COVID-19 is creating issues across fantasy leagues and the NBA as a whole, but it is opening up opportunities for players on waiver wires to have some significant impact.
Make sure you are on top of the news to see where some unexpected opportunity could arise.
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Each week, I’m going to give you some names who could be on your waiver wire in Yahoo default points fantasy leagues, who really shouldn’t be, for the long term and the short term.
Under 70% Rostered (10 Team League Targets)
Mason Plumlee, Detroit Pistons - Plumlee’s minutes have a roller coaster, but he seems to be back in favour for Dwane Casey and is averaging 28 fantasy points a game. If you can’t use 28 points per game, your team must be pretty strong.
Tyrese Haliburton, Sacremento Kings - The last two games for Haliburton have not been ideal, and people have been dropping him, unwisely so.
— #RingerNBA (@ringernba) January 20, 2021
Haliburton is clearly in the Kings’ best five players, and he is averaging 26 fantasy points per game. I think he can average more than that as Walton relies upon him more moving forward, yet he is available in 30% of leagues.
Derrick Rose, Detroit Pistons - Another Pistons player is worth looking at, and that is Derrick Rose. Rose is a top 90 player this year, and the wheels can fall off at any time, either through injury or trade, but for now, Rose shouldn’t be wallowing on the wire.
He has outplayed Delon Wright recently and is getting those point guard minutes.
Under 50% Rostered (12 Team League Targets)
Darius Bazley, Oklahoma City Thunder - It’s been a struggle for Bazley of late.
He is averaging 24 fantasy points per game and isn’t even hitting 40% of his shots or 30% of his threes, and it’s been getting worse.
But he isn’t going to shoot this poorly forever, and I believe a turnaround will come. He is a first-time starter and is young with no college experience.
I want to hold him on my roster, and he is available in a lot of spots.
Alec Burks, New York Knicks - People have dropped Alec Burks, who started the season red hot.
But he’s ready to return, and while he won’t shoot as well as he did to begin the season, the Knicks need his shooting, self-creation, and ball-handling, and he will have a substantial role.
Burks is averaging 33 fantasy points, which is fantastic, and he likely won’t do that, but he should be on a 12 team roster.
Cole Anthony, Orlando Magic - I know it’s been rough for Anthony since starting for Markelle Fultz.
He has had just three games over 20 fantasy points since he started, but it was punctuated by a 43 point performance against the Nets a few games ago.
I think he can get his shooting to stabilise and maybe give us 25 points a night as he settles into the starting role.
Cole Anthony hands the ball off to Nikola Vucevic in semi-transition, forcing the switch.
Vooch posts up the mismatch, kicks out to Cole after drawing the double, who then dishes it back into Vooch for the re-post for the quick turn and fadeaway. pic.twitter.com/DQbyRLud3H
— Beyond the RK (@beyondtheRK) January 21, 2021
Under 30% Rostered (14 Team League Targets)
Patrick Beverley, LA Clippers - Beverley started the season poorly, but he has been stepping up lately.
He is getting closer to averaging 22 fantasy points per game, and I don’t see anyone like Reggie Jackson taking his role.
He has some value in 12 team leagues, as a streamer, but Beverley should not be on the wire in anything deeper.
Marcus Morris, LA Clippers - Beverley’s teammate, Marcus Morris is playing off the bench for this Clippers team, but that’s a better role for him.
Morris gets more usage when he isn’t sharing the court with Kawhi Leonard or Paul George and is averaging 22 fantasy points in his last three games as his minutes have begun to rise.
Carmelo Anthony, Portland TrailBlazers - With CJ McCollum and Jusuf Nurkić out, Carmelo is going to get more minutes, and more importantly, more shot attempts. You could also look to Rodney Hood and Gary Trent Jr. as adds and Enes Kanter to replace Nurkić, but Melo is sliding under the radar a bit, compared to that trio.
Short Term Adds
Jarred Vanderbilt, Minnesota Timberwolbves - The Wolves are without Karl-Anthony Towns and Juancho Hernangómez, so Vanderbilt is starting.
He rebounds at a high level, he can pass, and he gets defensive numbers, so he has value in fantasy leagues for the short term.
Isaiah Roby, Oklahoma City Thunder - Al Horford is at home with his new child, and he may not join the Thunder on their road trip, which is then next four games.
Isaiah Roby gives Nikola Jokic a taste of his own medicine. pic.twitter.com/URG5xBxRbw
— Daily Thunder (@dailythunder) January 20, 2021
That means Isaiah Roby will be the starting centre and is worth adding fantasy leagues.
Kevin Huerter, Atlanta Hawks - The Hawks are without Bogdan Bogdanović and Danilo Gallinari, but now Cam Reddish and De’Andre Hunter are having some injury issues of their own.
Huerter is handling the ball in the second unit and his minutes are pushing relatively high, giving him some short term value.
Doug McDermott, Indiana Pacers - With TJ Warren and Caris LeVert out, and Myles Turner dealing with a hand fracture (which may not cost much, if any time), McDermott is going to get a larger opportunity and we saw that last game. He isn’t the sexiest add, and when Turner plays, his value does dip, but he can be a stream option.
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