Whether you had a superb draft or you made some missteps, there's no doubt you've got to stay competitive on the waiver wire in order to win your league. This is especially true in the early part of the season when rosters are in flux and roles are being fleshed out in real time. In this piece, RotoBaller Tyler Petagine gives you some guidance and broadly surveys the fantasy basketball waiver wire landscape.
Trevor Ariza, WAS (SG, SF) - He's been around the leagues, folks--in fact, the Wizards are the sixth team Ariza's played for in his 11-year career. After posting two straight double-double games to open up the season, it's time to get this guy on board. The 28-point performance is an aberration, but he can easily put up 15/8 numbers rest of season. To go along with rebounds, he also offers solid steals production.
Alec Burks, UTA (SG) - The Jazz have remained a frontcourt-oriented team, but somebody has to benefit from Trey Burke's absence. For however long he remains sidelined, Burks should be able to maintain high-level production. After two games played, he's averaging a stout 19.5 p.p.g., 4 rebounds, and 3.5 assists. He's also got a 56 FG%, which ranks eighth among SGs with at least 24 m.p.g.
Miles Plumlee, PHO (PF) - The Suns' new starting center and former Duke Blue Devil had quite the debut: 18 points, 15 rebounds and 3 blocks. Somebody had to benefit from the Marcin Gortat trade, and though rookie Alex Len was expected to become the main beneficiary from the trade, it turns out that he will receive limited minutes and come off the bench. Plumlee's stock has risen accordingly.
Xavier Henry, LAL (SG, SF) - His 18-point outburst should open some eyes, despite it being just one performance. After four seasons of under 5 p.p.g., the Belgian just may be breaking out (finally). Henry has low upside in the hustle stats (steals, blocks), but can be a reliable source for needy-points scored owners . 36 minutes played is an encouraging sign, especially since the Lakers have a deep rotation.
Vitor Faverani, BOS (C) - The once under-the-radar Brazilian prospect is putting on defensive clinics. Yes, he's currently sporting a 12 p.p.g. average, but his primary contributions will mostly be in rebounds and blocked shots. His teammate Brandon Bass is the perfect low-post counterpart to boost his numbers-- he's an offensive-minded player without many defensive attributes.
Josh McRoberts, CHA (PF, C) - The sharpshooting lefty is making his presence felt after hitting three 3-pointers in his debut: 15 points, 1 rebound, 3 assists, 1 steal, 1 block. This instant production comes at a surprise for two reasons-- first: the Bobcats frontcourt is crowded as can be; and second: rookie Cody Zeller was expected to handle a heavy dose of minutes.
P.J. Tucker, PHO (SG, SF) - At 28 years of age, Tucker appears on the verge to revive his career. He's spent most of his tenure as a role player, but the tides are turning in his favor. He's not much of a rebounder, but can certainly be a decent point producer, averaging in the 10-15 range. Playing alongside Plumlee, the other hot pickup, both make for extremely intriguing options.
DeMarre Carroll, ATL (SF, PF) - The Hawks' forward is a feisty defensive go-getter with tremendous upside in the steals department. He's not known for his offensive ability, but a heavy dose of P.T. should keep the p.p.g average near double digits. His 3.P.T.M. average(1.5) and steals prowess makes for a scary combo-- Carroll is one of only five players to average 1.5 three-pointers made with at least three steals.
Players to Scout:
Gary Neal, MIL (SG) - The Bucks' backcourt is thinner than black ice! With Luke Ridnour and Brandon Knight still sidelined, Neal should continue receiving starter-type minutes. He has a winning pedigree, coming from the Spurs' organization, and he knows how to produce respectable numbers. His FG% is hard to take, but in Head-to-Head leagues, he more than makes up for it with his points scored and assist-making production.
Boris Diaw, SA (PF, C) - Who expected "The Big Fundamental" (Tim Duncan) to suffer an injury this early in the season? Duncan has been diagnosed with a chest contusion, but the severity of the injury is as yet unknown. For needy big-men owners, Diaw makes for a nice speculative add. He won't produce elite numbers, but he can offer 8-10 points, 4-5 rebounds, and 1- 1.5 three-pointers per game.
Check out RotoBaller's pre-season rankings at every position. We've got the Top 50 Guards, Top 50 Forwards, Top 30 Centers, and Top 150 Overall Part 1 and Part 2. Be sure to review RotoBaller.com coverage over the coming weeks to get all of our fantasy basketball coverage, and find all of our rankings as well as other fantasy basketball articles all season long!