If you’re going to dive — you may as well dive deep.
-Famed oceanographer Leopold Gustavsson*
We’re well into Week 4 now, but the mission hasn’t changed. We comb the depths of the waiver wire in search of value and intrigue. Let’s begin:
Justise Winslow (27 percent owned in Yahoo): This is the last call on Winslow here. He’s been benefiting from the absence of Goran Dragic (toe, knee), but either way, it looks like the fourth-year breakout is on. Winslow has only played six games so far this season, but in his last three, he’s at 13.3 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 5.3 apg, 1.7 spg, 0.7 bpg and 1.3 3s. Yes, the percentages are bad (39.5 FG / 66.7 FT during that stretch). However, if the 22-year-old can shoot slightly better from the field — watch out.
Noah Vonleh (23 percent): I think I’ve mentioned him about 30 times in the few weeks that I’ve done this column, so I won’t spend a lot of time on him here. Basically, when he avoids foul trouble, he’s really good — and has posted 10.5 ppg, 12.0 rpg, 1.5 spg, 1.5 bpg and 1.5 3s in his last two games.
Tyler Johnson (22 percent): Not too long ago, there was talk that his rotation spot was in jeopardy. Now, he’s been pretty good in four of his last five, putting up 11.6 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 2.6 apg, 1.6 spg and 1.4 3s (on 51.2 percent from the field) during that stretch. The epitome of a sneaky guard option.
Shae Gilgeous-Alexander (20 percent): It’s not about what he’s doing right now, but what he could do if / when Patrick Beverley gets injured. Per-36 minutes, SGA is averaging 12.5 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 4.6 apg, 1.4 spg, 0.8 bpg and 0.5 3s, so there’s some low-end all-around excitement here whenever he gets a bigger opportunity. Beverley missed 71 games last year, and 15 the year before that.
Patty Mills (13 percent): After a less-than-thrilling start to the season, Mills is starting to string together some momentum. He has hit exactly four treys in each of his last three games, and is averaging 17.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg and 3.3 apg in 30 minutes a game during that run.
Terrence Ross (12 percent): With Jonathan Isaac (ankle) still out, the notoriously inconsistent Ross has started to string together some consistency. Here are his points scored the last five games: 17, 7, 17, 15, 15. He’s also averaging 2.4 3s and 1.2 spg during that stretch, so deploy as you see fit — and be prepared to pull the ripcord at the first sign of trouble.
Trey Lyles (11 percent): If you’re not in a super shallow league, he’s starting to look really useful. After a season-high 16 points on Wednesday (with nine rebounds, a steal, a block and two 3s), he’s averaging 12.3 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 2.1 apg, 0.6 spg, 0.8 bpg and 1.0 3s over his last eight games. During this two-week run, he’s been the No. 113 player in 9-category leagues.
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Wayne Ellington (11 percent): The points/3s specialist had 20 points and six treys in 37 minutes for the short-handed Heat on Wednesday, so he warrants a look. I will say that at the same 11 percent number, I would rather add Lyles or this guy —>
Allonzo Trier (11 percent): With that said, I’m still not that excited about Trier either. Yes, he’s doing a nice job in points/3s/percentages — last five games: 16.6 ppg / 1.2 3s / 57.1 FG / 84.0 FT — but the lack of supporting stats is a yellow flag. During that same five-game run, Trier has posted just 2.8 rpg, 0.8 apg, 0.6 spg and 0.4 bpg in 29 minutes a night.
Isaiah Canaan (6 percent): Nothing against Canaan, but it bums me out that we’re here. I would much rather see the tanking Suns giving big minutes to Elie Okobo. Since that’s not the case yet, Canaan remains fantasy relevant: 15.0 ppg, 2.7 apg and 2.3 treys in his last three games — in an average off 33 minutes a game.
Jeremy Lin (5 percent): Trae Young isn’t going anywhere as the Hawks starting PG. That hasn’t stopped Lin from producing recently off the bench. Last five games: 13.8 ppg, 4.0 apg, 1.2 spg and 1.2 3s on 53.8 percent from the field. He’ll be a threat for a dud on any given night, but overall he looks like a pretty decent bet to produce.
J.R. Smith (4 percent): The Cavs in general make me want to puke this year. However, there’s no ignoring the fact that J.R. is playing and producing at the moment. Last three games: 13.7 ppg, 3.0 apg, 2.0 spg and 3.0 3s.
James Ennis III (3 percent): Last two games — 14.0 ppg, 1.5 spg and 3.0 3s. His minutes and production could still be all over the place, but you couldn’t ask for a better situation for a somewhat marginal player.
Alfonzo McKinnie (2 percent): Over his last five games, McKinnie has put up 11.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg and 1.8 3s on 61.1 percent from the floor — and 64.3 percent on 3s. The obligatory word in this sentence is unsustainable. However, the Warriors do play five games next week…
Omari Spellman (2 percent): He stepped forth out of nowhere to post a dynamic line on Wednesday: 18-10-4 with a steal, three blocks and three treys. Spellman looked great in that game and I’d be all for adding him, but things are about to get complicated with the impending return of John Collins. He’s still worth a flier if you play in a really deep format. Which you probably do if you’re still reading.
Langston Galloway (1 percent): Here’s a look at his last three games:
11/3 — 13 points, one trey (and a bunch of zeroes) in 20 minutes
11/5 — 21-9-4 with two steals and four 3s in 35 minutes
11/7 — 12-6-3 with four 3s in 26 minutes
Will Galloway be useful even a week from now? I really don’t know. I do know I’d be a lot more excited if this wasn’t a guy who’s been consistently pretty boring (PPG, last three years: 7.6, 7.9, 6.2) since his mini-breakout rookie year. Obviously Galloway can play a little bit, and if the Pistons keep giving him 25-30 minutes a game, he should produce. It just seems like that rotation has a glut of players vying for minutes with Reggie Bullock, Stanley Johnson and Glenn Robinson III, so I’m expecting inconsistency. Still though, at 1 percent owned — you might as well take a shot.
Glenn Robinson III (1 percent): What a remarkable segue. Big Dog Part Deux has started back-to-back games for DET, one of them good and the other — not so much:
11/5 — 16 points, two rebounds, a steal, two blocks and two 3s in 30 minutes
11/7 — nine points, one trey and a bunch of zeroes in 27 minutes
Bottom line: I would add Galloway before GRIII. And I would try not to add the guy below if you can at all avoid it…
Emmanuel Mudiay (1 percent): I feel obligated to tell you that he has posted two solid games in a row — 16-6-2 and 11-5-3. So in a really deep league, you might as well add him to see if this is the start of something. I would not put him into any lineup yet, though. There’s too much danger to your percentages and psyche.
Landry Shamet (1 percent): This is a story of points and 3-pointers — and basically nothing else. Shamwow, as he is known to some, over his last six games is averaging 11.5 ppg and 2.3 treys, with 0.8 rpg, 0.8 apg and 0.5 spg in 23 minutes a night. It’s a real feat to average less than one rebound and one assist in that much playing time, so make sure you’re covered in those areas if you’re adding Shamet.
*Not a real person, or quote