Once again from high atop Gifft Hill on St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands, it's Waiver Wire—this week complete with electricity, cell phone, and Internet access.
It's exciting times indeed for the island, and it's exciting time for the NBA.
There aren't too many surprises in the NBA so far this season in terms of teams, as we're essentially dealing with a carbon-copy of '07-08 to this point. The Lakers and World Champion Celtics are really good, and it's a race to see who, if anyone can join them up in the stratosphere.
As of printing, the two teams have three combined losses, and aren't likely to have many more until their meeting on Christmas Day. That's all fine—but here in Fantasyland, we deal with individuals. In terms of those individuals; that's where things are even more interesting.
Players are popping up all over the Wire—good players, still available for nothing; who can help you down the road. There are also players like Manu Ginobli who are expected to come off the injured list in the next week or two, who are tantalizingly dangling on the Wire as well. Obviously, it's no guarantee, but the half-season I got from Ginobli a year ago won me a Championship, so it's certainly something you should consider looking in to.
Week six brings us a whole new crop of Waiver Wire candidates, so let's take a look at who can help you.
Roger Mason - PG/SG - San Antonio Spurs
Mason has been popping up on a lot of Wires of late—he's down to 65-percent ownership across the Fantasy Universe, and for good reason.
As I mentioned previously, Manu Ginobli and backcourt-mate Tony Parker are expected to re-join the team soon, and Mason's 33-plus minutes a night are likely to be slashed to somewhere around 20.
So why recommend him now? Coach Gregg Popovich has dealt well with injuries in previous years, and does a terrific job re-integrating players into major minutes allowing them to get up to speed gradually. To this end, I expect Mason to be effective as a Fantasy Starter for at least another week, possibly two, before he's relegated to "bench-only" status.
Even then, as a bench player, he should continue to put up helpful numbers for Fantasy Owners throughout the rest of the season. Here's what Mason has done over the last month: 15.1 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 2.6 APG, 1.9 TOPG, and 0.9 SPG. He's shot 44 percent from the field, 89. percent from the line, and is making 2.7 three-pointers per game—one of the best marks in the league.
C.J. Watson - PG/SG - Golden State Warriors
The Warriors as a team look awful to this point this year—a shell of their '07-08 selves—but C.J. Watson has been a pleasant surprise for them, especially since "losing" his starting spot.
That's the conventional wisdom anyway, that he "lost" his starting spot—but a more discerning eye will see that wily old Don Nelson is simply doing what he's done for 25 years as a head coach—he's found his sixth man.
The change has done wonders for Watson. In his last two games he has hit career highs in points scored, and in both of those games he came off the bench. Sometimes the obvious isn't apparent, and while the '08-09 season may have been a lost cause for the Warriors before it's even really started, they've certainly got some pieces to build with in the coming years.
Watson is chief among them. Here's what he has put up for the Warriors over the last month: 10.8 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 3.9 APG, 1.4 TOPG, 1.6 SPG, 48.5% FG%, and 78.3% FT%. He's not a big-time three-point scorer, averaging just one made every three games—but at just eight percent Fantasy Ownership, this guy should be on your radar.
Read more: NBA Waiver Wire - Week 6