Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 3 (2021)
It’s Sunday, and you know what that means.
It’s time to get ready for another week of fantasy hoops. We are already heading into Week 4, as this season has flown right out of the gate.
Each week, we’ll look at players you should consider picking up who are rostered in four different tiers:
What’s more, we’ll break down how many games each team has in the upcoming week so you can maximize the minutes of your streamers.
Without further delay, let’s get to it, starting with the schedule and offensive pace ratings, thanks to our friends at Razzball.
ATL, BKN, CHA, CHI, DEN, GSW, LAC, LAL, MEM, MIA, MIL, NOP, PHI, PHX, POR,
BOS, CLE, DAL, DET, HOU, IND, NYK, OKC, SAC, SAS, UTA
Rostered in 50-60% of leagues:
Nerlens Noel (PF/C – NYK): 60%
Noel made his season debut Wednesday for the Knicks. While he’s on the second unit, Noel only needs 20-25 minutes per night to make a fantasy impact as a per-possession contributor. He’ll help you in blocks and rebounds and become a must-start option if Mitchell Robinson gets hurt again.
Dillon Brooks (SG/SF – MEM): 54%
Brooks is close to making his season debut for the Grizzlies, who could use a scoring jolt. His return likely moves De’Anthony Melton to the bench, and Memphis will look at Brooks as the second or third offensive option. He’s a good addition for anyone seeking help in points and three-pointers.
Rostered in 30-49% of leagues:
Nic Batum (SF/PF – LAC): 44%
As good as Paul George has been for the Clippers, they need bodies and contributors around him. Enter Batum, who is riding last year’s pace in surprising fashion. Boring players win fantasy titles, and Batum can offer across-the-board production as a top-100 player.
T.J. Warren (SF/PF – IND): 36%
While we don’t have a concrete timetable on when Warren will make his season debut, the Pacers hope he’s weeks rather than months away. Warren’s fantasy-changing potential makes him worth grabbing and stashing if you have extra injured spots. He can easily provide top-55 production once he gets up to full speed.
Malik Beasley (PG/SG – MIN: 33%
Beasley attempted four three-pointers in his first four games of the season. He seems to have found his stroke in his past four games, as he’s hit 19 shots from behind the arc in his past four games. Highly coveted heading into 2020 drafts, we’ve seen Beasley perform as a capable fantasy option. Expect his rostered rate to trend up as his play does the same.
Devin Vassell (SG – SAS): 30%
A highly touted three-and-D guy out of college, Vassell is finding his scoring stroke for Gregg Popovich. He’s playing 26.0 minutes per night and scored a career-high 21 points Wednesday against the Mavericks. Vassell is currently a top-90 player who seems to have earned Pop’s trust.
Rostered in 15-29% of leagues:
Shake Milton (PG/SG – PHI): 25%
Not every waiver wire option has to be a long-term solution. Sometimes, you just need to stream players who have an opportunity. That’s where we are at with Milton right now for the Sixers, who aren’t getting enough credit for their play despite being so short-handed this season. Milton is averaging 14.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 5.5 assists in his last two games. The Sixers have four games this week, so you should grab him in 12-team leagues.
Khem Birch (PF/C – TOR): 22%
The Raptors have turned to Birch as their big late in games, pushing Precious Achiuwa to the bench. He’s fine for deeper leagues if you want some field-goal percentage help.
Rostered in 0-14% of leagues:
Grant Williams (SF/PF – BOS): 4%
Williams has been really good for Boston this year, but he’s delivered more of a real-life impact than fantasy impact. Still, he’s the 170th ranked player on the season, and that’s despite averaging nine minutes per game over his last four games. I’m not hurrying to grab him, but he’s on my watch list.
Frank Kaminsky (C – PHO): 5%
At least once per year, we reach Frank Kaminsky season. Are we already there in Week 4? Maybe. It all depends on Deandre Ayton’s knee. Fill-in JaVale McGee can’t play more than 17-18 minutes per night, which would free up Kaminsky as a nice pickup if Ayton were to miss more time. Phoenix has four games this week, so he’s worth grabbing in deeper leagues as a speculative add.