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Waiver Wired

Wired: Top NBA Pickups Week 4

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

Games Played Week 4





There are no two-game weeks, which is nice, and (knock on wood) maybe some of the rest guys are getting, as well as a more balanced weekly schedule, is helping to keep players on the court and off the injury report this season. We’re off to a great start!


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Point Guards


J.J. Barea DAL 58% owned in Yahoo! leagues – Barea got a very annoying day of rest on Wednesday that cost a lot of owners a win in various leagues, but came into the day off cooking. He’s scored at least 18 points in each of his last three games and is averaging 17.8 points, 4.5 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 0.5 steals and 2.5 3-pointers in 34 minutes over his last four games. And no, I’m not that worried about an eventual return by Deron Williams, although that will hurt JJB’s numbers slightly. Of course, that’s assuming that Williams will be back at some point in the next couple months, which is not a given.


Lou Williams LAL 65% - Sweet Lou is rolling, hitting at least 20 points in three of his last five games and averaging 18.2 points, 3.0 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 2.2 steals and 2.0 3-pointers on 47 percent shooting over that stretch. He’s the old guy on a team full of Laker babies, but he’s getting the minutes and some of the best production of his entire career.


Marcus Smart BOS 66% - I love this kid and he was getting really hot until he hit 4-of-11 shots for nine points, two rebounds and two assists on Saturday. He’s averaging 13.6 points, 3.6 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.0 steals and 2.0 3-pointers in his last five games. If he’s not owned in the high 90s by Christmas, I’ll be shocked.


Tyler Johnson MIA 55% - TJ finally cooled off on Saturday when he hit just 2-of-7 shots for five points, three boards and four assists in 29 minutes. Goran Dragic is out right now with a sprained ankle and Josh Richardson (more on him later) started at point guard last night. The return of Richardson, who missed the start of the season, could end up hurting TJ some, but I still think we’re going to see a lot of the same guy who scored in double figures in every game this season until his last one. He’s averaging 13.4 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.6 steals, 1.0 blocks and 1.6 3-pointers on 46 percent shooting in November.


Tomas Satoransky WAS 1% - The kid played pretty well on Saturday when John Wall (rest) and Bradley Beal (leg) both sat out, racking up 12 points, four rebounds, nine dimes, a steal and a 3-pointer on 4-of-12 shooting. He’s far from a must-own player, but his minutes have been creeping up and he could even make a little noise once Wall and Beal are back at full strength. Consider him a deep-league special, but if Wall actually goes down for real at some point, pick him up.


Shooting Guards


Nick Young LAL 53% - Baller. He’s averaging 17 points, 3.2 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.4 blocks and 3.2 3-pointers on 54 percent shooting over his last five games. Sure, I wish he was doing more than scoring and hitting treys, but as far as Swaggy P goes, this is one of the better stretches of his career and he’s showing no signs of slowing down.


Sean Kilpatrick BKN 50% - Kilpatrick has been starting at point guard for a couple games with injuries to Isaiah Whitehead (concussion) and Jeremy Lin (hamstring). But he was already playing very well off the bench and is averaging 16.6 points, 6.4 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 1.2 steals and 2.0 3-pointers on 43 percent shooting over his last five games. He’s getting 30 minutes a night whether he’s starting or coming off the bench and I think he’s going to hold fantasy value throughout the entire season.


Josh Richardson MIA 38% - Richardson’s only been back for four games and has seen his minutes increase in all four of them. In his last two, one of which included a start at point guard for Goran Dragic (ankle), he’s averaging 14 points, 2.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.0 steals, 1.0 blocks and 2.0 3-pointers over those two games and after he got 33 minutes on Saturday night, he’s pretty much a must-own player in my book.


Allen Crabbe POR 34% - Crabbe came off the bench on Saturday and hit 6-of-10 shots and two 3-pointers for 16 points, seven boards, four assists and a steal. You know who played more minutes than Crabbe did in that one? Only Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum. That’s it. With Al-Farouq Aminu out for a couple weeks, several Blazers are getting more run, but it could be Crabbe who is ready to go on a hot run. And he’s especially good when Terry Stotts goes to with a small lineup for matchups.


