Week 8 Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire: NBA Centers

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Nearly a couple of months 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 centers, 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 Center in Standard Leagues

Mason Plumlee (BKN, PF/C) - 34% Owned

One substantial warning right off the bat on Plumlee: in a league in which you care about free-throw percentage, he is not worth the risk. The former Duke star is so bad at the stripe that it almost ruins any other contributions. Do not roster Plumlee in a roto league, and do not play him in head-to-head format if free-throw percentage is a competitive category in your current matchup. However, with all of that said, Plumlee does hold value in other stats due to injuries and advanced age in the Nets' frontcourt.

With both Brook Lopez and Kevin Garnett out, Plumlee is getting a ton of playing time. In the back-to-back on December 12th and 13th, he played a total of 73 minutes, scoring 29 and pulling down a total 23 rebounds while shooting over 60 percent for the field. He has a history of providing excellent defensive stats, averaging 1.6 blocks and 1.3 steals per 36 minutes during his young career.

If those defensive stats along with the double-double potential is something you are in search of, Plumlee is a great short-term option.

 

Waiver Wire Center in Deep Leagues

J.J. Hickson (DEN, PF/C) - 8% Owned

Hickson comes with much the same free-throw percentage warning as Plumlee. Hickson’s free-throw shooting is not quite as bad as Plumlee’s, but his upside elsewhere is not as high. Hickson shoots for a decent field-goal percentage and the rebounds are there when he is given the opportunity. However, he contributes very little in the defensive categories, averaging only 0.8 steals and 0.9 blocks per 36 minutes over his career.

If you are seeking scoring and rebounds in a deep league, Hickson certainly has a solid opportunity for playing time on his hands. Kenneth Faried has been banged-up, and Hickson has been starting in his place. One thing to keep in mind, Hickson is splitting many of those minutes at power forward with Darrell Arthur.

On top of Faried being down, Javale McGee is now likely out for the season. That makes rookie Jusuf Nurkic the backup at center for the Nuggets behind Timofey Mozgov, with J.J. Hickson the third option. Being the third option at center gives Hickson just a couple more minutes, but those few minutes are enough to move the needle in deeper leagues. It may even allow him to retain some relevance in those deep leagues even when Faried returns to full strength.