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Fantasy Basketball Category Analysis & Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 5 (2023)

Fantasy Basketball Category Analysis & Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 5 (2023)

Before we get down to business, I would like to thank you, the readers, and members of our FantasyPros community. Your choice to read and engage with this article as a part of your fantasy basketball strategy means a lot. In a world packed with tons of options to satisfy your fantasy needs, including this article as part of your means to address those needs is humbling and immensely appreciated. Now, let’s get into it!

This is your weekly dose of fantasy-basketball possibilities, as we explore and identify players who can help take your team to the next level in your quest for the championship crown of your league. It’s a long season, so it’s beneficial to maintain an “it’s a marathon, not a sprint” mindset as you strategize and tailor your approach, whether weekly or season-long, to maximize your team’s value and potential.

Each week, we will look at widely available players rostered in fewer than 65% of fantasy leagues on Yahoo. We will focus on building strategies in eight-category leagues with standard scoring (more details outlined below).

Insights about the highlighted players will concentrate on how they can contribute to the aligned category but also touch on how they can contribute to various other categories.

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Fantasy Basketball Category Analysis & Waiver Wire Pickups

(The statistics and data used in the writing of this article were sourced from nba.com)

Fantasy Format

Scoring Type: Head-to-Head (Most Categories)
Player Stat Categories:

  • Points Scored (PTS)
  • Total Rebounds (REB)
  • Assists (AST)
  • Steals (ST)
  • Block Shots (BLK)
  • 3-Point Shots Made (3PTM)
  • Field Goal Percentage (FG%)
  • Free Throw Percentage (FT%)

Roster Positions:

  • Point Guard (PG)
  • Shooting Guard (SG)
  • Guard (G)
  • Small Forward (SF)
  • Power Forward (PF)
  • Center (C) x 2
  • Utility (UTIL) x 2
  • Bench (BN) x 2
  • Injured List (IL) x 3

Points

Eric Gordon (SG,SF – PHO): 47% Rostered

Gordon is averaging 14.3 points per game, which is good for 92nd in the league. Although he may be an obvious play here, his 47.0% roster rate doesn’t entirely concur with that statement. He isn’t who he used to be, but he still has enough in the tank to make a meaningful impact in your lineup. In fact, Gordon is posting higher production in every performance category this year compared to last season’s averages.

He’s carved out a significant, complementary role in Phoenix alongside stars like Devin Booker, Kevin Durant, and Bradley Beal. Gordon isn’t shy about getting up his shots and is aggressive in his playmaking ability, which could be very encouraging for his production in the long run. Although he may not be as much of a “sexy” play as you may want, Gordon could be a reliable asset for boosting key offensive categories.

OFFENSIVE PROFILE
CATEGORY STAT RANK
Field-Goals Attempted 12.1 T-85th
Field-Goals Made 5.5 T-92nd
Field-Goal Percentage 45.3% 243rd
Three-Pointer Attempted 7.0 T-29th
Three-Pointers Made 2.7 T-30th
Three-Pointer Percentage 38.1% T-134th

He boasts the team’s second-highest offensive rating at 120.7, a true shooting percentage of 57.4%, a plus-minus of 3.2, and a usage rate of 19.1%. Gordon is averaging 31.2 minutes, 2.1 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.1 steals, and 0.5 blocks per game while shooting 45.3% from the floor and 38.1% from beyond the arc. The Suns have three games starting the week of Monday, November 27th, 2023:

DATE OPP OPP PTS RANK
Wed: Nov. 29 @TOR 112.9 14th
Fri: Dec. 1 DEN 108.6 7th
Sat: Dec. 2 MEM 113.7 17th

Rebounds

Isaiah Stewart (PF,C – DET): 63% Rostered

This selection was challenging to come up with, as both Stewart and his teammate Marvin Bagley could be viable options for bolstering your rebounds and offensive production. So, I will leave this up to you.

Stewart has solidified his spot in the starting rotation and has produced solid value through points and rebounds. He is averaging 7.4 rebounds per game, good for 48th in the league, while also demonstrating his offensive prowess, averaging 11.8 points.

Stewart is the safer bet and would offer a higher floor of production night-in and night-out between the two. However, although he has job security, his upside has seemed to level off, and even though that may not be such a bad thing in category play, it could get a tad boring should he not be able to increase his production, hence Bagley.

REBOUND PROFILE
Rebound Percentage 11.2%
Offensive Rebound Percentage 6.0%
Defensive Rebound Percentage 16.5%

Marvin Bagley III (PF,C – DET): 15% Rostered

Bagley has yet to obtain that long-term role with secure minutes; however, his understated upside could be game-changing when he is given the consistent opportunity to play meaningful minutes. Yes, an “if” could be a detrimental thing to base your investment on, but it could also lead to new possibilities for your team’s value production should things change and circumstances dictate that those things go Bagley’s way.

