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Waiver Wired

Wired: Top NBA Pickups Week 8

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

Games Played Week 8




2 Games: GSW


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Kobe Bryant LAL 83 percent owned in Yahoo! leagues – Kobe is getting hot, scoring 21 and 25 in two of his last four games and hitting 27-of-57 shots (47 percent) over that stretch. I know he’s owned in most leagues, but he’s also been dropped in a few. I just think he’s worth owning in all leagues, especially if his legs start feeling better.


Lou Williams LAL 55% - Williams has scored in double figures in seven straight games and is averaging 17.8 points, 3.6 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.0 steals and 2.2 3-pointers on 50 percent shooting over his last five games. He’s starting over D’Angelo Russell and looks like the hottest pickup in fantasy right now.


Bojan Bogdanovic BRK 38% - Bogdanovic has been starting at SG for the Nets and has scored in double figures in three straight games. He’s averaging 37 minutes over his last three games to go along with 14.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, 1.0 steals and 2.3 3-pointers on 48 percent shooting. It’s time to get him.


O.J. Mayo MIL 27% - Mayo had 18 points and four 3-pointers on Saturday and is averaging 14.6 points, 2.6 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.8 3-pointers over his last five games. He’s starting and playing well, so it’s surprising he’s still not owned in more leagues by now.


Ramon Sessions WAS 1% (Garrett Temple and Gary Neal) – Sessions has scored 17 and 14 points in each of his last two games and had six assists, a block and two 3-pointers in 30 minutes off the bench on Saturday. With Bradley Beal out for at least two weeks, Sessions looks like the guy to grab. Temple is starting, but had just five points in 28 minutes on Saturday, while Gary Neal hit 3-of-9 shots and a 3-pointer for eight points in 22 minutes. All three of these players are worth a look with Beal shelved, but I like Sessions best.


Allen Crabbe POR 9% - Crabbe is rolling, scoring in double digits in seven straight games and averaging 14.4 points, 3.2 rebounds, 0.8 steals and 1.2 3-pointers on 54 percent shooting over his last five. He’s getting 27 minutes a game and should be a popular pickup this week.


Tony Wroten PHI 12% - Wroten has been back for three games and got Friday night off, but really hasn’t done anything yet. The Sixers are crowded at point guard so Wroten’s not a lock for production, but he’s talented enough to be on your radar. Just beware of his constant turnover problems.


Iman Shumpert CLE 11% - Shumpert made his season debut on Friday and had 14 points, three rebounds and two 3-pointers in 25 minutes. J.R. Smith was out with an illness, so Shumpert may not see as many minutes as he needs to be a fantasy starter right away, but he should at least be on your radar now that he’s back.




Otto Porter WAS 70% - Porter is owned in most leagues so I’m just throwing him on here in case of a fluke in yours. He had 28 points and a full, fat stat line on Saturday without Bradley Beal (leg – at least out two weeks), and he might actually be the biggest beneficiary from his loss.


Kent Bazemore ATL 55% - Bazemore scored in double figures in three straight games before cooling off in Saturday’s embarrassing loss to the Spurs. Thabo Sefolosha is slowing down and Bazemore is coming on, and starting or not, Bazemore’s the guy you want to own here.


Omri Casspi SAC 30% - Casspi’s scored in double figures in eight straight games and is averaging 14.0 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 0.8 blocks and 1.5 3-pointers over his last four games. He’s been starting and has played 40-plus minutes in two straight games, making him nearly a must-own player.


Jon Leuer PHX 27% - Markieff Morris got a DNP-CD on Friday night and is on the trading block. I’m not sure if the Suns are done with him or not, but it looks like they’re leaning that way. Leuer has been starting and playing very well, averaging 12.6 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.0 blocks and 0.6 3-pointers on 53 percent shooting over his last five games. As long as he’s starting for the Suns, I’m fine with him starting for your fantasy team.


Ersan Ilyasova DET 66% - Ilyasova’s owned in a lot of leagues, but I just wanted to make sure to give him some love after he scored 20 points on Saturday, and racked up 15 points, eight boards, two steals, two blocks and three 3-pointers on Friday. He’s averaging 12.8 points, 6.8 rebounds, 0.8 steals, 1.6 blocks and 2.0 3-pointers on 46 percent shooting over his last five. He should be owned.


