NBA Waiver Wired
Hello and welcome to the first edition of Waiver Wired for the 2020-21 season. The waiver wire is always full of talent at the start of the season and last year we got to grips with players like Devonte ’Graham, Richaun Holmes and of course the one they call Christian Wood. To another great season, and follow me on Twitter for NBA news and fantasy advice.
Week 2 games played:
4 games: ATL, BOS, BKN, CHI, DEN, DET, LAC, LAL, MEM, OKC, PHO, POR, UTA, WAS
3 games: CHA, CLE, DAL, GSW, HOU, IND, MIA, MIL, MIN, NOP, NYK, ORL, PHI, SAC, SAS, TOR
Back to back:
Mon-Tue: DEN, DET, OKC
Tue-Wed: BOS, LAC, MIA, MIL
Thu-Fri: CHI, PHO, UTA, WAS
Fri-Sat: ATL, CHA
Next Sun-Mon: BOS, DAL, DET, GSW
Top Waiver Wire Pickups:
* Listed in the order I would prioritize them in 9 category leagues
Keldon Johnson (42% on the roster) - Coach Gregg Popovich isn't known for playing big minutes to young players, and that's the worst-kept secret in all of fantasy basketball. The fact that Keldon missed the entire preseason with an injury and started the first two games speaks volumes. It's not that he didn't deserve it though, after all, he averaged 14.1 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.1 dimes, 1.1 steals and 1.4 triples on 64% of the field inside the bubble.
So far he has started exactly where he left off, averaging 14.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 2.0 steals, 0.5 blocks and 0.5 triples in 30.2 minutes. He only shoots 40% from the field and 20% from the outside of the arc so there is still plenty of room for those numbers to grow due to his rookie shooting splits. “You still have Mustangs in the west? He's one of those guys, ”said coach Pop. "He's wild and very energetic, very aggressive, doesn't take prisoners, pokes his nose in, likes contact. He's a very competitive person." So yeah, pop likes this kid as much as embarrassing reporters on national television.
Alec Burks (34%) - The fact that Alec Burks is number 1 on the offensive is funny and sad at the same time. The Knicks signed a $ 6 million one-year contract and just let him fire and populate his stats so they can flip him over on the deadline for a long-term asset. That's exactly what the Cavaliers did to Jordan Clarkson last season.
Burks is on pace for the highest usage rate of his career (26.4%), receiving 6.0 possessions per game as the primary ball handler in pick and roll. That's one less than LeBron James. Make no mistake, Burks is also the lead PG on this team. He averages 22.0 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.0 dimes, 3.0 triples, 1.0 steals and 1.0 blocks at 48% shooting, which is good for the top 24 score in 9 cats is. What a time to be alive.
Ivica Zubac (32%) - Third place on this list might be a little too rich for some, but finding a great one that can be an anchor in FG% with good blocks and rebounds without being a Titanic on your FT% , is not easy to find. The Clippers have yet to figure out their rotation if Marcus Morris (knee) returns, but Zubac gets 22.2 minutes per game despite being in dire trouble in both games. I think that number is closer to 25 most nights, especially after Ty Lue put it up earlier in the week. "He has shown in the bubble that he is capable of playing those minutes," said Lue. Zubac averages 11.5 points, 3.0 rebounds, 0.5 dimes, 1.0 blocks, and 0.5 steals against two of the toughest teams in the west, so he's just scratching the surface.
Mason Plumlee (35%) - Rumor has it that Piston GM Troy Weaver is unaware that former Piston Christian Wood incidentally 31 points (14 out of 22 FGs, 3 out of 4 FTs), 13 rebounds, three assists and a blocked shot on his Houston debut while locked in his office watching Mason Plumlee and Jahlil Okafor mix tapes. Jokes aside, Plumlee is actually a pretty good fantasy asset when the minutes are there, and that should be the case until the tank picks up later in the season.
Plumlee is on the pace for the top 55 numbers at 9 cats because this is 2020 again. He averages 10.0 points, 8.5 rebounds, 5.5 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.5 Sales, and while he doesn't have any blocks yet, he averages 1.5 blocks per 36 minutes for his career.
Delon Wright (40%) - Many fantasy managers were burned by Delon last season when he played like today's Thabo Sefolosha. But now he's playing big minutes in Detroit for Dwane Casey, who's been a fan of his since his days in Toronto. He was a disappointment at the start of the season but had 19 points with six rebounds, four assists, one block and two triples in 42 minutes on Saturday. Killian Hayes looks like a deer in the spotlight, though the learning curve for rookie PGs is steep, to be fair. Delon is going to get a ton of burns at both watch points and the hope is that he can perform a production similar to what he did during his glory days in Memphis. Good times, good times.
Lonnie Walker (20%) - You could make an argument that Lonnie is high on this list, but we can't ignore the fact that the eventual return of Derrick White (Toes) will complicate things for a number of Spurs . Lonnie isn't as versatile as Keldon, which means he's more likely to lose minutes to make way for White, but for now I'm happy with streaming him and re-evaluating him later. Lonnie's average of 15.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.5 blocks and 2.5 triples. If he plays that well, the hope is that Patty Mills (24 minutes per game) will be the player to give way to White.
Kyle Anderson (19%) - Brandon Clarke was high in the season, but Kyle Anderson left him completely in the dust. Not only does he start, but he also plays a lot more minutes at 32.6 per game. He has a top 55 score out of 9 cats with 13.5 points, 12.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.0 blocks, and 1.5 triples and you must do him the honor of reinventing his game have - he started turning 3 pointers in the bladder and it opened the floor for him and his teammates. The only reason Anderson isn't on this list is that the eventual return of Jaren Jackson Jr. (knee) could torpedo his fantasy value.
