Fantasy Basketball pickups: Week 7 waiver wire options

With Mike Conley sidelined, Mario Chalmers has become a legitimate fantasy option. (AP Photo/Karen Pulfer Focht)

By Alex Barutha, RotoWire
Special to Yahoo Sports

This week’s waiver wire column is extremely guard-heavy, with most top-tier rebounders and shot-blockers being snatched up quickly. However, many of the players featured this week produce in unique ways, making them potentially valuable additions. For example, Mario Chalmers’ points, assists, rebounds and steals numbers in his five starts are being matched by only three players this season. Without further delay, let’s jump in. 

Mario Chalmers, Grizzlies (28% owned)

With Mike Conley (Achilles) sidelined indefinitely and set to be re-evaluated in early December, Chalmers has emerged as a legitimate fantasy option. In five starts this year, Chalmers is posting 9.6 points, 6.6 assists and 4.8 rebounds per game. He’s also chipping in over two steals per game. While his field-goal percentage (33.3%) in those starts is burdensome for fantasy owners, there are only three other players in the league averaging at least nine points, six assists, four rebounds and two steals per game: Ben Simmons, Russell Westbrook and Chris Paul. Obviously, those players are in a vastly different tier, but the comparison helps give us an idea of how rare that combination of stats are.

Kyle Anderson, Spurs (31% owned)

Anderson continues to benefit in the absence of Kawhi Leonard (quadriceps), who remains out indefinitely. Picking up Anderson is somewhat risky, as it’s unclear when Leonard will be back. But, that’s also hardly a reason to let him sit on the waiver wire, especially in deeper leagues. Anderson has played especially well over the past seven contests, posting 10.4 points 5.7 rebounds, 4.6 assists and a combined 1.7 steals and blocks per game. He’s also shooting 53.8 percent over that stretch on 7.4 attempts per game and has turned the ball over just 10 times. His scoring isn’t anything to write home about, but his all-around production in nearly every category is tough to ignore.

E’Twaun Moore, Pelicans (23% owned)

What Moore has lacked in rebounds (2.7) and assists (2.4) over the past seven games, he’s helped make up for in points (14.1), threes (1.3) and steals (1.1). His numbers are certainly far from flashy, but he’s seeing a solid workload of 30.9 minutes per game this season and continues to shoot efficiently from the field (50.9 percent). Only five players this season are averaging at least 14 points while shooting 50.0 percent from the field to go along with one three and one steal per game, the most comparable of which is Denver’s Gary Harris.

J.J. Barea, Mavericks (23% owned)

With Seth Curry (lower leg) still without a timetable for return, Barea has continued to be an impressive source of points (12.4), threes (2.0) and assists (4.8) in just 22.5 minutes per game. Normally, that workload would make someone inadvisable in fantasy, but Barea has been consistently producing and is one of only 13 players tallying the aforementioned numbers. Once Curry returns, it’s likely that Barea’s role will take a hit, but there’s no way to know when that will be until a timetable is established.

Terrence Ross, Magic (25% owned)

If you’re targeting made threes and steals, Ross should be considered. Over the past seven games, Ross is averaging 1.9 threes and 1.6 steals. Only 13 players in the league have been offering that type of production over the course of the season. Ross will likely cool down, as he’s shooting 41.9 percent from three over that stretch compared to his 37.2 percent career mark. However, he did average 1.4 steals per game after joining Orlando last season, so his defensive numbers seem sustainable.

Lance Stephenson, Pacers (5% owned)

Stephenson started off the year so cold it’s probably better to call it frozen. Through the first 10 games of the year, Stephenson was shooting 28.2 percent from the field en route to 5.2 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game. He’s picked it up as of late, however, looking much more like the old Lance we all know and love. Over the past eight contests, he’s shooting 50.0 percent from the field, which he’s translated to 7.4 points per game. More importantly, he’s averaged 6.8 rebounds and 3.0 assists during that stretch. At this point, he probably remains a deep league pickup only, as it’s unclear how sustainable his rebounding numbers are.

Cory Joseph, Pacers (9% owned)

A deep-league pickup like Stephenson, Joseph has proven this season to be a quality combo-guard off the bench for Indiana. He’s seeing 24.3 minutes per game, averaging 8.6 points, 3.2 assists, 1.2 threes and 1.1 steals, which are comparable to his numbers from last season. Even if you’re a fantasy owner in a deep league and Joseph sits on your bench most of the season, picking up him provides a consistent source of production capable of keeping the ship afloat if one of your mid-to-low tier starters goes down. In the off chance Darren Collison gets injured, or the Pacers free-fall in the standings, Joseph is also first in line to see a uptick in his already-solid role.