With fantasy basketball trade deadlines approaching, it is always tough deciding how much you want to change your team. Whether you are in first or last place at this point in the season in your leagues, you should be always looking to do more.
Two rules of thumb that I have always followed when it comes to making moves at the deadline are: 1. Be open to trading anybody on your team if the deal is right and 2. Never feel like you HAVE to make a trade.
Being open to trading is self-explanatory, but rule number two is a bit more complex. If you need help in a certain category, don't trade your best player immediately for a number of pieces that you think make your team whole. Check the waiver wire as there are options out there. Look at trends, check how players have done in the last month and especially check for team injuries because you would not want to pick up a player who is filling in for a short period of time.
Drew Gooden should be owned in your fantasy basketball league
Here are some possible fantasy basketball waiver wire options to keep an eye on and pick up, especially if you need help in one specific category.
Kosta Koufos, Forward-Center, Denver Nuggets - Not only is this guy a seven-foot monster, but he is actually playing like a dominant big man in the NBA. Owned in a mere four percent of leagues polled, Koufos has averaged seven rebounds and a block and a half over the last month while playing twenty minutes per game.
Denver has a lot of big men on their team that constantly rotate in and out. Be careful though because Nene' is back and will be taking his minutes back; but Koufos, Chris Anderson, Kenneth Faried and Timofey Mozgov all have averaged similar amounts of playing time, showing that Nuggets coach George Karl has faith and is willing to play with a deep rotation. Keep an eye on all Denver big men, but Koufos had a great February.
Baron Davis, Point Guard, New York Knicks - Now that the Jeremy Lin "Linsanity" tour seems to be winding down, the New York Knicks have shown they have full confidence in Davis, who leads the Knicks second unit and has averaged five assists and one steal per game since his return from back surgery in mid-February.
Averaging almost 15 minutes per game and only owned in 18 percent of leagues polled, Davis is a proven veteran who has shown that he makes a difference when on the floor and, as he continues to get back in the swing of things, the Knicks will look to Davis down the stretch to play meaningful minutes as they are in a playoff race, especially if Lin keeps turning the ball over as much as he has.
Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni has already shown in the last few games that, with his new-found deep rotation, he will play whoever has the hot hand. However, he only has two options at point guard and, as of late, Lin has been more known for his high turnover rate (three and a half turnovers per game) rather than the slashing aggressive reputation that made him more than just a name in the league.
Linas Kleiza, Small Forward, Toronto Raptors - Over the last few years, Kleiza has been in and out of the NBA spotlight. Owned in just 11 percent of leagues polled, Kleiza has averaged over 13 points per game, shooting over 43 percent from floor. The positives about Kleiza is that he is aggressive and can score. He had a season-high 30-point game back in February and can keep your shooting percentage pretty consistent while getting you a few rebounds. He will most likely qualify in two guard and two forward positions on your squad (SG, G, SF, F).
A negative is his free throw percentage, as he has shot a dismal 66.7 percent from the line over the last month. If free throw percentage is the only category you need help in, this guy is not for you. If you need scoring and are light at the SG and SF positions on your team, he can fill those voids.
Steve Novak, Forward, New York Knicks - There are only two words that describe Novak: Instant offense. Novak is owned in 28 percent of leagues polled and has averaged three and a half three pointers per game over the last month. Novak shot 50 percent from the floor in that same time period.
Novak doesn't play defense, but has earned his spot in the deep Knicks lineup playing over 22 minutes per game in the last month. If you need a player that will increase any shooting percentage category (three point, field goal and free throw) grab him while you still can.
Drew Gooden, Forward-Center, Milwaukee Bucks - A 10-year veteran in the league, Gooden has regained his popularity and is owned in 69 percent of leagues polled. Gooden had to miss a few games in mid-February because of shoulder and back issues, but has come back with fire accumulating three double-doubles in first five games back from injury.
In the last month, Gooden has averaged 18.5 points and just about eight rebounds per game. He has also averaged a steal and a block per game over the same period of time, as well showing that he can help in multiple categories. He plays a bit over 25 minutes per game and can potentially start in the center and power forward spots in your lineup, which helps if you are light in those areas.
Gooden shoots 42.5 percent from the field and 87 percent from the line. Remember Andrew Bogut is out with a fractured ankle and might not return this season. Gooden can help in just about every category; if he is on your waiver wire, don't overspend on a big man in a trade scenario... look for him first.
Those are a few players to keep an eye on over the next week especially with fantasy basketball trade deadlines coming up. If you need help in many positions and don't have backups, trading for pieces might be a better option, but do yourself a favor and check the waiver wire first because you can always find at least one piece of buried treasure.
Fensterman covers fantasy basketball for KFFL and joined the team in 2012. He is a Sports Radio Producer on SiriusXM's Fantasy Sports Radio channel, the first channel dedicated solely to fantasy sports. An avid fantasy basketball player, Fensty's biggest accomplishment in the fantasy sports world was in 2004 when he had an undefeated season in a Yahoo! Sports Fantasy NBA league and was ranked in the top 30 among all players in the world.
A native from Oyster Bay, NY, Fensty left New York to study Broadcast Journalism at American University in Washington D.C. in 2005. Fensty has previously worked for MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM, NBC Sports, Fox Sports, MTV and News 12: Long Island.