To put it nicely, the Pistons are struggling right now and could “bite” at the chance of doing something new while adapting a hot-hand approach. If that “something new” and”hot hand just” so happened to include Bagley, it could be a nice day for that manager who took a chance.

Now, all of this is speculative at best; however, should none of that happen, and you end up rostering Bagley, his 5.2 rebound rate, good for 102nd in the league, and 10.9 points per game could, at the very least, still be a benefit to your roster core, although to a lesser degree. So, which one will you choose?

REBOUND PROFILE
Rebound Percentage 13.9%
Offensive Rebound Percentage 10.0%
Defensive Rebound Percentage 18.0%

The Pistons have four games starting the week of Monday, November 27th, 2023:

DATE OPP OPP REB RANK
Mon: Nov. 27 WSH 50.8 30th
Wed: Nov. 29 LAL 45.0 21nd
Thur: Nov. 30 @NYK 39.9 2nd
Sat: Dec. 2 CLE 43.9 15th

CTAs

ASSISTS

Coby White (PG,SG – CHI): 54% Rostered

White is enjoying his renewed role in Chicago and is performing well, all things considered. He is outpacing his production from last season across all major performance categories and is on pace to outperform his 2020-2021 sophomore campaign. White is averaging 4.1 assists per game, which is good for second highest on the team and 70th in the league. While not a high-volume playmaking facilitator, he can provide multi-categorical value through points, steals, and three-pointers.

White’s recent surge in production could make him an intriguing acquisition and could signal that he is poised to have a breakout month or two this season while possibly demonstrating a level of upside we have yet to experience in his career. White could be leveraged as a viable pragmatic streaming option or long-term strategic roster asset, depending on your weekly or season-long approach. White has an offensive rating of 111.6, a plus-minus of -2.7, and a usage rate of 19.4%.

ASSISTS PROFILE
Assist Percentage 18.1%
Assist Ratio 22.5
Assist Turnover Ratio 2.09

He is averaging 32.0 minutes, 12.9 points, 2.8 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 1.0 steals, and 0.2 blocks per game while shooting 40.3% from the floor and 35.6% from beyond the arc. The Bulls have three games starting the week of Monday, November 27th, 2023:

DATE OPP OPP AST RANK
Tues: Nov. 28 @BOS 24.1 3rd
Thur: Nov. 30 MIL 26.3 18th
Sat: Nov. 2 NOP 27.1 22nd

Steals

Dyson Daniels (PG,SG – NOR): 37% Rostered

Even though CJ McCollum is out, the Pelicans have more mouths to feed in the backcourt than teams who are 100% healthy. I mean, you have Jordan Hawkins, Jose Alvarado, and Dyson Daniels all vying for an opportunity with little production to separate one from the other. It could be risky trying to identify who may eventually see the bulk of the run; however, the coaches have found confidence in Daniels as the starter. His fantasy point production might appear moderate, but his overall contribution in rebounds, assists, and, notably steals is valuable.

With an average of 1.4 steals per game, tied for 31st in the league, Daniels shows impressive athleticism to build upon that mark. He could be worth acquiring for managers looking to dominate in niche categories. He has a defensive rating of 110.3, a usage rate of 14.1%, and a plus-minus of -0.5. He is averaging 27.6 minutes, 8.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 0.3 blocks per game, shooting 44.5% from the floor and 29.8% from beyond the arc. The Pelicans have four games starting the week of Monday, November 27th, 2023.

DATE OPP OPP STL RANK
Mon: Nov. 27 @UTA 8.9 27th
Wed: Nov. 29 PHI 7.1 9th
Fri: Dec. 1 SAS 9.4 30th
Sat: Dec. 2 @CHI 6.2 2nd

Blocks

Tari Eason (PF,SF – HOU): 23% Rostered

Eason is a viable option to bolster your block production. He is averaging 1.0 blocks per game, tied for 34th in the league, and has demonstrated his ability to produce value through rebounds and steals, averaging a respectable 5.7 and 0.6 per game, respectively. Eason’s efficiency stats aren’t too shabby either, as he is shooting 46.5% from the floor and 42.9% from beyond the arc.

Eason has a limited role coming off the bench, which could lead to modest gains; however, his talent and raw production could show some elevated promise should he find a way to develop within his role as the season continues.

Eason is a pure streaming play at this point in the season, most suitable for those managers selecting to go all-in on a select few categories. He has a usage rate of 16.8% and a plus-minus of 5.9. Eason is averaging 6.6 points and 1.0 assists per game. The Rockets have three games starting the week of Monday, November 27th, 2023.

