NBA Waiver-Wired: Week 13

Jonas Nader

Omari Spellman is my top add of the week, a player that was well on his way out of the league after failing to get his weight under control as a rookie. The Warriors rolled the dice on him by sending Damian Jones to Atlanta in exchange for his services last year, and since then Spellman has been slowly making a case for a role in Golden State.

Coach Steve Kerr gave him his first start of the season over the uninspiring Willie Cauley-Stein on Friday, and the rest might be history with Spellman playing out of his mind with 17 points, five rebounds, three assists, three steals and four triples in 28 minutes. The Clippers had no answer for his pick-and-pop game, and after the game Kerr gushed about how Spellman’s floor spacing could help the Warriors.

“He’s proving to be a really good pick-and-pop player,” Kerr said. “You can see how different it looks when you have a five-man who can shoot. It was interesting and it was fun and he’s played so well that I wanted to reward him. Might be something we continue to do. We’ll see.”

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I don’t know how you go away from Spellman if you’re Kerr, and I’d expect him to start indefinitely. Spellman has posted top-30 numbers over his last five games in just 21.9 minutes with 14.8 points, 5.2 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.8 steals, 0.4 blocks and 2.4 triples, showcasing a diverse stat set which makes him a priority add even in shallow leagues. His shot chart is fantasy friendly too, with Spellman eating inside the paint and chucking away from deep — he has 73 attempts from deep out of 220 shots, and 91 shot attempts inside the restricted area.

If you have questions about Spellman or anyone else on this column, drop me a note on Twitter here! After a glance at the games played schedule for Week 13, let’s dive into the best adds of the week. Please keep in mind that players have to be owned in less than 40% of Yahoo Leagues to qualify.

Week 13 Games Played



2 games: CHA, MEM, WAS


1) Omari Spellman (19%)- When a player is young with multi-category upside on a tanking team, it’s essentially the perfect storm for fantasy value. Add everywhere and hope that Kerr continues to roll with the big man.

2) Christian Wood (17%)- Let’s be honest, his week got off to a ROUGH start with just 13 and 14 minutes in two games vs. the Cavaliers. The worst part? Coach Dwane Casey gave Thon Maker more combined minutes in those two games. Yes, the same Thon who is averaging 3.9 points on the season. Coach Dwane Casey is either drunk or was playing against Wood in a fantasy league, but at least he came to his senses vs. the Bulls. With Andre Drummond getting ejected, Wood resurfaced with a monster game to remind us all why we’re stashing him in the first place.

Wood finished with 17 points (8-of-12 FGs), 14 rebounds, three assists, one steal and three blocked shots in just 26 minutes, perhaps a glimpse of what we can expect when Drummond is inevitably traded. And yes a Drummond trade is looking even more likely, as the Pistons are 14-26 with more and more teams seemingly linked to the big man every day with the Knicks being the latest. With the trade deadline a month away, let’s be patient with Wood for just a little bit longer.

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3) Jaxson Hayes (31%)- If you’re not doing so hot in the standings and can’t wait on a guy like Wood, Hayes is the better option and should crush in the short term. Hayes has played 24+ minutes in three straight games, averaging 17.3 points, 8.0 rebounds, 0.7 dimes and 2.7 blocks. Those are 7th-round numbers in 9-cat, and it looks like the playing time is going to be there with Derrick Favors (hamstring) picking up his 47th ailment of the season. Hayes’ FG% is going to be rock solid too, as just three of his 190 shots on the season came from outside the paint. 

He does get bullied inside a lot with his thin frame and he had an alarmingly low rebounding rate  in college, but you have to love how much he’s improved in that area.

4) Bruce Brown (18%)- Brown is learning point guard on the fly, and while he doesn’t always pass the eye test on the offensive end, he’s in the midst of a top-50 run in 9-cat over the last two weeks. He’s averaging 10.6 points, 4.7 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 1.9 blocks and 0.4 blocks, so the defensive numbers are propping up an underwhelming output on offense. He’s only hitting 38% from the field in that span which should stabilize into the lower 40s, and his 3-point shot should have some positive regression too. There’s still a lot of fun upside here on a team that is possibly on the verge of unloading veterans Andre Drummond and Langston Galloway.

5) De’Anthony Melton (7%)- The only reason he’s not inside my top three for the week is because the Grizzlies play just twice in Week 13. Melton’s minutes have stalled with just 19.2 per game over the last two weeks, yet he’s still inside the top-100 for 9-cat with 9.7 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.5 blocks and 0.7 triples. He’s had multiple stretches of top-75 numbers with the same workload, and I’m expecting an upward trend soon when he see some positive regression with his steal rate. Remember, this is a guy who averages 2.7 swipes per 36 minutes.

