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Collin Sexton
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Waiver Wired

Top NBA Pickups for Week 5

by Steve Alexander
Updated On: November 14, 2018, 9:38 am ET

Games Played Week 5


5 Games: GSW



2 Games: CHA, CLE, IND, MIL

1 Game: DET


This is the first week we’ve really seen a huge discrepancy in games played. I have no idea how the Pistons only play once in a week the Warriors play five times, and I’m not sure we’ve ever seen such a discrepancy in the past, especially this early in the season. Stephen Curry’s groin injury and Draymond Green’s foot problem have made guys like Quinn Cook, Kevon Looney, Jordan Bell and Alfonzo McKinnie relevant for the Warriors lately. And with five games in seven days, Steve Kerr might be taking it easy on some of his veterans this week. If games played matter in your league, I’m fine with grabbing some Warriors scrubs and rolling the dice on them. Especially if you own Blake Griffin, Andre Drummond or Reggie Jackson. I don’t know that any Pistons are startable with only one game this week.



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Point Guards


Derrick White Spurs 31 percent owned in Yahoo! leagues – White started on Saturday and played 30 minutes, racking up 14 points, four rebounds, eight assists, two steals and a 3-pointer against the Rockets. That’s not bad for the first home start of his career, and was much better than his first start on Wednesday, when he failed to score in 16 minutes. Dejounte Murray is out for the year, Bryn Forbes will share time with White, but White’s the guy you want to own if you’re in need of a starting point guard. As a bonus, White has four games this week.


Collin Sexton Cavaliers 36% – George Hill is out for a couple weeks with a shoulder injury, forcing Sexton into a starting job and back to fantasy relevance. It was only a week ago that there were rumblings out of Cleveland that Sexton might not be as good as they thought he was going to be, and I was feeling Hill. But now that the veteran is on the shelf for a couple weeks and the Cavs aren’t going anywhere this year, Sexton might just keep the job for the rest of the season. Suddenly he’s averaging17.5 points, 3.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.5 3-pointers on 15-of-30 shooting over his last two games, one of which featured a career-high 20 points on Saturday. He’s going to be up and down like a yo-yo, but it’s time to go get Sexton if you’ve got a guard hole in your lineup. Unfortunately, he’s only got two games this week.


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Shelvin Mack Grizzlies 14% - Mack disappeared on Wednesday against the Nuggets, but has otherwise been great. He’s averaging 14.6 points, 2.4 boards, 3.0 assists, 1.4 steals and 2.0 3-pointers on 59 percent shooting over his last five games. With four games this week, he looks like a pretty solid add.

Jeremy Lin Hawks 11% – The Hawks don’t play defense and are prone to giving up monstrous third quarters to opposing teams. Trae Young is locked in as the starter, but Lin is getting solid run on a pretty consistent basis. He’s averaging 15.2 points, 3.2 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.2 3-pointers on 60 percent shooting over his last five games. He’s only getting about 20 minutes a night, and he’s far from a must-own player, but with the Warriors, Nuggets and Pacers lined up for potential road blowouts for the Hawks this week, now’s as good a time as any to think about running Lin out there. I think I’d play him for three games over a guy like Reggie Jackson, who only plays one game in Week 5.


Isaiah Canaan Suns 5% - Canaan’s scoring has been down for the last couple games, but he had six assists in each of them, and is averaging 11.4 points, 2.8 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 0.8 steals and 1.8 3-pointers over his last five games. He’s hit 42 percent of his shots over that stretch, and while he’s not really a fantasy game changer, he’s getting 33 minutes a night, and will get you some 3-pointers, steals and assists. Just beware of the shaky field goal percentage. The Suns go three times this week.


Shooting Guards


Shai Gilgeous-Alexander Clippers 34% – SGA has looked great in his last two games, averaging 17.5 points, 4.5 boards, 3.0 assists, 2.0 blocks, 0.5 steals and 2.0 3-pointers, hitting 12-of-25 shots in them. He also played 35 minutes on Thursday and 40 minutes on Saturday, and coach Doc Rivers can’t stop talking about his defense, as well as his overall play. He’s got three games this week and I suspect he’ll be one of the hottest pickups in fantasy this week. He was only owned in 23% of leagues on Saturday, but that number jumped to 34% overnight, and it’s going to keep climbing.


