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By Keith Allison from Hanover, MD, USA (Kris Humphries) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia CommonsNow more than a month into the 2014-15 NBA season, 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.

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

 

Waiver Wire Forward for Right Now

Tyler Zeller (BOS, PF/C) - 25% Owned

Judging solely by the eye test, Zeller has been a hot hand for the Celtics since his insertion into the starting five, even with his dud of a game on Monday night.  Boston head coach Brad Stevens has implied that he’ll go with the hot hand and at this juncture of the season, Zeller has been more consistent than the sporadic Kelly Olynyk.

Offensively there’s a lot to like about Zeller’s game.  His 137 ORating is tops on the Celtics while his .701 TS% is incredibly high for a big man.  It’s pretty incredible that Zeller is being used on only 15.7% of plays while he’s on the court yet he still possess that high ORtg number.  Bet dollars to donuts that he won’t be able to keep up that high pace throughout the season, but owners that need low-end big man offense should pick up Zeller for the short term.

 

Waiver Wire Forward for Deeper Leagues

Kris Humphries (WAS, PF/C) - 18% Owned

It looks like Humphries has finally shed whatever Kardashian baggage was hanging on to him and is starting to ball like the player who was taken in the first round in 2004.  Starting PF Nene Hilario appears to be healthy again but Humphries has earned his playing time the old fashioned way: crashing the boards and playing big boy defense.  It should come as no surprise that Humphries’ value to teams in deeper leagues is mainly in the rebounding and defensive categories.

Even with Nene back, Humphries should still see 20-25 minutes per game and continue to be a valuable piece of the Wizards off the bench.  Five of Washington’s next six games offer excellent opportunities for Humphries to see a lot of production offensively and defensively.

 

Waiver Wire Forwards to Keep an Eye On

The Miami Forward Platoon

Shawne Williams (MIA, SF/PF) – 12% Owned

Chris Andersen (MIA, PF/C) – 3% Owned

Udonis Haslem (MIA, PF) – 0% Owned

Josh McRoberts is injured….again.  Obviously McBobby did something to upset the basketball gods in the offseason because his 2014 campaign has been plagued by injury.  He will be out indefinitely, most likely the year, and to further add insult to injury- literally- Chris Bosh has been limited in playing time and practice due to a nagging calf injury and there’s no timetable for his return.  Considering that calf injuries range in severity, there’s no telling when Bosh will return.

These two injuries will provide plenty of opportunities between the three of what is being dubbed the “Miami Forward Platoon.”  Actually no one is really coining that term but it sounds like an official fantasy term.  The best bet to have the most production is clearly Williams.  The trouble with him is that his roller coaster season is so high and low that owners can’t really count on him from night to night.  Haslem has remained as close to a ghost as possible and head coach Erik Spoelstra seems to be keeping the veteran on a short leash.  That leaves the Birdman as the heir apparent to the four-man position.  He clearly is the front runner in terms of rebounding and defense but his offensive game leaves little to imagination.  As it stands right now, owners should watch how this plays out as the next two games should give plenty of insight into which one of these three makes the most of the opportunity presented.  Just don’t expect a Hunger Games style bloodbath between them.