Advertisement

The Playlist: Week 12 fantasy basketball waiver wire pickups and lineup advice

Welcome to The Playlist: my weekly column that lets you know who and what to play — when it comes to music or other things in my rotation — for the upcoming week in fantasy basketball.

Each week, you'll see a compilation of the pickups you need to make, lineup notes (who's in and out of rotations), followed by key takeaways on the schedule.

So press play and shuffle through the latest fantasy basketball info.

Fantasy Basketball Week 12: The Playlist
Fantasy Basketball Week 12: The Playlist

Week 11 wrap up

We can thank the Golden State Warriors for providing all the Week 11 headlines. Starting things off, Chris Paul is unfortunately expected to miss four-to-six weeks after undergoing surgery to repair a fractured left hand. Draymond Green is back and rejoined the Warriors on Sunday, and it only took Jonathan Kuminga airing his grievances to the public for him to see a season-high 36 minutes on Friday night.

Top performers

Giannis Antetokounmpo headshot
Giannis Antetokounmpo
PF - MIL - #34
2023 - 2024 season
30.4
Pts
11.5
Reb
6.5
Ast
1.1
Blk
35:10
Min

Rumor Mill

Silly season is underway, and it sounds like we'll have plenty of action by the Feb. 8 trade deadline. Pascal Siakam, Dejounte Murray and Zach LaVine are all on the trade block, with the Kings looking to offload a few vets to make a serious push in the Western Conference. Sacramento is a dangerous squad already but a player like Siakam could take them to the next level.

But it's too early to react to the chatter, so let's focus on Week 12.

Wanna Be There - AZ

Schedule things to know:

  • There are 13 teams that play four games each

  • The ideal streamable days are Monday (six games), Tuesday (five games), Thursday (five games) and Sunday (five games).

  • The Cavaliers and Nets play only one game, and it's in Paris, France! If you decide to stream a player from that game, remember to set your lineup because the game tips at 2 pm ET.

  • The Sixers play two games – on Wednesday and Friday – which are bigger slates, so keep that in mind.

  • Suns and Trail Blazers play on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday (lighter slates)

WHO'S IN MY ROTATION: players to pick up on waivers who are less than 50% rostered in Yahoo leagues.

Must-adds for Week 12:

Donte DiVincenzo - SG/SF, New York Knicks (50% rostered)

Donte DiVincenzo headshot
Donte DiVincenzo
SG - NY - #0
2023 - 2024 season
15.5
Pts
3.7
Reb
2.7
Ast
1.3
Stl
29:08
Min

DiVincenzo's been low-key hooping since RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickly left for Toronto, ranking 41st in nine-category leagues over his past six games. He's been extremely efficient all year and is a reliable source of steals and threes. Nestled in his six-game sample without RJ and IQ was a 38-point outlier, but still, he's entrenched as a starter, and his shooting and defense will keep him relevant in fantasy.

Nick Richards - C, Charlotte Hornets (33%)

Nick Richards headshot
Nick Richards
C - CHA - #4
2023 - 2024 season
9.7
Pts
8
Reb
0.4
Stl
1.1
Blk
26:15
Min

Richards remains undervalued on the market, especially with Mark Williams without a timetable for his return. Richards has been one of the most efficient bigs in the league, ranking first in true-shooting percentage and second in effective field-goal percentage. Also a capable rebounder, Richards is averaging 8.9 points and 8.7 rebounds with 1.3 blocks per game in 14 starts this season. If you need a big man in any format, he has a safe floor and plays four games this week.

Cole Anthony - PG, Orlando Magic (45%)

Cole Anthony headshot
Cole Anthony
PG - ORL - #50
2023 - 2024 season
11.6
Pts
3.8
Reb
2.9
Ast
0.8
Stl
22:26
Min

With Franz Wagner likely out for a few games as he recovers from an ankle injury, expect Keith Lee to pick up some additional usage (lol).

Jokes aside, Anthony's already third on the team in usage behind Paolo Banchero and Wagner, sitting at a respectable 24%. The Magic's schedule isn't ideal this week, facing the Timberwolves, Heat and Thunder. Anthony's minutes are safe even with Markelle Fultz returning to the lineup on Sunday. He's a bucket who can fill up the box score and while I prefer him in points leagues, he's also good enough for category formats.

