The Playlist: Week 3 fantasy basketball pickups, lineup advice and NBA games to watch

Welcome to The Playlist: my new 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 the must-watch games from across the league.

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

Who's in my rotation: players to pick up on waivers that are less than 50% rostered in Yahoo leagues

Priority streams/adds

Talen Horton-Tucker, SG/SF, Utah Jazz (37% rostered)

THT is pulling away from the other guards on the Jazz, averaging 13.5 points, 3.8 rebounds and 7.0 assists with 1.3 steals over the past week. He'll struggle with his efficiency from game to game, but it'll be hard to find someone capable of putting up over six assists with a steal on waivers. Pick him up now, especially in points leagues where his turnovers and efficiency won't impact his value too much.

Dereck Lively II, C, Dallas Mavericks (47% rostered)

He's coming off an impressive 15-point, 14-rebound double-double Sunday and while he's traded good game for a lousy game, it's clear that he's good for a block per game and is the Mavs' best option at center. His role will only continue to expand as the season progresses. I'd add him in shallow and deep leagues with the Mavs playing against the Magic twice, Pelicans and Clippers this week.

Dorian Finney-Smith, SF/PF, Brooklyn Nets (36% rostered)

Hopefully, you scooped him up after I recommended him last week. He's been a helpful asset in category leagues, finishing 48th in per-game value in Week 2 after being a solid source of points, threes, FG% and low-end rebounds. He was inside the top 120 in points leagues over that span (25 FPG), but since some of the value is based on efficiency, he will be less attractive in points formats. He'll continue to be worthy of a stream as long as Nic Claxton (ankle) and Cam Johnson (calf) continue to miss time.

Mid-tier streams/adds

Deni Avdija, SF/PF, Washington Wizards (49% rostered)

He sustained an ankle injury that'll leave him questionable heading into Monday's road game against the Sixers. Still, he's been producing despite only playing over 25 minutes in one game to open the season. He's getting up the third-most shots on the team with the third-highest usage of any Wizards player, seeing 20+ minutes.

Malik Monk, SG/SF, Sacramento Kings (49% rostered)

For however long De'Aaron Fox is out, Monk must be rostered in all leagues. He's been better than Davion Mitchell and Kevin Huerter, and when you factor in his current block rate (1.2 per game), he's well worth adding in shallow leagues. I'd still roster him in points and category leagues even if Fox returns this week because he's the Kings' most effective weapon off the bench who scores and gets dimes.

Saddiq Bey, SF/PF, Atlanta Hawks (34% rostered)

The Hawks play Monday, Thursday and Saturday, so you'll get to play Bey on two nights with lighter slates. He's 84th in per-game value in category leagues through Sunday and continues to be a reliable source of points, threes and steals, along with five rebounds per night. However, he's only someone to pick up in points leagues (23 FPPG) if Jalen Johnson's minutes go down for any reason.

Goga Bitadze, C, Orlando Magic (18% rostered)

Wendell Carter Jr. (thumb) will be re-evaluated in three weeks following surgery on his hand late last week, which has opened the door for Bitadze to get more minutes at center. He started Saturday night over Mo Wagner and registered a double-double with five blocks. As long as he's starting and playing over 25+ minutes per night, he should be added in most leagues.

Deep-league adds

Dyson Daniels, PG/SG, New Orleans Pelicans (11% rostered)

It's a bit presumptuous, but Daniels looks like he'll luck into more minutes and potentially join the starting lineup with news of CJ McCollum's injury. Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram will likely take on more playmaking roles as well. Still, Daniels is already a part of the Pelicans rotation, playing 20+ minutes a night with the bonus of registering a steal or block in every game. He's capable of a Ben Simmons-like stat line if he eclipses 30 minutes a night in the short term, making him a speculative add for 12+ team leagues, with the Pelicans playing four games this week.

Marcus Sasser, PG, Detroit Pistons (18% rostered)

What pressure? The rookie continues to impress, putting together two strong games in a row that included scoring at least 19 points with four triples in each contest. He benefited from Jaden Ivey's illness on Sunday, but he's playing his way into more minutes. Alec Burks is hurt, and Ivey has been trending down since the season started. Sasser's also racked up at least one steal in four consecutive outings. Those in deep leagues should consider giving him a look, especially if he keeps playing like this.

Track mention: Presha (feat. Lil Wayne) - 2 Chainz

Jalen Suggs, PG/SG, Orlando Magic (36% rostered)

Suggs is 74th in per-game value through two weeks and is tied for top-10 in steals per game (1.8). He's not a must-add for points leagues, given his low scoring, but his defense and low turnover rate make him a worthwhile addition to 12+ team category leagues. It also helps the Magic play two games on lighter slates this week.

