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Waiver Wired

Wired: Top NBA Pickups Week 11

by Matt Stroup


I’m pinch-hitting for Dr. A this week, but it’ll be a similar setup to what we're all used to. Here’s the schedule for Week 11:

4 Games: LAL, POR (seriously, that’s it)

3 Games: Literally Almost Everyone

2 Games: IND, MEM

The number in front of a player’s name is the number of games played, which is almost silly to do when there are this many three-game weeks, but it’s important to stick to tradition — especially at this time of year. Let’s go:


3 - Emmanuel Mudiay (57 percent owned in Yahoo leagues): There’s not much more to say about Mudiay, but it’s getting to the point where he needs to be owned just about across the board. He torched the Hawks for 32 points on Friday, his third 30-plus effort in his last five. He’s now averaging 25.4 ppg, 5.8 apg, 0.8 spg and 1.6 3s on 54.1 percent shooting during that stretch.

3 - Marcus Smart (43 percent): His ownership percentage has spiked from the upper 20’s into the 40’s, so it’s already too late in a lot of leagues. Smart has actually had three double-digit scoring games (and one goose-egg) in his last five, posting 11.8 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 4.4 apg, 3.2 spg and 1.8 3s (39.0 from the floor, 90.0 from the line).

3 - Tyler Johnson (40 percent): Johnson had a letdown game on Saturday, playing just 18 minutes (with seven points) off the bench. In three games prior to that, he had averaged 17.0 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 2.0 apg, 0.7 spg, 0.7 bpg and 3.0 3s, and I still think he should be productive more often than not — and pretty fun to have on fantasy rosters — with Goran Dragic (knee) sidelined for the next two months.

3 - Monte Morris (37 percent): Morris extended his string of double-digit scoring to eight straight games on Saturday evening, dropping 15 points with five dimes, a steal and a triple. Over that eight-game span, his numbers look like this: 14.0 ppg, 4.6 apg, 1.6 spg and 2.0 3s on 54.7 percent from the field. It should be fun times for Morris until Gary Harris and Will Barton (and Isaiah Thomas) return to ruin it for him/us.

3 - J.J. Barea (21 percent): Barea dropped 19 and eight in 27 minutes on Thursday, adding 11 and six with a steal and a trey on Saturday. If points and assists are what you need, Barea has put up 11.6 ppg and 5.5 apg in his 20 minutes a game this year and is a low-ceiling, relatively no-nonsense source of production when on the floor. Jalen Brunson (2 percent) would in theory be an option also with Dennis Smith Jr. sidelined, though his recent stretch has been pretty bad — 10.0 ppg, 2.0 apg, 0.6 spg and 0.8 3s on 38.8 percent shooting his last five.

3 - Bryn Forbes (17 percent): Forbes put up 12 points with two treys on Saturday evening, giving him averages of 17.0 ppg and 2.7 3s over his last three games. He did have seven assists in one of those games, but has no steals during this stretch and can’t be added with the expectation of much of anything beyond just points and 3s.

3 - Jeremy Lin (10 percent): Similar story to Barea. Lin has put up 16-3-4 and 11-5-4 in back-to-back games heading into Sunday, and could be close to heating back up in his bench role for the Hawks. Just as a reminder, Lin had about a month-long stretch from late October to late November where he put up 14.3 ppg, 4.0 apg, 1.2 spg and 1.7 3s on 55.3 percent shooting in 14 games.

3 - Derrick White (9 percent): White has not been scoring much lately, but I’ve seen enough in other categories to make him worth considering. His last four games: 7.3 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 4.8 apg, 0.5 spg, 1.8 bpg and 0.5 3s in 26 minutes a game. Wait, did you say 1.8 blocks? Yes, I did. White has been starting and getting consistent run the last few games, and I still think there’s a chance this guy breaks out — just a little bit behind schedule. I like him as a stash in standard leagues right now.

3 - De’Anthony Melton (7 percent): He hasn’t been doing much lately, but did put up a solid line on Saturday night with 10 points, three assists, three steals and two 3s in 20 minutes. Then again, he only played 20 minutes in a 149-146 triple-OT game, so Melton still looks like a consideration in deep leagues only.

3 - Matthew Dellavedova (7 percent): A true deep-league special, Dellavedova has been doing a solid J.J. Barea impression lately, averaging 11.2 ppg, 4.8 apg, 0.5 spg and 2.0 3s in just 20 minutes a game over his last six.

