HAPPY Thanksgiving to all the American SBF fans out there! To celebrate the holiday season, I thought now would be a good time to give the NBA fantasy enthusiasts a gift with nearly one-quarter of the season completed. The waiver-wire is an important place to find production over an entire NBA season and these are a few of the moves you could make in an effort to propel yourself in your league standings.
All numbers/stats provided are based on ESPN fantasy leagues
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Ky Bowman – Golden State Warriors, PG, 9.6% ownership
WITH Draymond Green returning to the Warriors’ lineup, Bowman’s value may be about to take a hit if the ball is taken out of his hands. However, despite the 3x All-Star being back in action Bowman still managed to post his sixth straight game with 25+ minutes against Chicago, which is a good sign. The former Boston College grad has been part of Golden State’s G-League team and is currently on a two-way deal, but if he gets signed for the rest of the season, there’s a good chance Bowman can be a consistent source of points, steals and three’s while posting efficient shooting numbers.
Eric Paschall – Golden State Warriors, PF, 63.7% ownership
STICKING with Dub Nation, if a forward is what you’re chasing, Eric Paschall is one of the best adds you could make right now. Again the return of Draymond Green complicates his role with the Warriors, but through 18 games, Paschall has scored in double-digits 15 times, twice eclipsing 30 points. Averaging over 20 points as a starter right now, if he can share the frontcourt with Green, there’s an opportunity for Paschall to be a fringe top-100 player this season.
Richaun Holmes – Sacramento Kings, C, 43.9% ownership
RANKING third in all qualified players for field-goal percentage, Richaun Holmes is emerging as hot property this fantasy season. The Kings big man, who is making 64.8% of his shots right now has had to fight Dwayne Dedmon for minutes, but Holmes has been the regular starting center for Sacramento throughout the last month. His 16/10/1/2/4 line against the Wizards highlights the impact he can have in multiple areas when he’s clicking on all cylindars and if you need center help, Holmes is a smart route to go down.
Marcus Smart – Boston Celtics, PG/SG, 33.3% ownership
SPEAKING of smart routes (see what I did there), a scrappy Boston guard of the Marcus variety is emerging as a sound player to plug into your lineup. Taking a career-high 11.1 shots a night, including 6.8 attempts from three, Smart is thriving with more responsibility for the Celtics, throwing in a healthy assist (5.1 per), steal (1.5 per) and point (12.4) average. His dual-position flexibility is an added bonus that should only see his ownership continue to rise, especially if he keeps taking strides shooting the ball.
Carmelo Anthony – Portland Trailblazers, PF/SF, 36.3% ownership
REPUTATION can get you a long way in the NBA and the way Melo has been getting buckets this past week, coaches in fantasy leagues worldwide are starting to take notice. If nothing else, Anthony can be a solid source of points and rebounds averaging 16.6 PPG and 5.0 RPG in his five games as a Blazer. If you need help in those areas I can understand the appeal in adding Melo, but don’t expect much more than 15/5 averages with a few made treys from the 35-year old.
Markelle Fultz – Orlando Magic, PG, 12.6% ownership
I was shocked to find Markelle Fultz’s ownership percentage so low given the early strides he has taken as a member of the Magic. In just 17 games, Fultz has probably achieved more with Orlando than he did during his messy two seasons with Philly and there’s no reason he won’t continue to grow in season 2019-20. His three-point shooting, or lack thereof, has some scared off, but it’s an encouraging sign to see him at least taking shots from downtown. Having scored 10+ in every game for the last fortnight while shooting over 55% from the field, Fultz is worth adding to your watchlist at worst.
Image from orlandomagicdaily.com
Davis Bertans – Washington Wizards, PF, 17.1% ownership
Moritz Wagner – Washington Wizards, PF, 12.6% ownership
NEITHER Davis Bertans or Moritz Wagner look like genuine long term options but both can help in the small bursts. There’s a chance that one of the stretch bigs overtakes the other as the consistent starter, which of course, would instantly increase their fantasy value. As it stands right now, both Wizards are in the top-20 for shooting percentage from behind the arc and while Bertans is taking and making a higher amount of them, Wagner is outpacing him in rebounds, steals and blocks. Keep your eye on both Washington talls in case one of them catches fire and forces Scott Brooks’ hand.
Dejounte Murray – San Antonio Spurs, PG, 53.7% ownership
IT pains me to put Murray’s name on this list, but his level of play leaves me no choice. With San Antonio losing 10 of their last 11 contests, there are rumblings of a potential trade that could drastically change the Spurs’ lineup. Until that comes to fruition a healthy Derrick White has pushed Murray back to their bench, a position where he hasn’t exactly excelled from in his 21.3 minutes a game. The multi-category allure that Murray posses has led to him holding his spot on over half the rosters in the fantasy world, but his ownership will only keep sliding unless something changes.
Frank Kaminsky – Phoenix Suns, PF/C, 5.7% ownership
A DeAndre Ayton suspension and an Aaron Baynes injury has seen Phoenix’s big man rotation thrown into flux over the first quarter of the season. At times Frank Kaminsky has looked like a reliable source of production, but it’s clear now, that isn’t going to be a recurring theme. Another offseason addition in Dario Saric has pushed him out of relevance, despite the fact Kaminsky has started the last five matches. Baynes returning from injury soon is only going to further complicate things, so the few Kaminsky owners that are out there can safely flick him to the waiver wire.
Image from buckys5thquarter.com
Willie Cauley-Stein – Golden State Warriors, C, 50.4% ownership
WILLIE Cauley-Stein has efficiently been producing for the Warriors thus far even if the totals he produces aren’t eye-popping. Possessing some value from a rebounds/steal/block perspective has seen Cauley-Stein carve out his place in this Golden State unit. There is some value there, especially in deeper leagues, but WCS isn’t doing enough for me to advise holding on to him in most formats. Pass.
Nicolas Batum – Charlotte Hornets, SG/SF, 17.5% ownership
HAVING successfully returned from a fractured finger you’d think Nic Batum would be a trending waiver-wire add given his history as a relevant fantasy player. This still could occur, so it’s worth keeping half an eye on Batum, but for now, you can leave him unowned. Having scored less than four points in five of his seven games upon returning, the Hornets are wisely handing their younger kids a heavy workload to fast-forward their development. Batum seems set to be one of the main Charlotte players who lose out, so unless an injury or trade occurs, he’s not worth rostering.
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