As we get set to close out the second month of NBA action this week, it's nice to see that at least one of the major sports holds true to form and is predictable.
Perhaps uniquely so, the NBA is typically the easiest league to predict, which makes someone who regularly follows the association have a distinct advantage over those that don't.
However, each year there are a handful of players who make "the leap" out of nowhere; and it's the fantasy owner who knows who "the leapers" that are likely to win their respective leagues.
You can predict that the Celtics will win 15 straight, but you can't necessarily predict it will partially be because of a huge production increase from Leon Powe...or even Rajon Rondo for that matter. There were plenty in the fantasy universe who weren't sold on him yet.
So, if I speak with a bit of urgency in my breakdowns; it's because fantasy owners will eventually find these players and make them part of their teams if you don't act.
Sometimes, grabbing a waiver wire player isn't just a question of filling your own need; sometimes it's a question of snagging some quality trade bait. Trades might not be active now, but as the trade deadline approaches, things will heat up.
If you have a player on your team who you don't need, but is performing to a quality fantasy level, you should be able to trade him for someone you DO need. With that, let's take a look at some waiver wire pickups for week eight.
C.J. Watson - PG/SG - Golden State Warriors
There are a couple of players at this spot who might be better and available (Larry Hughes, Derek Fisher), but they're not overwhelmingly better. Essentially, it's a three-way tie for best point guard on the wire.
Watson's the one I haven't gotten to yet, so let's take a look at him.
He's on a terrible Golden State team, but the fact that they have a relatively young (28) traditional point guard without a lot of miles on him (this is only his second season, and he only played 32 games a year ago) bodes pretty well if they can put a team around him.
A rebuilding project is always easier when you already have a point guard in place. I think Watson could be that player, and even though the Warriors aren't very good; there are definitely pieces in place to rebuild.
Here's what Watson has done over the last month of the season: 10.6 pts, 3.6 reb, 2.2 asst, 1.2 turn, 1.7 stl, 48.8% FG (tremendous for a guard) and 96.8% FT.
He's also making a three-pointer every other game; so he's certainly well-rounded and should be able to contribute to any fantasy team nicely. He's also owned by just 11 percent of fantasy owners, so he's likely available in your league.
C.J. Miles - SG/SF - Utah Jazz
Again, there are a couple of players who might be better (Hughes and Watson again), and the gap is a little wider here; but I've covered them ad nauseam. So we'll take a look at someone you may not have thought of who can help you out.
C.J. Miles was certainly a surprise starter for the Jazz this season; taking the Swingman spot and having AK-47 come off the bench (remember when AK-47 was an All-Star?) For the most part, he's done quite well.
Although he is technically a starter, he's only averaging over 22 minutes a game. Although that's about double his career high; it certainly doesn't really lend itself to big stats.
Jerry Sloan tends to mistrust young players (he even had Deron Williams come off the bench his rookie year), and for that reason Miles will see his minutes stunted at times. Especially if he's getting lit up by Ray Allen like he was last night.
Regardless of all these qualifiers, he has still been the third-best shooting guard on the wire over the last month. And it appears that Sloan will continue to give him at least 20 minutes a night.
Over the last month he has averaged, 12.4 pts, 2.7 reb, 2.1 asst, 1.3 turn, 0.6 stl, 49.4% FG (which is awfully good) and 96% FT.
He's also making 1.3 3-pt/game, so he'll help you there as well. Miles is owned by just 17 percent of fantasy owners, so he's likely still out there. Solid swingmen are tough to come by, so even as just a backup, Miles is a nice commodity to have on your team.
Read more: NBA Waiver Wire - Week 8