3 - Tyus Jones (6 percent): Jeff Teague is out with knee trouble and Derrick Rose is dealing with an ankle injury, meaning that Jones could be worth a short-term look. He only has three double-digit scoring games all season, though two of them have come in the last three games.

3 - Malik Beasley (2 percent): Despite inconsistent playing time, he could be a short-term consideration in super-deep leagues after putting up 11.5 ppg, 2.5 apg, 3.0 spg and 1.0 3s in 27.0 minutes over his last two.

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3 - Reggie Bullock (37 percent): Bullock is in the midst of a serious hot streak. His last four games include 20.8 ppg and 4.8 treys, and frankly very little else. If you need a short-term boost in steals and 3s, Bullock is worth a look.

3 - E’Twaun Moore (31 percent): If you’re looking for a guy who could soon go on a Bullock-esque run, consider Moore. He has been shooting terribly overall lately (30.6 percent his last three), but somehow making 42.9 percent of his 3s (2.0 per game) during that same run, which is a little odd. In any case, Moore can get hot in a hurry, so keep a close eye on him.

3 - Kevin Huerter (14 percent): Huerter continues to thrive in a starting role for the Hawks. Over his last 10 games, he has put up 11.4 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 2.9 apg, 1.1 spg, and 0.6 3s with strong percentages (49.4 / 91.7). Of all the shooting guards to potentially add from this list, he’s my favorite choice for long-term potential.

3 - Alec Burks (9 percent): Burks has been productive lately while shooting poorly. His last five games look like this: 9.6 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 2.0 apg, 0.6 spg, 1.2 bpg and 0.8 3s — on 32.1 percent from the floor in 27 minutes a game. I like almost everything about that stat line except for the shooting, so Burks could be really useful sooner rather than later.

3 - Tomas Satoransky (5 percent): He went off in triple OT sans John Wall on Saturday (17-4-9 in 48 minutes), though he's tough to trust when the Wizards are at full strength.

3 - Dion Waiters (4 percent): I feel obligated to mention him because he went through a full practice recently. I don't feel obligated to add him yet outside of a much deeper league. Waiters has only played 76 games total the last two seasons, but when on the floor he has been relevant, posting 15.2 ppg, 4.1 apg, 0.9 spg and 1.8 3s — albeit with bad percentages (41.4 / 67.9). All things considered, I’ll pass.


3 - P.J. Tucker (43 percent): Quite simply, Tucker has gotten hot, posting 12.2 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 1.0 spg and 3.2 3s over his last five. I would add him if he’s still out there, and don't hesitate to move on at the first sign that this run is over.

3 - Juancho Hernangomez (38 percent): He has cooled off considerably with 9.0 ppg on 35.3 percent shooting over his last five, and has subsequently been dropped in a bunch of leagues. I would take a flier on him if that's the case. His minutes are still there — 31 per game during this slump — so it may not be long before he gets going again.

3 - Jeff Green (32 percent): He continues to play well in the absence of Otto Porter (20 points and eight boards in the triple-OT mayhem on Saturday), and will likely go back to being a deep-league consideration only once Otto is back.

3 - Derrick Jones Jr. (29 percent): Airplane Mode hit a major setback on Saturday night, playing just nine minutes in a seven-point win over Milwaukee. This is not good news in any way if you added him recently, but I’m staying patient for at least a couple more games. There's just too much potential here to hastily cut Jones loose.

3 - Josh Jackson (29 percent): Jackson had a rough game on Saturday (two points in 17 minutes), but the bottom line remains the same: He’s contributing in a bunch of categories (10.9 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 2.9 apg, 1.5 spg, 0.6 bpg, 1.1 3s over his last 10 games) with bad percentages (35.1 / 66.7).

3 - Cedi Osman (23 percent): He’s shooting better lately (52.4 percent over his last four games), though not doing a whole lot else — 14.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 1.0 apg, 0.3 spg, 0.0 bpg and 1.0 3s. At this point I’m just watching him to see if he can keep shooting well and start contributing elsewhere. It seems like a tall order.

3 - Justise Winslow (21 percent): Here we go again. Winslow returned on Saturday and put up 8-6-5 with two steals and two triples, and it wasn't that long ago that he was absurdly hot for the Heat with 23.0 ppg over a three-game stretch earlier this month. I would still personally prefer to wait out Derrick Jones Jr. for another game or three. If that fails, I might turn to Winslow. Or I might stop adding Heat players forever. Could go either way at this point.