Other adds:

  • Cole Anthony, PG, Orlando Magic (40% rostered)

  • Lugentz Dort, SG/SF, Oklahoma City Thunder (40%)

  • Grayson Allen, SG/SF, Phoenix Suns (29% rostered)

  • Eric Gordon, SG/SF, Phoenix Suns (31% rostered)

  • Moritz Wagner, C, Orlando Magic (27% rostered)

  • Jordan Hawkins, SG, New Orleans Pelicans (6% rostered)

Rotation notes:

Spurs SG/SF Devin Vassell (groin) is day-to-day

The play: Malakhi Branham started in his place Sunday, but Tre Jones is likely the biggest winner here as he played 32 minutes (compared to 26 for Branham) and was in the closing lineup in the fourth quarter and overtime.

Pelicans PG/SG CJ McCollum (collapsed lung) is out indefinitely

The play: The last time McCollum suffered a collapsed lung, he was sidelined for three weeks. While he and the team doctors figure out what's next, Dyson Daniels and Jordan Hawkins are worth looking at in deeper leagues. In shallow leagues, look for Herb Jones, as he's surprisingly available in 39% of Yahoo leagues.

Hornets PG/SG Terry Rozier (groin) is day-to-day

The play: Brandon Miller (65% rostered) disappointed in the first start of his career (7 points with minimal stats elsewhere), but there is no immediate add here as the Hornets will play a bigger lineup. Keep an eye out for Miles Bridges (I know), because there are only four games left in his suspension, and there's been no indication the league or Hornets' will keep him out longer than 10 games.

Suns G Devin Booker (calf) and G Bradley Beal (back) day-to-day

The play: Grayson Allen and Eric Gordon are streamable options again in Week 3, while KD remains the big dog in Phoenix.

Track mention: Big Dog (feat. Lil Wayne) - Benny the Butcher

Grizzlies PF/C Xavier Tillman Sr. (knee) missed Sunday's game

The play: The Grizzlies are a mess but earned their first win of the season Sunday. Bismack Biyombo got the start and played well, producing eight points with 11 rebounds, four assists and three blocks. He's not an add yet, but with Tillman's minutes trending down before the injury, it's a situation to continue monitoring.

Favorite games of the week: for fantasy and just ones you want to watch as a fan

Monday: Boston Celtics at Minnesota Timberwolves — 8:00 pm ET

Most will have eyes on James Harden's debut with the Clippers, but with the Knicks struggling out of the gates, I'll be flipping to the Timberwolves and Celtics, which has way more fantasy implications. Between both squads, there are 11 players in the top 80 in fantasy through two weeks. No one's been able to stop the 5-0 Celtics, but it'll be a fun test against the Wolves big frontcourt.

Track mention: Players - Slum Village

Wednesday: Boston Celtics at Philadelphia 76ers — 7:00 pm ET

An early season divisional battle between these two rivals is must-see TV. Make sure you have Joel Embiid in your DFS lineups, as he's topped at least 45 fantasy points in six of his last seven regular-season games against Boston dating back to 2021.

Wednesday: Golden State Warriors at Denver Nuggets — 10:00 pm ET

Could this be a preview of the Western Conference Finals? Steph Curry and Nikola Jokić are leading their respective teams to top 3 records in the Western Conference to start the year. Hopefully, Jamal Murray (hamstring) will be back for this contest, as the Warriors will be at full strength as they look to topple the defending champs on the road.

Thursday: Atlanta Hawks at Orlando Magic — 9:30 pm ET

There are only two games, so beggars can't be choosers, and the TNF game is the Panthers vs the Bears — hard pass. Hawks star Trae Young torched the Magic all last season, putting up an average of 45.8 fantasy points in five games. Paolo Banchero's buy-low window is likely closed after scoring at least 25 points in his previous two contests (coming into Monday), but this Magic team is better than advertised. Don't sleep.

Friday: Los Angeles Clippers at Dallas Mavericks — 8:30 pm ET

The paint is different on the hardwood, so it must be an in-season tournament game! The Clippers don't have any back-to-backs this week, so outside of an actual injury, there's no reason to rest their stars. Friday will be Harden's third game in a Clipper uniform, so we'll have a good idea of Ty Lue's rotations by then. Luka Dončić is playing at an MVP level already, and we'll see if Kyrie Irving can return to form, as he's been battling a foot injury early on.

Track mention: Paint Different (featuring Curren$y) - The Alchemist

Schedule notes:

Thursday, Friday and Saturday are the best days to stream because they have nine games or less on those days.

17 teams that play four games: 76ers, Bucks, Celtics, Clippers, Heat, Lakers, Mavericks, Nets, Pacers, Pelicans, Pistons, Rockets, Spurs, Timberwolves, Thunder, Warriors and Wizards

10 teams play three games: Bulls, Grizzlies, Hawks, Hornets, Jazz, Kings, Knicks, Magic, Nuggets and Suns

Three teams that play two games: Cavaliers, Raptors and Trail Blazers

Notable back-to-backs:

  • Wednesday-Thursday: Bucks and Pacers

  • Friday-Saturday: Celtics

  • Saturday-Sunday: Heat and Warriors

  • Sunday-Monday (next week): Bulls, Knicks and Wizards

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