Mirza Teletovic PHX 33% - With Markieff Morris in the doghouse, or should I say outhouse, Teletovic is coming on, just like Leuer. He’s scored in double digits in four straight games off the bench, averaging 16 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.8 3-pointers in 27 minutes. Leuer is starting, but it’s possible that Teletovic could have a little more value if he keeps draining 3-pointers.


Trevor Booker UTA 13% - Booker has been coming off the bench and has played some inconsistent minutes since Rudy Gobert went down with a knee injury. The fact Booker’s not starting, or playing starter’s minutes, hurts him, but he’s still worth holding onto in most leagues. He’s averaging 8.0 points, 7.6 rebounds, 0.8 steals and 0.6 blocks on 50 percent shooting in his last five games, but I could also see his minutes going up before Gobert is set to return.


Cody Zeller CHA 15% - Zeller had 12 points and five boards in 27 minutes on Saturday, but was pretty bad in his previous two games. With Al Jefferson out with a calf injury, as well as a five-game suspension, Zeller is still a player to keep an eye on. Spencer Hawes had 10 points and eight boards on Saturday, but I still like Zeller, who’s starting, more.


Andrew Nicholson ORL 5% - Nicholson is still not exactly killing it and hasn’t played more than 24 minutes in any of his last five games, but could still overtake starter Channing Frye at any time. He’s averaging 9.0 points, 6.4 rebounds and a 3-pointer over his last five, but he’ll need to get a starting gig if you’re going to be able to use him as a fantasy starter.


Lance Thomas NYK 1% - Thomas isn’t for everyone, but he is averaging 11.8 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.6 3-pointers in 25 minutes off the bench over his last five games. In deep leagues with a bare waiver wire, Thomas might be a player that can help your team. I just wish he did more than score a little and hit some threes.




Kelly Olynyk BOS 30% - Olynyk blew up last week, scoring 21 against the Pelicans, 15 against the Bulls and 28 against the Warriors. He faded on Saturday with just eight points against Charlotte, but it wasn’t for a lack of trying. He hit just 4-of-13 shots in that one and played 23 minutes. He’s averaging 15.6 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.2 steals, 1.0 blocks and 1.4 3-pointers on 48 percent shooting over his last five games. He’s played between 23 and 37 minutes in each of his last four games and Olynyk appears to be Brad Stevens’ flavor of the week. He’s probably going to be the most added player this week, as long as he keeps getting minutes.


Alex Len PHX 42% - Len and his new owners have been loving life without Tyson Chandler around, but Chandler should be back soon. In fact, he’s probable for Sunday, making me leery about Len’s future. But Len’s averaged 13.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.8 blocks on 56 percent shooting in 27 minutes a game over his last five, and Chandler might be looking at fewer minutes in hopes of keeping him healthy. I don’t think Len is a must-start player once Chandler is back and rolling, but I do think he’s worth owning until we see how this all shakes down.


Ian Mahinmi IND 27% - The Pacers’ starting center still hasn’t gone away, averaging 10.2 points, 7.4 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.2 steals and 0.4 blocks on a whopping 72 percent shooting in his last five games. I wish he blocked shots, but he’s playing 26 minutes a night and still playing well.


Joakim Noah CHI 70% - Noah had a big game on Saturday with 10 points, nine boards and four blocks, and has been playing better. Scoring is still a huge issue and he’s only getting 21 minutes on most nights, but his other numbers are more in the acceptable range than they were earlier in the season. Over his last five he’s averaging 4.4 points, 9.2 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 0.8 steals and 1.6 blocks. He’s shooting just 35 percent over that stretch, which is obviously contributing to his shooting woes. I don’t love or trust Noah, but he looked great on Saturday and that game could be a stepping-stone to him finally getting his act together.


Gorgui Dieng MIN 71% - Dieng’s owned in a ton of leagues but has been playing well enough to be owned in all of them. Averaging 10.6 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.0 steals and 1.2 blocks on 55 percent shooting in 27 minutes over his last five games, he’s finally coming close to living up to the hype. Make sure he’s not available in your league.


Ed Davis POR 59% - Davis is fading a bit, scoring 2, 9 and 6 points in each of his last three games, as he’s seen his minutes decline a bit since Portland has so many serviceable big men. He’s averaging 8.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 0.8 blocks over his last five games in 24 minutes. He’s played well for most of the season, so I’m thinking he can bounce back from the funk.

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.