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NBA Waiver Wire: Deep League Options (Week 1)

By Keith Allison (Flickr: Trevor Booker) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The waiver wire can be a gold mine. A player that a Fantasy Basketball Manager picks up from the wire can be the difference in that close battle for the playoffs, or even in the Fantasy Finals. So if you are not very happy with the guy you picked up at the end of your draft don't get too attached.

Here are a few players who can bring that little something to your team to tip you over the bar and get you that Fantasy Champions Ring. All position eligibility and ownership percentages are based on Yahoo! fantasy leagues.

Editor's Note: New users that sign up on FantasyAces, make a $20 deposit, and enter any game will receive our full season NBA (or NFL) Premium Pass for free (includes DFS Cheat Sheets). Just email [email protected] with your new FantasyAces username - and boom, that's it! We will email you with your Premium Pass.


Deep League Add

Matt Barnes, SG/SF, SAC (17% owned)

Matt Barnes is a guy who won't hurt you (at least not too bad) in any cat, will get you multiple category production and is very consistent. Looking back at his last 10 seasons, you know what you're getting with him. Around 8-10 points, 4-5 REB, 2 AST, a couple of threes, combined 1.5 steals and blocks.  His FG% last year was 38.1% but in his 9 seasons before that it was never under 42.3%, and that with a guy who attempts 4-5 threes a night. FT% is around 75% but shoots 1.5-2 a game which is too low to be relevant and 1-1.5 TO for a guy playing 25-30 MIN is pretty nice.

He has changed a lot of teams, four in his last six seasons, but his production stays the same. That proves that he adjusts well to new situations. And don't forget he is on a disgruntled Sacramento team now. Rudy Gay trade rumors are heating up and if that goes down Barnes could be in line for an even bigger role, more minutes and more fantasy basketball goodies for his Fantasy Owners.

He will not win you your league single handedly but when you beat your buddy by that one REB, STL, BLK or AST and win your weekly matchup you will praise the stable and reliable name that is Matt Barnes.


Super Deep League Add

Trevor Booker, PF, BKN (10% owned)

Trevor Booker. No chills down your spine? Yeah, his name doesn't really give you goosebumps now, does it? Well, there is an opportunity this year for that to finally change.

His career averages of around 6-7 PTS, 5-6 REB, 1 AST and 1 combined STL/BLK aren't really fantasy relevant. Even with his high FG% (51%) and low TO (0.9). But consider his previous situations -- For years he has been a backup to the likes of Nene Hilario and Marcin Gortat in Washington and then Derick Favors and Rudy Gobert in Utah. He hasn't averaged more than 25 MIN in his career, and that was in his second year in the NBA five years ago.

But this year he is in Brooklyn. He has been named the starting PF. That should give him close to 30 MIN per game, plenty of time to better his career averages, even set season bests in most of his counting cats. He will be a constant double double threat, will get you a few steals and blocks and, if you don't mind his 61% FT shooting, he could prove to be that spark of your wire to set your team on fire and help you scorch your fantasy basketball league opponents.


Insanely Deep League Add

Nemanja Bjelica, PF, MIN (2% owned)

Now this is for all of you who, like me, have a big fantasy basketball loving bunch of friends and play in a deep, deep league. I'm talking 20 teams and more. Nemanja Bjelica is entering his second NBA season. He is just 2 years removed from winning the Euroleague MVP title. His rookie season didn't go as well as he'd hoped. 5 PTS, 3.5 REB, 1.4 AST, 0.4 STL and 0.4 BLK in only 17 MIN is not a great line.

But he has been used the wrong way in Sam Mitchell's system. He was more-or-less a catch and shoot, 3 and D guy. While he does get defensive stats and hits threes at 35-40%, he can also penetrate, get rebounds and run the floor pretty well. With Tom Thibodeau replacing Sam Mitchell as head coach, Bjelica could see an improved role in this new system.

Gorgui Dieng is the starting PF at the moment, but he is a big who can't spread the floor and is very limited on offense. Karl-Anthony Towns could use Bjelica spreading the floor more for his post game. Bjelica can fill the SF slot too when Andrew Wiggins needs a breather. And if Wiggins and Zach LaVine are not on the floor, there is no one else to shoot from distance. Furthermore, we all know Thibodeau likes to play his experienced players. There's Bjelica's chance.

If he can get his minutes up to the mid 20s and if Thibodeau's system includes him playing his game his way, Bjelica could be a breakout candidate flirting with a double double, getting 1-1.5 combined BLK/STL 2-3 ast and hitting a three pointer per game. It's a long shot, but in a league this deep, that sort of upside is worth considering.

By popular demand, RotoBaller has aggregated all of our fantasy basketball NBA waiver wire pickups into a running list of NBA waiver options, so bookmark the page and check back often for updates.


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