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A quarter of the way 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 during Week 9 of the campaign.

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

 

Waiver Wire Center in Standard Leagues

Rudy Gobert (UTA, C) – 24% owned

Our own Brad Baird highlighted Gobert in last week’s Four-Game Sleepers article, saying “If and/or when he consistently receives starter’s minutes, he is going to do a ton of damage.” I am completely on board the Gobert hype train with Brad. The main hesitation, of course, is that he will not consistently get starter’s minutes so long as Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter are healthy.

The good news is that even without starter’s minutes, Gobert has been worth owning this year, posting usable numbers given his excellent field goal percentage, and lofty block and rebound rates. And now that he has had a chance to prove himself a bit, he is at least sometimes seeing starter’s minutes, if not consistently. Even with both Favors and Kanter in the starting lineup, Gobert posted 30 minutes off the bench on Saturday against the Hornets, scoring 11 points on 5/6 shooting, bringing down 12 rebounds, and blocking 2 shots.

Gobert’s downside is that he only ends up with 20 minutes a game with big game like Saturday mixed in with 15 minute duds, but still doing enough to be worth owning, if only for the blocks and FG% alone. Gobert’s upside is that the tanking Jazz find more and more minutes for him as he keeps developing, and he becomes a must-start center and dominant force in blocks.

I will leave you with one fact about Gobert – of all the players in the NBA who have played at least 200 minutes this season, no one has blocked more shots per minute of play than Rudy Gobert. Not Roy Hibbert, not Serge Ibaka, not Andrew Bogut -- not even Anthony Davis! Gobert’s upside is simply too high for you to leave on the waiver wire.

 

Waiver Wire Center in Deep Leagues

Kyle O'Quinn (ORL - PF/C) - 11% Owned

While it seemed Kyle O’Quinn would be buried as Channing Frye got healthier, it seems he might not have seen the last of his time in the starting lineup. On Sunday against Philadelphia, O’Quinn started ahead of Frye, playing 26 minutes and posting one his usual quirky but useful lines – 8 points on 3/7 shooting, 1 three, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 4 blocks, 2 turnovers.

That is the good news. The bad news is that the lineup the Magic trotted out starting O’Quinn somehow lost at home to the 76ers, so that cannot possibly be a point in his favor unless the tankers really are in charge and they are terrified that the Magic might somehow make the playoffs in the East.

Nonetheless, O’Quinn’s well-rounded and efficient game featuring excellent percentages and defensive stats with decent rebounding and the occasional three has been quite valuable this season. It is not like it was all his fault they lost to Philadelphia. The possibility of him keeping the starting role ahead of Frye is enough to warrant a pickup in all deeper leagues – and even some leagues of standard depth.