Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 15 (2020)
February 6th, next Thursday, is the NBA trade deadline. Hopefully, the action is hot and heavy because I love it when chips get pushed into the middle of the table. With that said, whether the deals are minor or Woj starts dropping bombs onto NBA Twitter, the usage and playing time landscapes for many teams will likely be altered. As a result, players who were resting on the waiver wire could get resuscitated and be fantasy-viable. Be vigilant on who is getting showcased and who is being rested for fear of injury. This next week of change should be a most interesting one indeed.
Ownership percentages are from the Yahoo database, and only those players owned in less than half of leagues will be highlighted.
Malik Monk (PG/SG – CHA): 10% owned
In the last two games, Monk has played 22 and 34 minutes. Prior to that, he had played 8, 7, and 13 minutes. All I hear is the Price is Right song in my head right now because it’s time for the Showcase Showdown! Monk is a scorer, as evidenced by the 31 and 20 points he has scored over the past two games on 17 and 13 shot attempts. The usage rate has been over 30%! The percentages for Monk are good and he will grab the occasional rebound and assist on a basket here and there, but the defensive stats are lacking. Now, if Monk does get traded, I doubt it would be to a contender. Most likely, he’d end up on a bad team and could be given an opportunity to get a ton of playing time. Even if he doesn’t get traded, the Hornets seem to be dangling the Monk carrot out there, so he may receive the short-term bump in playing time until the trade deadline.
Shabazz Napier (PG/SG – MIN): 28% owned
How is Napier only owned in 28% of Yahoo leagues? Has everyone transitioned to baseball already? Craziness, I tell ya! Over the past four games, Napier has averaged 29.6 minutes, 11.3 points, 1.8 three-pointers, 7.0 rebounds, 7.8 assists, and 1.8 steals. That’s been good for top-45 value! Now, the 68% from the field is going to regress hard, as he is a sub-40% shooter. In addition, the rebound and assist numbers are elevated due to a triple-double he posted. With that said, he is the unquestioned starter at point guard right now for the Timberwolves and is providing more than a healthy amount of assists, some three-pointers, and steals. Expectations to finish as a top-100 player are reasonable, and he should be owned in way more leagues.
Kris Dunn (PG/SG/SF – CHI): 40% owned
I am usually not a Dunn fan, but it’s hard to ignore what he’s been doing recently. Over the past four games, he’s been a top-25 player, averaging 31.7 minutes, 11.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 5.5 assists, and 2.5 steals. He’s a low-usage player (14%), so points won’t be voluminous. In addition, while he will provide some rebounds and assists, his main value comes from the steals. On the season, he’s at 2.0 per game, so it’s for real.
Duncan Robinson (SG/SF/PF – MIA): 40% owned
Need three-pointers? Look no further, as Mr. Robinson has plenty in his neighborhood. Over the last three games, he’s provided 5.0 per game. On the season, he’s at 3.3, good for eighth in all of basketball. The percentages are decent, and he will grab some rebounds, but outside of that, you’re not getting much.
Elfrid Payton (PG – NY): 35% owned
A starter who’s been playing over 32 minutes and provides those hard-to-find assists is owned in only 35% of leagues? Baffling. Anyways, the points will rarely be OMG-worthy, but Payton grabs rebounds, dishes out assists, and contributes in the defensive categories. The percentages aren’t great, as he shoots 41% from the field and 51% from the line. Fine, the free throw shooting is atrocious, but it’s on only 1.2 attempts per game. The 6.2 assists are what Payton is providing on the season, with the potential for more. Over the past three games, he’s dished out 9.7 per game.
Nerlens Noel (PF/C – OKC): 44% owned
There’s upside with Noel if Steven Adams gets traded. Regardless, even if Adams doesn’t get dealt, Noel is still a viable fantasy asset. Despite playing 19 minutes per game on the season, Noel is a top-65 player because of his contributions in rebounds, steals, blocks, and percentages. He’s shooting 67% from the field and 80% from the line on the season.
Matisse Thybulle (SG/SF – PHI): 18% owned
I must have a thing for low-usage players who don’t score. Anyways, Thybulle is your prototypical 3-and-D player. Over the past six games, he’s been starting and averaging 31.3 minutes with 2.7 steals and 1.7 blocks. Now, those stats come with a tax, as the field goal percentage is 38% and the free-throw shooting is 66%, but those defensive stats are elite.