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Waiver Wired

Wired: Top NBA Pickups Week 18

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

Week 18 Schedule Grid:





Week 19 Schedule Grid: 


3 Games: CHA, CLE, PHI, WAS


1 Game: ATL, BKN, IND, TOR


Point Guards


Andrew Harrison Grizzlies 22 percent owned in Yahoo! leagues – Harrison has really turned it around in the last couple weeks and went off for 23 points, four assists, two steals, two blocks and two 3-pointers on 9-of-15 shooting on Wednesday. He’s averaging 15.8 points, 3.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.6 blocks and 1.2 3-pointers on 50 percent shooting over his last five games and should be owned in a lot more leagues with Mike Conley out for the year. And yes, Tyreke Evans is coming back, but I'm guessing Harrison has gained enough confidence in the past few weeks to remain relevant the rest of the way. 


D.J. Augustin Magic 31% – DJA’s played two games without Elfrid Payton and went nuts in the first one, racking up 18 points, three rebounds, nine assists, two steals and two 3-pointers, and had a solid 11 points, four boards and five assists on Saturday, despite hitting just 2-of-7 shots in 23 minutes. He gave way to Shelvin Mack on Saturday, as Mack got hot and blew up for 19 points and 10 assists off the bench, and while it’s possible that Mack ends up splitting time and stealing some of DJA’s minutes, Augustin’s the starter and the guy I’d rather own for now.


George Hill Cavs 65% – Hill will make his debut on Sunday after giving way to De’Aaron Fox in Sacramento, and it should be interesting to see how he does. All signs are that he’s going to get a boost in Cleveland and he’s already been picked up in a lot of leagues, as his 65% ownership indicates. He’s probably not going to be a game-changer in fantasy, but he should be a nice point guard to add to your collection. But even in his best season ever, Hill averaged just 16.9 points, 3.4 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.0 steals.


Rajon Rondo Pelicans 62% - I’m not a big Rondo fan, but he went nuts on Saturday with 25 points, 10 rebounds, 12 assists and a block against the Nets, and is averaging 12.8 points, 5.4 boards, 9.2 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.2 3-pointers on 54 percent shooting over his last five. He’s a terrible free throw shooter and has hit just 4-of-13 in his last five games, but he’s starting again and playing well enough to be owned everywhere.


Tomas Satoransky 22% - Sato’s been hit-or-miss since taking over for John Wall, but exploded for 25 points and six assists before leaving for a possible concussion on Saturday night after taking a tough hit from Bobby Portis. Sato’s head hit the floor and he suffered a cut over his eye, but he was seen laughing and joking with teammates after the game. That’s not the typical behavior of someone with a concussion, so hopefully he’s not going to miss any time. He was really quiet early last week, but turned it on late and is averaging 13.8 points, 2.8 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 1.8 steals and 2.0 3-pointers. But perhaps his greatest strength is his 64 percent shooting over that stretch. He looks like a must-own player until John Wall comes back in a month or so.


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Shooting Guards

Reggie Bullock Pistons 32% - I initially forgot to include Bullock in the column, but decided to fix the error after he went off yet again on Sunday. He torched the Hawks for 20 points, five boards, two assists and three 3-pointers and also had 19 points with five triples on Friday. He's averaging 13.8 points, 4.2 boards, 1.8 assists, 0.8 steals and 2.8 3-pointers on 54 percent shooting over his last five games and has been playing well for a month. Go get him. 


Austin Rivers Clippers 52% – Rivers has been back for two games and is averaging 13 points, 4.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 1.5 3-pointers in them.  He played 32 and 34 minutes in them and it’s time to get him back on rosters in all leagues. Especially with Milos Teodosic still missing time occasionally with a lingering foot injury.


Bojan Bogdanovic Pacers 51% – Bojan has been the Bogdanovic to own lately and he kept it going last week, averaging 20 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.4 steals and 2.8 3-pointers on 53 percent shooting over his last five. He’s getting nearly 33 minutes a night and is showing no signs of slowing down. I wish his peripheral stats were a little more exciting, but he’s scoring, three-ing and even racking up some steals right now.


