Fantasy playoffs are drawing near. I sincerely hope that the main guys on your roster avoided the injury bug and that you were able to construct your team by your preferences. But just in case you did get hit by an injury late in the season, or if you just haven't found that missing link just yet and are still searching for a big to round off your squad, below are our Week 20 waiver wire pickups for power forwards and centers here at RotoBaller.
All three guys we'll be talking about today can be considered risky plays, however. But how many players that are owned in less than half the leagues so long into the season can't? Hopefully, one of these guys is still available in your league and the winds of change blow his way for the next couple of weeks. Our featured players certainly have potential, so if a center is just what you're looking for keep on reading.
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Standard League Waiver Wire Big Adds
Bismack Biyombo, PF/C, ORL (43% Owned)
There was a surplus of bigs in Orlando this season. Nikola Vucevic, Serge Ibaka, Aaron Gordon, Bismack Biyombo.. That was just too much for any of them to steadily produce stats that are up to their fantasy standards. But then Ibaka got traded before the deadline and that cleared some room in the frontcourt situation.
Still, Biyombo didn't produce the stats we believe he's capable of. He didn't even get an increase in playing time. He saw it drop from 23 minutes before the trade to 17 minutes per game in four games after Ibaka's departure. Granted, Vooch was playing excellent, but you would still expect Bismack to get minutes at least in the mid- to high 20s. It wasn't looking good for him.
Then Vucevic felt his Achilles flare up and was forced to sit out Orlando's last game against the Wizards on March 5. Biyombo god the nod and took full advantage of the given chance. He went 5-of-8 from the field and 4-of-7 from the line for 14 points, 15 boards, one assist, two steals and 2 turnovers in 34 minutes. If he keeps this up, and you don't mind the poor free throw shooting, he might just prove to be your guy.
His value the rest of the way will depend heavily on whether Vooch is playing or not, but with Orlando sitting at 14th in the East, there's no real incentive for them to play him unless he's at 100 percent. That's the window of opportunity for Bismack to earn himself a spot for next season, and prove himself fantasy worthy to his owners. Keep in mind though, Orlando only has 3-3-4 games during Weeks 20-22 in which the default fantasy playoffs take place.
Cody Zeller, PF/C, CHA (44% Owned)
Ahhh, finally Cody Zeller is back. He's been on and off the injured list from the beginning of 2017 and his starting gig was starting to look less and less secure with Frank Kaminsky playing some really good ball. But now Zeller's back and Kaminsky replaced him on the shelf with a shoulder injury which is expected keep the second year youngster out for around 10-14 days.
He's been eased back into the rotation, but has played 26 minutes in his last game, which is on par with his season average. In those 26 minutes during this season, Cody has averaged 10.6 PTS on 57.9 FG% and 66.4 FT%, 6.5 REB, 1.5 AST, 0.8 STL, 1.0 BLK and 1.2 TO. His rebounding, field goal percentage and defensive stats are what will draw owners to Zeller. Furthermore, with Kaminsky out, he could see even more minutes, and every time Cody's in the game for around 30 minutes or more, he is a double double threat. And as long as Charlotte, who is currently 3 games behind the eight spot in the East, has a chance to secure playoff berth, they will keep putting their best guys in the game. And Cody is by far their best +/- player with a +4.3. Next in line is their star PG Kemba Walker with just +2.2.
Now his FG and FT percentages do deviate this season from his career averages of 49.5 FG% and 73.5 FT%, so he isn't usually this good from the field, but neither is he that bad from the charity stripe, so keep that in mind. Charlotte's fantasy playoff schedule isn't too good with one of their games being played on a day with 7 games and the other 10 of their 11 games being played on days with 8 or more games, so before adding Zeller, I would advise you to check how well he fits in your fantasy teams playoff schedule.
Deep League Waiver Wire Big Adds
Richaun Holmes, PF/C, PHI (35% Owned)
Richaun Holmes has really stepped up with Joel Embiid suffering a season ending injury. He started the season off behind Embiid, Nerlens Noel and Jahlil Okafor in the 76ers' rotation. Even Dario Saric and at one point Ersan Ilyasova playing minutes at the PF spot stood between Holmes and some more court time. But now with Embiid done for the season and Noel taking his chances in Dallas, Holmes has finally been given some more opportunities.
In his six games since the All-Star break (and the Noel trade) he has averaged 12.2 PTS with 0.5 3PM on 64.6 FG% and 80.0 FT%, 4.8 REB, 0.7 AST, 1.2 STL, 2.0 BLK and just 0.3 TO in 24 minutes per contest. That gives him value of around top-20 for that period. Now none of those stats, apart from the rebounding perhaps, should be expected to stay on such a high level going forward. But they don't need to be that high, especially from a guy who can be had from the wire in every two out of three fantasy leagues. Furthermore, Philly is in talent-developing mode once again, so it makes sense for them to give 23-year-old Holmes some extra minutes to see what he can do.
So if you're in need of a big who likes to pile up those defensive stats, and you're in a deep enough league that you don't have to cut anyone too important, take a good look at Richuan. Again, Philly's fantasy schedule isn't great, but they do play 11 games, and they do have a matchup on a five-game night on March 14, so at least that's something.
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