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Waiver Wired

Wired: Top NBA Pickups Week 16

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

Games Played Week 16


3 Games: NOP


1 Game: DAL, MIA, NYK


Guards seem to be the most abundant fantasy position this season on the waiver wire, while centers are becoming increasingly harder to come by. Week 16 is the last NBA action before the All-Star break, so most teams play twice, while the Pelicans have three games and the Mavericks, Heat and Knicks all play just one time. And you can expect a similar situation for Week 17, too.


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Evan Turner Celtics 39 percent owned in Yahoo! leagues - Turner has quietly been playing well all season and I’m surprised he’s not owned in more leagues. He’s averaging 14.0 points, 6.4 rebounds, 5.6 assists, 1.0 steals and 0.8 blocks on 53 percent shooting over his last five games. He’s getting 28 minutes a night and isn’t showing any signs of slowing down.


Norris Cole Pelicans 27% – There is some debate between the Rotoworld staff about the value of Cole, but this is my column, I own him in most leagues, and I have forgiven him for his dreadful performance on Friday, when he hit 1-of-10 shots for two points in 13 minutes. If you throw that one game out, Cole is averaging 15.7 points, 4.1 rebounds, 6.4 assists, 0.9 steals and 1.4 3-pointers over his last eight games. Yeah, those numbers drop a little if you put the dud in there, but he blew up for a career-high 26 points and Tyreke Evans, already a shutdown candidate, is out through the break due to his bum knee. Cole looks like a must-own player, and I’ve been touting him for weeks now. And the three-game week is a nice bonus. 


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Archie Goodwin Suns 34% – Goodwin cooled off briefly recently when his shot disappeared, but he’s bounced back to average 18 points, 2.7 rebounds, 7.3 assists and 1.7 3-pointers over his last three games. The Suns are going to play their young guys the rest of the way, so Goodwin should be owned in a lot more leagues. Just keep in mind that Brandon Knight is out until the break with a groin injury, but I just don’t see him ruining Goodwin with the Suns’ season completely lost.


Devin Booker Suns 55% - Booker has been a scoring machine and is averaging 20.4 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 0.8 steals and 3.0 3-pointers over his last five games on 43 percent shooting. He’s getting 36 minutes a game and is showing no signs of slowing down.


Zach LaVine Timberwolves 55% - LaVine has finally been set free by Sam Mitchell and has scored in double digits in seven straight games. He’s averaging 15.4 points, 3.6 assists, 0.8 steals and 1.2 3-pointers on 49 percent shooting over his last five games and we don’t know if Kevin Martin will have much of a role once he’s back from his wrist injury. The time is right to pick up LaVine.


Corey Brewer Rockets 6% – Brewer is coming off a good week and had 24 points and four steals on Thursday against the Suns. He’s averaging 12.8 points, 2.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.2 steals, 0.8 blocks and 1.4 3-pointers on 46 percent shooting over his last five games. He’s also been starting and while he can disappear at any time, he’s playing well enough to be given consideration in most leagues.


Langston Galloway Knicks 33% – Galloway looked like a must-own player when Jose Calderon was injured, but he’s back and Galloway is back to coming off the bench. He’s averaging 8.4 points, 5.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.0 3-pointers, but is shooting just 36 percent over his last five games. He’s played 30-plus minutes in four straight games and Calderon’s body is held together by Post-it Notes. Galloway is worth hanging onto if you own him, and is worth a deep-league look if you need a guard.


Jerryd Bayless Bucks 11% - Michael Carter-Williams is struggling and Bayless has played well in two straight games, averaging 15.5 points, 2.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 3.5 3-pointers in 27 minutes over them. MCW is still the starter and will limit Bayless, but he could be getting ready to go on a hot streak now that he’s healthy.


E’Twaun Moore Bulls 3% – Moore has had a couple big games recently with Jimmy Butler out with a knee injury and is averaging a modest 13.4 points, 2.6 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 0.8 blocks and 2.0 3-pointers on 49 percent shooting over his last five games. Any time Butler is out, Moore looks like a nice plug-and-play.


