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Waiver Wired

Wired: Top NBA Pickups Week 21

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

Games Played Week 21


5 Games: TOR



2 Games: LAL


As you can see, it’s a good week to own Raptors and a bad week to run the young Lakers out there. Follow me on Twitter by clicking here.




Devin Booker Suns 61% owned in Yahoo! leagues – Booker was at it again on Saturday with 18 points and a career-high 11 dimes, but he missed all five of his 3-point attempts. Booker’s assists have been up lately and he’s now averaging 25.2 points, 6.4 assists and 1.6 3-pointers over his last five games. Yes, Brandon Knight is back, but I doubt it will hurt Booker, who is locked in at shooting guard. The only question is, how is he available in nearly 40 percent of the Yahoo! leagues out there?


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Lance Stephenson Grizzlies 35% - Mike Conley is out for three to four weeks, Mario Chalmers is done and Ray McCallum is still Ray McCallum, even though he plays for the Grizzlies now. Stephenson is on fire, averaging 16.6 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 0.8 steals and 0.6 3-pointers over his last five. Had he not had a 1-of-8 shooting, two-point performance on Wednesday, those numbers would look a lot better.


Norris Cole Pelicans 28% - Cole has missed three straight games with a sore back and Toney Douglas has been filling in. I don’t know when Cole will play again, but I do know he had 23 points, seven boards, six assists, three steals and a 3-pointer in his last game played. He’s a risky pickup given the state of his back, but he should be fun to own once he’s back on the court.


Gary Harris Nuggets 45% - Harris is straight ballin’, averaging 16.4 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.2 3-pointers on 54 percent shooting over his last five games. He’s scored in double figures in nine straight games, is hurting the value of Will Barton, and showing no signs of slowing down.


Jerryd Bayless Bucks 28% - Michael Carter-Williams is out for the season and O.J. Mayo joined him by “falling down the stairs” recently, leaving Bayless (and maybe Giannis Antetokounmpo) as the team’s only point guard. Bayless went off for 17 points, four boards, four assists, two steals, a block and three 3-pointers on Saturday, and has played very well in three of his last four games. It’s time to move on him.


Tony Allen Grizzlies 49% - Allen has been back for four games and is playing well, averaging 15.3 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.3 steals on 52 percent shooting in them. The Grizzlies are banged up and Allen should continue to play heavy minutes at both wing spots. I am not a huge Allen fan, but he has a huge opportunity and should continue to roll.


Ray McCallum Grizzlies 5% - McCallum made his Grizzlies debut on Saturday and played well, scoring 13 points with four rebounds, two assists, two steals, a block and three 3-pointers in 27 minutes. Lance Stephenson is the guard you want to grab in Memphis, but McCallum is going to play and is a nice deep-league stash, especially with Mike Conley possibly out for the rest of the season with an Achilles injury. The arrival of McCallum should crush the potential value of teammate Briante Weber.


Isaiah Canaan Sixers 11% - Speaking of banged up, the Sixers are a mess right now. Canaan is starting at shooting guard and had 22 points, two steals and four 3-pointers on Saturday. He’s been a bit hit-or-miss, but is still averaging 12.2 points and 2.4 3-pointers over his last five games.


Bojan Bogdanovic Nets 38% - Bogdanovic was given the day off on Friday and is averaging 13.8 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 0.5 steals and 1.5 3-pointers over his last four games. I don’t think he’s injured, as Friday’s absence was designated as ‘rest.’


Markel Brown Nets 8% - Brown looked a bit must-own a week ago, after he went off for two big games on Friday and Saturday, when he scored 21 and 23 points. But he scored just four points on Tuesday and five on Friday, hitting 4-of-13 shots over his last two games. The minutes are still there and he should bounce back, but will continue to be inconsistent regardless. 


Nik Stauskas Sixers 4% - Stauskas played 26 minutes and scored 15 points on Saturday, and had 10 in his previous game. The Sixers are more banged up than any team in the league and Stauskas could finally be ready to get it going. If you need 3-pointers, he looks like a nice add right now.


D.J. Augustin Nuggets 17% - Augustin has been rolling a bit off the bench as Emmanuel Mudiay’s backup and is averaging 11.0 points, 2.8 rebounds, 5.6 assists and 1.8 3-pointers over his last five games. He had 17 points and 10 assists in 31 minutes on Saturday, when Michael Malone went with his bench for the entire fourth quarter after they made a nice comeback. Augustin is not a must-own player, but if you need a PG in a deep league, he might be able to help you out.




Matt Barnes Grizzlies 44% - Matty B went off for a 26-11-10 triple-double on Friday, then hit just 2-of-13 shots for six points, six boards, a block, a steal and two 3-pointers on Saturday. Mike Conley, Mario Chalmers, Vince Carter, Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol, Brandan Wright and Chris Andersen are all hurt right now, and Jeff Green is with the Clippers. Barnes is going to play and rack up stats across the board. He looks like a must-add in all formats to me, despite Saturday’s shooting meltdown.


Kent Bazemore Hawks 64% - Bazemore had been playing better but missed all nine of his shots on Saturday, failing to score and finishing with five points, five assists, a steal and a block. He’s averaging 9.2 points, 5.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.0 steals, 1.2 blocks and 1.2 3-pointers over his last five games. He’s shooting just 36 percent over that stretch, but Saturday’s 0-for-9 effort shoulders a lot of that blame.


