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Cullen: Checking out the fantasy hoops waiver wire

Scott Cullen
11/9/2012 12:32:07 PM
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Early in the NBA season, there are players who might provide value on the fantasy hoops waiver wire. Here are 10 players that are widely available, yet have been productive enough early to warrant adding to your roster.

Kevin Seraphin, PF, Washington - With Nene injured and the remaining frontcourt starters, Emeka Okafor and Trevor Booker, providing little, big-bodied Seraphin has put up a couple of productive games (averaging 17.5 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 1.0 bpg, .571 FG%) that should earn him more run. The third-year forward finished strong last season (15.5 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 1.7 bpg in April), so this quick start may just be a continuation of his development, rather than some fluke unlikely to be repeated.

Larry Sanders, C, Milwaukee - Coming off the bench, the third-year big man is showcasing his athleticism and actually getting more minutes than starter Samuel Dalembert. In 26 minutes per game, he's averaging 12.3 points, 8.3 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game. That kind of production ensures that Sanders will continue to see significant minutes.

Metta World Peace, SF, L.A. Lakers - The least heralded of the Lakers' opening night starting lineup, World Peace has been getting more involved offensively -- his 9.2 field goal attempts per game are more than each of the past two seasons -- and while his 10.8 points and 4.8 rebounds per game are relatively modest totals, 1.8 steals per game and 1.6 three-pointes per game make his production valuable.

Carl Landry, PF, Golden State - Filling it up when he comes off the bench for the Warriors, Landry plays 25 minutes per game and contributes 17.0 points and 7.4 rebounds per game. He doesn't do much through the rest of the box score, with assists, steals and blocks, but Landry is a high percentage finisher, hitting 67.3% from the field through the first five games.

Nate Robinson, G, Chicago - Splitting time at the point with Kirk Hinrich, in the asbence of Derrick Rose, Robinson has been very efficient (his 18.95 PER ties a career high), but he's doing more than his typical gunner routine, contributing 4.6 assists per game while playing 21 minutes a night. Robinson's upside is limited, but in deep leagues, his scoring, assists and steals (1.0 per game) make him a useful fantasy performer.

E'Twaun Moore, PG, Orlando - Filling in for injured point guard Jameer Nelson, Moore has been impressive in three starts, averaging 14.0 points, 4.0 assists and 1.3 steals and 1.8 three-pointers per game. He barely saw the floor as a rookie in Boston last season, but the talent-starved Magic have room for Moore to play, even when Nelson returns.

Byron Mullens, C, Charlotte - It's easy to get forgotten and overlooked in Charlotte, but the 23-year-old 7-footer is making legitimate gains in his fourth NBA season, averaging 15.3 points and 8.3 rebounds per game, which is solid enough, but he's a difference-maker with his ability to hit three-pointers (eight in the first three games). Now, Mullens isn't going to continue nailing threes at this rate all season -- he had 12 three-pointers in all of the 2011-2012 season -- but with limited scoring options on the Bobcats, Mullens has a chance to contribute with solid shooting while playing more than 30 minutes a night.

Brandan Wright, PF, Dallas - The 8th overall pick in the 2007 draft, Wright has been a disappointment, but is getting a shot at redemption with Dallas, particularly early in the season with Dirk Nowitzki out of the lineup. Elton Brand remains a safer option among the Mavericks' bigs, but Wright is averaring 12.2 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game while playing 24:23 per game off the bench. He may not get much more run and will likely see decidedly less whenever Dirk comes back, but as a short-term fix, Wright is worth consideration.

Robin Lopez, C, New Orleans - Not as gifted offensively as his brother, Brook, Robin Lopez is still valuable as long as he's starting for the Hornets because, not only is he averaging a respectable 12.3 points and 6.8 rebounds per game, but 2.5 blocks per game can't be ignored.

Nikola Vucevic, C, Orlando - Vucevic won the Magic's starting centre job even before Gustavo Ayon was injured in the preseason and his performances have been up and down early, but the net results (10.5 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 1.0 bpg) have been okay.

Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@bellmedia.ca and followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen. For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook.


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