Seth Curry DAL 22% - Curry started at PG on Wednesday when JJB got a surprise night off, and went off from the bench the night before when he racked up 23 points, four boards, four assists, three steals and four 3-pointers. In the start at point guard, he had 10 points, nine assists, five steals, two blocks and two 3-pointers in 35 minutes. Yeah, he may not be the perfect Mav and he wasn’t doing much before his two-game breakout, but there’s so much potential here. And even though I’m pretty sure there were questions out there as to why I keep putting him on this list (he was in last week’s column), he’s quickly proven why he belongs. Heck, he might be in this column every week until he’s owned in 70 percent of the leagues out there. Just know that he won’t be as good as he was the last two games, but if the Mavs are dealing with injuries or resting guys, he should be thought of as an extreme value pick in any format. And even if he goes back to the bench (he will), he’s got newfound confidence and it’s probably time to pick him back up.


Small Forwards


C.J. Miles IND 53% - Paul George is hurt, but hopes to play through his ankle injury on Monday. He’s missed the last two games and Miles started them, but with disappointing results. He’s averaging just 10.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, 0.5 assists, 1.0 steals, 1.0 blocks and 1.5 3-pointers as the starter. But off the bench, those numbers improve to 15.3 points, 3.1 boards, 1.0 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.5 blocks and 2.6 3-pointers. He should go back to the bench on Monday, which will hopefully get him going on another hot streak.


Moe Harkless POR 32% - Al-Farouq Aminu is out for a couple weeks with a calf injury, which should help Harkless, at least in theory. He’s getting minutes at both SF and PF and is averaging 12.6 points, 5.2 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 0.6 steals, 1.0 blocks and 1.8 3-pointers on 54 percent shooting over his last five games. He scored 18 and 20 in back-to-back games last Sunday and Tuesday, but has managed just eight points in each of his last two games. He should get at least 30 minutes a night until further notice and is still a player that should be targeted in most leagues.


Brandon Ingram LAL 51% - Ingram hurt his ankle on Saturday and didn’t return to the game. He was playing well in that one with 10 points, four assists and a steal on 4-of-7 shooting, but had scored in single digits in his previous three games. He’s not a must-own player, especially if he’s going to miss any time, but he says the injury isn’t too bad. He’s a nice player to stash in case he ever breaks out for the young Lakers.


Jared Dudley PHX 8% - Dudley recently got benched for Marquese Chriss and only had two points in 22 minutes on Tuesday when it happened. But he went bonkers in his next two games, averaging 18 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 0.5 steals, 1.0 blocks and 4.0 3-pointers in his last two games. He played 30 and 28 minutes in those, and it looks like he might be a better fit with the second unit. If you want to take a flier on him, now’s the time to do it while he’s hot. He’s also a cheap and interesting play in FanDuel, where he’s a power forward.


Derrick Williams MIA 1% - Williams started the second half over Luke Babbitt on Saturday and had 11 points, four boards, a block and a 3-pointer in 20 minutes. I was kinda high on Williams prior to the start of the season because of Chris Bosh being gone, but he was buried in the depth chart and Babbitt was eating the PF minutes. It appears that Erik Spoelstra’s tune might be changing though. “He brings an athleticism,” he said. “He brings a little bit of an X factor.” He had played a grand total of three minutes in his previous four games, so make sure he’s starting, or at least getting minutes on Monday night if you decide to take a flier on him.


Power Forwards


Trevor Booker BKN 62% - Booker has been surprisingly good all season and should be owned in more leagues, to put it bluntly. He had 19 points, eight boards, four dimes, a block and a 3-pointer on 7-of-10 shooting on Saturday, and is averaging 11 points, 8.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.0 blocks over his last five games. Those numbers include a pair of duds on Nov. 2 and Nov. 9, but he’s starting, getting 28 minutes a night and should continue to flourish.