3 - Mikal Bridges (11 percent): Same story for Bridges — lots of minutes (33 per game over his last eight), not a ton of production (9.9 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 1.1 spg, 0.5 bpg and 2.0 3s during that stretch). He’ll frustrate you if you start him right now because he fails to hit double digits more often than not, but he’s a stash who still carries a lot of upside for the second half.

3 - DeMarre Carroll (7 percent): For points and 3s only, Carroll has posted 11.8 ppg and 2.2 3s over his last five.

3 - Rodions Kurucs (4 percent): Kurucs has been benefitting from the absence of Allen Crabbe, and threw down 24 points with a steal, a block and four 3s on Friday. If he puts up another good line against Phoenix on Sunday evening, it may be to time to act.


3 - Marvin Williams (52 percent): Much like P.J. Tucker, Marvin is a veteran in the midst of a hot streak, so deploy him while you can and then be ready to move on. Williams just hit seven 3s on Friday night and has averaged 14.0 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 1.0 spg, 0.7 bpg and 3.1 3s over his last seven games.

3 - James Johnson (31 percent): I’m not running to add Johnson anywhere, though I am watching him closely after an 11-6-4 line with two steals, a block and a triple in a season-high 30 minutes on Saturday. The problem is it doesn't take much for Erik Spoelstra to turn to his bench, so Johnson doesn’t have a lot of room for error on any given night.

3 - Trey Lyles (9 percent): Despite limited minutes (23 per game over his last eight), Lyles is right on the edge of useful deeper league production, posting 9.6 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 0.6 spg, 1.1 bpg and 0.9 3s — on 36.0 percent shooting — during that eight-game stretch.


3 - Richaun Holmes (20 percent): Deandre Ayton is playing lights-out again. Nevertheless, Holmes continues to tread water as a deep-league center option. His last five: 10.2 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 0.6 spg, 1.0 bpg. (And yes, as you can gather, the center options are not plentiful this week.)

3 - Mason Plumlee (19 percent): Plumlee has started the last five for Denver and put up 9.4 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 2.6 apg, 1.0 spg and 1.0 bpg in the process. He’s my top readily-available center pickup this week.

3 - Robert Williams (19 percent): Minute totals the last five games: 14, 16, 10, 24, 8. Block totals the last five games: 2, 5, 1, 5, 2. Bottom line: Williams is an upside stash for blocks who will hopefully benefit from the absence of Aron Baynes (hand, out 4-6 weeks).

3 - Thomas Bryant (13 percent): Bryant had a somewhat absurd game Saturday night, scoring 31 points with 13 boards on 14-of-14 shooting in that wild 149-146 win over the Suns. I still think Bryant is just a deep-league consideration until proven otherwise, as he had scored seven, eight, four and 12 in his four games before this eruption. Overall, over his last 10 games, he’s at 10.6 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 0.8 bpg and 0.4 3s — on 73.3 percent shooting — in just 21 minutes a game.

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*Taj Gibson (46 percent): Last five games: 7.4 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 0.6 bpg in 20 minutes a game.

*Josh Hart (40 percent): The Lakers do play four games this week, but the squad is getting healthier and Hart has averaged 5.3 ppg on 24.2 percent shooting over his last four games.

*Cody Zeller (37 percent): Averaged 5.0 ppg, 7.7. rpg and 1.3 bpg in his last three games heading into Sunday, and I don’t see him as an exciting option in shallow leagues.

*Bam Adebayo (37 percent): Still a useful option in real life for Miami, Adebayo has been scoring at Ben Wallace levels lately, with averages of 3.8 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 3.6 apg and 1.0 bpg over his last five. Like Zeller, there is still some value here in deeper formats.

*Terrence Ross (37 percent): It may just be a slump (including two points in 28 minutes on Friday), but I would gladly swap Ross out for a hotter pickup right now.

*Rodney McGruder (22 percent): I think the theme of this column, if I had to choose one, is that Miami’s rotation is quietly tormenting us all. Early-season sensation McGruder has averaged just 5.3 ppg on 24.0 percent shooting in his last four, but still gotten 24 minutes a game, playing time that could easily go to Derrick Jones Jr. if there was any justice in the fantasy basketball universe.