Hey everyone! Welcome to the very first edition of Stashables. If you own a Season Pass subscription, then you probably like to think ahead and that’s exactly what this column is far. If I get off to a fast start in my fantasy leagues and I’m confident that I will get into the playoffs, I immediately start browsing the waiver wire for players who are going to help me when it matters the most.
Every week I’ll make recommendations for players who might be useful for the following week, and I’ll also have an updated list of season-long stashes who will help you out in the long run. Let’s get right to it, and make sure to follow me on Twitter for injury news, lineup changes and fantasy advice!
Week 2 stashes
Andrew Bogut left Tuesday’s game against the Pelicans and was diagnosed with a concussion, leaving the door wide open for Festus Ezeli to make an impact. Ezeli responded with 13 points, four boards, one assist, one steal and an emphatic block against none other than Anthony Davis, and he did all of his damage in just 17 minutes. The Warriors play four times in week two and it’s unclear if Bogut will be able to return in time for any of those, so feel free to scoop up Ezeli if he’s floating on the waiver wire.
Also, even when Bogut returns, his minutes are going to be kept in the low 20s because the Warriors want to keep him fresh for the postseason, so Ezeli might be able to hold onto some low-end value this season. It also doesn’t hurt that he is playing for a new contract.
Smith has played fantastic for the injury-depleted Pelicans early on this season, averaging 12.0 points, 8.5 assists, 3.0 boards, 2.5 steals and 1.0 3-pointer in two appearances. The Pelicans play three games in week two, but they have a back-to-back set on Nov. 6 and Nov. 7 which means that Jrue Holiday will have to sit out one of those games. Holiday is only cleared for 20 minutes of action when he does play, so Smith should see a lot of minutes in the short term with Tyreke Evans (knee) and Norris Cole (ankle) nowhere close to a return. I’m skeptical of Smith’s outlook after Christmas when the Pelicans start to get some bodies back, but you might as well ride him while he is hot. In case you’re wondering, don’t even look in Nate Robinson’s direction.
I’m not a huge fan of Gary Harris, but Wilson Chandler said on Wednesday that he could miss anywhere from 1-2 weeks because of his hip injury. Harris played 29 minutes against the Rockets on Wednesday with five points, five boards, five assists, three steals, one block and one 3-pointer, and it looks like he has locked up the starting shooting guard role. He is still not aggressive enough on offense and only attempted five shots on the night, but I think he will do just enough to warrant a roster spot in most leagues. Randy Foye (Harris’ biggest competition for minutes), scored just three points in 18 minutes Tuesday. The Nuggets play three times in week two.
It’s amazing to me how a player with Nurkic’s upside is floating around so many waiver wires, especially considering that the Nuggets don’t have a lot of frontcourt depth and Nurkic could return “sometime in November” according to head coach Mike Malone. This is a guy who averaged 8.3 points, 8.0 rebounds, 1.0 steals and 1.4 blocks in the starting lineup last season, and he did all of that in less than 24 minutes per game. He does have a tendency to get in foul trouble and it’s never fun to grab a player coming off knee surgery, but the Nuggets will likely prioritize his development this season and I think he will thrive under Malone who I rate very highly in this league.
I love Powell’s game and I couldn’t have been more excited to see him in the rotation on opening night. He saw 17 minutes of action and played both the five and four, scoring 12 points with six boards, one assist and one turnover. Powell gives the Mavericks some serious athleticism up front and he has a sweet 3-point stroke, and they would be wise to expand his role as the season progresses. Dirk Nowitzki isn’t getting any younger and I don’t see how the Mavericks make the playoffs, so I think Powell has the potential to be a stud after the All-Star break. He is worth a stash in deeper leagues and might even be usable soon.
After arguably looking like the Bulls’ best big in the preseason, we have yet to see Bobby Portis suit up in two games. However, head coach Fred Hoiberg hinted that we could see more of the rookie moving forward (hat tip to the Chicago Sun-Times for the quote). “I had a really good talk with Bobby two days ago, heading into the opener,” Hoiberg said. “He was awesome, he’s great. He handled everything like a pro, and he’s going to continue to work hard. And again, he’s going to go out and play key minutes for us a lot this season.” This is an encouraging quote, but I still feel like the Bulls will need to trade away Taj Gibson in order for Portis to get consistent minutes, or even an injury to Joakim Noah could open things up. For now, owners in deeper leagues will want to seriously consider stashing Portis if you feel like you can comfortably make the playoffs.
I was laughed out of the room when I spent a late-round pick on Bjelica in my deeper leagues, so it felt good to watch him have a nice debut against the Lakers on Wednesday. Many people don’t understand that he is already 27 years old and has a ton of experience playing overseas, and he looks like he can make a lot of noise in this league. He scored eight points on 3-of-6 shooting with five boards, two assists, one block and one 3-pointer in 23 minutes, and he seems like the perfect fit for the young Wolves. Kevin Garnett isn’t going to play much down the stretch (he only played 13 minutes Wednesday) and the Wolves aren’t heading for the playoffs, so the Serbian’s role should increase very soon.
Check back next week Thursday for the next edition of Stashables, and please feel free to shoot me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any questions!