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Waiver Wired

NBA Wired: Top Pickups Week 18

by Steve Alexander
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

With the trade deadline finally in our rearview mirror, this week’s Waiver Wired is heavily based on what went down on Thursday afternoon. And after eyeballing the list, it could set a record for the number of players included in this column. Here we go. If I missed anyone you had a question about, hit me on Twitter and I’ll try to respond in the near future.


Games Played Week 18





Point Guards


Reggie Jackson Pistons 82% owned in Yahoo! leagues - If Jackson wasn’t owned in your league before the trade deadline, he’s probably been picked up by now. If not, make it happen, as he’s the new starting point guard for the Pistons.


Elfrid Payton Magic 57% - Payton had 10 points, seven rebounds and 11 assists on Friday and is locked in as the starter. This will probably be the last time you see him in this column.


Isaiah Canaan Sixers 25% - Canaan has been one of the hottest pickups in the last few days and looks like the starting point guard for the Sixers, unless they decide that Tim Frazier gives them a better chance of tanking. I expect Canaan’s ownership to be closer to 70 percent a week from now, if not higher.


Jordan Clarkson Lakers 24% - Clarkson started again on Friday and had 12 points, four rebounds, five assists and a 3-pointer in 24 minutes. He’s also averaging 14.0 points, 3.8 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 1.4 steals and nearly a 3-pointer per game over his last five.


Langston Galloway Knicks 24% - Gallo2 had 19 points, three boards, four dimes, two steals, a block and three 3-pointers in Friday’s loss to the Heat, which was his best game in recent memory. But he’s been playing pretty well all along and is averaging 12.2 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.6 3-pointers over his last five games. He hit 50 percent of his shots on Friday, which is a great sign, as he is shooting just 34 percent over his last five. And with Carmelo Anthony down and out, Galloway could end up being the Knicks’ leading scorer down the stretch.


Jerryd Bayless Bucks 5% - Bayless started for the Bucks Friday and had 11 points, seven boards, eight assists, a steal, a block and a 3-pointer. The problem is that Michael Carter-Williams is the new starter for the Bucks, but he’s currently injured. And as long as he’s out, Bayless is worth a short-term look.


Tim Frazier Sixers 4% - As I mentioned above, Canaan should be the new starter for the Sixers, but if that somehow doesn’t work out, Frazier’s the next man up. And he played well in his start on Friday and had 13 points, seven assists, a steal and two 3-pointers. He’s actually played very well since being traded to the Sixers and is now averaging 7.0 points, 4.3 rebounds, 8.3 assists and a steal over his last four games.


Spencer Dinwiddie Pistons 0% - Dinwiddie started on Friday and had 12 points, nine dimes, three steals and a 3-pointer in 31 minutes, which worked out nicely if you took a flier on him in a daily league. The problem is that Reggie Jackson is on his way to Detroit and Dinwiddie is slated to back him up. I only mentioned him here because he played well on Friday and is worth keeping an eye on.


Shooting Guards


Avery Bradley Celtics 58% - Chances are, Bradley is already owned in your league, especially after he went off for 28 points, six assists, four steals, a block and a 3-pointer on Friday night. Sure, Isaiah Thomas could hurt him, but my guess is Marcus Smart will be the one taking the main IT2 hit.


Lou Williams Raptors 59% - It’s a hit-or-miss game with Williams from game to game, but he’s hot again, scoring 26 points on Friday against the Hawks after scoring 27 in his last game before the break. Prior to those two games, he scored 0, 18, 4 and 12 points, with the four-point game breaking his streak of double-digit scoring games at 10.


Jared Dudley Bucks 11% - Dudley played 41 minutes on Friday and is averaging 31 minutes over his last five games, along with 10.4 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.0 steals and two 3-pointers. As long as he continues to start for the Bucks, he’s worth a look in fantasy, but teammate Khris Middleton has been the better pickup recently.


Rodney Stuckey Pacers 29% - Stuckey torched the Sixers for 30 points, four assists, three steals and two 3-pointers on Friday and has now scored at least 15 points in four straight games. Unfortunately, he was also carried off the court during the game and is day-to-day with an ankle injury. If it’s not serious, he’s playing well enough to be scooped up in most leagues.


Tim Hardaway Jr. Knicks 22% - Hardaway had 17 points, three boards, four assists, two steals and three more 3-pointers on Friday, despite coming off the bench for the Knicks. He’s hit a 3-pointer in 11 straight games, and with Melo out for the season, it’s now or never for THJ. His ability to knock down open shots remains an issue, but he at least hit 6-of-9 on Friday.


