Week 13 is on the horizon and with the NBA playoffs approaching, veterans will be receiving extra rest, making for some nice fantasy fill-ins on the waiver wire. I have scoured the waiver wire for the best eight fantasy pickups, and listed them right here, waiting for you to take advantage of them.
Chandler Parsons, SF/PF, Houston Rockets
The second round pick out of Florida is starting to become relevant in the fantasy world due to the fact that Kevin Martin is nursing a torn labrum, and Kyle Lowry is dealing with a bacterial infection. With those injuries, it’s no surprise that Parsons is having his best month as a pro, averaging 13 points and nearly five rebounds per game, but the Rockets are hanging onto the eighth spot by a thread out West. With Martin and Lowry’s return dates uncertain, and an extremely favorable matchup against the lowly Kings in week 13, the young forward should continue to seize the opportunity he is getting under Rick Adelman.
Gordon Hayward, SG/SF, Utah Jazz
Hayward isn’t the flashiest of players, but he can do it all. Steals, blocks, points, you name it and Hayward can most likely do it. A groin injury has hindered Raja Bell from returning, and with the way Hayward has performed of late, I don’t think Bell will overtake him at the shooting guard position any time soon. It was hard to target one specific category that Hayward could stand out in, but I chose points after much thought. The Kings rank 29th, the Nets rank 24th, and the Celtics rank 23rd in giving up points to small forwards. Yes I realize that Hayward plays shooting guard, but he also plays a good chunk of minutes at small forward as well.
Tristian Thompson, PF/C, Cleveland Cavaliers
Finally, the keys to the starting center job have been handed to the young Tristian Thompson, at least until Anderson Varejao makes his return to the starting lineup. So far Thompson has thrived in a starter’s role, registering two double-doubles in three starts for a struggling Cavs squad looking to sneak into the playoffs. You could say that last week was all fun and games for Thompson with matchups against Johan Petro and Zaza Pachulia, but let’s not overlook the fact that he did score 15 points and snatched 11 rebounds against Dwight Howard on Friday night. Now week 13 gets a little tougher in terms of competition, but the Bucks and 76ers rank 26th and 21st in giving up rebounds to centers, so there is still a good chance that Thompson can continue to rack up these great performances.
Zaza Pachulia, C, Atlanta Hawks
Filling Al Horford’s shoes is quite a task, but Zaza has been spectacular over the past couple of weeks. He averaged 12 points and about ten rebounds in week 12, while dealing with an Achilles injury that held him out Friday night. The Hawks don’t seem to be too concerned as he did play 25 minutes Saturday night against the Wizards. Even though Zaza played just 25 minutes, he has some great matchups ahead of him in week 13. The Bucks, Knicks, and 76ers all rank in the bottom half of the league in giving up rebounds to centers, and Zaza has been a beast on the boards of late, so don’t be surprised if he averages double-digit rebounds again in week 13
Jason Thompson, PF/C, Sacramento Kings
After a solid first two years in the league, Thompson has basically struggled up until the beginning of last week. Maybe he is a late bloomer, but fantasy owners should take note that he has recorded five straight double-doubles against some quality opponents. For the owners that have been patient with him, they have had a pleasant surprise mostly in the rebounds and steals categories. In three of Thompson’s five double-doubles he has recorded 15 rebounds, and in all of his double-doubles he has registered at least one steal. Fortunately for Thompson, he will have some teams that struggle to rebound the ball, and give up steals to power forwards. With the exception of the Spurs, the Rockets, Jazz, and Nets are all in the bottom 20 of the league in giving up rebounds and steals to power forwards. Maybe Thompson is finally starting to turn the corner, and you definitely don’t want to miss out on a blossoming young big man.
Jose Juan Barea, PG/SG, Minnesota Timberwolves
Three straight outings with double-digit assists including one triple-double, has Barea quickly climbing the depth chart out in Minnesota. The triple double on Friday in Oklahoma also included 25 points, 10 rebounds, and three steals in a double overtime thriller which ended in a loss for Barea and the Wolves. Can we expect Barea to continue to dish dimes out by the dozen? I don’t think so, but he could be a nice pickup in leagues with at least 14 teams, and possibly even 12 teams if he does keep up this stellar play.
C.J. Miles, SG/SF, Utah Jazz
Like Hayward, Miles is starting to come into his own with the absence of Raja Bell. He scored in double figures twice during week 12, but if Bell remains sidelined, I wouldn’t be surprised if he consistently starts scoring in the 20’s. Week 13 will only help his scoring average because the Kings, Nets, and Clippers all 19+ points per game to small forwards. Even though Miles can be a streaky shooter,he has had games where he doesn’t miss, and I feel like week 13 could be one of those weeks where he goes on a scoring rampage. I wouldn’t be worried about Bell returning because he underwent an MRI earlier this week that revealed knee swelling and the Jazz are still waiting for results on a second opinion.
Danny Green, SG/SF, San Antonio Spurs
The Spurs have just about wrapped up the Southwest division, and it’s in their best favor to rest Tony Parker for as long as he needs because they have a budding young star in Danny Green to fill in. The 24 year-old out of North Carolina averaged 15.4 points and 4.4 rebounds in week 12, but this week 12 performance might just be a sneak peek of what’s next for Green. In week 13, the Spurs play the Sacramento Kings who give up nearly 26 points to shooting guards, a league worst. If Green continues to keep up this scoring surge, he will likely play a whole bunch of minutes as the Spurs rest their veterans.