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Waiver Wired

Wired: Top NBA Pickups Week 14

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

Games Played Week 14




2 Games – CHA, SAS


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Point Guards


D.J. Augustin Pistons 11% owned in Yahoo! leagues – Brandon Jennings went down with an ugly ankle injury on Saturday night that looks like a potentially torn Achilles. If that’s the case, DJA will suddenly become the man in Detroit. Pick him up until we get further details on Jennings’ injury.

Update: Jennings will miss the rest of the season and DJA went nutso on Sunday.


Elfrid Payton Magic 61% – Payton has cooled off a bit over his last two games, scoring eight and nine points, but is still averaging 14.6 points, 4.2 rebounds, 8.6 assists and 2.4 steals on 51 percent shooting over his last five games. His shooting percentage has made a complete turnaround and his dimes are off the charts.


Dante Exum 18% & Trey Burke 71% Jazz – Exum started for the second straight time on Saturday and the game is in progress as I write this. He has 10 points, three rebounds, three assists and two 3-pointers in 25 minutes thus far, while Burke is going off for 15 points (all in second quarter) on 5-of-7 shooting in just 13 minutes thus far. Exum had 15 points, five assists and five 3-pointers on Thursday, and Burke had 10 points and two 3-pointers in that one. If Exum’s starting, he’s the one I’d rather own, but Burke may also have some value as the team’s sixth man off the bench.


Langston Galloway 26% Knicks – Galloway had 11 points, four rebounds, two assists, a steal and a 3-pointer on Saturday and has scored in double figures in four straight games. He’s on a 10-day contract still, but if the Knicks sign him for the remainder of the season (they should), he could end up being one of the waiver-wire pickups of the year if he continues to start the rest of the way.


Marcus Smart 42% Celtics – Smart has scored six or fewer points in four of his last five games, making him pretty tough to use right now. He’s also averaging a mediocre 4.4 assists, along with 1.6 steals and 1.6 3-pointers over that stretch. If his minutes and numbers stay the same, he’s a straight-up bust, but there’s still plenty of time for him to turn it around and have a big second half. On a side note, Smart will miss Sunday's game for personal reasons.


Greivis Vasquez 9% Raptors – Vasquez has started in three straight games for the Raptors and is averaging 8.3 points, 3.0 rebounds and 3.3 assists. He’s yet to have a really good game as a starter, but was close on Friday when he had 12 points, five boards and four assists. Three-point shooting has been his downfall thus far, as he’s hit just 1-of-11 over his last three games. He’s a better shooter than that and he should get hot soon as long as he gets to keep starting at shooting guard.


Shooting Guards


Eric Gordon 67% Pelicans – He’s averaging 17.4 points, 3.8 boards, 5.6 assists and 1.6 3-pointers over his last five games and is going to be even better with Jrue Holiday out. Pick him up.


Nick Young Lakers 66% – With Kobe shutting it down, Young is going to have to step up his game. His numbers haven’t been great this season, but he should score and hit a bunch of threes down the stretch.


Avery Bradley 53% Celtics – Bradley has scored 18 points in back to back games with five 3-pointers. He’s also hit a 3-pointer in nine straight games and is averaging 12.6 points and 2.0 3-pointers over his last five.


Wayne Ellington 5% Lakers – Ellington has hit double figures in two straight games and is averaging 10.3 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.0 3-pointers in his last four. With Kobe Bryant likely done for the year, Ellington is the favorite to start in his place, and should improve those numbers if that’s the case.


Jordan Clarkson 2% Lakers – Clarkson started against the Spurs on Friday and had 11 points, three rebounds and four assists in 29 minutes. He’s another guy who will benefit from the loss of Kobe and is worth a flier in deep leagues until we see how this plays out.


Small Forwards


Khris Middleton 39% Bucks – Middleton bounced back on Saturday with 16 points, seven rebounds, four assists and two 3-pointers on 7-of-9 shooting. He had scored just seven and nine points in his previous two games, and is averaging 11.4 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.4 3-pointers over his last five. Small forward is horribly thin in fantasy and Middleton is probably the best one sitting on your wire.


Wes Johnson 37% Lakers – Johnson’s numbers haven’t been great lately, but he’s another guy who should benefit from Kobe’s absence. He’s averaging just 7.8 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.0 3-pointers over his last five, but he could easily get hot and play better than that the rest of the way.