Justin Holiday Bulls 56% - Holiday hasn’t stepped up quite like we’d hoped when Bobby Portis went down, but he’s still averaging 11.6 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 2.0 steals, 0.8 blocks and 2.8 3-pointers over his last five games, but is shooting just 39 percent in them. If his shots start falling, lookout, and the Bulls play four times this week.


Jordan Clarkson Cavaliers 35% - Clarkson has quietly scored in double digits in every game this season, and is averaging 14 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.4 3-pointers over his last five games. He’s looked even better with Hill sidelined and flirted with a triple-double on Wednesday night. But unfortunately, the Cavs only have two games this week, which means this may not be the best timing for picking him up. But Clarkson is one of the few Cavs who can actually score and get his own shot, so he should have some season-long value.


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Josh Hart Lakers 66% - Hart was floundering before blowing up for 21 points and five triples on Wednesday, and he then had 11 points, five boards, two steals and three 3-pointers in just 18 minutes on Saturday. Over his last five, he’s averaging 10.4 points, 2.8 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 1.6 steals and 2.4 3-pointers on 52 percent shooting, in 22 minutes a night. He needs more minutes, but should still be owned in most leagues, despite the fact his numbers haven’t been all that exciting to start the season. The Lakers go three times this week.


Malik Monk Hornets 27% - Monk is quietly rolling along, scoring in double digits in five straight games and is averaging 16.4 points, 1.2 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 2.6 3-pointers on 44 percent shooting over his them. Sadly, he only has two games this week and Jeremy Lamb is due back from his groin injury on Sunday. It’s not the best week to use Monk, but he’s playing well enough to be owned in many fantasy leagues.


Small Forwards


T.J. Warren Suns 56% – Warren moved into the starting lineup recently and went off, averaging 27 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.0 steals, 2.0 blocks and 3.5 3-pointers in 40 minutes over his last two games. Hopefully Ryan Anderson is now out of the rotation and Warren will be able to flourish going forward. He did take a hard spill on Saturday, but we think he’s going to be OK. If he’s not hurt, he should be primed for a big three-game week, and if he continues to start, he should be owned in a lot more leagues by the time next weekend rolls around.


Wilson Chandler Sixers 4% – The Sixers play four times this week and it looks like Chandler’s now their starting power forward, once he’s up to full speed from his hamstring injury. He’s still not ready for back-to-back sets and sat out on Saturday to rest, but he’s in line for a bigger role, more minutes and possibly even a starting gig, making him an interesting prospective pickup. He averaged 10 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.5 blocks and 1.2 3-pointers last season for Denver, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him post similar numbers if he starts for the Sixers. But with his hammy lingering right now, he’s a risky start this week, despite the four games.


Evan Turner Blazers 22% - Turner’s having a decent year in Portland and is averaging 11.2 points, 5.6 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 0.6 steals and 0.6 3-pointers over his last five games, shooting 50 percent from the floor. He’s getting 27 minutes a night and the Blazers play three times this week, making Turner worthy of your attention right now.


Marco Belinelli Spurs 12% - Belinelli’s been a little quiet over his last two games, but is still averaging 11.8 points, 2.4 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 0.8 steals and 1.6 3-pointers on 40 percent shooting over his last five. The Spurs go four times this week, which is great, and Belinelli should be an effective add right now. He’s also available in almost all of my leagues, which doesn’t happen often.


Glenn Robinson III 1% and Stanley Johnson 5% Pistons – Robinson has been moved into the starting lineup over Stanley Johnson, and has hit five 3-pointers and averaged 12.3 points in them. He’s not doing much in the other categories, but if he’s going to continue to start for Detroit, he’s going to be worth a look going forward. Johnson, who’s only owned in five percent of Yahoo! leagues, has actually played better off the bench, and over his last two games is averaging 17.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 2.0 steals and 3.5 3-pointers in 23 minutes. Maybe the bench is what he needed, but with just one game this week, neither G-Rob or Stan should be used in most formats.


Power Forwards


Lauri Markkanen Bulls 82% – He’s probably owned in your league, but just in case he’s not, he’s ramping up his activity and should be getting close to making his debut from his elbow injury. Make sure he’s not sitting on waivers in your league.


