Centers of Attention: Short-Term Adds for Week 5
Centers of Attention: Short-Term Adds for Week 5

This article is part of our Centers of Attention series.

The NBA has been ravaged by injuries out of the gate with the center position being no exception. On the plus side, that has created some opportunities for other players to step into expanded roles and provide unexpected production.

If you need help up front, considering adding the following players who have favorable schedules the next two weeks and are still available in the majority of Yahoo leagues.

Willie Cauley-Stein, Golden State Warriors (53 percent available)

The Kings had high hopes for Cauley-Stein after selecting him sixth overall in the 2015 draft, but he was never able to really live up to expectations. He wasn't a flop last season with averages of 11.9 points, 8.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game, but he only logged 27 minutes a night and became expendable due to the addition of Marvin Bagley III.

He figured to be in battle with Kevon Looney (hamstring) for the starting center job, but with Looney injuring himself in the first game of the season, Cauley-Stein has been taken over the role. He's starting to round into form after dealing with an injury of his own, averaging eight points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.3 blocks while shooting 57.1 percent from the field across his last four games. With seven total games upcoming across Weeks 5 and 6, Cauley-Stein could provide value.

Chris Boucher, Toronto Raptors (69 percent available)

If the Raptors had one thing entering this season, it was depth up front. Between Pascal Siakam, Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka, they had a formidable trio that wasn't going to leave many minutes for Boucher. However, a severe ankle injury suffered by Ibaka changed everything.

Make no mistake about it, Boucher still isn't going to play 30 minutes a night even with Ibaka hurt. With that being said, he has averaged 20 minutes a game since Ibaka went down, which has propelled him to averages of 10 points, five rebounds, one steal, 1.7 blocks and 1.3 three-pointers. With there still being no clear timetable for Ibaka's return, Boucher is not someone to sleep on with seven games on the horizon.

Alex Len, Atlanta Hawks (70 percent available)

This feels like a trap. I'll admit, I've been higher on Len than most people have been in recent years. He's let me down, though, including failing to capitalize on a prime opportunity to start last season with the Hawks. He started again out of the gate this season, but averaged only four points and 4.4 rebounds through nine games.

With him struggling badly, the Hawks decided to move him to the bench for Tuesday's game against the Nuggets. He responded to provide 17 points, seven rebounds and a block across 22 minutes. He was a part of the second unit again Thursday versus the Suns, again cashing in with 21 points and 10 rebounds. I won't deny that adding him comes with a ton of risk, but if he can remain productive in his new role, he might be worth taking a flier on since the Hawks will play seven times.

Frank Kaminsky, Phoenix Suns (82 percent available)

The suspension of Deandre Ayton has left Aron Baynes as the starting center for the Suns. Baynes has taken the job and run with it, leaving Kaminsky to serve as the primary backup at the position. He's had his ups and downs, but has largely played well by averaging 10.8 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.4 assists and one three-pointer across 10 games.

The important thing to note here is that the Suns play five times in Week 5. Not only is that the most in the league, but that's the only time a team plays five games in a week all season. That leaves a unique opportunity for Kaminsky to provide added value. On the flip side, they play just two times in Week 6, so Kaminsky won't be worth starting then.

Moritz Wagner, Washington Wizards (95 percent available)

I'm a bit surprised that Wagner is still available in this many leagues. His ownership percentage has only increased by two percentage points across the last two weeks, leaving him out there in the vast majority of leagues. Meanwhile, he averaged 10.8 points, 5.2 rebounds, one steal and 1.2 blocks over five games in those two weeks. Not only that, but he shot 52.9 percent from the field and 94.1 percent from the charity stripe.

Maybe people are shying away from him because of his limited playing time. He is averaging just 18 minutes a game. However, he doesn't necessarily need a ton of minutes to provide value since his 23.7 percent usage rate is third-highest on the team. Also, the Wizards have played at the seventh-fastest pace in the league. If you're in a deep league, don't let Wagner sit on the waiver wire with the Wizards set to play three times in Week 5 and four times in Week 6.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mike Barner
Mike started covering fantasy sports in 2007, joining RotoWire in 2010. In 2018, he was a finalist for the 2018 FSWA Basketball Writer of the Year award. In addition to RotoWire, Mike has written for Sportsline, Sports Illustrated, DK Live, RealTime Fantasy Sports, Lineup Lab and KFFL.com.
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