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Waiver Wired

Wired: Top NBA Pickups Week 17

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

Games Played Week 17 (One-week format, Feb. 13-19)


3 Games: BOS, IND


1 Game: HOU, NYK


Games Played Week 17 (ESPN two-week format, Feb. 13-26)




3 Games: HOU, NYK


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Point Guards


Malcolm Brogdon Bucks 40 percent owned in Yahoo! leagues – Khris Middleton is back (sort of), which isn’t great news for Brogdon. But the entire Bucks team will see a few extra minutes here and there to help fill the hole left by Jabari Parker’s season-ending knee injury. Middleton sat out on Saturday and may not be back to full strength until well after the All-Star break, and Brogdon played 21 minutes next to Matthew Dellavedova. Once Middleton’s at full strength things could get a little dicey for Brogdon, but the Bucks also have the option for playing Brogdon as much as they want and simply bumping Middleton’s minutes to small forward. Brogdon is still a must-own player in my book. And it doesn’t hurt that he’s scored 17 and 18 points in his two games since Parker went down.


Yogi Ferrell Mavericks 44% – Bad news – Deron Williams is back and started over Ferrell on Saturday. Good news – Williams played just 16 minutes, while Yogi played 32 off the bench. Bad news – Williams’ minutes restriction should be lifted soon and there’s a chance he ruins Ferrell. Good news – Williams can’t stay healthy, is a trade candidate, and would quickly become irrelevant if the Mavs ever fall out of the playoff hunt (they’re somehow only 2.0 games behind the Nuggets for the No. 8 seed in the West. Ferrell had 10 points and seven dimes on Saturday and I still think he should be held in most leagues. But there’s no doubt he was a lot more fun to own when Williams was in street clothes.


T.J. McConnell Sixers 48% – McConnell’s lack of offense is fairly unappetizing and his assists have dried up a bit of late. But he had 11 points, 10 assists and two steals on Saturday, so maybe he’s ready to start trending up again. TJM’s averaging 9.2 points, 3.8 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 1.8 steals over his last five games.


Brandon Jennings Knicks 25% - Jennings actually started alongside Derrick Rose on Friday night and played 39 minutes, but the good news ended there. He finished that one with just six points on 2-of-10 shooting, and the lineup change was likely tailor made for their opponent (Nuggets). However, Rose is an injury ticking time bomb, Jennings could make more starts alongside him, and the Knicks are desperate to try new things in a lost season. Jennings is a good stash right now, especially if you own Rose, and could become much more if he continues to start. 


Jameer Nelson Nuggets 10% - Emmanuel Mudiay has missed nine of his last 12 games with back spasms, which is obviously concerning. Meanwhile, Nelson has been filling in admirably, averaging 14 points, 6.0 rebounds, 10.0 assists, 1.0 steals and 3.0 3-pointers over his last two games. His February averages aren’t as fun as his two-game run, but those numbers are 7.1 points, 3.3 rebounds, 5.6 assists and 1.6 3-pointers on 37 percent shooting. I like Nelson as a DFS flier better than a standard-league starter, but if Mudiay doesn’t get healthy soon, Nelson could play a big role the rest of the way. And he’s hot right now.


Shooting Guards


Jamal Crawford Clippers 53% – JC has benefitted from Chris Paul’s thumb injury and is rolling, averaging 20 points, 3.2 assists, 1.2 steals and 3.6 3-pointers on 52 percent shooting over his last five games.


Nick Young Lakers 55% - Young is averaging 15.2 points, 2.6 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.2 steals and 3.0 3-pointers on 43 percent shooting in 26 minutes a game over his last five. He’s a big part of what the Lakers do and it’s a little surprising he’s not owned in more leagues.


Tim Hardaway Jr. Hawks 49% - THJ has been a blast to own while Thabo Sefolosha’s been out for the last seven games with a groin injury. Sefolosha may or may not be back before the All-Star break, and while it’s clear the Hawks miss his defense, Hardaway appears to have carved out a more solid role in the rotation going forward. THJ is averaging 22 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 0.8 steals and 2.6 3-pointers on 53 percent shooting in 33 minutes a night over his last five games. He’ll take a hit once Thabo is back, but is simply playing too well to be ignored.


