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Hello and welcome to another edition of Waiver Wired. Robert Williams is healthy again and claims the top spot this week, Jakob Poeltl is still a hold despite the Spurs not playing for 47 years, and De’Anthony Melton appears ready to claim a larger role in Memphis. For NBA news and fantasy advice, find me on Twitter here!
Week 10 Schedule: Games Played
5 Games: WAS
4 Games: ATL, BOS, CHA, CHI, DAL, DET, GSW, HOU, LAC, LAL, MEM, MIA, MIN, NYK, OKC, PHX, SAC, TOR, UTA
3 Games: BKN, CLE, DEN, IND, MIL, NOP, ORL, PHI, POR
2 Games: SAS
Monday-Tuesday: DAL, POR, WAS
Tuesday-Wednesday: ATL, BOS, CLE, DET, GSW, MIN, TOR
Thursday-Friday: LAC, MEM, SAC
Friday-Saturday: IND, OKC, UTA
Saturday-Sunday: MIN, NYK, WAS
Sunday-Monday (next week): CHA, CHI, HOU
Top Pickups: These are players that are available in 55% or more of Yahoo Fantasy Leagues. The format I traditionally use when talking about rankings are 9-category leagues, and these players are listed in the order that I’d prioritize them.
Robert Williams (12%)- The Celtics are healthy in the frontcourt again but one of my favorite sleepers heading into the season isn’t going to go stop fighting for a bigger role. Williams ranks as an 8th round value in 15 minutes per game this season so stashing him has paid off, and lately he’s been rewarding his fantasy managers with some monster production -- over his last three games he ranks inside the top-25 with 9.3 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 2.3 steals and 2.0 blocks in 18.5 minutes, hitting 82% from the field. The defensive stats are the main attraction here, and I think it’s just a matter of time before Williams finds himself with more minutes.
GM Danny Ainge was on the radio recently and admitted that the Celtics aren’t a contender, and while a roster shakeup of some kind is likely inevitable, if he’s smart he’ll also realize that the Time Lord needs to be closer to 25 minutes per game. He just gives them such a different dynamic on offense with some serious pressure on the rim, even catching a lob last week that was thrown a couple feet too high (link). Unleash him, Brad.
Jeremy Lamb (38%)- I won’t spend a lot of time here, as Lamb was dropped in a bunch of spots because the Pacers had their last two games postponed. Their loss is your gain, as Lamb is sitting on mid-round value as a top-70 player in 9-cat in just 25.1 minutes, averaging 12.4 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.6 dimes, 0.9 steals, 0.6 blocks and 1.9 triples with some elite efficiency. He’s also been coming off the bench lately, but that’s great news since his usage is much higher with the second unit when he’s not competing for touches with Domantas Sabonis and Malcolm Brogdon.
Saddiq Bey (44%)- The rookie was already getting a ton of minutes but now that’s the only option with Delon Wright expected to miss a couple weeks. Bey has spent time at multiple positions, and I’m curious to see if they let him have the ball in his hands a bit more to see what he can do. Over his last six games, Bey is putting up top-50 numbers of 16.2 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.0 dimes, 0.7 steals and 3.5 triples on 61% shooting. The shooting won’t hold but there’s a lot of potential here for a player that is still scratching the surface.
Jakob Poeltl (41%)- Just like Lamb, Poeltl was dropped in a ton of leagues with the Spurs having multiple games cancelled. San Antonio is only looking at two games this week which is why Poeltl isn’t No. 1 on this list, but there’s no guarantee those games are actually played either and we don’t even know which Spurs had COVID-19. I’m going to encourage you to do whatever it takes to hold Poeltl though, as LaMarcus Aldridge (hip) is still without a timetable and I would bet on Poeltl starting even when the veteran returns. In his last six starts, the Spurs are 5-1 and Poeltl put up top-40 numbers of 10.2 points, 9.8 rebounds, 0.8 steals, 0.8 dimes and 3.0 blocks on 65% from the field.
De'Anthony Melton (11%)- Melton passes the eye test and no one can knock his ability to put up stats across the board. On the season, Melton is a 10th-round value in just 21 minutes per game with 9.7 points, 3.2 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.9 blocks and 1.5 triples, but the question is whether or not coach Taylor Jenkins actually gives him meaningful minutes when his team is healthy -- Justise Winslow is back and Jaren Jackson Jr. is due back soon too. We know Memphis’ front office is high on Melton with the contract they gave him, and it sure would be nice if Jenkins felt the same way instead of wasting minutes on 39% shooter Dillon Brooks and legendary tripper Grayson Allen.
Kendrick Nunn (44%)- He barely qualifies for this list and he’s not available in any leagues that I’ve seen, but doesn’t hurt to check. Goran Dragic (ankle) has missed eight straight and does not have a timetable, so Nunn’s window for fantasy value remains wide open. Over the last two weeks, Nunn is just outside the top-60 with 16.8 points, 3.1 rebounds, 2.1 dimes, 1.4 steals and 3.4 triples in 34.1 minutes.
Jae'Sean Tate (26%)- Houston had two games postponed which explains what Tate is rostered in so few leagues, but now they’re back with four games on the schedule. Tate has played four different positions for the Rockets, and while his upside will be lower if Victor Oladipo (foot) returns on Monday (no guarantee), we can’t ignore what Tate has done on the stat sheet. In his last six games, Tate ranks 69th in 9-cat with 14.7 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.5 dimes, 1.2 steals and 0.8 triples in 32 minutes.
