It’s Thursday. You know what that means.
The NBA season is back, baby, and we are already looking ahead to Week 3. Weekly, I will look at the waiver wire for the players you should be targeting for both short and long-term success.
We’ll look at players that you should consider picking up who are rostered in four different rostership tiers:
What’s more, we’ll give you a breakdown of how many games each team has for the upcoming week so that you can maximize the minutes of your streamers.
Without further delay, let’s get to it, starting with the schedule of games being played for next week.
Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire Week 2
BOS, BKN, DAL, DET, GSW, HOU, IND, LAC, LAL, MIA, MIL, MIN, NOP, OKC, PHI, SAS, WAS
ATL, CHA, CHI, DEN, MEM, NYK, ORL, PHX, SAC, UTA
CLE, POR, TOR
Rostered in 50-60% of Leagues
If you missed it, James Harden was officially traded to the Clippers. There’s nothing like being so annoying that you get your way in trade talks yet again. The return that the Sixers got as far as players isn’t really fantasy impactful (I do love me some K.J. Martin, though), which means the opportunity we’ve seen Kelly Oubre Jr. have early this season as a bucket-getter should continue. Mind you, he’s much better in points leagues as his main contribution is points, with a little help in three-pointers made, too. But he should get extended run – at least until the Sixers utilize that extra max slot by bringing in someone like an OG Anunoby or Zach LaVine.
Trey Murphy is still out. Brandon Ingram is dealing with injuries (shoutout to Jordan Hawkins for the job he’s doing filling in for BI). Zion Williamson has been good but still looks big. The Pelicans offense is an elite unit, but there are some concerns with them. There are also concerns with their defense – despite the 104.4 Defensive Rating.
Herb Jones is the most elite defender that they have, and while there are paths to him improving offensively, it’s all about the STOCKs with him for fantasy. He’s averaging 2.3 STOCKs per game so far, and that’s without the steals numbers being where they will be. We focus so much on the offensive side of the ball for fantasy that we should take a minute to look at a defensive wiz.
Rostered in 30-49% of Leagues
There is no timetable for Bradley Beal or Devin Booker to return to the court, which is not exactly what Phoenix thought it signed up for when it made the big offseason move to bring Beal in from Washington. In their absence, Eric Gordon, who feels like he has been in the league since before Michael Jordan played, has been a big part of this offense. He’s played at least 30 minutes in three of the four games without the backcourt duo, and he’s scored in double figures in each game – reaching the 20-point mark twice. Gordon will continue to play a big role for the Suns until Booker and Beal are back, so he’s a nice short-term streamer.
I want the Wolves to make a trade so that Naz Reid can play more. Whether it’s him when he’s eligible to be dealt or moving on from Karl Anthony-Towns, let’s get Reid some regular big minutes. Reid is averaging 23.9 minutes per game this year – up a full five minutes from last year – and we are seeing the early returns. He’s a 6-foot-9 big, but he spaces the floor and shoots 42% from behind the arc. If and when “KAT” and/or Rudy Gobert are forced to miss time, there will be a sprint to the waiver wire to grab him.
Rostered in 15-29% of Leagues
I don’t bring my leagues into conversation often because no one really cares. It’s the truth. But for this part, I will quickly. I’m in a 30-team industry dynasty league, and I’m close to pulling the trigger on receiving Grant Williams for my Gordon Hayward. Hayward is playing well, yes, but we all know the risks with him. Initially, I just called Williams bland as a better real-life player than for fantasy. But playing with Luka Doncic, he can help with three-pointers and do a little bit defensively and on the boards. He’s a 15-team player right now, but there’s some interest from me in those leagues if I have those holes to fill.
I love the Grizzlies. I’m going to Memphis in January to see them at home for the first time. They are also a pretty bad team. Ja Morant‘s suspension, Steven Adams‘s injury and the lack of development from their second and third-year players is not great. While they did sign Bismack Biyombo (season saved!), now feels like a good time to grab Santi Aldama before he returns from his injury – hopefully by next week. I expect him to play the bulk of the backup minutes at center behind Xavier Tillman, and he can provide some modest value.
Rostered in 0-14% of Leagues
Is Keyonte George going to be the player that I have here each week? Maybe! He’s still under the 14% rostership number, so we’ll talk about him again. While Talen Horton-Tucker has had a couple of decent games (at least seven assists in three of his last four), I still firmly believe that George provides the highest upside for the Jazz at point guard. He’s the only true guard on their roster, and come December, it should be his role going forward. He remains a stash if you have the room.
This is for the deep leaguers out there. I don’t know if any of us expected Toumani Camara to be a player who would get minutes for the Blazers after the Damian Lillard trade. But he’s played at least 23 minutes in four of the Blazers’ five games this year, hitting the 26-minute mark twice. He’s offering some blocks and rebounds to go along with some scoring. I wouldn’t start him with his low FG% and lack of threes, but I am intrigued to see how he continues to grow and if he gets minutes in the 20s.