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Week 15 Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire: NBA Forwards


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

With the fourth month of the 2014-15 NBA season getting underway, the waiver wire has taken its typical place in the weekly/daily routine of fantasy basketball managers. The following forwards, whether of the “sleeper” variety or just cashing in temporarily on an unforeseen opportunity, almost certainly deserve attention across the various formats during Week 15 of the campaign.

Position Eligibility & Ownership Rate Based on Yahoo! Fantasy Basketball Player List

 

Waiver Wire Forwards for Right Now

Patrick Patterson (TOR, PF/C) – 28% Owned

The injury to Jonas Valanciunas catapults Patterson up at least one spot in the Toronto rotation.  He should see an increase in minutes even if he is not slated as the starter for the night.  Over the last week the former Kentucky Wildcat has added valuable numbers in several categories.  Not including the Monday night game, his per game averages are 13.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.3 steals and 0.8 blocks while hitting 54.3% of his shots from the field over the last seven days.  Not too shabby.

When Valanciunas does come back, it will be interesting to see how head coach Dwane Casey plays Patterson.  Double P will probably lose some minutes but his efficiency numbers have improved greatly since the calendar hit 2015.  Despite starting in as many games in January as all of the Rotoballer writers combined, Patterson was used in a higher percentage of plays when on the court and saw his DRating improve.  He is worth at least a short term stash after the return of Valanciunas.

 

Donatas Motiejunas (HOU, SF/PF/C) – 42% Owned

As you read this, D-Mo’s ownership numbers are climbing due to the injury to Dwight Howard. With Howard out for at least a month, Motiejunas is a safe bet to get some solid minutes in the immediate and long term future.  The numbers also speak for themselves.  His fantasy production has increased every month to the point where he averaged 13.9 points and 6.4 boards in January, both season highs for a month.  His ORating also climbed to a 118, suggesting that he should see more usage while on the court.  Scoop up D-Mo while you can.

 

Waiver Wire Forwards for Deeper Leagues

Jared Dudley (MIL, SG/SF) – 12% Owned

In the revolving door of Milwaukee swingmen, Dudley appears to be the current favorite of head coach Flip Saunders.  The apparent nagging injury to Ersan Ilyasova has paved the way for Dudley to grab some extra minutes.  He has come up big over the last four games without Ilyasova scoring 60 total points, 13 total rebounds, 12 total assists and 3 steals.  Despite his hot hand, Dudley has struggled mightily at the charity stripe.

Perhaps the most compelling argument for Dudley is the competition.  Regardless if he plays the swing or the four, Milwaukee will be facing fantasy-friendly teams over their next five: LA Lakers, Howard-less Houston, Boston, Brooklyn and Sacramento.  Fantasy owners in need of a second or third forward regardless of losing free throw percentage numbers should give Dudley a hard look.

 

Joe Ingles (UTA, SG/SF) – 8% Owned

Ingles is starting to assert himself as a solid starter and fantasy contributor.  He is not a legitimate big time scoring option, although he is averaging 10 points per game over the last week, but he is a solid bet to add mid-to-high single digit numbers in nearly every category.  He will not be a liability in the percentage categories either as his true shooting percentage has consistently stayed north of 62.5% since the start of December.  Ingles can provide any fantasy team with solid plug-in numbers.

 

Waiver Wire Forward to Keep An Eye On

Dwight Howard (HOU, PF/C) – 92% Owned

This has more to do with the fallout from Howard’s injury than actually Howard himself.  There will be plenty of minutes to give out and a rotation of Motiejunas, Josh Smith, Terrence Jones and Joey Dorsey will all be considered in the big man carousel.  Motiejunas is clearly the front-runner right now, but Smith is the veteran and Jones offers the most upside while Dorsey has consistently started in Howard’s place.

Furthermore, where does this lead Howard?  A guy who is averaging 16.3 points and 11.0 rebounds should never be available in any league, yet 8% of all leagues have Howard on the wire.  If you are in one of those leagues and can afford a stash, of course you need to go out and get him.  Needless to say, this entire situation in Houston needs to be monitored closely and could be worth several adds/drops per week.