Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire: Pickups to make ahead of Week 8

Jakob Poeltl, San Antonio Spurs (27% rostered)

With LaMarcus Aldridge out while dealing with a hip injury that’s not necessarily short-term, Poeltl is starting at center for the Spurs and is a must-add in all fantasy leagues. He’s a throwback player who doesn’t shoot any threes, but the big man has averaged 11.0 rebounds, 2.1 blocks, and 0.9 steals per 36 minutes this season. Poeltl impressed while starting during the Spurs’ win Tuesday, shooting 9-of-10 with four blocks. He likely won’t last on your waiver wire much longer, and there’s a chance he keeps starting over the struggling Aldridge even after LMA returns.

Juan Toscano-Anderson, Golden State Warriors (6% rostered)

The Warriors have lost all of their centers to injuries, with Eric Paschall recently joining James Wiseman, Kevon Looney, and Marquese Chriss on the sidelines. With not one player taller than 6’7” available, the Warriors were forced to go small Thursday, resulting in Toscano-Anderson seeing 40 minutes (14-8-5) during the team’s 147-116 win in Dallas. The Dubs may not approach 150 points every night with their new setup (and the frontcourt will eventually get healthier), but JTA is looking at plenty of run right now and is well worth using in fantasy leagues in the short term, especially on a Warriors team running the league’s second-fastest pace and playing in a bunch of high-scoring games.

Jae’Sean Tate, Houston Rockets (5% rostered)

Tate’s strong game Thursday (19-7-2-1-2) was aided by Victor Oladipo resting, but his minutes and role should increase after Christian Wood left the game with an ankle sprain that’s likely to keep him out a while. DeMarcus Cousins is the biggest beneficiary (run, don’t walk to grab Boogie if he’s available in your league) and about to see a major increase in fantasy value, but Tate gets a boost as well on an already depleted Houston team that also often sees John Wall sit. Tate has been a top-100 fantasy player over the last two weeks (eight games), and he’s available in 95% of Yahoo leagues.

Aron Baynes, Toronto Raptors (10% rostered)

Baynes continues to see the bulk of minutes at center in Toronto at Chris Boucher’s expense, and he even recently made his first trip to the free-throw line this season (not necessarily a bad thing for a fantasy big man!). Baynes is averaging 10.3 rebounds over the last three games and remains a fine add for those searching for help in boards.

Theo Maledon, Oklahoma City Thunder (18% rostered)

George Hill underwent thumb surgery Tuesday and will miss at least the next month, so Maledon should be added in fantasy leagues as OKC’s new starting point guard. The rookie has been a top-65 fantasy player when starting this season, averaging 2.0 steals and 2.6 threes with strong shooting percentages over five games. Maledon is egregiously still available in more than 80% of Yahoo leagues, and his Usage Rate could be looking at a big increase moving forward should Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s knee sprain sideline him for any serious length of time. Teammate Hamidou Diallo (17% rostered) is also benefitting from Oklahoma City’s thin roster and injury issues, although his fantasy value may be more short term if Lu Dort returns soon.

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