Terry Rozier Celtics 43% – Rozier is getting ready to take a hit once Marcus Smart is back from his hand injury, but we still don’t know exactly when that will be. And the truth of the matter is, Smart is probably the player who will take a hit here, because of how well Rozier has performed in his absence. He’s scored in double digits in six straight games, had a monster triple-double to close out January, and is averaging 16.4 points, 4.2 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.2 steals and 2.8 3-pointers in his five February games. Rozier should be good to go for as long as Smart is out, and might even hold some value once he returns.


Josh Hart Lakers 26% - Hart has double-doubled in three of his last five games, but had an off night on Saturday against Dallas. The eventual return of Lonzo Ball is going to possibly hurt Hart, but he should be locked into at least 26 minutes a night the rest of the way, as the tanking Lakers have no choice but to play him. His five-game averages are 12.6 points, 9.2 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.0 steals and 2.6 3-pointers on 60 percent shooting, and while those might come down a hair, he should be a fun player to own going forward.


Fred VanVleet Raptors 17% – VanVleet’s hit double figures in scoring in six straight games and is averaging 12.3 points, 4.0 rebounds, 5.5 assists, 1.5 steals and 2.0 3-pointers in February, prior to Sunday’s game (in progress). Those are rock-solid numbers and it’s becoming apparent that VanVleet is more than just a funny name (shout out to Kuillian). And while we’re talking about Toronto SGs, Delon Wright is hot again, hitting double digits in three straight and racking up eight steals, three 3-pointers and a solid number of rebounds and assists over that stretch. But I’d rather own VanVleet as of now.


Small Forwards


Josh Jackson Suns 51% – Jackson has turned in a monster and had a 50-point humdinger of a DFS score on Saturday night when he went off for 20 points, seven rebounds, five assists, a steal and four blocks on 10-of-19 shooting. He’s scored in double figures in seven straight games and has scored at least 20 in five of them. He has eight blocks over his last four games and is shooting 46 percent over his last five. The tanking Suns are going to roll with Josh the rest of the way and I can’t believe he’s still not owned in more leagues.


Jonathon Simmons Magic 39% – Simmons cooled off on Saturday by hitting just 4-of-14 shots for nine points, but has been rolling with Aaron Gordon out forever with a hip injury. Even with Saturday’s dud, Simmons is averaging 17.4 points, 3.0 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.6 3-pointers on 53 percent shooting over his last five games. Eventually Gordon is going to come back and take some of the luster off of Simmons, but he’s certainly worth owning until it happens. I just wish he were a better rebounder and passer.


Mario Hezonja Magic 21% – Super Mario has also been rolling, thanks to Gordon’s injury, and had 23 points and three steals on Saturday. He’s averaging 15.2 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.8 steals and 2.0 3-pointers over his last five. Again, he’ll take a hit once Gordon’s back, but it’s basically a coin toss between owning Simmons and Hezonja right now.


Lance Stephenson Pacers 17% – Stephenson had scored in double figures in seven straight games before having an off night on Friday when he hit 2-of-7 shots for six points, but still had eight rebounds and four assists in that one. In his four January games, he’s averaging 12 points, 6.8 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 0.8 steals and 1.5 3-pointers, but is shooting just 37 percent. He’s just in a slump though, as he’s hitting 43 percent on the season and 45 percent for his career.


Al-Farouq Aminu Blazers 46% - Aminu had 14 boards on Monday and 15 boards on Thursday, but was quiet on Friday with five points, five boards and two steals. He’s playing 31 minutes a night and averaging 7.2 points, 10.2 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.4 3-pointers over his last five. He’s shooting just 32 percent over that stretch, but once his shots start falling again, he’s going to be a popular pickup.


Power Forwards


John Collins Hawks 54% - See the end of Dewayne Dedmon’s take for my thoughts on owning Collins. Spoiler alert: He’s a must-own player.


Bobby Portis Bulls 49% – I figured we could all use a break from Marquese Chriss for a week, as he’s still all over the board and there are other power forwards playing well. Portis is one of them, averaging 12 points, 9.0 boards, 2.0 assists, 1.2 steals and 0.4 blocks on 36 percent shooting over his last five. Portis is pretty frustrating given that he can’t shoot or block shots, despite being almost seven feet tall, but not nearly as frustrating as Mr. Chriss.


