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Tyler Johnson
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Waiver Wired

Top NBA Pickups for Week 20

by Steve Alexander
Updated On: February 25, 2019, 7:50 am ET

Week 20 Games Played Schedule

4 Games: ATL, BKN, BOS, CHA, CHI, CLE, DET, GSW, HOU, IND, LAC, LAL, MEM, MIA, MIL, MIN, NOP, OKC, ORL, POR

3 Games: DAL, DEN, NYK, PHI, PHX, SAC, SAS, TOR, UTA, WAS

Point Guards

3 Tyler Johnson Suns 27 percent owned in Yahoo! leagues – TJ blew up for 29 points on 10-of-16 shooting on Saturday night after really struggling with his shot in his first four games as a Sun. The minutes are there, he’s averaging 4.6 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.4 3-pointers over his last five, and finally had a breakthrough in Phoenix. This this is your sign that he should be owned in your league.

4 Delon Wright Grizzlies 7% - Wright has yet to have a breakout game in Memphis yet, but he’s getting closer. He had 15 points and seven boards on Saturday, and had 12 points, two boards, five assists, two steals, a block and two 3-pointers last Wednesday. He also played 32 minutes on Saturday and it’s starting to feel like a breakout is coming soon. He’s averaging 8.8 points, 4.4 boards, 3.4 rebounds, 1.0 steals, 0.6 blocks and 0.6 3-pointers over his last five games, shooting just 39 percent.

3 Derrick White Spurs 47% - White’s been back for one game and had seven points, four rebounds, three assists and a steal in 20 minutes on Friday. He’ll play again on Sunday night and if that goes well, he should be good to go going forward after missing five games with heel and foot issues. He was on fire before getting hurt.

4 Elfrid Payton Pelicans 42% - Payton’s been back from his ankle injury for two games and he had a nice line of 14 points, five rebounds, nine assists, two steals, a block and two 3-pointers on Saturday, and also played well on Friday. He really wasn’t offering much value when he was healthy earlier in the year, but he’s looked very good in his last two games, making him worth a flier if he’s available in your league.

4 Ish Smith Pistons 2% - Smith blew up for 22 points and nine assists on Saturday night, and he’s quietly been working his way back into the mix. The minutes haven’t been there for Smith lately, but he did play 25 of them on Saturday, which was a good sign. Reggie Jackson’s been playing well, but Smith seems to always find a way to cut into what Jackson does, and he may have started to make a run at him on Saturday. Just keep an eye on Smith going forward.

 

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Shooting Guards

4 Landry Shamet Clippers 14% - Shamet’s been pretty fun in L.A. averaging 29 minutes, 12 points, 1.8 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.3 steals and 2.8 3-pointers on 42 percent shooting over his last five games. The Clippers have no shortage of guards and Shamet appears to be hurting the value of Patrick Beverley, and if he plays well again in his next couple games, his ownership will be a lot higher a week from now.

4 Wesley Matthews Pacers 30% - Matthews had 24 points and six 3-pointers on Friday, and then had 14 points and two more triples on Saturday. He hadn’t done much for the Pacers prior to that, but he’s played at least 30 minutes in each of his four games with Indy and they’re hoping he can help fill the void left by Victor Oladipo’s season-ending injury. I’ve been predicting good things from Matthews and his last two games offer a glimmer of hope that he’s about to start getting it done. 

4 Luke Kennard Pistons 5% - Kennard’s quietly still playing well, despite the arrival of Ellington, averaging 12.4 points, 2.8 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 0.8 steals and 2.4 3-pointers on 45 percent shooting over his last five games. I wish he was starting, but he’s getting almost 30 minutes on most nights.

4 Wayne Ellington Pistons 10% - Ellington has taken over the Reggie Bullock role in Detroit and has attempted 31 3-pointers in just four games with the Pistons. He’s not doing much besides hitting (and missing) 3-pointers, but he has the potential to steal and get some rebounds. He’s also played 33, 37 and 25 minutes in each of his last three games, so give him a look if you need triples.

4 Miles Bridges Hornets 5% - Bridges opened some eyes on Friday with 14 points, six boards, three steals and a 3-pointer, but has generally been disappointing. He’s averaging 6.6 points, 3.4 rebounds, 1.0 steals, 0.8 blocks and 0.4 3-pointers on 52 percent shooting over his last five games, but his minutes fluctuate pretty wildly. Just put him on your radar in case he gets hot, because he’s got a fantasy-friendly game.

Small Forwards

4 Dario Saric Wolves 67% - He only hit 2-of-11 shots on Saturday, but has been playing much better, averaging 12.6 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.2 steals and 2.2 3-pointers on 48 percent shooting over his last five games. He’s owned in most leagues, but I’m throwing him on the list just in case he’s not owned in yours.

4 Taurean Prince Hawks 68% - Prince is also widely owned, but is also playing better than he was earlier in the year. He had 21 points, eight boards, three steals and two 3-pointers on Saturday (without Kevin Huerter) and is still getting 29 minutes a night. He’s at 12.6 points, 4.4 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.6 blocks and 2.2 3-pointers over his last five games. He’s hitting just 36 percent of his shots over that stretch, but if his shot starts falling, look out.

4 Cedi Osman Cavaliers 42% - Osman’s been back from his ankle injury for four games and has played 32 and 34 minutes in his last two. He’s averaging 11.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 0.5 steals and 2.5 3-pointers over his last four games. Kevin Love is back and playing well, but there’s room for both of them to thrive for a really bad Cleveland team.

