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Waiver Wired

Wired: Top NBA Pickups

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

Week 20 Schedule: Games Played


5 Games: SAC



2 Games: SAS


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Point Guards


De’Aaron Fox Kings 50 percent owned in Yahoo! leagues – Fox played on Saturday after missing time with an eye injury and had 13 points, six assists, a steal and a 3-pointer in 30 minutes in that one. He hasn’t been doing much over his last five games, but he seemed to get back on track yesterday. The Kings are going to continue to give him a lot of minutes and I’m thinking he’ll fully breakout over the rest of the season. And the Kings go five times this week!


Tomas Satoransky Wizards 35% – Sato came into Friday’s game hot but was a bit quiet in that one with 11 points and two assists. He’s averaging 15.2 points, 3.4 rebounds, 6.2 assists, 1.2 steals, 1.0 blocks and 2.0 3-pointers on 61 percent shooting over his last five. That’s must-own territory and John Wall’s not close to returning from knee surgery.


Andrew Harrison Grizzlies 17% - Harrison has a pair of 20-point games over his last five and had 17 points and six dimes on Saturday, when Tyreke Evans was out with a rib injury. He’ll have an MRI on Sunday and could miss time, and it wouldn’t take much of an injury to shut him down. Harrison’s averaging 15.8 points, 3.2 assists, 0.8 steals and 1.6 3-pointers on 52 percent shooting over his last five games and he should get a ton of minutes down the stretch.


Emmanuel Mudiay Knicks 15% – Mudiay’s not killing it but has started the last two games for the Knicks. Over his last five, he’s averaging 10 points, 3.6 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 1.0 steals over his last five games, but hasn’t hit a 3-pointer (0-for-13) since being traded to the Knicks. If Mudiay continues to start, he should put up bigger numbers than these going forward. Trey Burke Knicks (8% owned) scored 26 points on both Thursday and Saturday and is averaging 26 points, 7.0 assists, 1.0 steals and 2.0 3-pointers over those two games. I have no idea if he’s going to keep it up, but he’s certainly worth a look after those two contests.


Fred VanVleet Raptors 14% - VanVleet’s not blowing up the scoring column in box scores, but he is averaging 9.4 points, 2.6 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.8 3-pointers on 42 percent shooting over his last five. He’s not a must-own player, but he’s probably available in your league and might be worth grabbing if you’re thin at the point in a deeper league.


Shooting Guards


J.J. Barea Grizzlies 21% – I’m not sure why or how, but JJB has been really good lately, averaging 14.5 points, 2.8 rebounds, 10.0 assists, 1.0 steals and 2.3 3-pointers on 52 percent shooting over his last four games. The Mavs may let the kids play down the stretch, which would hurt JJB and other vets, but he’s rolling right now and deserves to be used until his hot streak comes to an end.


Buddy Hield Kings 51% - Hield has finally come to life and has gotten big minutes in his last three games. He’s averaging 23 points, 6.7 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.0 steals and 4.3 3-pointers over that stretch. The Kings simply have to play the young guys going forward and Hield is finally hot after a lackluster season. He’s shooting it lights out right now, getting big minutes and should be ready for a race to the finish of the season. And the five-game week basically makes him a must-add player, especially if you own any Spurs.


Lance Stephenson Pacers 12% – Lance is quietly averaging 10.8 points, 6.0 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.2 3-pointers on 43 percent shooting over his last five games. He far from must-own, but is playing well enough to be used in most leagues.


Marcus Smart Celtics 50% - Smart’s been back for two games and is averaging 11.5 points, 2.5 rebounds, 5.5 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.0 3-pointers in them. Terry Rozier’s still playing well, even with Smart back, but Smart’s getting 27 minutes in those, while Rozier’s averaging 22.5 minutes in them. I still like Rozier, but Smart’s return hurts him and Smart is playing well.


Jamal Crawford Timberwolves 14% - Crawford has quietly scored in double figures in five straight games and with Jimmy Butler’s pending knee surgery, Crawford should see a boost in minutes and a bigger role. He’s been impossible to trust this season and won’t do more than score and hit 3-pointers, but he should continue to score a lot of points with Butler down and out.


Small Forwards


Josh Jackson Suns 49% – Jackson’s not as hot as he was a couple weeks ago and had a five-point dud on Saturday, when he played just 19 minutes. He had played 30-plus minutes in five straight games before seeing them drop to 23 on Friday and 19 on Saturday, but I’m still not worried. There’s absolutely no reason the Suns shouldn’t let him play as much as he can down the stretch and he’s averaging 17.6 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.1 blocks and a 3-pointer in 32 minutes in February.


David Nwaba Bulls 19% – Nwaba had 21 points, nine boards, a block, a steal and three 3-pointers in his start on Thursday, then had 14 points and nine boards on Saturday, playing 33 and 34 minutes in those two games. The Bulls are in full tank mode and Nwaba is the big winner here now that he’s starting. Nwaba’s hit 15-of-23 in those two games and he’s one of the hottest pickups in the NBA right now.


