NBA Waiver-Wired: Week 10

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Week 11 Schedule: Games Played

4 Games: BOS, CHI, CLE, DAL, HOU, LAC, LAL, MIA, MIN, NYK, OKC, PHX, SAC, SAS, UTA

3 Games: ATL, BKN, CHA, DEN, GSW, IND, MEM, MIL, ORL, POR, TOR, WAS

2 Games: DET, NOR, PHI

Week 11 Back-to-Backs:

Sunday (Dec. 26th)-Monday: CHI, LAC, MEM, SAS

Monday-Tuesday: HOU, MIN

Tuesday-Wednesday: LAL, MIA, NYK, OKC, SAC

Wednesday-Thursday:

Thursday-Friday: CLE

Friday-Saturday: CHI, HOU, LAC, SAS, UTA

Saturday-Sunday:

Waiver Wire Pickups:

*To qualify for this list, players have to be available in over 60% of Yahoo Leagues.

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Max Strus (36%)- I have no choice but to put Strus No. 1 as Jimmy Butler apparently has the world’s worst tailbone injury. Seriously though, will we ever see Butler again? Strus has been red hot for Miami and Tyler Herro’s return hasn’t slowed him in the slightest. Over his last four games, Strus is treating the NBA like the Summer League with 25.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 5.3 dimes, 1.8 steals and 5.3 triples. He’s putting up early-round numbers in that stretch and basically single handedly won matchups for the last 1.5 weeks.

Cam Reddish (21%)- After scoring a career-high 34 points with six triples and four dimes vs. Orlando, Cam followed that up with an 18-point game vs. Philly with three dimes. He did leave the game with a right ankle sprain, but coach Nate McMillan downplayed it after the game and said he had some cramping which was the bigger issue. It sounds like Cam should be ready to roll for Christmas day and several regulars are still in the protocols, so all signs point to continued fantasy production – Cam is rocking a 28% usage rate in his last two.

Onyeka Okongwu (15%)- It was awesome to see Okongwu move into the starting lineup and you better believe coach Nate McMillan will roll with him again until Clint Capela (protocols) comes back. And by the way, I don’t even think it’s a hot take to say that the Capela/Okongwu position battle turns into a timeshare – Okongwu is that good already.

He had 13 points, eight rebounds, three assists, one steal and three blocks in 34 minutes on Thursday, all while playing solid defense vs. Joel Embiid. "I thought he was really good,” coach Nate McMillan said. “Embiid is one of the best centers in this league. He's a handful... [Okongwu] was really physical with him and just made him chase on the offensive end of the floor." He’s a priority add for the short term, and don’t say I didn’t warn you when he starts chipping away at Capela’s role too.

UPDATE: With Onyeka joining countless others in the protocols, he's now just a stash in deeper leagues for the obvious upside he showed in recent games. Atlanta will now turn to Gorgui Dieng, a proven veteran with a good fantasy resume a few years ago. Dieng is capable of top-75 numbers in 9-cat whenever he clears 25+ minutes, and I think 30+ is on the table given Atlanta's lack of depth.

Naz Reid (14%)- With Karl-Anthony Towns in the protocols, there is nothing standing in Naz’s way. He had a terrific line on Thursday with 17 points, 10 rebounds, two triples, an assist, a steal and a block across 36 minutes, and his per-minute production without KAT on the floor is through the roof – Naz has a per-36 line of 20.3 points, 8.4 rebounds, 1.4 dimes, 1.2 steals, 1.9 blocks and 1.9 triples. Don’t overthink this one, as Naz has top-50 upside while KAT is out.

Deni Avdija (16%)- Avdija has been mentioned a ton this season and is ready to go crazy with Bradley Beal and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope in the protocols. He was already trending up before that too, averaging 13.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.0 blocks on 65% from the field and 50% from deep.There is a defensive metric called “RAPTOR” and only Rudy Gobert and Alex Caruso rank higher, so I think that’s pretty telling of how special this guy can be when his offense catches up to his defense.

