Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 5 (2019)
The Efficient Market Hypothesis posits that stocks always trade at fair value because all the information has been disseminated and analyzed accurately. I am not an advocate of EMH. First, even though most of the information is available, not every investor seeks out or even sees said information. Secondly, every person views the world from different prisms. As a result, a piece of information could mean two totally different things to two investors. Finally, EMH does not factor in human emotion. People do irrational things when emotion is entered into the fray.
For example, when a position is going against them, many people will look to buy or sell more, when the right thing to do is liquidate and reassess the situation. On the flip side, when a position is making money, many investors look for the first chance to sell and lock in money, when that is the optimal time to let things run. These are generalizations of course, but you get the basic gist.
Fantasy basketball is not too different from investing in the stock market. Each owner looks at the puzzle from a unique perspective and values players differently. In addition, all the information is out there. Some put in more work than others while others are able to filter what is most important.
Finally, emotion is prevalent in fantasy sports as well. We all go on tilt, whether it be a player starting slow or playing out of their minds. As a result, there are always edges and inefficiencies that can be mined. Hopefully, this weekly waiver wire piece will assist you in those endeavors.
Ownership percentages are from the Yahoo database and only those players owned in fewer than 50% of leagues will be highlighted.
Danuel House Jr. (SG/SF – HOU) – 46% owned
House missed three games due to a back issue, but is now back and played 34 minutes in the last game. Prior to the injury, House was averaging 31.2 minutes 12.9 points, 2.8 three-pointers, 5.3 rebounds, 0.8 assists, 1.2 steals, and 1.1 blocks. That is lovely across-the-board production. The Rockets play at the second-fastest pace in the league, so there will be plenty of opportunities to accrue fantasy goodies. Also, playing alongside Russell Westbrook and James Harden will produce plenty of open looks. I’m surprised he’s owned in fewer than 50% of Yahoo leagues, but that was probably a byproduct of the injury. I’d expect his ownership to skyrocket if it hasn’t already.
Moritz Wagner (PF – WAS) – 30% owned
I’ve been a fan of Wagner’s since the Lakers drafted him in 2018. He’s a big man who can shoot from beyond the arc, runs the floor well, and can roll or pop-off pick action. Two games ago against Minnesota, Wagner displayed the complete arsenal on his way to a 30-point, 15 rebound game. In 25 minutes! Which brings me to the sad part of this blurb. Wagner is only averaging around 20 minutes per game, and the prospects for more are dim, as Rui Hachimura and Thomas Bryant look to be entrenched at both power forward and center while Davis Bertans is getting a ton of minutes as well.
With that said, injuries do happen (this year has been particularly insane so far), and Wagner is still producing top 75 numbers for fantasy even with the limited playing time. He provides points, three-pointers, rebounds, and a block here and there. The free throw shooting is good at 80%. The 63% shooting from the field is unsustainable, though.
Davis Bertans (PF/C – WAS) – 43% owned
Speaking of Bertans, he’s a top 100 player on the season, primarily due to his contributions in three-pointers. He’s averaging three per game, which is good for 10th in all of basketball. Not bad. The field goal percentage isn’t great though (43%) and there won’t be contributions in much else, but he will grab some rebounds. He grabbed eight in his last game and pulled down 10 against Boston three games ago.
Donte DiVincenzo (SG – MIL) – 7% owned
With Khris Middleton out for 3-4 weeks, DiVincenzo has replaced him in the starting lineup. He’s only averaging 25.6 minutes, as Sterling Brown is also receiving playing time, but DiVincenzo has been a top 50 player in three games as a starter. He’s averaged 11 points, 1.7 three-pointers, 4.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 2 steals. The Bucks play at the fastest pace in the league and with Giannis Antetokounmpo as the centerpiece of the offense, DiVincenzo should get plenty of open looks.
Terrence Ross (SG/SF – ORL) – 43% owned
Ross was hobbled with a knee issue, which likely affected his play early on. He looks healthy now and is performing more to what we expected. The shooting efficiency will never be great, but he’s improved to 43% from the wretched 35% mark he was posting. As a result, he’s been averaging 16 points over the last three games and will provide three-pointers and steals.
Damian Jones (C – ATL) – 3% owned
Need a big man? Jones could be your guy, as he’s started the last four games for the Hawks. He’s only averaged 22 minutes, though, but has been providing excellent field goal percentage, some rebounds, steals, and blocks. His shelf life likely expires when John Collins returns though.