Terrence Jones NOP 42% - Alvin Gentry just can’t make up his mind on TJ, starting him one night and then benching him the next, while toying with his minutes in an infuriating way. He’s anything but trustworthy and you have a better chance of winning the lottery than trying to predict when his next start will happen. Jones had six points and four boards in 21 minutes off the bench on Saturday, and had 10 points, seven boards and a block in 34 minutes of Thursday’s start. He’s averaging just 9.2 points, 4.8 rebounds, 1.0 steals and 1.6 blocks over his last five games, and I only list him here in case Gentry finally comes around on TJ, or gets fired after the Pels’ 1-9 start.


Dario Saric PHI 53% - Homie Dario has been up and down all season and has alternated between single and double-digit scoring over his last four games. But the minutes have been consistent in those, between 23 and 34 minutes. He had a nice double-double with 14 points and 12 boards on Wednesday and is averaging 8.2 points, 6.6 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 0.8 steals and 1.0 3-pointers on 41 percent shooting over his last five games. I still think he’s going to have a good season and he has plenty of time to turn it around. But he’d have an easier time doing so had the Sixers not acquired Ersan Ilyasova.


Jon Leuer DET 24% - Leuer is getting 27 minutes a game off the bench and is averaging 12.4 points, 6.2 rebounds and 0.8 3-pointers on 52 percent shooting over his last five games. He’s been a bit of a pleasant surprise all season, but is probably a better cheap option in DFS than someone you want to rely on in season-long leagues. But if 12 points, six boards and a 3-pointer will help your team, give him a look.


Trey Lyles UTA 30% - Derrick Favors left Saturday’s game with left knee soreness, which has scared me away from Favors all season. If he’s going to miss time, and I think he will, Lyles could be the new starting PF for the Jazz. Lyles has not played more than 30 minutes in any game this season, but that could be about to change. Lyles had 15 points, seven boards, three dimes, two blocks and two 3-pointers in the season-opener, which is what we’ll all be hoping he can replicate if Favors is in street clothes over the next few games.




Kelly Olynyk BOS 20% - Oly is back from his shoulder surgery and has started in his last two games. Keep in mind that Al Horford is nearing a return from his concussion, but also keep in mind that Olynyk is averaging 17.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.5 blocks and 2.5 3-pointers on 50 percent shooting over his two starts. Even when Horford is back, Olynyk might be able to keep it going, as long as he can get 25 minutes off the bench. If you’re desperate at center, give him a look.


Alex Len PHX 49% - Tyson Chandler’s been out for personal reasons, allowing Len to start and play well. He’s double-doubled in two straight and is averaging 7.8 points, 11.0 boards, 0.8 steals and 0.8 blocks over his last five, and while he’ll take a hit when TyChan is back, Len may have earned a bigger role going forward.


Justin Hamilton BKN 13% - Hamilton exploded for 21 points, four boards, a steal and five 3-pointers on Wednesday, giving us a glimpse of what’s possible. He came back to earth on Saturday with seven points and three boards, but also had two steals, a block and another 3-pointer. Brook Lopez isn’t exactly a model of health, and Hamilton will be a hot pickup if Bro-Lo goes down. And if you own Lopez, handcuffing Hamilton to him makes sense if you have the space to do so. He’s averaging 10.4 points, 4.0 rebounds, 0.8 steals and 2.0 3-pointers over his last five games, making him worth a look in deep leagues.


Bismack Biyombo ORL 53% - If you need rebounds and blocks, Biyombo might be your guy. He’s averaging just 4.4 points over his last five games, but you can add 8.8 rebounds and 2.0 blocks to his line as well. The biggest problem is that he’s shooting just 38 percent over that stretch, knocking down 8-of-21 shots, but you have to think he’ll do better than that soon. Just don’t expect much offense as he’s competing with guys like Nikola Vucevic, Serge Ibaka and Aaron Gordon for shots.


Lucas Nogueira TOR 20% - Nogueira is perhaps the most under-the-radar guy on this list, but his numbers tell a different story. He’s averaging 8.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.8 steals and 2.5 blocks on a ridiculous 88 percent shooting over his last four games. He’s getting 26 minutes a night and might be worth it for the shooting, rebounds and blocks alone. He’s hit 15-of-17 shots over that stretch, and was perfect from the field in three of his four games. Dwane Casey likes his hustle and it looks like Nog’s good for at least 20 minutes a night, if not 25-plus.

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.