Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 13 (2020)
Week 13. My, how time flies. It seems like just yesterday when we were admiring all the teams that we drafted. At the same time, it’s been a grind to scratch and claw to where we are now. Most of our teams look nothing like the juggernauts we started the season with. What is time? Is it a figment of our imagination? It could be, but before I take us into an esoteric rabbit hole, the fact remains that there are roughly eight more weeks left in the fantasy basketball season, depending on your league settings. With that in mind, every point, rebound, assist, turnover, shot, block, and steal counts. Make sure you maximize the number of games played per week and utilize the waiver wire to your advantage. Below are some players who may help you achieve fantasy glory.
Ownership percentages are from the Yahoo database, and only those players owned in fewer than 50% of leagues will be highlighted.
Norman Powell (SG/SF – TOR) – 46% owned
Powell missed 11 games due to a shoulder injury, but returned this past Sunday and provided 20 points, three rebounds, four assists, and one steal in 31 minutes. With Fred VanVleet out for an extended period of time due to a hamstring injury, Powell should continue receiving plenty of playing time. Nick Nurse has been running his starters into the ground, so mid-to-high 30 minutes of playing time isn’t out of the question. Powell is a capable scorer who will provide plenty of points and three-pointers, but will also provide some rebounds, assists, and steals. The shooting efficiency is fantastic, as he’s converting 49% of his field-goal attempts and 83% of his free throw attempts. The usage rate is around 20 and the turnovers are minuscule at 1.6 per game. When VanVleet returns, Powell will return to a bench role and play around 25 minutes per game. Until then, though, reap all the fantasy goodies Powell should provide.
Darius Garland (PG – CLE) – 44% owned
Over the past four games, Garland has been a top 60 player for fantasy. He’s averaged 36 minutes, 17 points, 2 three-pointers, 2 rebounds, 5.5 assists, and 1.5 steals. The field goal percentage has been 49% while he’s been perfect from the line. The usage rate has been 20.6 and the turnovers have been low at 2.5 per game. The increase in assists is the biggest positive for me, as I had worries that he would be Collin Sexton 2.0, a one-dimensional scorer who just jacks up shots. That’s not the only reason for optimism, though. This is Garland’s rookie year, and he’s already shown improvement. With the Cavaliers likely to trade some of the veterans at the trade deadline, more usage could fall into his hands. Finally, speaking of the trade deadline, the Cavs have said that Garland is untouchable. He’s going to get as many opportunities to produce as he can handle.
Omari Spellman (PG – GS) – 36% owned
Spellman has started the past two games for the Warriors. During that stretch, he has averaged 27.3 minutes, 14.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, 1 block, and 3.5 three-pointers. The free-throw shooting has been 57%, but I wouldn’t worry too much about that number because he’s shooting 78% from the line on the season. That’s been good for top 50 production! Spellman has overtaken Willie Cauley-Stein on the depth chart, so that’s a positive. In addition, his ability to stretch out defenses is invaluable. Now, what happens when Kevon Looney returns and the hot shooting cools off? The starting gig looks like his to lose but there is a chance he returns to a reserve role at some point.
Elfrid Payton (PG – NY) – 28% owned
I’m surprised that Payton is only owned in 28% of leagues. Has everyone thrown in the towel and turned their attention to baseball already? Assists are a valuable commodity, especially from a starter who plays close to 30 minutes per game. Hmmm, strange. Anyways, over the past four games, Payton has been a top 50 player. The points will rarely be voluminous, but he’s been averaging 12.5 over the recent heater. In addition, he’s grabbing five rebounds per game and stealing 2.5 per. The usage rate is over 21 and the turnovers are manageable at 2.3. Now, the percentages are always the issue for Payton. He’s been shooting 48% from the field and hasn’t missed a free throw over the past four games. Those numbers are going to regress. Currently, he’s at 41% from the field and 53% from the line on the season. A realistic expectation going forward is 43% from the field and in the high-60% range from the line. If you can deal with the hit on the percentages, Payton can be a cheap source of assists, steals, and rebounds.
Christian Wood (PF/C – DET) – 31% owned
Wood has been fantastic lately over the past two games. He’s averaged 26 minutes, 17.5 points, 11.5 rebounds, two assists, 1.5 steals, one three-pointer, and three blocks! We have always been enamored with the potential that Wood possesses, and more often than not, he’s delivered when given the opportunity. With that said, there’s a reason why he’s on his fifth team in five years, namely maturity issues. As a result, Dwane Casey is bringing him along slowly. In the most recent game against New Orleans, he barely played in the first half but was inserted into the lineup after Andre Drummond was benched, so there is some risk with Wood and he could go back to playing around 15 minutes per game. The upside scenario, though, is that Drummond gets traded. Then, there’s a good chance that Casey would have no option but to free Wood.
Sekou Doumbouya (SF/PF – DET) – 30% owned
Doumbouya has been the primary beneficiary of the Blake Griffin injury. Over the past four games, he’s averaged 29 minutes, 12.8 points, 1.3 three-pointers, 3.5 rebounds, and one steal. The shooting has been unsustainable at 57%, but he does have a good stroke with range out to behind the arc. He was selected with the 15th overall pick in the draft, and with the Pistons looking like they will be going with their young players to finish the season, Doumbouya should get plenty of opportunities to contribute.