NBA Waiver-Wired: Week 11

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  • Brooklyn Nets
    Brooklyn Nets
  • New York Knicks
    New York Knicks

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Week 12 Schedule: Games Played

5 Games: MEM



Week 12 Back-to-Backs:

Sunday (Jan. 2nd)-Monday: CHA, DAL, MIA, MIN, ORL

Monday-Tuesday: MEM, NOR

Tuesday-Wednesday: IND, SAC, SAS, TOR

Wednesday-Thursday: BOS, DET, GSW


Friday-Saturday: MIL, UTA

Saturday-Sunday: LAC, MEM, ORL

Waiver Wire Pickups:

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

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Nic Claxton (33%)- I said on the Waiver Wire Podcast that I wanted to see Claxton get at least 25+ minutes on Thursday with LaMarcus Aldridge and Kevin Durant back in the mix, and he shattered my expectations with a whopping 33 minutes. This is a player who was on my sleeper list coming into the season that didn’t pan out due to some inconsistent play and a bizarre month-long absence, but he suddenly looks like the breakout player we saw last season. Over his last three games, he’s averaging 12.3 points, 6.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 3.3 blocks in 31.9 minutes which is good for top-70 value.

He gives the Nets a lob threat, he defends the rim at a high level and can run the floor which meshes well with James Harden’s style of play, so I think his newfound role is here to stay.

Herb Jones (23%)- The utility man out of Alabama has taken the same role he had in college and enhanced it for the Pelicans. He’s doing a little bit of everything these days and looks like a steal with the 35th pick. For the past month, Herb has been putting up top-90 value with 11.3 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.9 dimes, 1.6 blocks, 0.7 steals and 0.8 triples, hitting 51% from the field and 80% from the line. He’s a solid glue player for any roster build.

Hamidou Diallo (20%)- He’s still widely available as Detroit is about to end a 2-game week before getting four games in Week 12. The Pistons have very few actual NBA players active right now, allowing Diallo to have a superstar-like usage rate. He’s averaging 29.5 points, 8.0 rebounds, 3.0 dimes, 3.5 steals and 1.0 triples in his last two games, and while his production will dip as the Pistons get healthier, you have to think that his strong play will keep him heavily involved in the rotation. Essentially, I think he can be more than just a short-term fantasy option.

Deni Avdija (22%)- Avdija has improved with each passing month and is slowly working his way towards the middle rounds. In his past six games, he’s sitting just outside the top-100 in 9-cat with 11.3 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.7 dimes, 1.2 steals, 1.0 blocks and 1.3 triples. That stat set is extremely intriguing and the defensive upside is very real, as the young forward could make the All-Defensive team as soon as this season. I’ve been adding everywhere as I think he could churn out top-75 numbers in the final couple months.

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Immanuel Quickley (16%)- The Kemba Walker revenge tour may be coming to an end after a nightmare performance vs. Detroit. Meanwhile, Quickley played a whopping 35 minutes and put up 18 points, two assists, two triples and one steal. New York is desperate for a spark and now they have to manage without Julius Randle for several days. The time to add Quickley is yesterday.

Obi Toppin (9%)- Knicks Twitter has been calling for more Toppin minutes and they are about to get their wish with Julius Randle in the protocols. I think there’s a really good chance we see one of those famous Thibodeau workloads given New York’s lack of depth up front, and Toppin’s per-36 line of 19.6 points, 8.7 rebounds, 2.3 dimes and 1.2 blocks looks like a lot of fun.

Luke Kennard (39%)- Coach Ty Lue always anticipated a big season from Kennard, a welcome development for a front office that gave him enough money to make Timofey Mozgov blush. The Clippers made a “hunt Luke” package on the opening day of training camp to generate looks for Kennard, and we’re going to see a lot more of it with Paul George (elbow) out of the mix. He was trending up long before the George news though, posting 8th round fantasy value for the past month with 15.1 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.8 dimes, 0.5 steals and 3.5 triples.

Devin Vassell (28%)- Has he been in every Waiver Wired column? I’m pretty sure he has, so I won’t bore you here again. He’s basically the San Antonio version of De’Anthony Melton and I’ll leave it at that (except his head coach may not dislike him).

Malik Monk (37%)- The Lakers are a dumpster fire but Monk has been a bright spot. Coach Frank Vogel doesn’t trust his big men, and I don’t exactly blame him, so we’ve been seeing some smaller lineups with LeBron at center. That has opened the door for Monk to play a featured role, and while his stat upside isn’t the greatest outside of points and 3s, he can be something like a caffeinated Terrence Ross. Over his last three games, Monk has been an early-rounder with 20.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, 2.0 dimes, 1.0 blocks, 0.7 steals and 2.7 triples.

“I try to take that role every (game), it don’t matter if I’m playing a lot or not, I try to take that role and everything that comes with it. I want to be that guy. I’ve been coming into games thinking that and playing like that, too.”

Nassir Little (24%)- Just hear me out. Yes he’s coming off a fantasy line that would make only Tony Snell jealous, but the game prior he went for 20 points, 10 rebounds, two assists, two steals and three blocks. The Blazers are 13-21 and are one of the most disappointing teams in the NBA, and just like the Pacers, they are one of the most likely teams to shake up their roster at the deadline. Little has that 1-1-1 upside in steals, blocks and triples that fantasy managers crave, and eventually some offensive usage will trickle his way when Portland pulls the plug. I’ve been stashing Little for a while and will continue to do so even if I have to put up with some inconsistent production in the short term.

Gary Harris (31%)- The Magic have to give him an adrenaline shot every timeout but they have somehow managed to keep the injury-prone veteran going. And when you consider he’s still playing alongside a bunch of G League All Stars, it’s not surprising that he’s been able to stand out. In the last 10 games, Harris is narrowly outside the top-75 in 9-cat leagues with 16.2 points, 2.6 dimes, 2.7 rebounds, 0.8 steals and 2.3 triples on 49% shooting.

Isaac Okoro (23%)- He didn’t have the most exciting lines in his last two games, but what he’s going to have is loads of opportunity with Ricky Rubio out for the season. His competition now consists of Lamar Stevens, Denzel Valentine and Dylan Winder, so yeah he’s in pretty good shape. The key for Okoro will be finding his range from beyond the arc, and he did exactly that before the protocols – he hit 10-of-18 triples in the five games before his absences with averages of 16.6 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.4 dimes, 0.6 steals and 2.0 triples.

Gary Payton II (22%)- Payton II’s run as a standard-league asset could be coming to an end with Klay Thompson on the way back, though his window may stay open a bit longer than expected with Klay likely to have a 13-second restriction for the opening month. Payton II has one of the most insane steal rates I’ve ever seen and his newfound ability to hit the 3-point shot has made him a fun fantasy asset. In his last five games, he’s been an 8th rounder with 14.4 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.2 dimes, 1.4 steals and 1.6 triples.

Jalen Smith (9%)- With Deandre Ayton and JaVale McGee in the protocols, Jalen Smith is the last center standing in Phoenix. Smith is a player battling to extend his NBA career after the Suns declined his option, but he has definitely stepped up in his last two with 13.0 points, 11.5 rebounds, 1.0 steals, 1.0 triples and 1.0 blocks in 27.0 minutes per. The former lottery pick is going to get all the run he can handle and is a no-brainer in the short term, even if his upside remains a bit of a mystery box.

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