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Fantasy Basketball Category Analysis & Waiver Wire Advice (Week 13)

by Michael Waterloo | @MichaelWaterloo | Featured Writer
Jan 13, 2023
T.J. McConnell

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.

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

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Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire Pickups


Bones Hyland (PG/SG – DEN) 50%

We’ve already talked about the roller coaster ride that comes with rostering a player like Hyland, but over the last two weeks, he’s scored at least double-digits in every single game. In fact, the last game that Hyland hasn’t scored at least 12 points was Dec. 27, 2022. Jamal Murray, while he seems to be OK, did tweak his ankle Thursday night, so we may see a little bit of additional run for Hyland over the next few games as they take it easy with their star guard.


Kevon Looney (C – GSW) 42%

Look, he’s boring. I get it. But year after year, Looney has sneaky fantasy upside since he’s the primary big for the Warriors. He has the 16th-most rebounds over the last two weeks in the league, and that includes pulling down double-digits in five of his last six games. James Wiseman has been unable to usurp him, making Looney a rosterable player since he’s playing in the mid-20s each night.


T.J. McConnell (PG – IND) 33%

With Tyrese Haliburton out for a couple of weeks at least, McConnell is primed to get a big-time run in the Indy backcourt. The veteran has a tendency to put up fantasy-relevant stretches each year, and now is the time for McConnell. He can give you solid production across the board, but assist help is where he’s going to thrive.


Tyus Jones (PG – MEM) 41%

We mentioned Jones in our waiver wire column, and he’s back here for the category analysis, too. Jones has a four-game multiple steals streak going, including a four-swipe performance against the Jazz. Jones is the rare backup guard who warrants rostership given his involvement in the Memphis rotation and impact he makes when he’s on the court.


Walker Kessler (C – UTA) 59%

Despite Kelly Olynyk missing time, Kessler is still somehow rostered in fewer than 60 percent of leagues. Doing his best Rudy Gobert impression, Kessler has been a menace for the opposition at the rim, and he’s one game removed from a six-block performance. He faces the Timberwolves next week – the team that drafted him and traded him – so look for an extra motivated performance going up against Gobert.


Duane Washington Jr. (PG – PHX) 18%

Let’s be clear from the jump: Washington is a short-term streaming option, but he’s a solid option nonetheless. With the number of injuries that the Suns have right now – especially in the backcourt – Washington has been thrust into more playing time. He’s made the most of that, especially behind the arc. He has two games where he’s made five three-pointers in his last three games, and until the Suns get healthy, he’s worth rolling out there.

Field Goal Percentage

Daniel Gafford (C – WAS) 35%

He’s battling through an ankle injury, but Gafford has been cash money from the paint, shooting 74% from the field over the last two weeks. Gafford continues to see a tick-up in minutes, with neither Taj Gibson or Anthony Gill threats to playing time when he’s healthy.

Free-throw percentage

Zach Collins (PF/C – SAS) 20%

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, it’s Collins. With the Spurs not locking Jakob Poeltl up to a long-term deal (which sucks for fantasy managers, by the way), he could be dealt at the deadline. If that happens, expect Collins to be a popular pickup option for those who need a big man. He’s been serviceable in the time he’s received this year sans Poeltl. If I have room on my roster, I’m adding him now.

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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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