Evan Fournier Magic 13% - Fournier made another start on Friday and had 16 points, six rebounds and two 3-pointers. He’s scored 14 or more points in three of his last four games and has hit a 3-pointer in six straight. The problem is that he’s only starting (we think) because Tobias Harris has been out with a knee injury. Once Harris is back, Fournier is going to take a hit, but until it happens, he’s worth a look. Having said all that, Channing Frye has been useless as a starter, and it would be nice if the Magic just bring him off the bench and start Fournier and Harris together.


Small Forwards


If you’re looking for a Kevin Durant replacement, Kyle Singler will start for the Thunder on Saturday, and is worth a look as long as KD is on the shelf with his lingering foot problem.


Caron Butler Pistons 3% - I have to admit I saw the Butler explosion coming on Friday night and had him in all my DFS lineups. It’s not because I’m necessarily smart or anything, but the old man was the only small forward available to the Pistons, and he responded with 20 points, four rebounds, three assists, four steals and two 3-pointers (and zero turnovers) in 32 minutes. And if you think the cavalry is coming to ruin Butler, think again, as Tayshaun Prince is one of the few players in the league not capable of challenging Tough Juice for a job. There’s no way that Butler can handle 30 minutes a game going forward, but there’s also no one else to play small forward in Detroit. Butler’s not a must-own player, but does look like one of the potential steals on this list, if he can continue to play like he did against Jimmy Butler and the Bulls on Friday. And if you’re sitting on duds like D.J. Augustin or J.J. Barea, dumping one of them for Butler makes a lot of sense.


C.J. Miles Pacers 19% - Miles started again for the Pacers Friday and had 17 points, two steals and two 3-pointers. While Miles’ health (and consistency) is always an issue, he has played in eight straight games and has scored in double figures in five of them.


Danilo Gallinari Nuggets 40% - The original Gallo played a season-high 36 minutes on Friday, taking over the starting shooting guard job for the departed Arron Afflalo. He hit just 3-of-12 shots and scored 10 points, but also had five boards, two assists, four steals and two 3-pointers. If he can somehow stay healthy, he could emerge as a nice pick up. Of course, we’ve been saying that for about three years now.


Otto Porter Jr. 3% - Porter continues to start for Bradley Beal and had nine points, five rebounds, four steals, two blocks and a 3-pointer on Friday. If he would have taken more than eight shots, his line could have been a monster. Beal’s leg injury is a bit mysterious, but it does sound like he could return sooner than later. But for as long as Beal’s out, I’ve got a little more faith in OPJ than I do Rasual Butler.


Jerami Grant Sixers 2% - After scoring six or fewer points in four straight games, Grant hit 5-of-11 shots and a 3-pointer for 16 points, five rebounds, three assists and a steal on Friday night. We’ve seen him do this before this season, but he usually fails to back it up with a stretch of good play. Just keep an eye on him in case this wasn’t a fluke.


Jason Richardson Sixers 1% - I can’t believe I’m putting him in this column, but Richardson played in his first game in over two years on Friday, and even started. He had seven points, seven rebounds, two assists, two steals, a block and a 3-pointer in 18 minutes, so I felt obligated to give him some pub. But I won’t be picking him up, and I’m not sure you should either. But if he does this again in Philly’s next few games, I might start to change my mind.


Power Forwards


Terrence Jones Rockets 56% - Jones played 30 minutes on Friday night and responded with nine points, nine rebounds and four blocks. His minutes were pretty suspect coming into that one, but he apparently used the break to improve his health. His leg problem is finally not much of an issue at this point and if there was ever a time to pick him up and let him help you make a run, the time is now.


Ed Davis Lakers 26% - Davis had 16 points, 14 rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block on 8-of-10 shooting on Friday, and is now averaging 10.0 points, 9.0 boards, 1.2 steals and 1.8 blocks over his last five games. I’d have a lot more faith in him if he were starting for the Lakers, but he’s been getting it done despite playing just 24 minutes a game.


Luc Mbah a Moute Sixers 7% - Mbah a Moute has scored between 13 and 18 points in each of his last four games and had 16 points, 10 rebounds and two 3-pointers in 32 minutes on Friday. He’s averaging 12.8 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.6 3-pointers in 34 minutes over his last five games, and as long as he’s starting for the Sixers, he’s worth owning in fantasy.