Facundo Campazzo (8%)- Denver has been playing smaller and Campazzo has been getting extended minutes alongside both Monte Morris and Jamal Murray with Paul Millsap and Gary Harris on the shelf. He’s averaging 13.5 points, 4.0 assists, 1.8 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 2.3 triples in 29.7 minutes over his last four games, good for mid-round value. Despite being undersized, Campazzo has been really good on defense pressuring the ball-handler and diving around for loose balls. Coach Malone said he’s been “tremendous,” and Jamal Murray said he likes playing alongside him because of how competitive he is. All signs point to his role sticking, so let’s add him before the secret is out.
Lu Dort (32%)- There’s no question that he’s one of, if not the best defender in the NBA, but I wish that translated into more defensive stats. His shot has been off, but if you ignore the brutal FG% he’s been pretty productive with 15.6 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.7 dimes, 1.0 steals and 1.6 triples over his last six games.
Dorian Finney-Smith (10%)- Dallas hasn’t played since Feb. 14th… DFS is flying under the radar for that reason but has quietly been putting up some impressive numbers. He’s playing over 32 minutes in his last seven games, posting 10th-round value with 10.1 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.6 dimes, 0.7 steals, 0.4 blocks and 2.3 triples on 56% from the field. It’s no secret that he’s one of Rick Carlisle’s favorite players and his workload is here to stay as long as keeps defenses honest with his 3-point shot.
*Willy Hernangomez (19%)- This one comes with an asterisk because Steven Adams (ankle) is “feeling better.” There’s no guarantee he plays in the next game, but you have to wonder if Willy is starting to gain ground on Adams because the veteran has not looked good this season. Willy can’t play an ounce of defense, but you can’t question the energy and rebounding, and he gives the Pelicans a higher ceiling on offense too with his creativity around the basket. He’s averaging 11.3 points, 12.7 rebounds, 0.7 assists and 0.7 steals in 24 minutes over his last three games and I won’t hesitate to grab him if Adams misses another contest.
Derrick Jones Jr. (13%)- I’ve been enamored with DJJ for years but he’s never quite put it all together as a fantasy prospect as he continues to make slow progress with his jumper. However, he’s starting to show some really nice signs recently, as he’s flirting with top-75 value in his last three games with 12.3 points, 7.7 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.0 steals, 1.7 blocks and 1.3 triples. The defensive numbers are absolutely sustainable for a player as athletic as he is, but the boost in offense has been icing on the cake lately.
Jaden McDaniels (3%)- The rookie has been on my watchlist for a few weeks and I went ahead and added in a few spots recently. He’s been an 11th-round value in his last six games in just 24.4 minutes, averaging 7.3 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.7 triples and 2.3 blocks. He has one of the best block rates among forwards/wings, but I’d like to see him pop in one more category before calling him a must-roster player. His long-term potential is ridiculous though and I think the Wolves may have a two-way star in the making.
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Streamers: I have not listed these players in the order I would prioritize them because it all depends on what categories you’re searching for.
Immanuel Quickley (30%)- If the Knicks do decide to play more small ball, surely that opens things up for Quickley, right? Who knows when Tom Thibodeau is calling the shots.
Raul Neto (1%)- It’s hard to argue with five games on the schedule. Plus, Russell Westbrook will likely sit out one or two, and Bradley Beal could too. Ish Smith (quad) is also unavailable, so Neto has some very sneaky appeal with 10.3 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.0 steals and 0.7 triples in his last three. Keep in mind his upside will be higher when the Wizards sit their studs.
Robin Lopez (3%)- The Alex Len and Moritz Wagner experiments were short-lived, apparently, as Lopez is back under center for the Wizards. He’s not going to strike fear into your opponent’s hearts, but he’s averaging 10.3 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.0 dimes and 1.0 steals and he’s usually good for a block per game. Again, hard to argue with five games.
Cory Joseph (10%)- We’ve reached the Cory Joseph stage of the season which tells us the All-Star break is getting closer with players dropping like flies everywhere. You will never see me add Joseph but if you’re desperate, he’s averaging 12.4 points, 3.4 rebounds, 3.2 dimes, 0.6 steals and 1.4 triples over his last three games and coach Luke Walton collects his NBA TopShot Moments.
Garrett Temple (8%)- Denzel Valentine had a good run but it looks dead in the water now. Temple has been stepping up though, somehow posting top-70 numbers over his last six games with 11.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.0 dimes, 1.0 steals, 1.2 blocks and 1.5 triples. I respect the old man energy and you have to love that he’s getting nearly 34 minutes per game.
Tomas Satoransky (8%)- There have been calls for Satoransky to get more playing time due to Chicago’s need for more playmakers, so Satoransky has seen his role grow. He’s not setting the league on fire, but is averaging 10.8 points, 4.4 assists, 2.8 rebounds and 0.6 triples in 23 minutes over his last five which means he’s a few more minutes away from streaming territory.
Jalen Brunson (5%)- Like I said with Dorian Finney-Smith, Dallas hasn’t played since Feb. 14th so Brunson is widely available. He’s been picking up momentum quickly and has left Trey Burke in the dust, averaging 15.0 points, 4.7 dimes, 4.0 rebounds and 1.3 triples in 29 minutes over his last three, but has no defensive output.
Isaiah Roby (6%)- He’s just a “streamer” for now, but if Al Horford is traded, Roby could legit become a mid-rounder. Over his last three he’s putting up 10.3 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.7 dimes, 1.0 triples and 0.7 steals in just 22.6 minutes.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (11%)- He’s been very underwhelming lately but the production is going to catch up to the minutes soon with Anthony Davis looking at several weeks on the sidelines. KCP could be a great source of triples and steals.
T.J. McConnell (39%)- Another regular on this list and one of the best streamer for assists and steals, but limited upside beyond those.
Dennis Smith Jr. (4%)- With Delon Wright out several weeks, DSJ could be the starter by default. This is a huge opportunity for him and to his credit he has looked great on defense, but can he score without ruining your FG%? That question must be answered.