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The injury to Kyrie Irving has created all sorts of fluctuations in the fantasy value of a number of Cleveland Cavaliers. One of the major beneficiaries has been fellow Australian (to Kyrie and myself), Matthew Dellavedova.
In today’s edition of “All Wired Up”, I’ll delve into the fantasy strengths of potential waiver wire gold like Dellavedova and the Denver Nuggets’ Darrell Arthur. Before I do, just a quick reminder to grab Gorgui Dieng is he is still available on your waiver-wire. He must be owned in all leagues.
» Matthew Dellavedova, SG, Cleveland Cavaliers (4.2 percent owned on ESPN.com)
21 points (7-9 FG, 2-4 FT), 5 three-pointers, 3 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 steal, 0 blocks, 2 turnovers vs Pistons.
Who would’ve though that there would be so much fantasy value to come out of the injury to Kyrie Irving? What has transpired since, has been nothing short of a godsend for fantasy owners looking for gold on the wire.
Dion Waiters and Jarrett Jack are both must-own players at the moment and have most likely been snapped up in your league. But Matthew Dellavedova is quietly putting his hand up as a player to be reckoned with for fantasy owners.
Dellavedova was a leading light for St. Mary’s in college, which incidentally, is the college for Aussies to go to when moving over to the States. Dellavedova followed in the footsteps there of another Australian, Patty Mills, now of the San Antonio Spurs.
Dellavedova didn’t hear his name called on draft night, but caught on with the Cavs as an undrafted rookie and is making it known that then-GM Chris Grant at least made one good move. He is certainly entrenched in the third guard role for the Cavaliers and is getting enough minutes to be counted on in fantasy leagues.
In the last five games, Dellavedova has put up a number of career-highs. He recorded his first double double on March 20th in the game against the Thunder and followed it up two nights later with another double double against Houston, tying his career high in assists. Then, last night, he scored a career high 21 points and hit a career high five three-pointers in the victory against the hapless Pistons. Against the Rockets, Delly played a career-high 37 minutes as well.
Everything’s coming up Milhouse for the boy from Maryborough, Australia.
What does this mean for your fantasy squad, battling it out in the playoffs?
In those last five games, Dellavedova is averaging 11.0 points, 2.2 three-pointers, 4.0 rebounds and 6.4 assists, shooting 54.3 percent from the field. Those numbers rank him 98th on Basketball Monster.com over that time frame.
So, if you are desperately searching for dimes, triples and nice rebound numbers for a guard Dellavedova is worth a look for as long as Irving remains out. In the playoffs, you need to make the tough calls and go with the hot players — and Dellavedova is turning up the thermostat.
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» Darrell Arthur, PF, Denver Nuggets (0.3 percent owned)
9 points (3-10 FG, 2-2 FT), 1 three-pointer, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 4 steals, 3 blocks, 2 turnovers vs Spurs.
Now that J.J. Hickson has gone down with a torn ACL, minutes have opened up in the Nuggets’ frontcourt. The starters were already set, with Timofey Mozgov and Kenneth Faried locked into those roles for a while now. But the Nuggets needed someone, to play 25-30 minutes of the bench, and Arthur has jumped up and filled that void.
In the past four games, since Hickson injured his knee, Arthur is averaging 10.3 points, 1.5 three-pointers, 3.5 rebounds, 1.8 steals and 1.3 blocks and has shot an impressive 81.8 percent from the line.
As a power forward, it’s a little disappointing that he’s not rebounding the ball, but he is nullifying that issue, by stepping out and hitting three-pointers. That’s what is known as a non-traditional stat and they can be super valuable in fantasy. Just like a point guard who gets blocks, a big man who contributes in categories that are typically guard-dominated has extra value. The fact that he hits over 80 percent of his free throws is also non-traditional for a big man, so he has added relevance there.
It’s hard to recommend Arthur as an add in 10 team leagues, but if you are looking for games played and defensive numbers in 12 team leagues, Arthur is a really solid guy to add and should help get you toward your championship-winning goal.