Michael Beasley Knicks 59% – Beasley hit 7-of-13 shots and 7-of-7 free throws for 21 points, seven rebounds, three steals and a block on Thursday, but had scored in single figures in his previous three games. Kristaps Porzingis is gone for the year and Beasley took off in his Thursday start. There are other Knicks that will get a boost, but more on them later. Beasley is worth owning in almost all leagues due to the Porzingis injury.


Dwight Powell Mavericks 25% – Powell moved back to the bench on Saturday with Harrison Barnes back in action, but had one of his best games, finishing with 19 points, seven boards and two steals, hitting 8-of-12 shots in 23 minutes. He should continue to play some power forward and center for the big-men challenged Mavs, and is averaging 13.8 points, 7.8 boards and 1.2 steals on 73 percent shooting over his last five games. And if Barnes is ever shut down, Powell would become a must-own player.


Ed Davis Blazers 23% - Davis is not a scorer and has been in single digits for six straight games with a high of just seven points. But he’s a good rebounder, can block shots and doesn’t miss many of the shots he takes. He’s averaging 5.8 points, 8.4 rebounds, 0.4 steals and 0.6 blocks on 63 percent shooting in five February games in just 18 minutes a night. If the minutes ever get into the mid-20s again, he could average a double-double. 


Jerami Grant Magic 5% - Carmelo Anthony has a sprained ankle and Grant has been getting his minutes. We were all expecting more from Grant on Thursday when Russell Westbrook and Melo were out, but he managed just eight points and eight boards in 23 minutes of a blowout loss to the Lakers. Grant’s averaging 12.6 points, 8.0 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.2 blocks on 62 percent shooting over his last five games, but I’d have him ranked a little higher if Melo wasn’t due back soon.




Jarrett Allen Nets 50% – Allen is simply a must-own player for the Nets, but disappeared on Saturday after getting worked over by Anthony Davis. Quincy Acy somehow got 40 minutes in that game, while Jahlil Okafor played just five minutes. Allen is still averaging 14.2 points, 7.4 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 0.8 steals and 0.6 blocks over his last five, but the minutes are trending up (24.6 over his last five) and the blocks, points and boards should follow. Forget about Saturday’s dud and go get him.


Bam Adebayo Heat 19% – Bam had 15 points, 10 boards and two blocks on Friday and is averaging 11.4 points, 8.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.4 blocks on 50 percent shooting over his last five games. He’s seen a boost by Kelly Olynyk’s shoulder injury, and while he’ll take a hit once Olynyk is back, Bam’s worth a flier right now.


Kyle O’Quinn Knicks 17% – KOQ had nine points, eight boards and two blocks on Thursday, New York’s first game without Porzingis. The Knicks are going nowhere, the front line has been depleted with the loss of Porzingis, and O’Quinn’s minutes should be getting ready to take off. He played 26 of them on Thursday and he should get between 25-30 minutes a game going forward.


Luke Kornet Knicks 20% - Who? Kornet, the rookie out of Vanderbilt, made his Knicks debut on Thursday and immediately started banging threes, blocking shots, rebounding and dunking, finishing with 11 points, 10 rebounds, four blocks and three 3-pointers in 22 minutes. He’s got a huge opportunity with the Porzingis injury and made the most of it in his debut. He might be a little shaky with Enes Kanter (mouth) coming back on Sunday, but if you’re desperate to add a center in your league, he very well may be available.


Dewayne Dedmon Hawks 30% - Dedmon’s been bad, but there just aren’t many centers sitting out there on the wire to choose from. He double-doubled last Sunday, but disappeared last week, leaving his five-game averages at 8.6 points, 5.8 rebounds, 0.8 steals and 0.6 blocks in 23 minutes. He’s going to get run in the middle for the Hawks, but with John Collins finally coming on and getting a boost in minutes, Dedmon’s cooled off. And speaking of Collins, even though he’s not on the list this week, he should be owned everywhere. Right now, he’s owned in just 54% of Yahoo! leagues, but is averaging 8.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, 0.8 steals and 0.8 blocks over his last five. Those numbers are going to rise over the rest of the season.

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.