C.J. Miles Pacers 27% - Miles is basically not trustable, but he is very interesting as a starter for the Pacers. In his last five games, starting last Saturday and ending yesterday, he’s scored 13, 8, 23, 3 and 23 points. His shot is either on or off, depending on the night. But he’s available in a ton of leagues, is getting 27 minutes a night, and despite the roller coaster ride, is averaging 14 points, 2.8 boards and 3.2 3-pointers on 46 percent shooting over those five games. And if his shot ever starts falling consistently, he could be a very sneaky add.


Marco Belinelli Hornets 12% – Belinelli has quietly scored in double figures in five straight games and in nine of his last 11. He’s averaging 14.6 points, 3.0 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.4 3-pointers on 46 percent shooting over his last five games, and is certainly capable of hitting more 3-pointers than that going forward.


Small Forwards


Will Barton Nuggets 63% – Barton has benefitted greatly from the absence of Danilo Gallinari (groin) and is averaging 16.2 points, 6.2 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 1.0 steals, 1.2 blocks and 1.6 3-pointers on 42 percent shooting over his last five games. He’ll take a hit once Gallinari (and Kenneth Faried – ankle) are back, but he should be owned in all leagues right now.


Matt Barnes Kings 33% – Barnes has been helped by injuries to Rudy Gay, Garrett Temple and Omri Casspi and Gay is out for the season. Barnes cooled off on Friday against the Hawks, when he had just five points on 2-of-5 shooting, but he still came through with four boards, five assists, two steals, a block and a 3-pointer in that one. And over his last five, he’s averaging a cool 11 points, 9.6 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.6 blocks and 1.8 3-pointers on 48 percent shooting. He’s getting 32 minutes a night right now for the Kings and looks like a strong pickup given his solid all-around production.


DeMarre Carroll Raptors 66% - Carroll’s still completely hit-or-miss and is owned so highly due to his name more than his game right now. Over his past five he’s scored 6, 0, 15, 9 and 19 points, averaging 9.8 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 1.0 steals and 2.0 3-pointers on 49 percent shooting. Patrick Patterson has missed four straight games with a knee injury, which has given Carroll a bit of a minutes boost. Carroll is still not a lock to put up big numbers every time out, but he’s at least made enough strides that his ownership is becoming more in line with his game.


Michael Beasley Bucks 16% – Jabari Parker’s season is over due to knee surgery and Beasley is suddenly getting a lot of run for the Bucks. He’s played 26 and 23 minutes in his two games since Parker’s injury and is averaging 11 points and 4.7 rebounds over his last three, hitting 13-of-23 shots. He’s still not a must-own player, but it looks like he may play a big role for the Bucks going forward with Jabari down and out. Thon Maker and John Henson, who got a DNP on Saturday, are also worth a look, but I like the outlooks of Brogdon and Beasley a lot more.


Brandon Ingram Lakers 49% - Ingram was hot going into Friday’s game against the Bucks, but he only took three shots and scored two points in that game. Prior to that he had scored 14 or 15 points in three straight games, and he’s averaging 10 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.4 3-pointers on 49 percent shooting over his last five. He’s getting 27 minutes a night and is starting, making him worth a look as long as he continues to start for the Lakers.


Power Forwards


James Johnson Heat 61% - Perhaps no player has made this list as much this season as Johnson and I’m going to continue to tout him until his ownership is at 70 percent or better. He’s absolutely crushing right now, scoring 26 points in back-to-back games and is averaging a ridiculous 18.6 points, 5.2 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.0 steals, 1.6 blocks and 0.8 3-pointers on 60 percent shooting over his last five games, despite coming off the bench. Expect to start hearing his name in some Sixth Man of the Year chatter.


Dario Saric Sixers 51% – Saric has seen some extra burn with Joel Embiid’s knee injury, as well as Jahlil Okafor and Nerlens Noel still struggling to stay fully healthy and consistent. Okafor could be traded soon and we still don’t know when Embiid will be back. Dario’s been great in four straight games, averaging 19.0 points, 5.3 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.3 steals and 2.3 3-pointers in 26 minutes a night. He’s hit 29-of-55 (53%) shots over his last four and looks like a must-own, must-start player right now.