Aaron Nesmith - SF/PF, Indiana Pacers (34%)

Aaron Nesmith headshot
Aaron Nesmith
SF - IND - #23
2023 - 2024 season
12.2
Pts
3.8
Reb
1.5
Ast
0.7
Blk
27:43
Min

I almost didn't include him here, but I've warmed up to the idea that he has staying power. He's sixth in true-shooting percentage in the league and has provided sixth-round value in nine-category leagues over the past two weeks. He rarely has a game where he doesn't offer you something of value. He's averaging nearly three stocks (two steals, one block) and is making 54% of his threes (2.7 per game) in 27 minutes per night over his last 10 games. He's started the last six games, and his hustle and efficiency keep him on the court. He won't wow you, but he's a quiet stat collector in any format.

Tre Jones - PG, San Antonio Spurs (49%)

Tre Jones headshot
Tre Jones
PG - SA - #33
2023 - 2024 season
10
Pts
3.8
Reb
6.2
Ast
1
Stl
27:46
Min

It took some injuries, but Jones finally started a game for the Spurs. He played a season-high 35 minutes and posted an efficient 18 points (7-13 FG, 4-4 FT), five rebounds, six assists, one steal and three turnovers. He's been playing over 27 minutes per night over his last five outings, and while he won't help in threes and blocks, he's been solid everywhere else and worth streaming with Malakhi Branham out.

Patiently Waiting (feat. Eminem) - 50 Cent

Week 12 Streamers

Simone Fontecchio - SF, Utah Jazz (30%)

Simone Fontecchio headshot
Simone Fontecchio
SF - DET - #19
2023 - 2024 season
10.5
Pts
3.7
Reb
1.5
Ast
0.3
Blk
24:55
Min

You probably didn't realize that Fontecchio has earned the fourth-most starts on the Utah roster, starting 18 games this year. What's more important is that he's improving month over month and earning more minutes in the process. Since the turn of the new year, Fontecchio is averaging close to 16 points, six rebounds, three assists and shooting 53% from the field. He's producing, and as long as that continues, the 28-year-old in his sophomore campaign should be rostered in 12-team leagues.

Jeremy Sochan - PG/PF, San Antonio Spurs (36%)

Jeremy Sochan headshot
Jeremy Sochan
PF - SA - #10
2023 - 2024 season
11.6
Pts
6.4
Reb
3.4
Ast
0.5
Blk
29:38
Min

My guy Raphielle Johnson has elevated him to his watchlist, but I'm convinced Sochan's worth streaming in Week 12 with the Spurs playing the Pistons, Hornets and Bulls. He's better for points leagues, averaging 26 fantasy points per game (FPPG) over the past 10 games. You won't find me complaining about 11 points, six boards and four assists with a three and a stock.

Kevin Love - PF - Miami Heat (22%)

Kevin Love headshot
Kevin Love
PF - MIA - #42
2023 - 2024 season
8.8
Pts
6.1
Reb
2.1
Ast
0.2
Blk
16:48
Min

I know he's old, but the man is doing exactly what fantasy managers expect: scoring, rebounding and draining threes. In his previous four outings, he's averaged 14.8 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 2.5 threes and one steal per game. The Heat have four games this week and continue to be down badly with injuries, so stream Love even if he's playing a shade over 20 minutes a night.

Jonathan Kuminga - PF, Golden State Warriors (46%)

Jonathan Kuminga headshot
Jonathan Kuminga
PF - GS - #00
2023 - 2024 season
16.1
Pts
4.8
Reb
2.2
Ast
0.5
Blk
26:20
Min

This is it baby, end of the road. I have no doubt that Draymond Green's return will eventually throw a wrench into things, but not quite yet. Even though he's been reinstated, he'll need time to ramp up over the next week. In the meantime, Kuminga's out of the doghouse for two reasons: he's been one of the Warriors' best players of late and could be showcased for a potential trade (or not). Either way, he's been pretty good in fantasy lately, posting 14.7 points, 5.6 boards and 2.5 assists while shooting 57% from the floor over his last 10 games. Just don't expect much from three or in the stocks department.

