After a couple of exciting Pickups columns, things settled down Friday, making our options a bit bland by comparison. We still have a marquee pickup to headline the selections, but he's not someone who balled out Friday. Instead, he's a guy who may be unknowingly languishing on your waiver wire after posting second-round value in spurts to start the season.
Best of luck, and Happy New Year!
Cameron Johnson (59%): Make sure Johnson isn't somehow sitting on your waiver wire, as there's a good chance he makes his return to the court sometime next week. After undergoing knee surgery on November 8, Johnson's recovery has gone smoothly, and he's traveling with the Suns for their current road trip. He sat Friday, but he'll have the chance to return Monday against New York or Wednesday against Cleveland before the team flies home to face Miami on Friday.
Johnson ranks 74th on the season in per-game fantasy value, but he provided top-24 numbers briefly to start the season. His return couldn't come at a better time for a Suns team that's fully feeling the void left by Devin Booker. Once Johnson returns, we'd bet on strong production pretty quickly.
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Daniel Gafford (24%): Danny G has logged at least 20 minutes in six of his last eight games, and he's posted top-100 fantasy numbers in that span behind averages of 10.3 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.6 swats with elite FG%. The Wiz apparently like their new jumbo starting five with Gafford and Kristaps Porzingis, so the former belongs on rosters in 12-team leagues. He finished Friday's win with 11 points, eight boards and four blocks.
Immanuel Quickley (37%): We highlighted him Thursday, but he's still widely available. IQ handed out a career-best 15 assists Tuesday against Dallas and scored a career-high 36 points Thursday against the Spurs, logging a total of 94 minutes between those contests. Big minutes and big opportunities await with Jalen Brunson and RJ Barrett out, so make sure to add Quickley.
Onyeka Okongwu (59%): He continues to excel in Clint Capela's absence, and he needs to be added and played for as long as Capela is out. Capela has missed six of the Hawks' last eight games, and Okongwu has averaged 11.6 points, 9.6 boards and 1.9 swats across those eight contests, posting third-round fantasy value along the way. Jalen Johnson (2%) is worth a look as well. He's averaged 12.3 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.0 steals and 0.7 blocks across his last three appearances.
Jaylen Nowell (10%): Nowell was rolling for a while before his production took a nosedive. He's bounced back across his last two games, averaging 15.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.5 steals and 0.5 blocks in that span.
Joe Ingles (2%): Jingles logged 25 minutes Friday and had his best game as a Buck, going for 14 points, 10 dimes, five boards and four triples. Jrue Holiday (illness) could return as soon as Sunday, but we'll keep an eye on Jingles to see how he performs. If you're in a 12-team league, watch and wait. If you're in a deeper league with available space, he makes for a fine speculative add heading into the weekend.
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Alec Burks (40%): Another guy we highlighted earlier in the week, Burks should see big minutes for at least two more games as Killian Hayes serves a three-game suspension. Burks posted 32 points and six triples Wednesday before delivering 19 points and four three-pointers Friday, shooting a blistering 17-of-20 from the field over those two contests.
Mark Williams (10%): If you missed Thursday's Pickups column, we're including Williams here just for you. He went for 17 points, 13 rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocks Thursday and seems to have leapfrogged Nick Richards in the center pecking order in Charlotte. Could silly season soon be upon us for Charlotte players? Make sure to add the Duke product in case his minutes continue to trend up.