With the time to make trades in fantasy basketball having already passed, the only way to help out your squad now is through the use of the waiver wire. Those questions dominated the submissions for this week's column, so let's try to help patch up your squad. If you have a question that you'd like answered next week, reach out to me on Twitter @rotomikebarner.
Giles showed signs of promise during his rookie season, but he entered this season buried on the Kings bench behind the likes of Richaun Holmes (shoulder), Dewayne Dedmon and Marvin Bagley III (foot). However, with Holmes and Bagley on the shelf and Dedmon no longer in town, Giles has made his way into the starting five. He's made the most of his opportunity, averaging 14.5 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.7 assists while shooting 60 percent from the field across the last six games.
Porter made his triumphant return from injury Monday and helped lead the Bulls to an improbable win over the Mavericks. He was limited to just 17 minutes off the bench, but he provided 18 points, three assists and three three-pointers. As good as that performance was, the 17 minutes are the key stat. He's only played 10 games all season, so expect the Bulls to keep him on a minutes limit for at least a few more games. If you need someone who can contribute right now, especially in the rebounds department, then sticking with Giles might be the way to go. However, if you are playing for a week or two down the road, adding Porter could pay off during your fantasy playoffs.
When Powell has been on the floor, he's been excellent with his averages of 15.9 points, 3.8 rebounds and two three-pointers, while shooting 49.7 percent from the field and 83.2 percent from the charity stripe. However, he's been limited to 41 games because of injury. With that being said, he's healthy now and should remain one of the primary scoring options off the bench for the Raptors when everyone is healthy.
I'd have a difficult time dropping Bertans given the way he can single-handedly win the three-point category for you. Case in point: he drained eight three-pointers against the Warriors on Sunday and six against the Kings on Tuesday. Lee has also played very well and has been logging a lot of playing time because of injuries and trades. The question is: with Stephen Curry (hand) nearing a return, can Lee continue to average the 14.9 points that he has across the last nine games? I think the answer to that is no, so I'd drop him for Powell.
It says something when Bridges is even being included in the same class as Covington. The Hornets have given him a significant boost in playing time, leaving him to average 34 minutes across their last 14 games. He hasn't let their faith in him go to waste, averaging 17.4 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.1 three-pointers a game during that stretch. However, he only shot 42 percent from the field and averaged 0.9 steals and 0.6 blocks, so it hasn't been all sunshine and rainbows from a fantasy perspective.
Covington, on the other hand, has been a key addition since coming over from the Timberwolves. He's fit in perfectly with the Rockets' new small-ball approach and has averaged 13.4 points and 8.4 rebounds since joining the team. Like Bridges, he's struggled from the field, shooting 43.2 percent for the season. However, he's also averaged 1.2 steals, 2.5 blocks and 3.2 three-pointers with the Rockets. Bridges might be a more consistent source for points, but Covington's ability to contribute in both defensive columns makes him the better overall fantasy option between the two.
With Derrick Rose injured, who on the Pistons stands to benefit the most from his absence? - @DaglesBagels
As good as Rose has been this season, it seemed like it was only a matter of time before he'd be on the shelf again. With the Pistons playing for nothing but a high pick in next year's draft, there was no reason for them to ride Rose hard down the stretch. Now that he has an ankle injury that will keep him out for at least a few weeks, there's a real possibility that we don't see him again this season.
Whether or not we see him on the floor again this season isn't the question here, though. The player who stands to benefit the most from Rose being out is Bruce Brown Jr. (knee), who is also currently sidelined. He's missed the last three games and is still being considered as day-to-day. When he does return, he's near a lock to play around 30 minutes a night. That's an important threshold when you consider that he's averaged 11.7 points, six rebounds, five assists and 1.6 steals across 24 games in which he has logged at least 30 minutes this season.
Until Brown can return, look for the veteran Brandon Knight to receive more run. He's shown that he can still provide value in fantasy when given the opportunity, averaging 16 points, five assists and 4.3 three-pointers over the last four games. What's even more impressive is that he didn't log more than 25 minutes in any of those contests. Once Brown returns, though, Knight likely won't see enough playing time to be worth deploying in anything outside of the deepest of leagues.