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Waiver Wired

Wired: Top NBA Pickups Week 13

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

Games Played Week 13

 

5 Games: DEN

4 Games: ATL, CHA, DAL, GSW, HOU, IND, MIL, NYK, ORL, PHI, PHX, POR, TOR, WAS

3 Games: BOS, BRK, CHI, CLE, LAC, LAL, MEM, MIA, MIN, NOP, SAC, SAN, UTA

2 Games: DET, OKC

 

It’s time to stash Ben Simmons of the Sixers. He may start at point guard for the Sixers, but given the way T.J. McConnell is playing, a spot at forward makes a little more sense to me. In any case, he could debut sometime this month, so if you have room, it’s time to give him a spot on your bench. He’s owned in 43% of the Yahoo! leagues out there. Follow me on Twitter by clicking here.

 

Additionally, Rodney Hood suffered a knee injury on Saturday and we don’t know how long he’ll be out. Alec Burks, Joe Ingles and Joe Johnson are all worth a look if he’s going to miss time.

 

Point Guards

 

T.J. McConnell Sixers 36 percent owned in Yahoo! leagues – McConnell has taken over starting point guard duties from Sergio Rodriguez and might keep the job all season. Then again, Ben Simmons could steal his job when he debuts sometime in the future. McConnell’s not scoring very much, but he’s averaging 6.2 points, 5.6 rebounds, 9.2 assists, 2.0 steals and 2.0 turnovers over his last five games. He isn’t a source for threes and the scoring is a buzzkill, but he’s certainly worth owning.

 

Tony Parker Spurs 47% - Parker has overcome a slow start to the season and is averaging 13 points, 2.8 rebounds and 6.4 assists over his last five games, hitting 57 percent of his shots. He’s not going to hit threes or get steals for you, but he’s a serviceable point guard. Just beware of the occasional “Rest – Old” tag from Gregg Popovich if you take him on.

 

Malcolm Brogdon Bucks 59% – I don’t often toot my own horn, but I will say that I had Brogdon in this column pretty early on, back when he was owned in only 11% of Yahoo! leagues. Times have changed, but Brogdon has been really good, averaging 14.8 points, 5.0 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.2 3-pointers on 47 percent shooting with just 1.4 turnovers a night over his last five games. He’d be No. 1 on this list, but Jason Kidd is talking about giving Matthew Dellavedova his starting job back at some point. I don’t agree with that idea, but it is what it is. In any case, Brogdon should be owned until further notice.

 

Michael Carter-Williams 26% – Rajon Rondo is back in the rotation and hurting MCW, but MCW is still the starter for the Bulls, and might be for the long haul. He only scored three points with two assists in his last game, but started on Sunday and had games of 14 points and seven rebounds on Tuesday, and he had 15 points and two assists on Monday. As long as he’s starting for the Bulls he’s worth a look for your fantasy team.

 

Ty Lawson Kings 17% - Darren Collison has been disappointing as the starter for the Kings (understatement), while Lawson has been playing very well off the bench. He’s averaging 14.4 points, 2.4 rebounds and 4.2 assists on 52 percent shooting over his last five games. He only has two steals and two 3-pointers over that stretch, but Lawson is worth owning as long as he’s playing 28 minutes a night and outshining the starter.

 

Shooting Guards

 

Bojan Bogdanovic Nets 51% - I made the mistake of dropping BB and my buddy BMac picked him up just in time for his 23-point explosion on Friday. He’s been scoring in double figures consistently and is averaging 16.8 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 0.8 steals and 3.4 3-pointers over his last five games, so my timing of dropping him wasn’t great, but I did it after he scored eight and three points in back-to-back games. And then he went off.

 

Seth Curry Mavericks 24% - Curry just might be a new starter for the Mavericks with Andrew Bogut down and out and the time to move is now. He had a zero-point dud early last week, but is still averaging 10.4 points, 1.0 steals and 2.0 3-pointers on 58 percent shooting over his last five games. And if he sticks in the starting lineup, he’s basically a must-own player, despite being better on defense than offense.

 

Tim Hardaway Jr. Hawks 31% – Now that Kyle Korver’s been shipped off to the Cavaliers, THJ is getting major bench minutes and averaging 16 points, 2.8 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.0 steals, 3.0 3-pointers and is shooting 48 percent in 26 minutes over his last five games. He’s prone to disappear at times, but he’s played very well since the calendar turned to January.

 

Dion Waiters Heat 19% - Waiters has been getting starts for injured Josh Richardson, but his shot is broken right now. He’s hit just 17-of-57 shots over his last five games and played 31 and 38 minutes in his last two. The numbers aren’t really worth getting into, although he did have a total of 14 assists in those two most recent games. Richardson’s eventual return will hurt Waiters’ minutes, but once his shot starts falling, he should at least be a serviceable option, especially in deeper leagues.

 

Shabazz Muhammad Timberwolves 3% (and Allen Crabbe) - Muhammad starts for my 30-team league, but he’s not for everyone, obviously. He’s also scored in single digits in two of his last four games, but he scored 20 points with seven rebounds on Wednesday and scored in double figures in five of six games in late December and early January. He’s far from a must-own player, but if you’re in a deep league he might be able to help. And while I didn’t put him in this column, I’d rather take a flier on a guy like Allen Crabbe, who’s averaging 16.8 points and 2.4 3-pointers on 59 percent shooting over his last five. Crabbe is only owned in 35% of Yahoo! leagues.

