Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 8 (2021)
This weekly column will highlight players rostered in fewer than 50% of Yahoo leagues who may assist you in ascertaining fantasy glory.
16 teams play four games this week while the rest play three games. 12 teams play a back-to-back. For a look at the schedule grid with offensive pace ratings, click HERE.
Justin Holiday (SG/SF – IND): 47% rostered
Since T. J. Warren went down with a foot injury, Holiday has started 14 games and put up top 90 production on a per-game basis. Over the last four games, though, he’s been a top 35 player, as he’s averaged 32.6 minutes, 13.3 points, 3.3 three-pointers, five rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.8 steals, and 0.8 blocks while shooting 47% from the field and 85% from the line. The shooting efficiency has been an eye-opener as he shot 42%, 38%, and 37% in the last three seasons. Some regression could be in order but, as of now, ride the hand. He’s also playing a ton of minutes, which is half the battle.
Juan Toscano-Anderson (SF/PF – GS): 10% rostered
Kevon Looney is out two weeks with an ankle injury, while James Wiseman will miss the next two games due to a wrist injury. Therefore, Toscano-Anderson should make his third and fourth consecutive starts. He did start two games early in the season but only played 19 and 24 minutes in those contests. Over the last three games when he’s filled in due to injuries, Toscano-Anderson has averaged 33.4 minutes, 10.7 points, 1.7 three-pointers, 6.7 rebounds, 2.7 assists, one steal, and one block while shooting 72% from the field. He’s been a top 50 player! He’s not going to shoot over 50% from the field every game, but he’s going to play a ton of minutes and contribute across the board. Just realize that when Wiseman returns, Toscano-Anderson will likely return to being a pumpkin.
Derrick Favors (PF/C – UTA): 12% rostered
Favors has played over 20 minutes in a game just three times this season. He’s scored in double figures just twice. Over the past four games, though, he’s been a top 60 player. Why? He’s averaging 6.3 rebounds, 1.3 steals, and 1.5 blocks while shooting 56% from the field and 91% from the line on three attempts per game. He’s a career 66% shooter from the line, so don’t expect that efficiency to continue, but if you need rebounds and defensive stats, do yourself a Favors.
Kelly Olynyk (PF/C – MIA): 29% rostered
Olynyk is frustrating to roster because of the inconsistency. While he’s started 15 of the last 16 games, he has a high of 45 minutes played with a low of 18. He’s scored in double figures 10 times while contributing five or fewer points in five games. With that said, he provides three-pointers from the big man position, grabs rebounds, and can dish out some assists. He even chips in some defensive stats from time to time. The floor is low, but if you like to live dangerously, Olynyk can access ceiling games. He has highs of 19 points, five three-pointers, 11 rebounds, eight assists, three steals, and two blocks in a game this year.
Kendrick Nunn (PG/SG – MIA): 30% rostered
Avery Bradley is out for a few weeks, but much of this recommendation has to do with the health of Goran Dragic, who is dealing with an ankle injury. When the Heat are healthy, Nunn rarely sees the floor. When he plays, though, he plays a ton of minutes, often in the mid-30s. Over the last nine games that he’s actually played, Nunn has averaged 33.9 minutes, 17.3 points, 2.1 three-pointers, 4.7 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 1.3 steals while shooting 50% from the field and 78% from the line. He averages a usage rate of around 22, but that can spike up closer to 30 when guys are missing.
Royce O’Neale (SF/PF – UTA): 39% rostered
The vanilla ice cream of fantasy, O’Neale doesn’t look or taste particularly special, but it’s still ice cream! He’s posting top 100 value on a per-game basis because he contributes a little something in every category without hurting in any. He also plays over 30 minutes per game. O’Neale is a low-usage player, so don’t expect points, but the total package of 8 points, 1.8 three-pointers, 6.8 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 0.7 steals, and 0.6 blocks while shooting 47% from the field and 81% from the line isn’t bad.