Marco Belinelli Kings 18% - Bello is hot over his last three games, averaging 16.3 points, 2.3 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 1.7 3-pointers over that stretch. He’s been starting with Ben McLemore banged up and has played 35 or 36 minutes in each of his last three games.  


Wayne Ellington Nets 3% – Ellington has quietly scored in double figures in six straight games and is averaging 13.2 points, 2.4 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 2.4 3-pointers on 40 percent shooting over his last five games. He’s starting and getting 29 minutes a game right now, but he doesn’t do much outside of scoring and threes.


Dion Waiters Thunder 13% - Waiters is starting and averaging 35 minutes over his last five games, but hasn’t scored more than eight points in each of his last three games. He’s averaging 10.4 points, 2.8 rebounds, 1.6 steals and 1.6 3-pointers over his last five games, and should start scoring again if Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook ever decide to stop playing like super heroes.


Bojan Bogdanovic Nets 29% – Bogdanovic is far from reliable but had 23 points, four boards and seven 3-pointers on Friday. He had nine points and three boards on Saturday and wasn’t scoring much before Friday’s explosion. He’s worth keeping an eye on though, as he might be ready to get hot again for the Nets.


Bryce Dejean-Jones Pelicans 5% – Jones has been starting and playing 29 minutes a night recently, but has scored in single digits in four of his last five games. Norris Cole is still the guy to own here, but BDJ is worth a look, averaging 8.6 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 1.0 3-pointrs on 46 percent shooting over his last five. He was a disaster on Saturday and barely made a dent in the box score with Cole bouncing back, but Dejean-Jones usually makes for an interesting low-end DFS option.


T.J. McConnell Sixers 5% - Ish Smith was out with a sprained ankle on Saturday and McConnell made his first start of the season. He racked up 17 points, six assists, two steals and two 3-pointers on 7-of-10 shooting in that one, making him a DFS special. Smith should be back on Monday, but if he goes down again, McConnell is the guy you’ll want to grab.


Marcus Smart, Rodney Hood and Danny Green would have made the list, but they’re owned in more than 60 percent of Yahoo! leagues.




Jeff Green Grizzlies 58% - Green cooled off on 4-of-14 shooting on Saturday, but was rolling before that. He’s still averaging 19.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.8 3-pointers on 54 percent shooting over his last five games. Matt Barnes went off with Green struggling on Saturday, but Green is still the better player to own.


Stanley Johnson Pistons 53% – Johnson has been filling in for injured Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (groin) who could remain out for a few games after the All-Star break. Stanley has come into his own, averaging 14.4 points, 6.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.4 3-pointers in 32 minutes over his last five games, and could be primed for a big second half.


Taj Gibson Bulls 52% - Gibson continues to fill in for Joakim Noah, and while he isn’t setting the world on fire, he is averaging 10.2 points, 8.6 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 0.6 steals and 1.8 blocks on 47 percent shooting over his last five. He’s getting 35 minutes a game and I don’t see that changing any time soon, nor will he allow Bobby Portis to ever really get loose.


Aaron Gordon Magic 59% – Gordon broke out for a 19 & 14 double-double last Sunday and backed it up with 12 points and 16 boards on Monday. He’s quieted down since then, but is still averaging 10.2 points, 9.6 boards, 1.8 assists, 0.8 blocks and 0.4 3-pointers on 44 percent shooting over his last five games. He’s playing 30 minutes a night and is worth owning in most leagues these days.


Michael Kidd-Gilchrist Hornets 48% – MKG double-doubled in two straight games shortly after making his season debut last week but cooled off over the weekend. He’s averaging 12.2 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.4 assists over his last five games on 54 percent shooting, but hasn’t done much in terms of steals, blocks or 3-pointers. And with his shot likely to run hot and cold, I don’t love him as much as some other pundits do.


