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NBA Waiver Wire: Deeper League Pickups (Week 12)

By Chensiyuan. CCSA 4.0. Via WikiCommons (

Finding decent help from the waiver wire gets harder and harder the deeper an owner's league is. A player underperforming can overstay his welcome on a fantasy team just based on the lack of visible talent available in the free agent pool.

We dig deeper. We'll take a look at some players performing better than their selected % in Yahoo! leagues and some players in a situation to up their performances if something realistic happens in their case.

Here are my Week 12 deeper league waiver wire pickups for your fantasy basketball teams.

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Deep League Waiver Wire Add

Michael Carter-Williams, PG, CHI (26% owned in Yahoo! leagues)

Carter-Williams was traded to Chicago to be a backup for Rajon Rondo. And that was the case until the last Bulls game of 2016 against Indiana when Rondo was benched for the entire second half. Rondo was later benched for the next five games before returning in a bench role in Chicago's last two games. Who drew the start in those games? You guessed it! Michael Carter-Williams.

Now if you look at his season as a whole, he's not really worth rostering with averages of 7.2 PTS with 0.3 3PM on poor 32.4 FG% and 82.1 FT%, 4.5 REB, 2.5 AST, 0.8 STL, 0.5 BLK and 2.0 TO in 21 minutes per contest. But when you take a look at his stats since Rondo being benched it's a different story. He saw a slight increase in most statistical categories important in fantasy with averages of 9.5 PTS with 0.4 3PM on 36.8 FG% and 85.0 FT%, 4.8 REB, 2.6 AST, 0.9 STL, 0.5 BLK and 2.0 TO in 25 minutes a night.

Now while the field goal shooting is still pretty poor, his defensive stats, nice free throw percentage and out of position rebounds are worth a look, especially if he continues to start. And with Rondo currently rubbing the Bulls' organization the wrong way, former Rookie of the Year might just keep the starting gig. Furthermore, in the previous eight games the Bulls are 3-5, but in the three games Rondo played in they're 0-3.

If Carter-Williams can get close to the 30-minute a game mark he will be worth owning in most leagues, but even if he keeps getting around 25 minutes a game he is still worth owning for teams that aren't bothered by his FG% and can use the rebounds and defensive stats from the PG position.


Super Deep League Waiver Wire Add

Matt Barnes, SG/SF, SAC (12% owned in Yahoo! leagues)

Barnes is a kick ass now, ask questions later kind of player. He is as gritty as they get. Right now, his role on the Sacramento Kings isn't big enough to warrant a spot in most fantasy rosters. His season averages of 7.3 PTS with 1.2 3PM on 37.8 FG% and 68.1 FT%, 4.7 REB, 2.7 AST, 0.7 STL, 0.4 BLK and 1.6 TO in 25 minutes per game aren't overwhelming. But all that might change soon.

There are a lot of players in Sacramento who play similar positions as Barnes. Some of them Rudy Gay, Omri Casspi and Arron Afflalo with Gay, of course, getting the most minutes with 34 per game. But there are rumors going around that the Kings are looking to deal Gay before the trade deadline. If that were to happen, Barnes would definitely get more minutes and more time to produce for his fantasy owners. With Gay on the sidelines for four games with a hip injury in late December and early January, we got a glimpse of what Barnes' life might be with Gay out of Sacramento. In four games without Rudy, Matt averaged 12.5 points with 2.3 threes on 50.0% from the field and 77.8% from the charity stripe, 5.8 boards, 3.3 dimes, 0.5 steals, 0.5 swats and 2.0 turnovers in 31 minutes per game. Now that's worth owning in more than his current 12% of fantasy leagues.

If Gay was to be moved, Barnes would arguably be the primary beneficiary and see his minutes rise to around 30 a night. With what we saw from him in Gay's recent absence he could produce on such a level that would have him a must own player in most leagues.


Insanely Deep League Waiver Wire Add

Gerald Henderson, SG/SF, PHI (4% owned in Yahoo! leagues)

Henderson has been quietly useful this whole season with averages of 9.6 PTS with 0.8 3PM on 46.4 FG% and 83.6 FT%, 2.6 REB, 1.6 AST, 0.6 STL, 0.2 BLK and 0.8 TO in 25 minutes per game. Now that is some nice all around contribution with pretty good efficiency. Fantasy owners in Roto leagues or owners in head-to-head leagues with a well balanced strategy without punting can really use Henderson's qualities.

Now while there isn't too much of an upside for Henderson on the Philadelphia roster, his main competitor for minutes is Nik Stauskas at the SG spot, with Robert Covington, Dario Saric and Ersan Ilyasova all getting some of their minutes at the SF position. The three-headed monster that consists of Joel Embiid, Jahlil Okafor and Nerlens Noel is rumored to be beheaded in the near future. The 76ers are looking to trade one of their talented bigs before the deadline. There's not enough minutes to keep the players happy and they want to make more room for other players on their roster to develop, too.

If one of them is moved, more space would open up at the PF spot which could see Lord Cov, Ilya or Saric playing even less SF minutes which could see Henderson's on court time rise. Now while it's not reasonable to expect him to contribute too much, his well balanced production could see improvement in increased minutes, and if he can keep the efficiency at this level he might be worth owning in some shallower formats, too.


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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.