Ersan Ilyasova 44% Bucks – Ilyasova started again on Saturday and had nine points, six rebounds, a block and a 3-pointer, but played just 17 minutes for the second straight game. I don’t trust him, but as long as he’s starting for the Bucks, the potential for him to get hot is there.


Jerami Grant 1% Sixers – Grant had eight blocks on Wednesday but hasn’t been playing that well for the Sixers. However, he got hot again on Saturday night and finished with 16 points, two rebounds and two 3-pointers. That proves that he can hit threes and block shots, and if you’re in a deep league with a bare waiver wire, Grant might be someone who can help your team.


Joe Ingles 1% Jazz – Ingles’ game is in progress as I write this on Saturday and he has 13 points, four assists, a steal and three 3-pointers so far. He had six points, four boards, seven assists and two 3-pointers on Thursday, and has hit a 3-pointer in six straight games. The Jazz are banged up at the wing position and it looks like Ingles is taking advantage of his opportunity, making him worth a look in a lot of leagues right now. 


Power Forwards


LaMarcus Aldridge 98% Blazers – I have no idea how or why, but he’s playing on Saturday night. If he was dropped in your league when the Blazers announced he would miss six to eight weeks, pick him up. It’s simple math, really.


Brandon Bass 17% Celtics – Bass is suddenly a starter in Boston and is averaging 14.2 points, 5.4 rebounds and a steal per game over his last five. He’s also hit double figures in scoring in four straight games and has missed logging a double-double in two straight games by a single rebound. As long as he’s starting for the Celtics, he’s worth owning.


Cody Zeller 5% Hornets – Marvin Williams suffered a concussion on Saturday night, clearing the way for Zeller to get unlimited run at power forward for the Hornets. He’s averaging just 5.4 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.0 steals and 1.2 blocks over his last five, but those numbers are going north with Williams expected to miss time.


Marreese Speights 28% Warriors – Speights broke out of a funk on Friday with 19 points, six boards and a block, and as long as Andrew Bogut is an injury concern, the Warriors would be smart to lean on Speights. His low minutes are annoying but he qualifies at both PF and C, and should continue to produce, even if Bogut somehow stays healthy. He’ll just be inconsistent from night to night.


Thomas Robinson 8% Blazers – Yes, LaMarcus Aldridge is going to play on Saturday night, but that doesn’t mean he’s good to go the rest of the way. Surgery is still an option and if he does go under the knife, T-Rob could be the guy to step in to fill his shoes. He had nine points, 12 boards, two steals and two blocks in Thursday’s start, and might be worth a stash if you have room to carry him. On a side note, T-Rob hurt his ankle on Saturday night, so be sure to check on his health before picking him up.




Hassan Whiteside 46% Heat – Whiteside has missed two straight games with a sprained ankle, but shouldn’t miss much more time. He’s averaging 12.1 points, 8.0 rebounds and 3.0 blocks in eight January games, and it’s possible he starts the rest of the way for the Heat if they don’t trade for a big man. I say pick him up. 


Update: Whiteside played through his injury on Sunday and came off the bench for a triple-double with blocks. 


Timofey Mozgov 66% Cavaliers – Mozzy is hot, scoring between 12 and 16 points in each of his last four games while racking up between 10 and 15 rebounds in four of his last five games. He also has six blocks over his last five games and coach David Blatt loves him.


Chris Kaman 21% Blazers – Aldridge’s injury impacts Kaman, who has been starting at center anyway. Kaman has had 13 points and nine boards, and 14 points and six boards in his last two games, and would be even better if Aldridge eventually shuts it down. It’s also possible that Kaman would start at power forward once Robin Lopez is back from his injury, but that only happens if Aldridge shuts it down. I’m thinking the chances of Aldridge playing through this injury the rest of the way are slim, but you never know.


Alex Len 36% Suns – Len’s scoring has been a big issue for Len and the presence of Brandan Wright doesn’t help his cause. He’s averaging just 7.0 points, 8.4 rebounds and 1.6 blocks over his last five and is still the starting center in Phoenix. Maybe Wright will ruin him, but I’d be surprised if Len doesn’t bounce back soon.


Robin Lopez 56% Blazers – Lopez has been out since Dec. 15 with a broken hand and could be back before the All-Star break. With Aldridge on the ropes and Kaman old as dirt, RoLo is going to have a big role when he’s back. It’s time to stash him. 

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.