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Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire: NBA Centers - First Month Rundown

Source: AP

Now that we are a month into the season, it is time to do a full review of the waiver-wire situation at center. The following players, whether of the “sleeper” variety or just cashing in temporarily on an unforeseen opportunity, almost certainly deserve attention across the various formats.

Position Eligibility & Ownership Rate Based on Yahoo! Fantasy Basketball Player List


Shallow League Wire (36%-50% owned)

Nene Hilario (WAS, PF/C) - 48% Owned

Nene has plantar fasciitis in his foot, though he is expected to play fairly soon. Given the likelihood of this persisting and his lackluster stats on the season so far – especially the very disappointing rebounding number (4.7 per game in 27 minutes) – he is not worth hanging on to if you have someone you want to pick up. And if you see him on the wire, he is not worth dropping anything of value to pick up.


Brandan Wright (DAL, PF/C) - 44% Owned

Source: APWright has fallen a bit back to earth over the last week offensively, putting up only 5.3 points a game since November 26 after scoring in the double-digits in eight consecutive games before that. Even without regular offense, he can put up top-100 value including elite value in FG% and blocks, with high upside if he ever starts getting more than 20 minutes per game. If he is still available in your league, grab him.


Josh McRoberts (MIA, PF/C) - 37% Owned

Miami is gradually amping up McRoberts’s minutes, though it is still likely going to be at least another month before he is playing starter’s minutes and is worth owning. McRoberts is a unique and useful player who put up top-100 value in standard 9-cat leagues last year, though that was with complete health and a situation in Charlotte that seemed to fit his skill set particularly well. When and if he gains a starting role in Miami, it is still questionable that he will have top-100 value in 9-category leagues like he did last season.

He is best left on the wire for now in most leagues. He is only worth speculating on if you are in a league where you plan to punt some big-man categories like blocks or field goal percentage, in which his assists and three pointers as a center are very useful.


Standard League Wire (21%-35% owned)

Tristan Thompson (CLE, PF/C) - 35% Owned

Thompson had a nice game on November 29th with a double-double (13 points, 11 rebounds), but that took 39 minutes in a game that Anderson Varejao sat out, and he only ended up with 1 assists and 1 block to go along with the points and rebounds. Varejao is expected to be right back in the lineup for the Cavs. Thompson is an extremely limited fantasy player who is stuck in a reserve role for as long as Varejao and Kevin Love are healthy. He has no value now, and very little upside. His ownership is only as high as it is in Yahoo! based on past performance and the name value of his vastly superior teammates. Do not bother.


Miles Plumlee (PHO, PF/C) - 32% Owned

Plumlee is starting for Phoenix, but that is about all he has going for him. His minutes are erratic, he barely scores and his rebounds are pedestrian. He has Alex Len stealing time from him on-and-off. The best I can say for him is that he is useful for some blocks and that he is the best Plumlee available right now (see next entry).


Mason Plumlee (BKN, PF/C) - 29% Owned

After performing admirably in the FIBA World Cup of Basketball, Plumlee was a popular late round sleeper in draft season. That seems so long ago. He is barely shooting over 40% on the season. He has not blocked a shot in seven straight games. His 15:45 in playing time on November 30th broke a streak of four straight games with less than 10 minutes played – including an ugly 1:24 played against the 76ers on November 26th. The fact that he is still 30% owned in Yahoo! leagues is proof that at least 30% of Yahoo! fantasy teams have derelict owners.


Henry Sims (PHI, C) - 29% Owned

Sims has surprising good efficiency numbers for someone on the 76ers, with a .496 FG, .806 FT% and 1.3 TO/game. He still manages to be fairly useless as a center by not contributing in blocks (0.3/game) or threes (0.1/game). Usually if you are punting blocks at center you want some shooting in exchange. He still has some value in deeper leagues for the percentages and the limited counting stats he does provide, but I would not bother with him in standard leagues.


