Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 4 (2019)
We are through approximately 15% of the fantasy regular season. Things have begun to normalize, as those playing over their heads have returned to reality while the seasoned vets who started slowly have begun to get back into the groove. In addition, waivers wires have been picked clean, as those low owned, early-season gems are no more. Injuries continue to play an important role, as usage and opportunites are up for grabs while the healthy return of others has relegated a few back to the dungeon. That doesn’t mean opportunites have ceased to exist. Here are some players who may be of help to your fantasy squad.
Ownership percentages are from the Yahoo database and only those players owned in fewer than 50% of leagues will be highlighted.
Jae Crowder (SF/PF – MEM) – 30% owned
Crowder is a 3-and-D player, who will chip in some rebounds and assists. The usage rate is low (14.8) and the field goal percentage is horrendous (38%), but he’s averaging 30.2 minutes per game and plays on a team that is sixth in offensive pace.
Nerlens Noel (PF/C – OKC) – 25% owned
I still cringe when I think about Noel declining a four-year, $70 million contract from the Dallas Mavericks back in 2017. Since that time, he’s made a total $7.9 million. When keeping it real goes wrong. Anyways, Noel is an athletic big who provides excellent field goal percentage, rebounds, and blocks. He’s only averaging 17.3 minutes on the season, but Steven Adams is dealing with a knee issue and there’s a chance Adams could get dealt at some time. The worst-case scenario is that Noel plays 18-20 minutes per game. The best case is that he starts and gets fed by Chris Paul and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
Robert Williams (PF/C – BOS) – 21% owned
Time Lord bends the fabrics of the universe to block shots, steal passes, and throw down vicious alley-oops! Too bad Williams received the nickname of Time Lord because he was always late early in his career. Regardless, like Noel, he’s an athletic big who rebounds and accumulates defensive stats. Unlike Noel, though, the ceiling is capped because of Daniel Theis and Enes Kanter on the roster. Brad Stevens has been talking him up later, but there’s no way he gets 30 minutes of run a game unless injury strikes to both Theis and Kanter. With that said, if you are hurting for blocks, Williams could be your man.
Ivica Zubac (C – LAC) – 36% owned
Zubac has double-double (points and rebounds) potential on any given night. He is skilled on offense and provides excellent percentages from both the field and free-throw line. In addition, while he’s no Mutombo, Zubac will block his fair number of shots. Now for the bad. He has never played more than 20 minutes in a game, and will likely never, as Montrezl Harrell soaks up most of the center minutes.
Maxi Kleber (PF/C – DAL) – 34% owned
I’m not sure why Kleber is owned in fewer than 50% of leagues. He averages over 27 minutes per game and is one of the rare big men who rebounds, blocks, drains three-pointers, and shoots well from the free-throw line.
Dillon Brooks (SG/SF – MEM) – 25% owned
I have a feeling that I will be writing up Brooks every week. There’s always a place for 3-and-D players in our lives and Brooks is one of the better options. As mentioned in the Crowder blurb, MEM is sixth in offensive pace, so more possessions equals more opportunites which leads to potential fantasy goodies. Brooks is averaging over 27 minutes per game but has a ceiling of 38 minutes. The shooting is erratic, which contributes to the low field goal percentage of 40%, but he has a 30-point ceiling when he’s cooking.
Norman Powell (SG/SF – TOR) – 20% owned
With Kyle Lowry out for at least a few weeks, Powell has slotted into the starting lineup and should play over 30 minutes per game. He will provide points, three-pointers, rebounds, and some assists. He will never win a week for you but should fall into some counting stats with all the time he’s on the court.
Kevin Huerter (SG – ATL) – 48% owned
Huerter has been brought along slowly to start the season, but he’s played 31 and 30 minutes the past two games, and the workload should continue to grow. Huerter won’t provide much in the defensive categories but will contribute points, three-pointers, and some assists.
Kenrich Williams (SF/PF – NO) – 5% owned
Zion Williamson is out and Brandon Ingram is dealing with a sore knee. In two starts this season, Williams is averaging 33.2 minutes, 2.5 three-pointers, 8 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1 steal. He’s a low usage player, so points aren’t his calling card. He’s more of a hustle and bustle kind of player. With the Pelicans playing at the second-fastest pace in the league, it’s the perfect environment for Williams to thrive.
Chris Boucher (PF/C – TOR) -28% owned
Boucher was the Anthony Davis of the G-League last season, so he has skills. He’s a big, albeit a skinny one, who can shoot from beyond the arc, rebound, and block shots. He’s played 22 and 24 minutes the past two games due to the ankle injury for Serge Ibaka. Man, Masai is a genius and has a future core of Siakam, Anunoby, and Boucher. Scary. Anyways, when Ibaka returns, Boucher will be relegated to the bench, but who knows how these things play out.
Sterling Brown (SG/SF – MIL) – 3% owned
Brown has done nothing for you this season, as he’s been buried deep on the depth chart. Khris Middleton is now expected to miss 3-4 weeks due to a thigh injury, which could potentially open up minutes for Brown. Donte DiVincenzo could also be in the mix as well. Brown isn’t a great shooter but put in a lot of work to rework his shot over the summer. His physicality on defense could give him the edge to replace Middleton. If he can prove that the shot is competent, he could be a viable option for a few weeks, providing three-pointers, rebounds, and some steals.