John Henson Bucks 40% - Henson is still not getting enough minutes, but has been surprisingly effective despite that fact. He played 18 minutes on Friday and hit 6-of-8 shots for 14 points, four rebounds, a steal and four blocks, and is averaging 11.4 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.0 blocks over his last five games, despite averaging just 22 minutes. I simply don’t understand why he doesn’t get more love from Jason Kidd, especially with as little as the Bucks have gotten from Ersan Ilyasova and Larry Sanders this season.


Jason Smith Knicks 18% - Smith backed up his big 25-point, 7-rebound game before the break with just four points and six rebounds on Friday. He played 23 minutes and hit just 2-of-7 shots, but my guess is he’ll bounce back in his next one. With Amare Stoudemire and Melo both gone, Smith should have no problem getting minutes, as long as he’s playing well enough to earn them.


Udonis Haslem Heat 1% - Haslem got the start for Chris Bosh (lungs/blood clot) on Friday and that’s something that could happen for the rest of the season. Haslem, for the first time all season, was effective with 13 points, five rebounds and a block in 28 minutes, and is officially worth a look if you need a big man.


Al-Farouq Aminu Mavericks 8% - Aminu was solid on Friday with 17 points, 12 rebounds, two blocks and a 3-pointer in 30 minutes. Dirk Nowitzki dinged up his elbow and Chandler Parsons left the game early with a sprained ankle. Parsons’ injury appears to be the one to worry about and if he’s going to miss time, AFA could end up being a decent plug-and-play option. Stoudemire, however, might become a problem for AFA once he’s getting 20-25 minutes a game in Dallas.




With Steven Adams out with a hand injury, Enes Kanter is going to start and play heavy minutes for his new team, the Thunder. Just keep riding him if you own him.


Rudy Gobert Jazz 62% - Much like Paul Millsap and Derrick Favors before him, Gobert has been biding his time and waiting for either Favors or Kanter to get out of the way. Kanter was traded to the Thunder on Thursday and Gobert started Friday’s game. Yeah, he had just four points and seven boards in 24 minutes (with four fouls), but also blocked five shots, and has nine blocks in his last two games. He’s officially as must-own as they come.


Gorgui Dieng Timberwolves 76% - With Thaddeus Young out of Minnesota and starting power forward Anthony Bennett playing just nine minutes on Friday night (leg injury), the door is open for Dieng again. Since he’s owned in so many leagues, I’m not going to say much more about him. But if he’s somehow still available in your league, he’s also a must-own player.


Jusuf Nurkic Nuggets 33% - Nurkic played 33 minutes on Friday night, marking only the second time in his career he played at least 30. And he responded with 11 points, 15 boards, two steals and three blocks. With JaVale McGee and Timofey Mozgov out of the way, it’s officially Nurkic time. Make sure he’s not available in your league.


Tyler Zeller 23% & Kelly Olynyk 41% Celtics – With Jared Sullinger on the shelf for “a while” with a stress reaction in his left foot, Zeller got the call on Friday and lit it up for 22 points, four rebounds, six dimes and a block. Olynyk is getting closer to a return from his ankle injury and the two will split time until Sully is healthy again. But for now, as far as I’m concerned, both players should be owned in all leagues.


Alex Len Suns 24% - Len played a whopping 35 minutes on Friday with Miles Plumlee out of the way (Milwaukee) and had 11 points, 10 boards and six blocks. With only Brandan Wright to challenge him for playing time now, Len is officially a must-own player.


Jordan Hill Lakers 67% - Hill returned from a hip injury on Friday and came off the bench, racking up 12 points, 10 boards, a steal and a block. It’s hard to say how much the Lakers are going to play him if he’s not fully healthy, but Friday was a promising start.


Andrea Bargnani Knicks 2% - Bargnani played 24 minutes and had 11 points and six rebounds for the Knicks on Friday. I’m not sure how long he’ll stay healthy, or if he’ll even be effective, but if you’re in a deep league and need a big man, he might be one of the few options available on your waiver wire.


Aron Baynes Spurs 1% - I don’t know how or why, but Baynes has averaged 25 minutes, 12.7 points and 6.0 rebounds over his last three games. If you’re still sitting on Mitch McGary, taking a flier on Baynes may not be a terrible idea.

Steve Alexander

Steve "Dr. A" Alexander is the senior editor for the NBA for Rotoworld.com and a contributor to NBCSports.com. The 2020-20 NBA season marks (at least) his 20th year of covering fantasy hoops for Rotoworld. Follow him on Twitter - @Docktora.