Bogdan Bogdanovic Kings 41% - Bogdan had scored in double figures in five straight games before he blew up for 26 points and seven triples in the Rising Stars game at All-Star Weekend. He then backed that up with a dud on Thursday, when he had just four points and five fouls in 19 minutes against the Thunder. He got back on track on Saturday and went off for 21 points, six boards, four assists, a steal, a block and four 3-pointers in 30 minutes. Hopefully he’s going to continue to see major minutes and finish up strong for the lowly Kings. He has to be owned at this point – especially with the five-game week coming.


Michael Beasley Knicks 57% – Beasley had 15 points, eight boards, a steal and a 3-pointer in 29 minutes on Saturday and is averaging 15.2 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.0 blocks and 0.8 3-pointers on 42 percent shooting over his last five games. The Knicks may got to a full youth movement at some point, but for now, Beasley is rolling.


Nemanja Bjelica Timberwolves 10% - Bjelica had eight points, seven boards, four assists and a 3-pointer in 33 minutes on Saturday and, along with Crawford, is going to get a big boost due to Jimmy Butler’s injury. Bjelica actually started on Saturday and should continue to do so until further notice. He’s not a must-own player, but he might be a week from now, depending on how he does while trying to fill Butler’s huge shoes. He should excel in points, threes and rebounds, and should come through with some steals and blocks as well.


Power Forwards


Bobby Portis Bulls 52% - Portis went crazy with 38 points, eight boards and six triples on Thursday and then had 15 points, four boards and a 3-pointer in 20 minutes on Saturday. He’s averaging 20.6 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.2 3-pointers on 52 percent shooting over his last five games. I wish he blocked shots or stole the ball more, but the minutes are there and he’s finally become a must-own player.


John Collins Hawks 49% - Ersan Ilyasova will be bought out by the Hawks and we should finally see Collins turned loose in Atlanta. He’s probably been in this column more than any other player this season, but has yet to fully break out. In fact, he’s averaging just 8.8 points, 6.0 rebounds, 0.8 steals, 1.8 blocks and is shooting 53 percent over his last five. But with Ghostface Ilya on the way out, it should finally be time for some fun with Collins.


Pascal Siakam Raptors 2% – Siakam has scored 17 points in two straight games and is averaging 12.4 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 0.6 steals and 0.8 3-pointers on 63 percent shooting over his last five games. The Raptors are one of the deepest teams in the league, so Siakam may have trouble staying consistent, but he’s playing well enough to be given a look right now.


Skal Labissiere Kings 11% - Skal has played in two straight despite a shoulder injury and is averaging 9.0 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.5 blocks in 25.5 minutes in them. As you know, the Kings have nothing to play for and developing Skal should be much more of a priority than running Zach Randolph out there every night. Once he’s feeling 100 percent from the shoulder injury he could really take off for the Kings, although he’s not really been able to put it all together this season. That should change down the stretch. I like him a five-game roll of the dice this week.


Royce O’Neale Jazz 3% – The return of Ricky Rubio hurts him a bit and he’s cold right now, hitting just 3-of-14 shots over his last two games. He did have a 19-point effort against the Suns just before the break, when he had five boards, two assists, two steals, a block and three 3-pointers, so the potential is still there. If you’re in a 14-team league, he might be one of the better options on your waiver wire.




Alex Len Suns 28% - Len is suddenly hot and Tyson Chandler’s a shutdown candidate. He’s averaging 13 points, 11 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 2.7 blocks over his last three games and Len might actually finish out the season for the Suns. He’s healthy and hot, and should be owned in all leagues at this point.


Dwight Powell Mavericks 39% - Powell is quietly averaging 13.6 points, 7.4 boards, 0.6 steals and 0.8 blocks on 53 percent shooting over his last five. His shooting numbers should be much better going forward, and were thrown off by a 1-of-7 night on Friday.


Jarrett Allen Nets 38% - Allen still isn’t killing it, but he is averaging 9.6 points, 8.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 0.6 steals and 1.2 blocks on 59 percent shooting over his last five games. I still think he has a chance to fully break out down the stretch, but I also know he’s been kind of frustrating to own. Patience is the key here.


Deyonta Davis Grizzlies 1% – Davis started and played 23 minutes on Saturday with Marc Gasol resting (told ya) and had 14 points and seven boards on 6-of-11 shooting in 23 minutes. Gasol hasn’t been shut down, but I still don’t think he’ll finish out the season. And it’s time to develop Davis, who should be able to score, board and block some shots on nights when Gasol’s in street clothes.


Cristiano Felicio Bulls 3% - Felicio had 11 points, three boards, three assists and two blocks in 31 minutes of Saturday’s start, but only played 12 minutes on Thursday. He’s the new starting center for the tanking Bulls and while he’s not a must-own player, he’s going to get every opportunity to succeed the rest of the way, and is a nice stash right no

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.