We’ve already gone through the first week of the 2010 fantasy basketball season, which brings us to the new week and a fresh slate of games. Week 2 also brings us NBA Soup’s first waiver wire column of the season, as we dig for gems available in at least 51% of standard fantasy basketball leagues.
We saw some very interesting performances, from Rajon Rondo’s 24 assists to “rookie” Blake Griffin’s high-flying dunks and tenacity around the rim. But those are big names. Who is flying somewhat under the radar on your fantasy waiver wire that can help you this week, or going forward? Read on to find out:
Mike Bibby, PG, Atlanta Hawks (Available in 55 percent of all standard Yahoo! leagues)
It might not last for the entire season, but Bibby seems to have rebounded from a dreadful 2009-10 campaign and has already upped his numbers across the board. His minutes, points, assists and shooting percentages have all seen dramatic rises, and if it keeps up, he could turn into a quality fantasy reserve or utility player. He’s been good for at least four assists and two threes in every game this year, so keep him on the radar.
Jonny Flynn, PG, Minnesota Timberwolves (75 percent)
He’s still working his way back from an injury and hasn’t logged a minute yet in the new season, but Flynn should be watched in all leagues, starting now. Considering his talent level and decent rookie numbers from last season, it’s still fairly surprising to see him owned in only about 25 percent of fantasy basketball leagues.
Flynn should be back sometime in November, and it won’t be too long before he’s stealing a good amount of Luke Ridnour’s minutes.
Daniel Gibson, PG/SG, Cleveland Cavaliers (76 percent)
It might only last until Mo Williams is back and healthy, but Gibson’s current role and level of play is still difficult to ignore. Besides, with LeBron James no longer in town, the scoring load needs to be shouldered by someone. With 16 points per game through the first three games, Gibson appears to be up to the task. The fact that he’s adding six dimes per game, along with a steal and nearly three rebounds, just makes him that much more valuable.
Arron Afflalo, SG, Denver Nuggets (56 percent)
There is a lot to like about Afflalo, but the easiest is his spike in minutes and points. After averaging just over 27 minutes and eight points per game last year, he’s up to 34 minutes and 14 points per game through three games in 2010. Afflalo can clearly score and shoot the ball at a high percentage, and he’s also fairly valuable as a defender (one steal per game).
If Carmelo Anthony ever does get traded this year, Afflalo's fantasy value will only skyrocket.
Landry Fields, G/F, New York Knicks (86 percent)
Fields isn’t a household name, but in New York, he’s probably close to being one. All Fields has done in the first three games for the Knicks is average 11 points and over seven rebounds per game. He’s receiving major minutes (29 per game) for a rookie, and has Mike D’Antoni’s complete confidence. He’ll have his off nights, but he can shoot the ball from deep and has also shown a knack for hitting the boards.
Fields is an absolute gem in deep fantasy basketball leagues and could prove to be a solid Utility find in medium-sized leagues.
James Jones, SF, Miami Heat (73 percent)
Jones isn’t going to be extremely reliable when it comes to game-to-game points, but he could be very handy for treys, three-point field goal percentage and possibly even overall field goal percentage. Through the first four games of the season, he’s averaging a pedestrian 10 points per game, but he’s shooting threes at a 52 percent clip, rattling off 13 of them. He’s doing all of this in over 28 minutes per game, and there’s still the potential for better numbers from the rest of his game.
Jones is teaming with Eddie House to make up for the loss of Mike Miller, and of the two, Jones is the guy that needs to be owned if you need help in the trey department.
Glen Davis, F/C, Boston Celtics (57 percent)
It’s hard to like him, as he’s big and brash, but it’s also very hard not to like his impact and numbers. Davis is starting to display more than just potential, as he’s thrown down three straight solid outings to start the season, showing he can possibly be relied upon as a consistent fantasy performer. He has over 14 points and five rebounds per game, and is shooting the ball at a sick rate (over 66 percent).
With Shaquille and Jermaine O’Neal not staying healthy or putting up huge numbers, Davis is the man in the middle you should be talking about in reference to Boston.
Darrell Arthur, F/C, Memphis Grizzlies (78 percent)
Arthur has been filling in for the injured Zach Randolph, and he’s been doing quite well so far with insane averages of 17 points and just under five rebounds per game. Well, we’re leaning more towards the point total being “insane”. Arthur also has no fewer than four fouls committed in each of his first three games, but with his stat line and 60 percent shooting from the field, he figures to be a nice spot play as long as Randolph is out.
Randolph does figure to be back soon, but Arthur has clearly shown his value, and should be monitored heavily going forward, or if you can afford it, stashed on your bench.
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