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NBA Waiver Wire Guards (PG, SG, PG/SG) for Week 9


By Keith Allison. CCSA2.0. Flickr via Wikicommons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Austin_Rivers_%2831585856272%29.jpg)

This year, RotoBaller is separating its waiver wire recommendations by position a little differently.  In our three position breakdowns, we'll be separating players into GUARDS, including point guards (PG), shooting guards (SG), and combo guards (PG/SG); WINGS, including small forwards (SF), swing men (SG/SF), and small ball fours (SF/PF); and BIGS, including power forwards (PF), centers (C), and bigs who play both front court spots (PF/C).

In this post, we are looking into some potential Week 9 waiver wire pickups for guards. We'll provide options for guards, eligible at PG, SG, or PG/SG who may be available in both standard leagues (less than 50% owned) and deeper leagues (less than 25% owned), and will typically provide a boost in points, assists, threes, and steals.  All position eligibility and ownership rates based on Yahoo! fantasy leagues.

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Standard League Waiver Wire Guard Adds

Austin Rivers, PG/SG, LAC (5% Owned)

With news that Blake Griffin is undergoing knee surgery that will keep him out for 3-6 weeks, the natural inclination for fantasy owners is to track down his direct positional replacements at power forward -- Marreese Speights, Brandon Bass, and Wesley Johnson.  That, of course, makes sense. However, the ripple effect from Griffin's absence will affect the Clippers in other ways, too -- namely, usage rates and lineups.

While Mo Buckets surely thinks he should be allowed to shoot a mid-range jumper on every single possession that would've otherwise been used by Blake, that's not going to happen. The Clippers are going to look for opportunities for their best offensive threats to see those possessions. Doc Rivers, for his part, will likely dial up more small ball units as a result, to get better ball-handling and passing on the court to make up for the loss of Blake's ball-handling and passing skills. Both of those factors point in favor of an uptick in production for Austin Rivers, who has already been on a hot streak while filling in as a starter for Luc Mbah a Moute in a few recent games.

Last year, had very nice numbers in the stretch Blake missed between Christmas and April Fool's Day, due to a hamstring injury and a certain punching incident.  Austin himself missed some time in that period, too, but when he did play he averaged 10.2 points including 1.2 treys on a .471 FG% in only 21.8 mpg.  In many ways, that playing time was misleading -- as it was hampered by the injury Rivers himself suffered.  The key stat to notice is that his usage rate was 16.9% before Blake got hurt last year, and 21.0% after Blake got hurt.  This year, his usage rate has been 17.2% while Blake's been active, while his playing time has been much higher, especially as of late.  If his shot keeps falling, it appears Rivers will be given the playing time and the usage rate to put up some of the best fantasy numbers of his career in the next 3-6 weeks.

Sergio Rodriguez, PG, PHI (34% Owned) and T.J. McConnell, PG, PHI (5% Owned)

It's unclear where the Philly point guard position is headed this year. Will Ben Simmons come back at some point and take over the lead ball-handling role? Will they bring in another guy who can actually shoot? For now, though, with Jerryd Bayless out for the season, they've got two warm bodies at the point guard position in the form of a couple of guys who can rack up dimes but aren't much for finding the basket themselves. While Sergio Rodriguez is the nominal starter and is already owned in significantly more leagues than McConnell, it's unclear he's actually a better option. McConnell is a more reliable source of steals on a per-minute basis and, for all his avoidance of shooting, at least has hit 46% of his field goal attempts in his tenure with Philly, unlike the 39% shooting Rodriguez. Both will be very nice sources of assists for Philly, in the mean time, with whoever ultimately breaks out as the dominant presence becoming a reliable bottom of the roster fantasy option, particularly if you're punting points.

Standard League Honorable Mentions: Allen Crabbe, PG/SG, POR (24% owned); Seth Curry, PG/SG, DAL (20% owned)

 

Deep League Waiver Wire Guard Adds

Garrett Temple, PG/SG, SAC (13% Owned)

In the offseason, one of the many things I mocked the Kings for was letting Seth Curry walk when they could've had him for a very small amount of money as an RFA, then turning around and overpaying journeyman guard Garrett Temple to fill the same role, minus the excitement or entertainment value for the fans.  Kings being Kings, right?  Well, it seems like at the very least, they didn't make themselves that much worse on the court with Temple, who has been playing shockingly solid basketball this year for Sacramento, especially lately while helping fill in for an injured Rudy Gay.

There's a ton of caveats to recommending a pick-up here -- this is a 30-year-old with a career .398 FG% and .714 FT% whose previous career high in points per game is 7.3. But it's pretty tough to ignore the last week, where he's put up 14.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 1.3 steals, 0.5 blocks, and 2.8 treys on an extremely efficient .452 FG% without missing a free throw attempt. If you want to add him now, you're probably just chasing a hot streak. Then again, three of his next four games are against defenses that have super-soft this year (Portland, Minnesota, and Philadelphia), sandwiched around a tough matchup against the Jazz on Wednesday, so it's certainly enticing to roll the dice and see if Temple's late career renaissance can keep up just a little while longer.

Deep League Honorable Mentions: Joe Harris, SG, BKN (2% owned); Shelvin Mack, PG, UTA (5% Owned)


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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