Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 2 (2019)
You spent all summer doing research, crunching numbers and strategizing. Then the agonizing wait for the season to begin took hold and made you an emotional prisoner. But alas! Opening Night came and went last week, and what a glorious time it was. Basketball was back. Unfortunately, new emotions surfaced, as the first week of the fantasy basketball season induced panic and itchy-trigger finger syndrome.
This is a somewhat tricky time of the season, as the sample size is so small. There are slow starts from grizzled vets and torrid beginnings from no-name upstarts. More often than not, having someone handcuff our hands behind our back is the most prudent course of action. Yet, that could cause us to miss that potential league winner. It is at this stage of the season when the market is most inefficient, due to the lack of data and information. It is during these times, though, when the greatest profit can be reaped. Hopefully, I can help navigate you through the minefield successfully.
Every Wednesday, I will present this waiver wire piece. The Yahoo player list and ownership percentages will be utilized. I will only highlight those players who are owned in less than 50% of leagues.
Dennis Schroder (PG – OKC): 38% owned
We know that Dennis can be a menace to fantasy owners due to his inconsistent play. In the first two games of the season, Schroder scored three and nine points on 12.5% and 28.6% shooting respectively. The past two games, he’s scored 22 points in each games and shot over 60% in each contest. So there’s a puke-inducing risk. With that said, he rebounds well for a guard and provides assists, which is scarce. More importantly, he’s played 31, 25, 25, and 34 minutes. His playing time is secure and the Thunder have actually utilized three-guard lineups at times this season. Wait! But that’s not all. Chris Paul will likely get traded at some point this season. When that happens, his floor will be elevated and more opportunities could be presented for Schroder.
Wesley Matthews (SG/SF – MIL): 14% owned
Matthews has scored 14 points in all three games this season. He’s strictly a 3-and-D player but a good one. He’s attempted at least six three-pointers and converted at least two in every game while providing a steal in each contest. The minutes are secure, as he’s played 28, 30, and 30. With Giannis the focal point of the Bucks offense, Matthews is going to get plenty of open looks.
Luke Kennard (SG – DET): 38% owned
Kennard seems to have overtaken Bruce Brown on the depth chart at shooting guard for the Pistons. Even if that doesn’t stick, it doesn’t matter much because he’s getting the minutes and shot attempts regardless. He’s received 31, 32, 31, and 28 minutes in each game this season and attempted over 10 shots in each one. Kennard has scored 30, 13, 16, and 14 points to begin this season. You won’t get much of anything in the defensive categories, but he will provide a few rebounds and assists per game.
Davis Bertans (PF/C – WAS)
If you need a big man who will provide some three-pointers, then Bertans is your man. The shooting efficiency is inconsistent, but the volume is there, as he’s attempted five, nine, and six three-pointers in each game this season. The playing has been secure as well. Unfortunately, he won’t provide much of anything else.
Rodney Hood (SG/SF – POR): 18% owned
I always joke that it’s dangerous venturing into the Hood. Well….it’s true, as Hood is an inconsistent player. He will provide points, but one night it may be five while another night he’ll drop 20. That’s just the nature of the beast. He will provide some steals and blocks, though, so that’s nice, but assists? Forget about it. Now, he’s played 31, 30, 32, and 34 minutes to begin the season, so the playing time is secure. With the injury to Zach Collins, he may get a slight bump up, as Hood can be utilized at power forward if the Blazers choose to go small.
Jevon Carter (PG – PHO): 2% owned
He’s the backup to Ricky Rubio, so the upside is limited, but he played 27 minutes in a game that Rubio started and played 28 minutes. Carter can provide three-pointers, assists, and steals. He’s a great option when Rubio is out, but he may be a fringe asset in deeper leagues. Definitely someone to monitor to see how the playing time and usage transpire.
Isaiah Thomas (PG – WAS): 40% owned
Do you need points, three-pointers, and assists for cheap? Call the IT guy! I do holiday parties, bar mitzvahs, and weddings. Please inquire for more information. IT is a professional getter of buckets. Always was and will be, health permitting. Due to the injury history and concerns, IT will likely be capped around 20 minutes per game, so access to ceiling games will be few and far between. With that said, he can do a ton of damage in 20 minutes, especially on a terrible Wizards team.
Frank Kaminsky (PF/C – PHO): 45% owned
Since Deandre Ayton was suspended, Kaminsky has played 33, 29, and 32 minutes. He’s attempted 11 or more shots, grabbed at least eight rebounds, and scored in double figures in every game. Oh, I forgot about the three-pointers. The Tank makes it rain from downtown. Now, you won’t get defensive stats and the assists will be minimal, but he’s going to get playing time and will provide points, rebounds, and three-pointers.
Bryn Forbes (PG/SG – SA): 21% owned
Forbes is money. I do take donations, so inquire for my PayPal or Venmo information. Forbes is a 3-and-nothing-else player, but he’s scored double-digits in each game and has played 33, 32, and 29 minutes. He’s attempted at least 11 shots and six three-pointers in every game. Now, there is risk that Derrick White starts to get more run alongside Dejounte Murray, but I do think Forbes is safe in his role.
Nemanja Bjelica (PF – SAC): 8% owned
Bjelica received the start for the injured Marvin Bagley III and played 35 minutes. He produced 12 points, six rebounds, three assists, three blocks, one steal, and four three-pointers. He’s a multi-cat producer but is inconsistent. Bagley is out for four to six weeks, so Bjelica should receive plenty of opportunities.
Aron Baynes (C – PHO): 24% owned
Baynes has been the starting center for Deandre Ayton. He’s fouled out in two of the three games, which limited his minutes played, but Baynes still scored double-digits and grabbed a healthy amount of boards. He’s also a good passer and possesses the ability to shoot from beyond the arc. There’s limited upside, but Baynes should deliver solid production until Ayton returns.
Richaun Holmes (PF/C – SAC) 21% owned
Holmes played 30 minutes and scored 24 points with 13 rebounds and 2 blocks in the last game against Denver. There’s a chance he starts over Dewayne Dedmon. There’s also a chance he goes back to playing 15 minutes per game. We have no idea what Luke Walton is going to do, but if you’re feeling saucy and want to gamble, Holmes makes for an exciting bet.