NBA Waiver Wired: Week 2

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Week 3 Schedule: Games Played



Week 3 Back-to-Backs:

Sunday (Oct. 31) - Monday: CHA, POR

Monday-Tuesday: None

Tuesday-Wednesday: DAL, NOR, SAC

Wednesday-Thursday: ATL, BOS, PHI

Thursday-Friday: DET

Friday-Saturday: POR

Saturday-Sunday: HOU, UTA

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Waiver Wire Pickups:

*To qualify for this list, players have to be available in over 60% of Yahoo Leagues. Cam Reddish and Desmond Bane were both featured last week and no longer qualify for this list.

Jalen Brunson (27%)- There’s a pretty strong argument to be made that Brunson has been Dallas’ second most impressive player so far. He’s not starting right now, but what’s important is that he’s playing big minutes anyways. He’s putting up 8th round numbers in 9-cat through four games, averaging 13.0 points, 5.8 dimes, 5.0 rebounds, 0.5 steals and 2.0 triples. With assists being the hardest category to find on the wire, Brunson gets a boost for that reason. Now to get him on that leadership council...

Franz Wagner (37%)- Nothing new here as the rookie continues to put up numbers for the rebuilding Magic. Minutes are no issue here and won’t be until Chuma Okeke and Jonathan Isaac come back, but no one seems to know when that will happen. Wagner is putting up 7th round fantasy numbers with 13.6 points, 3.6 rebounds, 1.8 dimes, 1.0 steals, 0.8 blocks and 2.0 triples. He’s not getting nearly enough buzz for how well he’s playing, but then again, no one is watching the Magic right now.

Terance Mann (31%)- After playing 39 minutes in the season opener, Mann’s minutes have dropped down to the 25-26 minute range for his last three games. With Nicolas Batum back and Luke Kennard suddenly playing decently, this could be the norm for Mann but it’s likely enough for him to put up usable numbers. In fact, he’s actually on pace for 8th-round value in 9-cat with 8.5 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.0 triples.

Grayson Allen (25%)- Let’s take a trip to Milwaukee and highlight Grayson Allen because he’s been terrific early on for the Bucks. Yes they are missing some guys right now, but Allen’s minutes should remain high for the foreseeable future, or at least until Donte DiVincenzo is ready. Through five games, Allen is on pace for top-70 numbers in 9-cat with 13.2 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.8 dimes, 1.0 steals and 2.8 triples on 40% from the field. There may be even more upside as well, as he’s not even shooting the ball that well.

In his previous two seasons he was a 40% shooter from deep, but so far this season he’s hitting them at a 32% clip. Considering he’s taking 8.6 attempts per game, he could put up some serious numbers if we see some positive regression with his 3-point percentage.

Alex Caruso (40%)- His numbers are inflated in fantasy leagues because of some absurd defensive numbers that will come back to Earth, but he’s going to be a serviceable late-round player and continues to make big plays for the Bulls. In 28.6 minutes, Caruso is averaging 8.4 points, 3.6 dimes, 1.6 boards, 3.0 steals, 0.6 blocks and 1.2 triples.

Bruce Brown (7%)- Coach Steve Nash’s biggest blunder of the season was removing Bruce Brown from the rotation for the opening couple games, but at least he came to his senses in the last three. In those few games, Brown has shown flashes of upside with 10th round numbers of 11.3 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.3 steals, 0.7 blocks and 1.0 triples in 30 minutes on 51% from the field and 75% from the line. Nash’s reasoning for overlooking Bruce in the first place was that he wanted to explore some bigger lineups, but that went out the window because they haven’t had a single big man play well in consecutive games. Brown is here to stay and could be a solid glue guy for any fantasy roster.

Darius Bazley (28%)- After having the game of his life in a comeback win vs. the Lakers, I might be ready to take a lifeboat back to Bazley Island. The entire industry has seemingly given up on him after his letdown of a season in 2020-21, and admittedly I had too, but it’s important to remember that he only recently turned 21 years old. After watching him send an Anthony Davis shot to the moon and later hit a stepback 3 over him, it’s time to reconsider my stance.

