he gets healthy.
Robin Lopez: Lopez may only be available in shallow leagues, but if he is, consider yourself lucky when you click that "add" button. He has been a terror inside for the Blazers, averaging 11 points, 8.6 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game over the last two weeks. He also has posted double-doubles in seven of his past 12 games and has 16 blocks in that span. Lopez is also getting over 30 minutes a contest and is the clear choice at center for Portland. Although he is seen as a better defensive player, the Blazers top-three offense has helped expand Lopez's game and make him a fantasy force at center. Don't worry about his last two games-- Lopez is a legit option for the remainder of the season.
Waiver Wire Forwards and Centers to Keep an Eye On
Brandon Wright: Wright made his season debut Saturday night against Milwaukee and had a 19-point and 6-rebound performance. That game was aided by the absence of Dirk Nowitzki, which allowed Wright to play big minutes at the power forward. In his last game, Wright didn't play all that well, but was still able to block three shots. Keep an eye on Wright-- if he can get upwards of 25 minutes a game, he will be worth a roster spot.
Wesley Johnson: Another beneficiary of the Kobe Bryant injury, Johnson brings a rare mix of skills to the fantasy table. Johnson’s length on defense has allowed him to average 1.4 blocks and 1.2 steals on the year to go along with 1.2 three-pointers per game. He will struggle to score in double figures consistently, but an increase in minutes could lead to more points and a great fantasy option. Be sure to check the Lakers box scores to see if Johnson does indeed see a bump in playing time.
Check out Brad's Week 9 Guards Pickups, and be sure to come back next week as RotoBaller will continue to look at the best fantasy basketball waiver wire pickups for you to own and scout.