Anthony Tolliver Kings 4% - Tolliver is getting nice run right now with Gay out for the season and is averaging 10 points, 4.6 rebounds, 0.8 steals and 2.0 3-pointers on 51 percent shooting in 31 minutes a game over his last five. He’s not a must-own player, but should be a hot pickup if he plays well again on Sunday against the Pelicans. And unlike Larry Nance Jr., Tolliver doesn’t play behind Julius Randle, and can play both SF and PF, where the Kings need a lot of help.


Larry Nance Jr. Lakers 21% - Nance is coming on and doing a nice job of backing up Julius Randle, who’s played a little better over his last three games. Nance is finally getting healthy again and is averaging 10.6 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 2.0 steals in 26 minutes a game over his last five. He might be a better player to own that Tolliver, but I like Tolliver’s minutes, as well as the fact he doesn’t play behind Randle.


Alex Len Suns 31% - Len started at center on Saturday and had 13 points, eight boards and a block before fouling out in 20 minutes. His overall numbers aren’t even worth talking about here, yet, but Tyson Chandler is dealing with an ankle injury and Len could be ready to get hot for the Suns. They’ll have to turn away from Chandler down the stretch to make Len worth rostering, but Chandler’s ankle injury might be enough to do the trick. Marquese Chriss is also worth a close eye right now, but has been maddeningly inconsistent all season.




I realized after I posted this that Kelly Olynyk went off on Saturday night (I was at a Parquet Courts show - If you haven't listened to this band, you should. Start with the Light Up Gold record). Olynyk had 19 points, seven rebounds, three assists, two steals, two blocks and three 3-pointers in a win over the Jazz on Saturday, and is averaging 12.2 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.6 blocks and 1.2 3-pointers on 56 percent shooting over his last five games. He's worth a look in all formats right now, despite only getting 21 minutes a night off the bench. 


Frank Kaminsky Hornets 27% - Cody Zeller is dealing with a quad injury and Kaminsky started on Saturday, going off for 20 points, eight boards, five assists, a steal, two blocks and three 3-pointers. Over his last five, he’s averaging 16.0 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.4 steals and 2.0 3-pointers on 41 percent shooting. He qualifies at both PF and C in most leagues and looks like a very strong pickup right now.


Willy Hernangomez Knicks 43% – Willy played just nine minutes on Friday when the Knicks went small against the Nuggets, and it was Kyle O’Quinn who got 22 minutes and hit 8-of-9 shots for 16 points, six boards and four blocks in that one. But Willy still hit 6-of-7 shots for 12 points and four boards, despite the low minutes, and is averaging 11.4 points, 9.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 0.8 steals and 0.8 blocks on 56 percent shooting over his last five games. The constant risk of him disappearing on any given night is a buzzkill, but he sure looks good when he’s out there.


Kyle O’Quinn Knicks 15% – O’Quinn has played very well in three straight games, averaging 14.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.0 steals and 2.0 blocks over that stretch. He’s basically splitting time with Hernangomez and while you can never trust his production or minutes, he’s looked really good over his last three. And it’s slim pickings for centers on the waiver wire.


Ivica Zubac Lakers 21% - Zubac’s minutes are highly inconsistent, which has also resulted in his productivity following suit. He’s averaging 7.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in just 15 minutes a game over his last five. But as the Lakers season winds down, it’s conceivable that they’ll just turn Zubac loose and let him get ready for next season. He’s a nice stash.


Dewayne Dedmon Spurs 15% – Dedmon has collected at least 10 rebounds in four of his last five games, but will take a hit once Pau Gasol is healthy. But until we see Pau back on the court, Dedmon is worth a roll of the dice, averaging 9.8 points, 10.6 rebounds and 1.0 blocks over his last five games, hitting 75 percent of his shots and playing 24 minutes a night. I’d be more into him if Gasol wasn’t nearing a return from his broken hand.

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.