4 Kent Bazemore Hawks 43% - I haven’t been too into Bazemore, as he doesn’t appear to be part of the Hawks future, but he’s played really well in his last three games, averaging 17 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 2.3 3-pointers over that stretch. Kevin Huerter returning from his ankle injury will hurt Baze, but he’s pretty hot right now.

4 Jake Layman Blazers 12% - Layman is averaging 11.4 points, 4.6 rebounds, 0.6 steals, 1.8 blocks and 1.2 3-pointers on 60 percent shooting over his last five, getting 26 minutes a night. I do like him, but he’ll be a bit inconsistent competing with Damian Lillard, C.J. McCollum, Jusuf Nurkic, Enes Kanter, Al-Farouq Aminu and Moe Harkless for minutes and touches. But he gets 26 minutes a night off the bench and has been playing well, making him worth a look in most leagues.

Power Forwards

4 Ivan Rabb Grizzlies 12% - Jaren Jackson is out indefinitely so Rabb’s got a clear path to starts and minutes again, and should be worth grabbing again in most leagues. Rabb had eight points, three boards and four assists on Saturday, and 15 points, nine boards, three assists, a steal, a block and a 3-pointer on Friday. And with the JJJ news, it’s time to grab him.

4 Kenneth Faried Rockets 45% - Faried started for James Harden (neck, illness) on Saturday and went off for 20 points, 10 boards and two 3-pointers, and has scored in double figures in all 14 games he’s played with Portland. The return of Clint Capela will eventually take its toll on Faried, but it hasn’t hurt him thus far. He’s double-doubled in three of his last five games, and even with Capela back, it looks like he might be able to hold onto some value. I wouldn’t drop him until he fully fades away, which may or may not happen.

4 Al-Farouq Aminu Blazers 42% - Aminu’s been a bundle of inconsistency all season, but has scored in double figures in four straight games, and has played well in all of those. He’s averaging 12.8 points, 8.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 0.5 steals and 1.8 3-pointers over that stretch and the minutes continue to be there. Maybe he’s ready to go on a nice run to finish up the season.

4 Cheick Diallo Pelicans 10% - Diallo had 18 points, 10 boards, a steal and two blocks on 8-of-8 shooting on Saturday after going off for 16 points, 18 boards and a block on Friday. His value hinges on whether or not Anthony Davis is going to play, but after his last two games (one of them with Davis), he’s worth grabbing until we see how this plays out.

3 Mike Scott Sixers 0% - Scott got 30 minutes on Saturday and had 15 points, four boards, two assists and three 3-pointers. He got some extra minutes in that one as Boban Marjanovic was struggling and Joel Embiid was out, but he’s worth watching closely for as long as Embiid’s out with his sore knee.

4 Anthony Tolliver Wolves 0% - Tolliver had 16 points, three boards, a steal, a block and four 3-pointers on Friday, and then had 17 points, five rebounds, a block and five triples on Saturday. Karl-Anthony Towns is in the concussion protocol, and as long as he’s not playing, Tolliver will be an interesting play in all formats. But it could be a very short run.

Centers

3 Mitchell Robinson Knicks 47% – Robinson was in foul trouble on Friday and didn’t do anything in his 13 minutes, and only lasted 19 minutes in his previous game. He was hot prior to those two duds, and is still averaging 9.0 points, 7.4 rebounds and 3.2 blocks over his last five, despite those two bad games. He’s basically a must-own player with Enes Kanter now in Portland, but there will still be some bumps in the road that will come with owning him.

4 Robin Lopez Bulls 24% - Ro-Lo is ro-lling, hitting double digits in scoring in seven straight games and averaging 19 points, 4.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.6 blocks on 66 percent shooting over his last five. He should be owned in more leagues.

4 Cody Zeller Hornets 28% - Zeller’s got it on cruise control right now, double-doubling with 13 & 11 with a block on Saturday, and averaging 13 points, 8.8 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 0.6 steals and 1.2 blocks over his last five games.

3 Thomas Bryant Wizards 26% - Bryant came off the bench on Saturday, but exploded for 23 points, 12 rebounds, four assists, two steals, three blocks and three 3-pointers on 9-of-11 shooting in 31 minutes. He’s averaging 11.8 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 0.4 steals, 1.4 blocks and 1.2 3-pointers on 56 percent shooting over his last five games. He’s tough to trust, but is generally coming through on most nights.

 

3 Boban Marjanovic Sixers 21% - Boban is worth a look with Joel Embiid out right now with a sore knee, and he had 19 points, 12 boards and a block on Thursday. He played just 19 minutes on Saturday and didn’t do much, but as long as Embiid’s out, Boban’s worth a look. He’s averaging 9.4 points, 6.4 boards and 0.6 blocks over his last five games.

4 Ante Zizic Cavaliers 8% - Zizic has played well in his last two games, averaging 16.5 points, 9.5 rebounds and 1.0 blocks over that stretch. He wasn’t doing much prior to that, but he could be heating up. If you need a center, give him a look.

4 Jahlil Okafor Pelicans 38% - Okafor’s a tough call right now, but if Anthony Davis ever goes away, Okafor could explode again. He only played 13 minutes without Davis playing on Saturday, which was disappointing. The numbers and minutes haven’t been exciting lately, but he’s worth stashing in case Davis is shut down. Then again, there are no guarantees that a Davis shutdown would make Okafor automatically worth owning.

Steve Alexander

Steve "Dr. A" Alexander is the senior editor for the NBA for NBC Sports Edge and a contributor to NBCSports.com. The 2020-21 NBA season marks (at least) his 20th year of covering fantasy hoops for NBC Sports. Follow him on Twitter - @Docktora.