It’s Thursday. You know what that means.
We are back from the holidays and looking ahead to Week 8.
Honestly, this last week has been weird with the In-Season Tournament coming to a close, as games have been staggered out more than usual, with teams playing a maximum of two games. It’s admittedly a nice break from the day-in, day-out grind, but there’s not a lot that has changed since last week with priority pickups for waiver wire purposes.
On a weekly basis, I’m going to look at the waiver wire for the players you should be targeting for both short and long-term success.
We’ll look at players who 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 next week.
Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire Pickups
*The games for the NBA In-Season Tournament do not count for fantasy purposes.
ATL, BOS, BKN, CHA, CHI, CLE, DAL, DEN, DET, GSW, HOU, IND, LAC, MIA, MIL, NOP, NYK, PHI, PHX, POR, SAC, SAS, UTA, WAS
LAL, MEM, MIN, OKC, ORL, TOR
Rostered in 50-60% of leagues:
I was hopeful that Horford would really take advantage of the opportunity ahead of him with Porzingis injured. While his usage and minutes are up, the production hasn’t been as good as one would hope. Still, he’s put up top 70 numbers over the last month, well above his No. 111 overall rank on the season. He’s boring — as is the next guy on this list — but boring is good for fantasy.
Nothing that Lowry is doing on the stat sheet really stands out, but he’s been an across-the-board contributor for those in nine-cat leagues with Tyler Herro on the shelf. Jaime Jaquez has been getting a lot of deserved recognition for filling in for Herro, but Lowry has been a steady hand for Miami and is a fringe top-100 guy. I told you, it’s not a standout week for waiver options.
Rostered in 30-49% of leagues:
McDaniels has been cleared for on-court activities as he ramps his way back from an ankle injury. I’d expect to see him back on the court next week for the Timberwolves, providing lockdown defense and three-point upside for fantasy managers. He’s an elite perimeter defender and is a better real-life player than a fantasy option, but there’s untapped fantasy upside with him still.
Is not if, but when and where for Caruso, as he’s one of the players who is nearly a lock to be dealt away from Chicago. He ranks No. 66 on the season in nine-cat leagues, and that’s in a more limited role. A good landing spot with starter-type minutes could elevate Caruso into must-start territory.
Rostered in 15-29% of leagues:
Need three-point help? Look no further than Hauser, who has been on an extreme heater for the Celtics of late. He’s made at least two threes in six straight games, knocking down eight in his last two games alone. The minutes hover in the low to mid-20s, but Hauser is a steady contributor behind the arc, as well as with points and rebounds.
Rostered in 0-14% of leagues:
As long as Jerami Grant is hurt, Walker has streamer appeal in deeper leagues. On Wednesday, he played 22 minutes and scored 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting from the field. What’s more, he had five boards and two STOCKs to go along with an assist. He’s a short-term play for now, but if Grant were to miss a lot of time, he’d be a borderline top-100 guy.
Is Moody better than Andrew Wiggins at this point? With how dreadful Wiggins has been for fantasy, it’s not a totally unfair question. Moody moved back to the bench Wednesday for Wiggins, but he still played 26 minutes for the Warriors. Moody has played at least 26 minutes in three straight games, and he’s reached double digits in scoring in four straight. What’s more, Moody has just one turnover over his last four games.