Lu There (13%) - I still haven't figured out what a fantasy asset There will be, but it was on my sleeper list due to a combination of workload and defensive edge. But if he starts hitting 3-pointers after shooting just 29% as a rookie, he could have a huge impact on the stats. He turned some heads in the opener with 15 points, five rebounds, two assists, a steal, a block and a triple in 35 minutes, and not only was he a terror on the defensive, but I was encouraged to see him make 12 shot attempts.
De'Andre Hunter (31%) - I wrote Hunter off before the start of the season, so I'll use the "L" here. Despite the Atlanta traffic jam, Hunter still gets 30.6 minutes per game and has improved on both ends of the court. He puts in 13.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.0 blocks (which would be huge if it counts) and 1.5 triples. Things get more complicated when injury-prone Clint Capela (Achilles) returns, but for now, I'd love to have Hunter at the bottom of my fantasy list. To be clear, I still think Cam Reddish (55%) outperforms him this season.
Shake Milton (29%) - The pre-season standout stepped on the gas early and serves as Philly's sixth man. As the favorite of coach Doc Rivers, he has so far received 26.1 minutes per game with 14.5 points, 1.5 groschen, 1.0 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.0 triples. Peripheral stats are missing right now, but I expect they will soon go back to median - his career averages a line of 4.0 assists, 4.0 rebounds, 1.0 steals, 0.5 Blocks and 2.4 triples.
Patrick Williams (29%) - The fact he's already starting is pretty indicative of how tall the cops are on this kid. His debut couldn't have gone much better with 16 points, four rebounds, one assist, one steal and one block with zero turnovers in 33 minutes, but in the following game he looked like a newbie with nine points, two rebounds, one assist, a block and a triple in 22 minutes. The Bulls are 2-0 which means this could be another season focused on player development. A jack of all trades with an excellent steal / block rate, Williams should be a leading newbie to fantasy values if you can be patient through the ups and downs.
George Hill (8%) - The veteran combo guard started alongside Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in the opener, and that should be the case for the foreseeable future. He clears the ground for OKC, can protect the best opposing PG / SG to give SGA a breather and can handle the ball a bit too. His debut couldn't have gone better with 21 points. He went 8-of-9 off the field in 24 minutes with four rebounds, three assists, one steal and four triples. We obviously don't expect anything close by, but it could realistically mean something like a 12/4/4 line with some steal and 3 pointers. He's going to have some underhanded value in OKC, but let's not fool us, Thunder will eventually postpone his expiring contract and add to his stash of draft picks.
These are players who I think are better off only streaming here and there than holding them for the long run.
Aron Baynes (33%) - Chris Boucher has dispelled any doubts about which Toronto center will have the most fantasy value. Baynes can still hang around the top 100 if he gets minutes in his 20s, and so far he's hit 12.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 0.5 dime and 1.0 triple in 23.9 minutes.
Jordan Clarkson (35%) - If you want to keep Clarkson for the long term, I have no problem with that, but I just think that his statistical output, which has lots of dots and triples, is usually pretty easy to find. So far he has taken his swing out of the bubble with averages of 19.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 0.5 groschen and 2.5 triple.
Bismack Biyombo (10%) - It doesn't get more boring, but a decent streamer with Cody Zeller (hand) for a few weeks. Biyombo had five points, nine rebounds, four assists and two blocks in 30 minutes of his first start.
Editor's Note: If you are looking for placements, projections, strategies, and advice on how to dominate your fantasy designs, check out the Rotoworld NBA Draft Guide 2020-21. And while you're at it, save on your way to victory. Use code HOLIDAY20 by January 3rd, 2021 to get a 20% discount on all EDGE + packages. Click here to find out more!
Danuel House (26%) - Usually does the job, was even a value for the 9th round with 9 cats last season. Minimal uptrend if the Rockets get half of their team back this week.
Nicolas Batum (25%) - He no longer hates his life because he's not on the hornets and loses minutes to Caleb and Cody Martin. He averages 8.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 1.5 steals, 0.5 blocks and 1.5 triples in two games, but Marcus Morris (knee) could ruin his swing. It's definitely all over my watchlists, just in case this isn't a coincidence.
Cam Johnson (8%) - One of the most reliable 3-point specialists with 5.5 attempts per game so far. That number will only increase. The rest of his stats are as boring as they come.
Tomas Satoransky (8%) - Coby White looks like the Coby White we saw most of the last season and hits 28.6% of the field. Satoransky can play positions 1-3 and should easily find 25 minutes most nights.
Jarrett Culver (9%) - Culver was one of my biggest mistakes last season but got a total of 180 points this time. He's never had a bad game, including preseason. His growth as a defender is noticeable despite being a frontier elite, but there are some really positive signs of attack too. Averaging 12.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 0.5 steals, and 1.5 triples, he's so far 5-of-7 off the line after hitting 47% as a rookie. With Malik Beasley's impending suspension, Culver should be featured, tagged, and underlined on watch lists.
Josh Jackson (8%) - One of the most improved players in the NBA with a 12.5 / 7 / 1.5 line starting with 1.0 steals, 0.5 blocks and 1.5 triples. Detroit is absolutely talentless, so Jackson could easily become one of their best fantasy players.
Kevin Porter Jr. (18%) - We have no idea when he will actually play, but this is the player the Cavs put up the earliest in the off-season. Has shown a ton of advantages as a goalscorer and playmaker late last season. Great steal rate too.
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