Myles Turner Pacers 53% - Turner’s still pretty unreliable and played just 19 minutes on Saturday, despite starting. He’s averaging 8.8 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.2 blocks over his last five games, but I get the sense he’s getting ready to get hot for the Pacers.


Jerami Grant Sixers 20% - Grant is dealing with a concussion but shouldn’t be out for too much longer. The Sixers are really hurting with Robert Covington and Jahlil Okafor out. Grant and Carl Landry (see centers) should see a ton of minutes going forward and Grant is expected back as soon as Tuesday. He’s averaging 7.8 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.6 blocks over his last five, but with Covington and Okafor hurting, those numbers should be going up.


Taj Gibson Bulls 40% - Gibson has played in four straight games and is averaging 9.3 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.0 steals and 1.3 blocks on 53 percent shooting in those games. Nikola Mirotic is back, but Gibson is locked into heavy minutes and makes for a good big-man add right now. 


Hollis Thompson Sixers 11% - Thompson had scored in double digits in five straight games before hitting just 1-of-7 shots for three points on Saturday. He’s averaging 12.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.2 3-pointers in March and with Covington, Okafor and Grant all hurting, he should continue to see plenty of minutes and production going forward.


Mike Dunleavy Bulls 14% - Dunleavy has quietly been playing well and is averaging 10.6 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.0 3-pointers on 51 percent shooting in 28 minutes over his last five games. The minutes are nice, but Jimmy Butler (knee) could play on Monday, which would cause Dunleavy to lose some of his luster.


Darrell Arthur Nuggets 4% - Arthur is suddenly hot, crushing Kenneth Faried in the process. He’s played 29 minutes in two straight games and 24 minutes in the one before that. He’s averaging 13.3 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 0.7 blocks and 2.3 3-pointers over those three games. As long as the minutes remain steady in the mid-20s, Arthur could be a sneaky deep-league add.




JaMychal Green Grizzlies 36% - Green had been absolutely going crazy and has been one of the hottest pickups in fantasyland over the last few weeks. He disappeared on Saturday, hitting just 2-of-13 shots for four points, eight boards and nothing else. But prior to that he was cooking, double-doubling in three straight games, playing 37 minutes a night, and blocking five shots in them. He’s averaging 15 points, 9.2 rebounds, 1.0 steals and 1.0 blocks over his last five games, and Saturday was simply a fluke. Marc Gasol is done and Zach Randolph is hurting, so JAM Green should continue to be a beast. He’s as must-own as they come, and his DFS price tag has increased dramatically with his strong play.


Tristan Thompson Cavaliers 61% - Thompson isn’t available in a ton of leagues and has double-doubled in two straight games. He’s replaced Timofey Mozgov as the starting center in Cleveland and has hit double digits in scoring in six straight games. He’s averaging 12.2 points, 9.4 rebounds, 0.8 steals and 1.0 blocks over his last five games, hitting 65 percent of his shots over that stretch.


Ian Mahinmi Pacers 37% - Mahinmi is averaging 9.8 points, 7.6 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.0 steals and 2.0 blocks over his last five games on 49 percent shooting. He’s not a great scorer, but has hit at least 10 points in four of his last five games.  He’s also a good shot blocker and if you recently lost Jahlil Okafor, Mahinmi might be a nice grab right now.


David Lee Mavericks 58% - Lee has quietly been playing well, averaging 11.4 points, 8.6 rebounds and 1.4 blocks over his last five games as Zaza Pachulia’s backup. I don’t love Lee and the blocks probably won’t last, but he’s putting up solid numbers in just 18 minutes a night over his last five games. If the numbers ever get into the twenties, Lee could end up being a difference-maker in the fantasy playoffs.


Carl Landry Sixers 3% - Landry has been playing very well and started on Saturday when he went off for 18 points, six boards and a 3-pointer. He’s averaging 12.2 points and 6.0 rebounds over his last five games. With Jahlil Okafor out for the season, Landry could start at power forward or center the rest of the way, with Nerlens Noel at the other big-man spot, Jerami Grant (Robert Covington’s hurt) at small forward, Isaiah Canaan (with Nik Stauskas) at SG, and Ish Smith at point guard. The Sixers are a bunch of fantasy fun right now.


Jusuf Nurkic Nuggets 29% - Nurkic came out of nowhere on Saturday, racking up 18 points, four rebounds, a steal and two blocks in just 18 minutes. He played most of the fourth quarter and even played through a minor knee injury late. Nikola Jokic, who didn’t even score on Saturday, is still the center to own in Denver, but Nurkic could be ready to come on, especially since Joffre Lauvergne left early after getting popped in the face on Saturday. Nurkic is not a must-own player, but if he starts getting minutes and gets back into the rotation, he could do some damage.


Marreese Speights Warriors 2% - I actually had Speights on this list before he went bonkers on Saturday night against the (you guessed it) Suns. If any Warrior is likely to get extended rest down the stretch it’s Andrew Bogut, who is always banged up and has a lot of miles on his legs. Speights can play and went off on Saturday for a season-high 25 points and nine rebounds on 10-of-14 shooting. If Bogut sits, Speights could be a sneaky add down the stretch. 

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.