Jaden McDaniels (33%)- The intrigue with Jaden previously was a decent amount of 3s to go with defensive stats, but it’s a whole different story with several Wolves in the protocols including Anthony Edwards, Karl-Anthony Towns and Jarred Vanderbilt. Jaden’s once microscopic usage rate is respectable again, and on Thursday he nearly triple-doubled with 16 points, nine boards, seven dimes, a steal and a block. The game before was impressive too, as Jaden racked up 11 points (4-of-8 FGs, 3-of-3 FTs), eight rebounds, three assists, and two steals in 39 minutes. I don’t think he’ll end up holding his value when the Wolves are healthy because Vanderbilt’s rebounding has been too important to the first unit, but for the next week or two Jaden should be a lot of fun.

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Otto Porter Jr. (18%)- The Warriors don’t have any immediate back-to-backs and they need to be a little less strict with Porter’s minutes with Jordan Poole and Andrew Wiggins in the protocols. Porter’s per-minute production has been outstanding all season, and he’s seen consecutive sizable workloads with 10.0 points, 7.0 boards, 2.5 dimes, 1.0 steals, 3.5 blocks and 2.0 triples. This is basically who he was to start his career in Washington before injuries derailed his career, so credit to Golden State for getting him back on track.

Facundo Campazzo (13%)- Campazzo is still flying under the radar in Denver despite a comfy workload and a surplus of dimes and steals, the two hardest categories to find on the waiver wire. On the podcast I compared him to last season’s version of T.J. McConnell for that reason, and with Denver so short on backcourt depth, Campazzo’s value is locker in – Jamal Murray apparently isn’t as close as initially thought. Over his last six games, he’s even ranked inside the top-60 for 9-cat with 8.9 points, 6.1 assists, 2.4 rebounds, 1.6 steals, 1.0 blocks and 1.9 triples.

Gary Payton II (6%)- I absolutely love this guy. His dad was nicknamed “The Glove” and Payton II is more than living up to it. He has one of the most absurd steal rates I’ve ever seen, averaging 2.5 steals per 36 minutes for his career. The Warriors finally unleashed him for a full workload on Thursday and it was glorious, as he put up a season-high 22 points through 33 minutes with four triples, two rebounds, one assist and one block. In his previous two games, he averaged 12.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.5 steals in only 19 minutes per game.

Coach Steve Kerr said on Thursday that he’s been wanting to get GP2 more minutes, and now is the time to do that with so many Warriors in the protocols.

Cedi Osman (15%)- As long as Isaac Okoro is in the protocols, you can’t go wrong here. Osman has been one of the sneakiest sources of fantasy value all season, as his stretches of strong play have been interrupted by some flareups with his back. Over his last two games, Osman is averaging 18.0 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.5 dimes, 1.0 steals and 3.0 triples, and he’s basically the No. 2 option on offense until the Cavs get some of their regulars back.

KJ Martin (18%)- He’s coming off a dud, but I still believe he will have some nice value going forward. Houston doesn’t have great depth at the three and four apart from Jae’Sean Tate, so there is certainly room for KJ to make an impact. Prior to his dud on Thursday, Martin averaged 13.2 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.7 dimes and 1.2 triples. He’s usually a great source of steals and blocks too, and while he may not deliver consistent production right now, I think that changes down the stretch. Just remember, he was a silly season hero in 2020-21 and I expect a repeat performance.

Gary Harris (23%)- The Magic are playing with fire in regards to Harris’ minutes, but what choice do they have? They had to call half a dozen G League players to field a full roster, so it’s no surprise that he’s been getting all the shots he can handle. In the last two weeks, he ranks inside the top-75 for 9-cat with 16.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, 2.8 dimes, 0.8 steals and 2.3 triples. If you’re in need of points, 3s and soft tissue injuries, Harris is your guy.

Coby White (15%)- Zach LaVine just cleared the protocols but Alex Caruso is still sidelined with a foot injury, so there are still a lot of minutes up for grabs in Chicago. I’ve never been White’s biggest fan in fantasy due to some efficiency concerns and a lack of defensive upside, but he can put up points in a hurry and can be a decent source of 3s and dimes. White is coming off a 24-point game with five triples, five boards and two dimes, and while this will end up being an outlier, he could have some decent value in the short term.

Talen Horton-Tucker (23%)- His offense comes and goes, but THT can fill up a box score when he’s on. With Anthony Davis out several weeks, he’ll have no problems getting full workloads so I’ll live with the volatility on offense. He played a whopping 38 minutes on Thursday, finishing with 13 points, four rebounds and three assists. He’s usually a good source of defensive stats too.