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Fantasy Basketball Category Analysis & Waiver Wire Advice (Week 7)

by Michael Waterloo | @MichaelWaterloo | Featured Writer
Dec 2, 2022
Norman_Powell

Norman Powell has scored double-figures in seven straight games.

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.

Check out the latest fantasy basketball expert consensus rankings >>

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.

Points

Norman Powell (SG/SF – LAC) 55%

I’ve written about Norm Powell a lot this week, and while yes, I would look to trade any Clippers players since they are so deep and it’s hard to count on them on a game-by-game basis, it doesn’t mean that I won’t use them in the right spot for a stretch of time. Right now, Powell is on a burner, scoring double-figures in seven straight games, which includes games with 26, 30, and 32 points, respectively. Will it continue? Not at this level, but I’m going for the ride while he’s hot.

Rebounds

Nick Richards (C – CHA) 18%

Did you know that over the last two weeks, Richards is averaging the 16th-most rebounds in the league at 9.4 per game? It’s crazy, especially since he tops off around 20 minutes per game. The Hornets won’t play Mark Williams at center (yet) so Richards should continue to have a big rotational role for Charlotte.

Assists

Cameron Payne (PG/SG – PHX) 58%

Chris Paul isn’t back yet, and it blows my mind like Eve and Gwen Stefani that Payne isn’t rostered in more than 60 percent of leagues yet. Over the last two weeks, Payne is not only averaging 12.6 points per game, but he’s dropping 7.1 dimes per game.

Steals

Theo Maledon (PG – CHA) 2%

Maybe Maledon doesn’t need to be rostered, as he’s only useful if the Hornets are missing Terry Rozier, Dennis Smith Jr. and LaMelo Ball. It’s a lot to need of course, but when it happens, Maledon seems to be the guy. In his last six games – where he’s averaged 22 minutes per game due to injuries – Maledon has 11 swipes

Blocks

Walker Kessler (PF/C – UTA) 15%

Rudy Gobert. The picks. Jarred Vanderbilt. Jaden McDaniels. There was a ton of chatter around the players and pieces involved (and not involved) in the big Utah and Minnesota pre-season deal. But there wasn’t a lot of talk about Kessler, the rookie out of Auburn. He’s a rim protector, and he’s been a pleasant surprise for the equally surprising Utah Jazz, as he has 13 blocks over the last two weeks. What’s been great is that in three of his last five games, he’s eclipsed the 20-minute mark.

Threes

Joe Harris (SG/SF – BKN) 10%

With Ben Simmons hurt and missing at least the next week or two, Harris or Seth Curry look to be the add for fantasy managers. Both help in three-pointers, but we know that it’s Harris’ specialty. I like Curry overall more for fantasy but for the category specifically, I’ll lean Harris.

Field-goal percentage

Thomas Bryant (C – LAL) 8%

I’ve actually been happy with what we’ve seen so far from Bryant, as the Lakers have needed an offensive-minded center all season. In his last game against Portland, Bryant played 19 minutes and dropped 14 points, and chipped in with six boards. What’s more, it’s looking like he’s making it a point to space out the floor for the Lakers, as he attempted three three-pointers – the most he’s attempted in a game since Feb. 25 when he was in Washington. Despite stretching his game a bit, Bryant has still knocked down 74.2 percent of his shots from the field.

Free-throw percentage

Austin Reaves (SG/SF – LAL) 18%

With this category, we typically highlight a player who doesn’t fit in the other areas but can be a sneaky deep-league pickup. This week, it’s Reaves. Reaves has been playing 32 minutes per game for the Lakers over the past two weeks, and during that stretch, he’s put up top-65 numbers for fantasy. What’s more, his FT% has been phenomenal, as he’s gone 31-for-33 from the charity stripe, good for a 93.9 FT%.

View the best player prop bets for tonight’s slate with our NBA Prop Bet Cheat Sheet >>

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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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