Nemanja Bjelica Kings 64% - Am I worried about Bjelica after his last four games, all of which were duds? Absolutely. Am I dropping him or panicking? No. His shot has left him, but like all shooters, slumps are part of the process. He’s hit just 9-of-32 shots over his last four, and went 1-for-11 in two of those. Hopefully he gets back on track on Monday against the Spurs, which kicks off a three-game week. I may not start him if I have options for now, but he was doing so much of everything the first few weeks of the season, I’m just praying the Kings stick with him in the starting lineup. If his next three games are as disastrous as his previous four, then it might be time to panic and move on.


Noah Vonleh Knicks 31% - Vonleh double-doubled on Monday and Wednesday, and had six points and eight boards on Saturday. He’s averaging 9.0 points, 10.7 rebounds, 1.0 steals, 1.0 blocks and 1.0 3-pointers over his last three games. Foul trouble is his biggest challenge, but he’s carved out a big enough role with the Knicks he’s worth a look in most leagues right now. And the Knicks have three games this week.


Jeff Green Wizards 5% - Markieff Morris has been struggling and the Wizards have been utilizing Green in the meantime. He’s averaging 11.4 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.0 3-pointers over his last five games, and had a season-high 19 points, 10 boards, a steal and two 3-pointers on Saturday, which was preceded by 14 points, three rebounds and two assists on Friday. He’s scored in double figures in three of his last four games, but it would only take Morris getting hot for Green to take a hit. Morris was in foul trouble on Saturday and played just 15 minutes, which is part of the reason Green broke out. The Wizards play four times this week, putting Green on the radar in many leagues.


Omari Spellman Hawks 19% - Spellman has double-doubled in two straight, going for 18 points, 10 boards, a steal and three blocks against the Knicks on Wednesday, and then dropping 14 points, 10 boards and a steal on Friday against the Pistons. He’s hit five 3-pointers in those two games and while I have no idea if he can keep this going, he might be worth a look with three games this week. And the fact the Hawks should get blown out in all three of them could mean even more work for Spellman. If John Collins ever plays basketball again, it will hurt Spellman, but he might have carved out a season-long role with his strong play over the past few days.




Montrezl Harrell Clippers 70% – I’m a little surprised Harrell is owned in so many leagues, but he should be after what he did this week. He’s hit double digits in four straight games and is averaging 15 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.0 steals and 1.6 blocks over his last five. The Boban Marjanovic experiment isn’t going so well and Harrell is on fire. He has three games this week, so just make sure he’s not available in your league.


Tristan Thompson Cavaliers 46% – It’s time to go get Thompson, even with the Cavs playing just two games this week. He’s double-doubled in three straight games and is averaging 13.8 points, 11.4 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 0.8 blocks over his last five, shooting almost 60 percent from the floor along the way. The Cavs are a total mess, but least Thompson is doing his thing.


Larry Nance Jr. Cavaliers 58% – Nance started at PF on Saturday, but hit just 1-of-8 shots for two points in 31 minutes. However, he also ripped down 14 rebounds, had a steal and four blocks, and even shot a couple 3-pointers, which he missed. As long as he’s starting for the Cavs, he’s worth adding in most leagues. Just remember he only has two games in Week 5.


Jordan Bell Warriors 30% - Bell’s still disappointing, but has played at least 21 minutes in three straight games, which is encouraging. Of course, Draymond Green has been out with a foot injury, creating the opportunity, and Bell hasn’t done much with the newfound minutes. But he did have five points, eight boards, two assists, two steals and a block on Saturday, so there’s some hope. It sounds like Green will be back on Monday, but with the Warriors playing five times, he’s still worth a look. Especially if Steve Kerr takes it easy on Green in such a busy week.


Willy Hernangomez Hornets 8% - Willy is making some quiet noise in Charlotte right now, scoring in double figures in two of his last three, and averaging 9.0 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 0.6 steals, 1.4 blocks and a 3-pointer while shooting 58 percent in 17 minutes a game over his last five. He’s seen a minutes boost over his last three games and it might only be a matter of time before the Hornets realize he’s better than Cody Zeller. Either way, this probably isn’t the week to plan on using Willy, as the Hornets only play two games. 

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.