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Fantasy Basketball Category Analysis & Wavier Wire Advice (Week 5)

by Michael Waterloo | @MichaelWaterloo | Featured Writer
Nov 18, 2022
Cameron Payne

Cameron Payne is only playable when Chris Paul is out, but he is dynamic when that happens.

It’s Friday. You know what that means.

We’ll be looking at players who are widely available and rostered in fewer than 60 percent of fantasy leagues on Yahoo. We’ll be focusing on 8-cat leagues because turnovers are a waste of a category, to be honest.

But if you find the turnovers helpful, let me know. I’m happy to include them if enough of you play in 9-cat leagues.

We’ll be looking at players who can help you in each of the eight categories who you can get before your league-mates catch on.

The eight categories we’ll focus on each week are:

  1. Points
  2. Rebounds
  3. Assists
  4. Steals
  5. Blocks
  6. Threes
  7. Field-goal percentage
  8. Free-throw percentage

Let’s get to it.

NBA DFS Lineup Optimizer

Points

Deni Avdija (SF/PF – WAS) 13%
Don’t look now, but Avdija has been in his bag of late. He was a popular fantasy option when he was a rookie because of his advanced game. It’s been a rough road, but perhaps this is the third-year breakout we’ve been waiting for. Avdija has played at least 32 minutes in four straight games, and he’s posting top-50 value over the last week. During that stretch, Avdija is averaging 15.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 2.3 STOCKs. The Wizards have a lot of the same type of player, but Avdija is starting to stand out above the rest.

Rebounds

Kevon Looney (C – GSW) 24%
Looney is super, super boring. We know the reason for the Warriors’ struggles this year has been their bench, as the young guys just aren’t developing as expected. It looks like it might be a Jonathan Kuminga or – not and – James Wiseman situation, which helps Looney continue to hold down his minutes on the court. Looney is averaging 8.2 boards over the last two weeks.

Assists

Cameron Payne (PG/SG – PHO) 48%
Payne is a short-term grab, as he has next to no value when Chris Paul is on the court. But when Paul is out, Payne becomes a super streaming option for fantasy managers. Payne has scored 22 or more points in three of his last four games, including 29 at home over the good(?) Warriors. Moreover, Payne is getting others involved, averaging 5.8 assists per game since Paul has been out of the lineup. Even when Paul returns, we can expect him to sit back-to-backs and likely miss time in the future. When that happens, Payne needs to be scooped up again.

Steals

Terence Davis (SG/SF – SAC) 16%
So, the second game for Davis didn’t go as hoped, as he went from 31 points to five points in just 15 minutes. But he did rack up another steal, so we have that, at least. Davis now has four steals over his last two games, and while there may be some inconsistency between him and the Kings regarding who has the hot hand on a given night, he is still a must-grab for his defensive and scoring contributions.

Blocks

Mo Bamba (C – ORL) 43%
There will be ups and downs with Bamba, but we can see the flashes that he plays enough minutes. He’s hit the 20-minute mark in four of his last five games, and in those games, he’s pulled in double-digit rebounds twice. Wendell Carter doesn’t look like he will miss much time, but even with a healthy WCJ, Bamba can produce.

Threes

Seth Curry (PG/SG – BKN) 36%
It hasn’t been pretty for Curry, as he’s scored nine points in his last two games – including zero in an 0-for-5 performance in his last game. But I’m not giving up yet on Curry. He’s still getting his legs, and even though Kyrie Irving is returning this weekend, there’s enough of a role there with the lack of standout depth they have for Curry to make an impact behind the arc.

Field-goal percentage

Larry Nance (PF/C – NOP) 40%
I wrote about Nance in my trade advice piece this week, where you can find more in-depth reasoning for adding him as he’s taking over – seemingly – for Jonas Valanciunas.

Free-throw percentage

Thomas Bryant (C – LAL) 10%
With this category, we typically highlight a player who doesn’t fit in the other areas but can be a sneak deep-league pickup. This week, Bryant is off the injury report for the first time this season. Anthony Davis has made it clear that while he will play center, he prefers not to. The Lakers are a complete mess, but let’s not forget that Bryant is a talented offensive center that can stretch the court and was a popular sleeper/breakout pick before the 2021 season. He’s worth adding to your watchlist to see how he acclimates over the next week or so.


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Michael Waterloo is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Michael, check out his archive and follow him @MichaelWaterloo.

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