Melton remains one of the best stashes in fantasy basketball, but for him to truly break out the Grizzlies will need to either trade Jae Crowder’s expiring contract or shorten the rotation by one player since there’s no reason for Grayson Allen or Solomon Hill to touch the floor for a team that suddenly has playoff aspirations. Melton is the fourth most important player on this roster going forward behind Jaren Jackson Jr., Ja Morant and Brandon Clarke and it’s a crime he’s not playing more already — the Grizzlies outscore opponents by 18.3 points per 100 possession when Melton is on the floor.

6) Derrick Jones Jr. (16%)- DJJ continues to churn out consistent fantasy value and is still undervalued across the industry. He’s ranked inside the top-75 in 9-cat over the last two weeks, averaging 11.2 points, 4.8 rebounds, 1.8 steals, 1.2 blocks and 0.8 triples in 30.0 minutes, hitting 40.7% from the field and 82% from the line. The FG% is going to be closer to 50 moving forward with DJJ getting so many looks at the rim (94 of his 162 shot attempts have been inside the restricted area), and the steal/block rates we’re seeing now are consistent with where they were last season. Plus, Justise Winslow suffered a setback with his back issue which means DJJ’s workload should remain steady.

7) Jarrett Culver (39%)- A preseason sleeper of mine, Culver has finally stopped making me look bad. In the last two weeks, Culver has been a 7th-round value in 9-cat with 15.1 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.6 steals, 0.9 blocks and 1.7 triples. He’s shooting 38.4% from the field and 43.8% from the line on the season, but the percentages are stabilizing — he’s hitting 43.9% from the field and 53.3% from the line over the last two weeks. The shooting still isn’t pretty, but it’s getting there and we can look back to his college resume to give us confidence.

8) Donte DiVincenzo (11%)- The second-year guard is on another one of his runs, posting top-70 value over his last four games. He’s averaging 13.0 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 2.3 steals and 2.0 triples on 47% from the field and 80% from the line in 25 minutes, numbers that are sustainable. The Bucks have a 6.5 game lead at the top of the East and have already started resting their core, so there’s a wide path to value for Donte for the second half of the season. And you have to love his stat profile, as Donte is the only player in the NBA with an assist percentage above 10% and a steal percentage above 3% with more than 1.0 triples per game.

9) Norman Powell (35%)- Powell will be returning from injury on Sunday, his first game back since Dec. 18. With Fred VanVleet (hamstring) without a timetable, I’m expecting a heavy dose of minutes and touches for Powell, at least after his first couple games back. In 16 starts this season, Powell averaged 17.1 points, 3.9 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.6 blocks and 2.3 triples. He’s going to have nice streaming value for a while, but he’s not higher on this list because FVV’s eventual return will likely throw him out the top-100 conversation.

10) Daniel Gafford (8%)- Thaddeus Young (44%) is a no-brainer add if available, but Gafford can still be scooped up in a bunch of leagues. You can expect plenty of bumps in the road for this rookie, but with Wendell Carter Jr. (ankle) out several weeks the Bulls are going to give Gafford a pretty long leash. He scored 14 points (7-of-9 FGs) with seven rebounds, two assists, one steal and one blocked shot while holding his own against Andre Drummond in the last game, but apart from his solid FG% and rebounding numbers, most of his value will be coming from his elite block rate with 3.7 swats per 36 minutes. 


Honorable Mentions

Sekou Doumbouya (33%)- He’s still incredibly raw as a 19-year-old and his production has been all over the place, but the minutes will be there. He’s been an 11th-round value in 9-cat over the last two weeks with 10.3 points, 4.6 rebounds, 0.6 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.4 blocks and 1.1 triples, so the peripheral stats aren’t where they need to be. It’s still a small sample size though.

Alex Len (35%)- If dumpster diving is your thing then Len could have serviceable numbers as a low-end streamer. Over the last four he’s averaging 12.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and 1.3 blocks.

Jerami Grant (20%)- I’m comfortable throwing him into fantasy lineups for as long as Paul Millsap (knee) is out, and we’re still not sure when the veteran forward will return. Grant is averaging 14.0 points, 3.5 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 1.5 blocks and 1.0 triples over his last two games.

Isaiah Hartenstein (4%)- It’s unclear if Clint Capela (heel) will miss more time, but if he does then we know exactly where to look. In two starts this season, Hartenstein is averaging a whopping 18.0 points, 12.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 3.5 blocks and 1.0 steals. 

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