Spencer Hawes (LAC, PF/C) - 30% Owned

Hawes is getting limited minutes and is not producing good rates in the minutes that he is getting. He is not worth owning in any league while he is buried on the Clippers depth chart.


Chris Kaman (POR, PF/C) - 24% Owned

Kaman is producing very well in limited minutes, particularly as a rebounder. He had some very good games a starter with the Lakers last season, so we know he has some juice in him. He is a decent streamer for rebounds, he has value in deep leagues as a regular starter at center, and he has upside to be an every-day standard league play if LaMarcus Aldridge or Robin Lopez gets hurt.


Marreese Speights (GSW, PF/C) - 25% Owned

Speights was on fire in the second half of November, averaging 17.6 points, 6.3 rebounds and 0.7 blocks with a .551 FG% and a .781 FT% in seven games between the 16th and the 30th, despite averaging just under 20 minutes a game. On one hand, there is no way he keeps this up. On the other hand, he has a solid role in a top tier offense. He is producing enough to be owned in many leagues, with upside for more minutes if there is an injury ahead of him.


Boris Diaw (SAS, PF/C) - 25% Owned

Diaw is who we thought he was. He is a low upside play best left for deeper leagues when considering all 9 categories, but he is very useful for H2H teams punting blocks, because of the value he brings in assists and occasional threes.


JaVale McGee (DEN, C) - 21% Owned

The mercurial and talented McGee has been struggling with injuries most of the season, and is stuck on a minutes limit for Denver. While he has tremendous upside in FG% and blocks if he can ever get back on track, it does not appear that will happen any time soon. He is best left on the wire in most leagues, though in leagues with deep benches he makes an intriguing hold-and-hope.


Ed Davis (LAL, PF/C) - 20% Owned

Davis is putting up an elite FG% and a horrible FT% so far on the season, which makes him the most useful if you are already punting FT%. If you can afford a hit to FT% in a normal league, he is bringing enough in FG%, rebounds and blocks to be worth owning.


Kevin Garnett (BKN, PF/C) - 21% Owned

I wrote about Garnett in my recent rebound specialists article. While his scoring is inconsistent, his rebounding has remained elite with very solid percentages in limited minutes. He is worth owning as a starter in any league deeper than a standard 12 team, and he is a top tier rebound streamer and desperation starter in standard leagues.


Deep League Wire (10%-20% owned)

John Henson (MIL, PF/C) - 19% Owned

Henson put up some very great games last season for Milwaukee, and he was producing some promising rates in limited minutes to start season, shooting a .565 FG and swatting 1.1 blocks a game in only 12 minutes. Unfortunately, he now has a foot injury and remains buried in the Bucks front court rotation behind Larry Sanders, Jabari Parker, Ersan Ilyasova and Zaza Pachulia. While there is still huge upside in Henson, odds are very slim that he gets a chance to fulfill it this season. If you still have him, it is long past time to move on.


Samuel Dalembert (NYK, C) - 12% owned

By Danny Bollinger (Flickr: _02G7405) [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia CommonsDalembert is doing exactly what he has done in the league since breaking in during the 2001-2002 NBA season. He blocks a lot of shots and comes down with some decent rebounds. His percentages are not bad. Unfortunately, he never scores and never will. His minutes with New York have been as erratic as they have ever been, so he has even lower upside than normal. He is purely a deep league option or a streaming option for blocks.


Steven Adams (OKC, C) - 16% Owned

Adams is a good deep league play if you are punting FT% or desperate for blocks and rebounds and can take the hit. He also turns the ball over a lot given his usage, so his value is much higher in 8-category leagues than it is in 9-category. In a standard 9-category roto league, though, the damage he does to FT% and turnovers is not justified by what he produces elsewhere. He’s not even a top-200 player.


Patrick Patterson (TOR, PF/C) - 13% Owned

Patterson has been playing pretty well this season, delivering very solid threes for a big man. His threes, rebounds and efficiency (.786 FT% and only 0.8 turnovers/game) have actually made him worth starting in deep leagues, and make him an option in standard leagues on H2H teams that are punting blocks.


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