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Welcome to the Week 12 Waiver Wire Targets article.  We are approaching the halfway mark of the NBA season, which is make-or-break range for fantasy owners.

The second half of the season is tougher to navigate, with older players getting rested, the all-star break approaching and the trade deadline looming.  Remember, trades affect more than just the players involved.

Speaking of which, we are beginning to see the true outcomes of the Ish Smith trade from earlier in the season.  Smith has had a few very impressive performances lately, and while he is owned too highly to qualify for this article (over 70 percent), should still be monitored in all leagues.  However, there are other moving parts in the trade who may be trending up as well.

Fill-in players for injuries are good for week-by-week matchups, but guys who fill in for older players could be worth stashing for later in the season.  Resting your veterans has become popular among almost all NBA teams.

Take a good look at the waiver wire targets for this week, and move fast on any players who interest you because they might not last long.


Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire Targets


Norris Cole, PG, New Orleans Pelicans (7.8 Percent Owned)

Norris Cole is going to be a big beneficiary of the aforementioned Ish Smith trade, mostly because Smith is out of Cole’s way in the rotation.  Even with Smith gone, Cole won’t be an ordained starter, although he will see a lot of court time.  The big reason Cole is surging is the injury to Tyreke Evans, which opened the door for Cole.

His last game was a poor shooting performance, but the three games before had Cole averaging 16 points, almost four assists and over eight rebounds per game.  While he may not be a regular starter, banking on injuries to either Jrue Holiday or Tyreke Evans at some point is a pretty safe gamble.

Marco Belinelli, SG, Sacramento Kings (19.7 Percent)

It’s been an up-and-down season for Marco Belinelli, running through spells of relevance over the last few months.  This is expected when you think of a player who makes a living on scoring and three-pointers.  Given his past seasons of consistent play, it should be a good idea to grab Belinelli while he is available.

Belinelli can contribute some assists, but doesn’t seem to have much of a role dishing the ball in Sacramento.  Even so, his production of points and three’s is just what your team needs.  Over his last four games, he has over 20 points per night, while throwing up 29 three-pointers during that span.  If he is getting time and taking his shots, he should be expected to make a majority of those opportunities.

Bojan Bogdanovic,SG/SF, Brooklyn Nets (18.8 Percent)

The Brooklyn Nets continue to have injury problems, so it is tough to estimate who would play when everyone is healthy.  However, with players entering and leaving the lineup, Bojan Bogdanovic has been a fixture for a few weeks.

Don’t expect much defense from Bogdanovic, if any at all.  The rebounding and assist numbers aren’t staggering either, although he did bring down twelve rebounds against the Celtics.  The main show is Bogdanovic’s shooting, as he is averaging 13.5 points over his last nine games.  He is hoisting up a decent number of three’s as well, and has found some decent consistency in that category.

Shabazz Muhammad, SF, Minnesota Timberwolves (4.4 Percent)

Shabazz Muhammad is available in virtually all leagues, despite putting up impressive numbers for a nice stretch.  Muhammad hangs his hat on scoring, and that can be risky.  When the shot isn’t falling, there aren’t many other stats to redeem him.  So, for Muhammad to be relevant, he really depends on solid minutes.  Considering the steady minutes he has earned lately, and the unsteady nature of the Timberwolves rotation, Muhammad could be a very high upside waiver wire target.

Over the last three weeks, when given over 20 minutes, Muhammad averages close to 17 points per night.  Considering he has reached the 20 minute mark in four of his last five, it would be safe to assume this continues.  His rebounds, assists and defensive stats are negligible, but he could still help your team with points and three point percentage.

Cody Zeller, PF/C, Charlotte Bobcats (31.2 Percent)

We featured Frank Kaminsky in last week’s article, and the rookie responded with a serious dip in form.  While he still may be worth monitoring, Cody Zeller looks like the big man to own in Al Jefferson’s absence.

In his last six games, Zeller is averaging 11.8 points and over eight rebounds.  There are plenty of double-doubles on the horizon for Zeller.  Steals and blocks may be a nice addition to owners, as Zeller is known for his hustle play.

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