Bazley ended up with 20 points, six rebounds, two assists, four steals, a block, one frustrated Westbrook and four triples, hitting 8-of-14 shots. His 3-point shot is far from reliable right now, so if he’s going to take a big jump in fantasy this season it will have to be with his percentages and defensive stats. The latter has shown a lot of growth, as he’s averaging 1.2 steals and 1.0 blocks compared to 0.5 steals and 0.5 blocks last season. Is he a must-roster player right now? No he’s not, but if you’re going to gamble on some youth and upside then I kinda like the idea of taking a flier.

Devin Vassell (19%)- Separating Lonnie Walker and Vassell right now is tough, because while I like Vassell’s stat set and upside more, Lonnie may have the higher floor for his workload. We’re going to see Vassell get extended run in at least two more games with McDermott out, but this could be a situation in which he earns more minutes from coach Gregg Popovich and never lets go of them. Despite averaging just 25 minutes through five games, he’s scoring 11.0 points with 4.2 rebounds, 1.6 dimes, 1.4 steals, 0.4 blocks and 2.0 triples.

Dorian Finney-Smith (23%)- He’s one of the most boring starters in the league, but sometimes boring gets the job done. Kristaps Porzingis (back) is already hurting, but beat his previous record of two consecutive games played… DFS had a terrific line on Thursday with 14 points, eight rebounds, one dime, two steals and three triples, and he showed good upside last season when Porzingis was off the court -- he had a per-36 line of 11.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.2 steals, 0.5 blocks and 2.3 triples. And if KP does return next game, DFS still gets the job done as a late-rounder.

Damion Lee (8%)- I keep waiting for Lee to cool off but I feel like the second I add him he’s going to shoot 0-of-8. We’ve seen Otto Porter Jr. and Nemanja Bjelica pop up on the fantasy radar only to quickly disappear, but Lee seems like he’s here to stay -- at least until Klay Thompson comes back in January. Lee is averaging 14.2 points, 3.0 boards, 1.0 dimes and 2.4 triples in five games, but has yet to record a steal or block.

Lonnie Walker (31%)- With Doug McDermott (knee) expected to miss at least two more games, a lot of fantasy managers should take a look at both Walker and Devin Vassell for the Spurs. Lonnie is more of a scorer and runs red hot or ice cold, while Vassell has a little more balance across the stat sheet but won’t get the same amount of usage/volume. Lonnie has done well through five games with 15.0 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 0.8 steals and 2.4 triples.

Low-End Pickups and/or Streamers:

Pat Connaughton (29%)- At some point the Bucks are going to get healthy, but until then, Connaughton has been serviceable but I still like Grayson Allen a bit more. Connaughton has been an 8th rounder so far with 12.2 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.6 dimes, 0.8 steals and 2.4 triples.

Monte Morris (26%)- He’s coming off a really nice game but has been pretty quiet apart from that. With 10.8 points, 3.5 dimes, 1.5 boards, 1.8 triples and 0.5 steals, he’s strictly a streamer for now.

Luke Kennard (10%)- He’s finally heating up a bit and it’s notable that the Clippers have a “Hunt Luke” package where they try and find him open looks. Give him a look as a 3-point specialist with 10 triples over his last three games.

Nicolas Batum (10%)- Nothing exciting here, but Marcus Morris is banged up and Batum and can chip in across the box score.

Cody Martin (10%)- Could completely disappear once the Hornets get Terry Rozier and P.J. Washington back, and that’s why I haven’t added Jalen McDaniels as well.

Anfernee Simons (8%) and Nassir Little (7%)- There’s a little bit of daylight for as long as Norman Powell (knee) is out but it sounds like he’s close.

Watch List:

Jarred Vanderbilt (4%)- Coach Finch said he started Vanderbilt for matchup reasons vs. the Bucks, but it’s possible Vando played his way into more minutes -- he scored 10 points with 13 rebounds, three assists and one steal in 30 minutes.