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Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire: NBA Deep Sleepers for Week 5

By TonyTheTiger (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

By TonyTheTiger (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia CommonsThe NBA season is in full swing, and that means the fantasy basketball waiver wire is heating up. We're in week 5, and the following group of players includes guys who are not of the typical standard-league variety; instead, I'm focusing on options for those of you out there participating in deeper formats.  Unless you have the roster space to stash one of these fringe contributors as a sleeper, there is little reason to own any of them outside of leagues with 12 or more teams.

Position eligibility and ownership rate based on Yahoo! fantasy basketball leagues


Deep League Waiver Wire Options

Austin Rivers (NO - PG, SG) – 9% Owned

With Eric Gordon out indefinitely with a torn labrum, the Pelicans need someone to step up and score the ball. The young, offensive talent out of Duke, Austin Rivers will get significantly more playing time now. He is competing for the starting job with Darius Miller, whom he outplayed last time out, managing eight points with three rebounds and two assists in 27 minutes. As Rivers continues to get his feet wet and earns more continuity in the offense, he'll put up more consistent scoring numbers; he represents a very low risk pickup at this point.


Tim Hardaway Jr. (NY, SG) – 12% Owned

With Carmelo Anthony potentially out a few more games with severe back spasms and a knee injury, Tim Hardaway is a very short term scoring option to pick up. Last game without Carmelo, Hardaway scored 24 points on nine of 13 shooting with two threes. You'll have to monitor Anthony’s status to play Hardaway, because he (Hardaway) is behind Smith and Shumpert, but if Anthony is out for an extended period of time, Hardaway is a great scoring pickup. He fits very well in the Knicks offense with his ability to shoot threes and mid-range jumpers.


P.J. Tucker (PHO- SG, SF)- 22% Owned

The dynamic scorer off the bench for the Suns has finally earned the trust of coach of Jeff Hornacek, playing 32 minutes off the bench during their last contest. Tucker scored 11 points with eight rebounds and three assists. On the season, he's averaging 26 minutes with 1.2 threes, 7.5 points, and 6.4 rebounds. This is a guy with forward size (6'6'', 260 lbs.) who can play shooting guard and is an excellent back court rebounder. Tucker can shoot the three, and if he continues to get around 30 minutes per game, there reason to think he'll consistently score in double digits with solid rebounding numbers, as well.


Keeper League Pickup of the Week

Cody Zeller (CHA - PF, C) – 4% Owned

The fourth overall pick out of Indiana last year has really been coming on strong of late. Averaging 23 minutes per game with 8.3 points and 4.7 rebounds, Zeller has picked up his play and could be blossoming into a very nice fantasy player. Charlotte has been terrible this year, and they're looking for some production to spark a run. Last game, Zeller shot five of seven from the field and seven of eight from the charity stripe to finish with 17 points. If this is any indication of things to come, Zeller could be a fantasy star down the road.

Have a good Thanksgiving weekend and turkey day and hopefully you can feast on these pick-ups!