DATE OPP OPP BLK RANK
Tues: Nov. 28 @DAL 3.5 1st
Wed: Nov. 29 @DEN 4.3 8th
Sat: Dec. 2 @LAL 4.2 7th

Three-Pointers

Isaiah Joe (PG,SG,SF – OKC): 17% Rostered

Joe is making enough “waves” to make a “Splash” brother proud. More importantly, he’s making an opportunity for himself to become a viable and key offensive option as part of this talented Thunder team. Although he isn’t going to produce significant value across major performance categories, he sure can deliver ample multi-categorical value through his shooting and shooting efficiency.

Joe is averaging 2.9 three-pointers made per game, which is good for 21st in the league and is shooting an incredible 51.8% from beyond the arc. He is also putting up solid numbers from the floor, going for 10.9 points a game while shooting 48.6%.

SHOOTER PROFILE
CATEGORY STAT RANK
Three-Pointers Attempted 5.7 T-64th
Three-Pointers Made 2.9 21st
Three-Pointer Percentage 51.8% 22nd

Joe is sitting at 20.2 minutes per game and has a usage rate of 17.0%. Although these numbers are respectable, especially on a team with the likes of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Chet Holmgren, and Josh Giddey, it could be interesting to see what he could do with a little more time on the hardwood.

In any case, whether you are looking to build some more nuanced value into your lineup or looking for a way to bolster your offensive strengths, Joe could be an option that pays off now and later down the line should he continue to demonstrate development in his role. He has an offensive rating of 119.2, a usage rate of 17.0%, a true shooting percentage of 70.8%, and a plus-minus of 7.4.

Joe is averaging 2.1 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 0.8 steals, and 0.2 blocks per game. The Thunder have three games starting the week of Monday, November 27th, 2023:

DATE OPP OPP 3PM RANK
Tues: Nov. 28 @MIN 11.7 8th
Thurs: Nov. 30 LAL 13.8 24th
Sat: Dec. 2 @DAL 12.9 T-17th

Field-Goal Percentage

Alex Caruso (PG,SG – CHI): 50% Rostered

Caruso is a solid multi-categorical contributor who can enhance the production of your lineup across all categories. He is a conservative, efficient, and effective value producer who can deliver solid raw production that can translate well into your category columns. Caruso is averaging a career-high 9.8 points per game and shooting a solid 56.7% from the floor, tied for 60th in the league.

SHOOTER PROFILE
CATEGORY STAT RANK
Field-Goals Attempted 6.0 T-219
Field-Goals Made 3.4 T-182nd
Field-Goal Percentage 56.7% 60th

In terms of his versatility, he is averaging 1.4 steals and 0.9 blocks per game, in addition to worthwhile marks in rebounds and assists. If you are looking for a streaming asset with an understated yet impactful upside, Caruso could be your guy. He has an offensive rating of 107.3, a true shooting percentage of 72.1%, a usage rate of 14.1%, and a plus-minus of -1.5. Caruso is averaging 3.6 rebounds and 2.2 assists while shooting 48.0% from beyond the arc. The Bulls have three games starting the week of Monday, November 27th, 2023.

DATE OPP OPP FG% RANK
Tues: Nov. 28 @BOS 44.1% 4th
Thur: Nov. 30 MIL 47.3% 20th
Sat: Nov. 2 NOP 46.1% 10th

Free-Throw Percentage

Naji Marshall (PF,SF,SG – NOR): 7% Rostered

Marshall is an intriguing play, as he profiles as a viable multi-categorical contributor with promising upside but uninspiring opportunities to explore what that upside may look like. Although he can get it done from the free-throw line, Marshall is proving to be an effective and efficient offensive asset this season. He is averaging 85.7% from the free-throw line, tied for 113th in the league, while also shooting a healthy 57.9% from the floor and 52.6% from beyond the arc for 11.0 points per game.

Marshall is averaging only 20.6 minutes per game, and while that is okay, it does put a damper on how confident we can be when deploying him to leverage the utility of his value. If you want to bolster your free-throw percentage while maximizing your lineup’s production potential, Marshall could be a strong streaming option in your rotation.

Marshall has a 115.5 offensive rating, a true shooting percentage of 74.7%, a usage rate of 17.6%, and a plus-minus of 3.1. He is also averaging 4.2 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 0.8 steals, and 0.5 blocks per game. The Pelicans have four games starting the week of Monday, November 27th, 2023:

DATE OPP OPP FT% RANK
Mon: Nov. 27 @UTA 78.8% 18th
Wed: Nov. 29 PHI 77.2% 13th
Fri: Dec. 1 SAS 76.6% 8th
Sat: Dec. 2 @CHI 77.9% 15th

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