 

Small Forwards

 

James Johnson Heat 54% – I feel like he’s on this list every single week, yet he’s still only owned in half the leagues out there. JJ is averaging 14 points, 4.2 rebounds, 5.6 assists, 1.0 steals, 1.6 blocks and 2.0 3-pointers while shooting 50 percent over his last five games. Must. Own. Player.

 

Tyreke Evans Pelicans 63% – Evans went crazy on Thursday with 29 points and a flawless stat line, and backed it up with 14 points and six assists on Saturday. He’s scored in double figures in three straight games and while he’s still a rest candidate on any given night, it looks like he’s finally ready to start producing.

 

DeMarre Carroll Raptors 70% – Carroll had been doing next to nothing this season until he went off for 26 points, eight rebounds and six 3-pointers last Sunday. He then had 11 points, four boards, a steal, a block and three 3-pointers on Tuesday, and wrapped up his week with 18 points, 11 rebounds and three more 3-pointers on Friday. He’s averaging 3.2 3-pointers over his last five games and might finally have gotten the confidence boost he needed. Like Johnson and Evans, he’s a must-own player.

 

Stanley Johnson Pistons 26% - Johnson gets a look this week thanks to a shoulder strain for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Johnson took over for him on Thursday when he finished with eight points, two rebounds, three assists and two 3-pointers in 38 minutes. He came off the bench on Friday, but played 26 minutes and hit 4-of-5 shots and two more 3-pointers for 10 points, but was otherwise pretty invisible on the court. He’s only worth it if KCP’s going to miss several games, but it does look like he’ll get minutes if it happens. And I feel like he’s got a big game or two brewing inside him that will escape in the near future.

 

Luke Babbitt Heat 0% - Babbitt has been starting for the depleted Heat for a while now, but generally does nothing, which is why he’s not owned anywhere. However, he finally sprang to life on Friday and hit 6-of-9 shots and four 3-pointers for 16 points, four rebounds, two assists and two blocks. Maybe it was a case of a blind squirrel finding a nut, or maybe that game will finally get him going. But at least I won’t be accused of writing a Wired column where some dude says “you didn’t write about a single guy available in my league.”

 

Power Forwards

 

Al-Farouq Aminu Blazers 52% – AFA is averaging a double-double over his last five games with 10 points, 10.6 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.2 blocks and 0.6 3-pointers on 43 percent shooting. He’s starting for the Blazers and may be helped by Moe Harkless’ new calf injury. He should be owned in more leagues.

 

Terrence Jones Pelicans 42% – Jones went off in a start for Anthony Davis on Thursday with 24 points, 12 rebounds, a steal and a 3-pointer and then actually started alongside AD on Saturday, when he had nine points, eight boards and three blocks in 34 minutes. And given AD’s injury history, Jones is probably worth owning even if he goes back to the bench. But if he sticks in the starting five, he’ll become a must-own player. He’s at 12 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.6 blocks over his last five.

 

Marcus Morris Pistons 58% - Morris could also benefit from KCP’s injury and is still starting for the Pistons. He’s averaging 14.2 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 0.8 steals and 1.2 3-pointers over his last five games, but is also shooting just 35 percent from the floor over that stretch. He’s in a shooting slump right now, but he could be very fun to own if you’re there when he breaks out of it.

 

Anthony Tolliver Kings 3% – Tolliver has started in three straight games and is averaging 13.3 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.7 steals and 2.3 3-pointers in 34 minutes a night over that stretch. I don’t know how long he’ll hold onto the job, but he’s worth a flier in case it sticks.

 

Kyle O’Quinn Knicks 12% - O’Quinn has been up and down all season, but he’s up again, going for 10 points, 15 rebounds, a steal and two blocks on Wednesday, and backing it up with 12 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks on Thursday. If he does it again on Sunday, he’ll become a very hot pickup.

 

Centers

 

Cody Zeller Hornets 46% – Zeller is back from his illness and had 16 points, 10 rebounds, two steals and a block in 36 minutes on Friday. He should be the starting center in Charlotte the rest of the way and is likely the best center option available on waiver wires.

 

Kelly Olynyk Celtics 14% – Olynyk started the second half over Amir Johnson on Friday and could finally be ready to make some noise. He had a season-high 26 points, eight rebounds, a steal and four 3-pointers on 9-of-11 shooting in that game, and is averaging 13 points, 5.2 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 0.6 blocks and 2.0 3-pointers on 57 percent shooting in his last five games. If he can somehow replace Johnson in the starting five, he’ll be a must-own player.

 

Lucas Nogueira Raptors 17% – Bebe started on Friday with Patrick Patterson out with a knee injury, but he was playing pretty well in a bench role. He had 10 points, nine rebounds and four blocks on 5-of-5 shooting in Friday’s start and is averaging 6.8 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.0 steals and 2.0 blocks on 67 percent shooting over his last five games. He may struggle at times and isn’t going to score much, but he’s playing well enough to be owned.

 

Alex Len Suns 40% – Len’s not doing a whole lot right now, averaging just 7.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in 14 minutes over his last five games. But the Suns are one of the worst teams in the league and they already know what Tyson Chandler can do. Chandler’s the guy to own right now, but I still think the Suns will eventually turn to developing Len, making him an interesting stash right now.

 

Clint Capela Rockets 66% – Capela’s been out since Dec. 17 with a broken leg, but appears to be nearing a return. He was averaging 11.8 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.6 blocks before the injury and the Rockets are excited about getting him back. He could return as soon as Tuesday or Wednesday, so if he’s sitting out there and you need a center, now’s the time to grab him. And when it happens, Montrezl Harrell will take a hit. If you can drop Harrell for Capela right now, by all means, do it.

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.