As we all settle into our respective Fantasy Basketball seasons, I have returned to beautiful downtown Worcester, MA, where it was about 70 degrees colder yesterday than it was on St. John. Such is life. It's December, it's supposed to be cold. However, there are a couple of teams in particular that are red hot.
First are the Lakers, who are everyone's selection to win 70 games and walk away with the NBA Championship this year.
Secondly, there's this other team that you may not have heard of. I know I sure don't remember them. Apparently they've started 20-2 for the second year in a row and they're the defending NBA Champions—but that's just a rumor I heard. I know I never heard anything like that on ESPN or NBA TV.
Anyway, enough with the editorializing. It's business time.
While your roster should be rounding into shape right about now, you might still have a few holes you're looking to patch, or a couple of underperforming players you're looking to replace outright. Sometimes change is a good thing, and there is a LOT of quality talent still left on the Waiver Wire.
Even if you're in a deep league, the talent is still out there if you're willing to look. Don't settle for sub-par play. Grab players who will perform better before someone else does. That's the beauty of the Wire.
Those who master the Waiver Wire win Championships. Those who don't, well, don't. So let's take a look at the players you should check out to make your team better this week.
Point Guard: Derek Fisher—PG—Los Angeles Lakers
How this guy isn't on more than 30 percent of Fantasy rosters is truly beyond me. Sure, he's not the same player he was on the Lakers Championship teams a few years ago, but he still gets enough minutes to be productive, and he is still a bona fide triangle point guard.
He's not shooting the ball great right now. He's below his career FG percentage number right now, but I do expect that to change as the season wears on. That should clean up any lingering doubts about Fisher.
But it's all about the preemptive strike on the Waiver Wire, and if you take him a couple of weeks early (especially if you can afford to do so), you get him before everyone else, which is kind of the goal here.
Here's what Fisher has done over the last month: 10.1 pts, 2.7 reb, 2.9 asst, 0.9 turn/game, 1.2 stl, 41.4% FG, 95% FT, and is making 1.5 3-pt/game. That's certainly enough to merit a start or two on most rosters.
Shooting Guard: Larry Hughes—PG/SG/SF—Chicago Bulls
The first thing we need to recognize when it comes to Hughes is the fact that he's a five-position Fantasy Player, meaning he's going to plug a lot of holes. As it usually happens when a player is switched to a sixth-man role, he tends to actually produce better than he did as a starter.
Over the last month, this has become the case with Hughes, who has narrowly missed this list a couple of weeks in a row now. Now, he's your prototypical Fantasy Utility player, filling the gaps effectively while some of your starters have an off night, and you know he can go off for 30+ every so often.
Hughes is the 67th-best Fantasy Player in the entire league, which indicates he could be on most rosters. Here's what Hughes has done over the last month: 13.0 pts, 2.8 reb, 1.4 asst, 0.8 turn/game, 1.2 stl, 0.3 blk, 44.8% FG, 85.2% FT, and is making 1.8 3-pt/game (at a nearly 47% clip).
Somehow, he's only got 25 percent ownership. As injuries start to pile up, Hughes is going to be a hot commodity in the near future.
Read more: NBA Waiver Wire: Week Seven