Matt Barnes Grizzlies 29% – Barnes has played well in his two games since returning from a hamstring injury and racked up 17 points, 11 boards, five assists, a block and five 3-pointers on Saturday. If you played him in DFS, you probably won some money. He’s averaging 10.5 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.0 steals, 1.5 blocks and 2.8 3-pointers over his last four games. I’m still not sure I’d rather own him over Gibson or Gordon, but the numbers suggest I should.


Jerami Grant Sixers 9% – Grant can steal, block and hit threes, which gives him some potential, even though he’s not a focal point of Philly’s offense. He’s averaging 9.8 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.2 steals, 1.8 blocks and 0.6 3-pointers over his last five, getting 25 minutes a night. It will likely take an injury to a teammate to make him worth grabbing, but he should at least be on your radar at this point.


Josh Smith Rockets 19% – Smoove played just nine minutes and missed all four of his shots on Saturday, but B.J. Bickerstaff didn’t really use his bench much at all against the Blazers. He’s averaging 8.8 points, 2.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.6 blocks and 1.4 3-pointers on 44 percent shooting over his last five, but is averaging just 17 minutes a game. It will take a pretty deep league for Smith to be owned, but if he starts getting more minutes, he could help you out in points leagues.


Julius Randle, Marvin Williams and Al-Farouq Aminu are all owned in more than 60 percent of Yahoo! leagues.




Nikola Jokic Nuggets 58% – Jokic struggled last Wednesday against the Jazz, but has otherwise been pretty special. He’s averaging 16.0 points, 10.6 rebounds, 1.6 steals, 0.8 blocks and 1.0 3-pointers on 51 percent shooting over his last five games. Jusuf Nurkic is no longer a worry for Jokic, and he should be owned in way more than 58 percent of Yahoo! leagues.


Alex Len Suns 31% - Len has been hit-or-miss all season and Tyson Chandler is still starting in front him, which is a buzzkill. Len blew up for 12 points and 18 boards last Thursday and is averaging 6.2 points, 8.0 rebounds and a block over his last five games. With the Suns looking to the future, Chandler might get out of the way sooner than later.


Cody Zeller Hornets 17% - Zeller has been back for three games since his shoulder injury and is averaging 6.7 points, 8.0 rebounds, 0.7 blocks and 1.3 steals over his those three games. He’s played 28, 25 and 30 minutes in those and I’m not too worried about grandpa Al Jefferson coming back and ruining him. And I expect Zeller to continue to get better the more he plays.


Steven Adams Thunder 10% - Adams is quietly averaging 8.4 points, 6.4 rebounds, 0.6 steals and 1.0 blocks on 55 percent shooting over his last five games. Those numbers jump to 9.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and a block over his last two, and while he’s not the most trustworthy guy around, he’s probably a better player to own than Roy Hibbert or Tyson Chandler


Willie Cauley-Stein 22% - WCS has played 29 minutes in two of his last three games and had 16 points, six boards, a block and a steal on 7-of-8 shooting on Friday. He was really quiet before that game, but there’s a shakedown going on Sacramento with rumors of George Karl about to be fired, and WCS is still worth a stash in case the Kings decided to turn him loose. Despite the struggles, he’s still averaging 6.0 points, 5.4 boards and 1.2 blocks over his last five.


Boban Marjanovic Spurs 4% – Boban could be so fun to own if he could get minutes from Gregg Popovich, but it just doesn’t happen on most nights. He’s averaging just 3.8 points, 3.8 rebounds and 0.5 blocks on 60 percent shooting over his last five games, playing just under 10 minutes a game. The potential is there, but this is just an alert to put him on your radar, as you’d have to be in a real deep league to put him on your roster.


Markieff Morris, Gorgui Dieng, Myles Turner, Jared Sullinger and Tyson Chandler are all owned in more than 60 percent of Yahoo! leagues. Kelly Olynyk is also worth a look, but played just 12 minutes off the bench on Saturday.

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.