Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
With about 20 games left in the basketball season, there are still plenty of opportunities to improve your squad.
The quickest way to jumpstart your team is by picking up one of the players listed below.
Most of them are now on the radar screen because injuries have opened up a chance for them to play, or play more minutes, or even start.
The No.1 waiver wire pickup for this week is Phoenix power forward Hakim Warrick. Warrick hasn't done much this year, coming off the bench for the Suns, as a backup to Channing Frye. He's averaging 8.4 ppg and 3.6 rpg in around 17 minutes of court time. But Frye (shoulder) is expected to miss 2-3 weeks and Warrick will replace him in the starting lineup. He was a star in his new role, playing 40 minutes and posting 32 points along with eight rebounds, four assists and a steal.
If Warrick is the No.1 choice, Jarrett Jack is 1A. New Orleans superstar guard Chris Paul is sidelined with a concussion and we all know how careful teams are being about head trauma. Therefore, Jack will likely be in the starting lineup for a few games and in his first start on Monday night he played a whopping 43 minutes, scoring 23 points along with four boards, three assists and a couple of steals. He was already getting plenty of minutes and had scored double-digits in 11 of the previous 12 games.
The Utah Jazz are hurting in the frontcourt with injuries to Andrei Kirilenko, Paul Millsap and Mehmet Okur. Millsap, being a "warrior" might try to make a go of it, but he'll be limping around the floor at best. That means that C.J. Miles should see plenty of playing time. In the last four games in which he played 30 minutes-or-more, Miles averaged 19 ppg and 4.8 rebounds.
Since Antawn Jamison's injury in late February, Cleveland's Samardo Samuels has become a viable fantasy option. The rookie is averaging 15 ppg in the month of March with 8.3 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game.
J.R. Smith - With Arron Afflalo (hamstring) already ruled out of Thursday's game and questionable for Saturday as well, Smith should frequently find the ball in his hands. And he knows what to do with it when that happens. Smith is averaging a little under nine shots per game, but in the six games he's gotten a start this season he's hoisted up an average of 15 shots-per-contest. With Carmelo Anthony gone, Afflalo and Danilo Gallinari hurt, he's really the only outside threat the team has. He won't be shy about throwing up a shot and if you need scoring, he's your guy.
Coach Vinny Del Negro said that Clippers guard Eric Gordon (23.7 ppg) will miss the team's entire five-game road trip with a wrist injury. Which puts Randy Foye back in the spotlight...again. Foye will be the starting shooting guard as he was in Gordon's last absence from the end of January through March 2nd. Foye average more than 17 ppg while Gordon was out and along with Mo Williams will be the team's outside threat to balance with the inside game of Blake Griffin.
There are just five weeks left in the season, so jump on these opportunities quickly and get the most out of them that you can before they return to obscurity.
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