Grand Finale - DMX, Method Man, Ja Rule & NaS

Cody Martin - SG/SF, Charlotte Hornets (4%)

Cody Martin headshot
Cody Martin
SF - CHA - #11
2023 - 2024 season
7.5
Pts
3.9
Reb
3.7
Ast
0.6
Blk
26:54
Min

Four games on deck, and the Hornets are dealing with injuries on their perimeter. Martin is playing 34.5 minutes per game in his last two games, and as long as Brandon Miller is out, he'll get burn. He's a good source of steals and can hit threes, so with a soft fantasy schedule in Week 12, he's in a decent spot to produce for fantasy managers in deep leagues.

Other streaming options:

Watchlist for Week 12:

Rotation news

Warriors G Chris Paul is expected to miss four-to-six weeks after undergoing surgery to repair a fractured left hand

The play: Brandin Podziemski will likely take over more ball-handling duties now that Paul is out so he can safely be held in all leagues.

Pistons G Cade Cunningham left Sunday’s contest against the Nuggets with a left knee sprain

The play: Killian Hayes started the second half for Cunningham but I’d prioritize Jaden Ivey or Alec Burks if Cunningham misses time. Following the game, Pistons HC Monty Williams did not provide an update on Cunningham‘s knee. Hopefully it’s a minor injury but add Ivey or Alec Burks if Cade’s facing an extended absence.


Bulls G Zach LaVine (foot) and C Nikola Vucevic (groin) returned to the court on Friday

The play: Keep Andre Drummond for Monday's matchup versus Charlotte, but you might have to drop him later and that's OK. Patrick Williams is a drop for me because he forgets how to play offense when LaVine and DeMar DeRozan are healthy.

Rockets F Tari Eason is day-to-day with a leg injury

The play: If you like Eason, I'd recommend Cam Whitmore. He's been tearing up the G-League, plus Dillon Brooks remains out. Whitmore reached double-figures with at least two assists, one three and a steal in limited minutes in his past three contests.

Trail Blazers C Deandre Ayton (knee) remains out

Deandre Ayton headshot
Deandre Ayton
C - POR - #2
2023 - 2024 season
16.7
Pts
11.1
Reb
1
Stl
0.8
Blk
32:26
Min

The play: Duop Reath is the best streaming option at center right now, but Trail Blazers HC Chauncey Billups is “optimistic” Ayton could rejoin the team on its upcoming four-game road trip. Keep an eye out for Jabari Walker, too.

Heat F Jimmy Butler (toe) remains out

The play: Jaime Jaquez Jr.'s role is cemented, while Duncan Robinson is still worthy of streaming as long as Butler is sidelined.

Sixers C Joel Embiid (knee) day-to-day

The play: Assuming nothing new comes out regarding Embiid's knee injury, I'm under the impression he would return for Wednesday's tilt versus the Hawks. BBall Paul Reed stands to benefit the most if Embiid misses additional time.

Daily Games Played

  • Monday: 6

  • Tuesday: 5

  • Wednesday: 10

  • Thursday: 5

  • Friday: 10

  • Saturday: 8

  • Sunday: 5

13 teams play four games: Bucks, Bulls, Celtics, Clippers, Heat, Hornets, Jazz, Kings, Pacers, Rockets, Thunder, Timberwolves and Trail Blazers

14 teams play three games: Grizzlies, Hawks, Knicks, Lakers, Magic, Mavericks, Nuggets, Pelicans, Pistons, Raptors, Spurs, Suns, Warriors and Wizards

One team plays two games: 76ers

Two teams play one game: Cavaliers and Nets

Teams with back-to-backs:

  • Monday/Tuesday: none

  • Tuesday/Wednesday: Kings, Pistons, Raptors and Timberwolves

  • Wednesday/Thursday: Celtics and Thunder

  • Thursday/Friday: Trail Blazers

  • Friday/Saturday: Bulls, Grizzlies, Hawks, Jazz, Magic, Pelicans, Rockets, Spurs and Warriors

  • Saturday/Sunday: Bucks