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Waiver Wired

Wired: Top Week 3 NBA Pickups

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

Week 3 Games Played


5 Games – MIN



2 Games – CHI, MIA, PHX, WAS


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Point Guards


T.J. McConnell Sixers 33% owned in Yahoo! leagues – He’s not a dynamic scorer, but has hit between nine and 12 assists in three of his last four games. In those four, he’s averaging 6.8 points, 6.3 rebounds, 9.3 assists, 1.3 steals and 0.8 3-pointers all while hitting 12-of-23 shots, good for just over 50 percent. His lack of scoring is a buzzkill, but he looks like a much more natural point guard that Isaiah Canaan.


Jerian Grant Knicks 19% – I got excited about Grant last week but he hasn’t really been playing too well lately. Averages of 7.6 points, 3.2 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 0.8 steals and almost no 3-pointers and 41 percent shooting over his last five leaves plenty to be desired. However, there’s upside here and Jose Calderon may be hanging onto the starting point guard job by a thread in NY. I still think stashing Grant is a good idea if you can find the room to do it.


Isaiah Canaan Sixers 11% – After disappearing for a couple games early last week, Canaan has bounced back in a big way. He had 17 points, four assists and three 3-pointers in just 22 minutes on Friday, and then hit six 3-pointers for 23 points, three steals and a block in 27 minutes on Saturday.  With McConnell handling things at point guard, Canaan is getting nice production while spending most of his time at shooting guard, which is a better spot for him.


Jerryd Bayless Bucks 3% – Michael Carter-Williams has missed three straight games with a sprained ankle and Bayless came through on Saturday with 19 points, 10 assists, two steals, two blocks and three 3-pointers. Unfortunately, I used him in daily play on Friday instead of Saturday, when he had just five points and four assists on 2-of-9 shooting. In any case, Bayless loses a lot of appeal when MCW is playing, but if he’s on the shelf again this week, Bayless could put up some big numbers.


Toney Douglas Pelicans 4% – Douglas has been hit or miss with the Pelicans, scoring 17 points in his debut on Halloween, then scoring nine, three and 11 points in his next three games. He’s averaging 10.0 points, 2.5 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.3 steals and 0.8 3-pointers on the season. The best news is that he’s shooting 52 percent from the field this season, and his emergence has hurt the value of Jrue Holiday’s back up, Ish Smith. Douglas is a deep-league special.


Others to considerIsh Smith, Jeremy Lin, Dennis Schroder


Shooting Guards


Evan Fournier Magic 70% – I don’t like putting guys who are 70 percent owned in this column, but my guess is Fournier was more like 30 percent a week ago. He’s averaging a ridiculous 21.2 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 0.8 steals, 2.6 3-pointers and is shooting 52 percent from the floor and 85 percent at the line over his last five games, all while playing 38 minutes a night. Scott Skiles loves him, and he should be owned in 100 percent of leagues right now.


Nik Stauskas Sixers 25% – Whether you love his nickname (Sauce Castillo) or are sick of it, Stauskas is one of the most popular pickups in fantasy hoops right now. He’s attempted 42 3-pointers in his last five games and hit 13 of them, and is averaging 14.6 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 0.4 steals and is shooting 40 percent from the floor in 32 minutes a game. Sure, his field goal percentage is a concern given his desire to shoot it from the locker room, but I don’t care. The minutes are there, he’s got the green light and he can single handedly turn your season around if you’re struggling with 3-pointers.


Kent Bazemore Hawks 47% – I was fired up about Bazemore when the season started and he rewarded my faith with five total points on 2-of-9 shooting in his first two games, causing me to drop him in most spots. However, he scored 19 in Game 3 and hasn’t looked back, capping of his week with a career-high 25 points and four 3-pointers on Saturday night. He’s averaging 14.6 points, 4.2 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 2.4 steals (I repeat – 2.4 steals), 0.8 blocks and 2.0 3-pointers on 54 percent shooting in 30 minutes over his last five games. I doubt he can stay this hot, but someone had to step up into DeMarre Carroll’s role for the Hawks and it looks like Bazemore has accepted the challenge.


Langston Galloway Knicks 47% – Galloway’s actually been more reliable than Jerian Grant, averaging 10.6 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.8 3-pointers on 43 percent shooting from the floor. He’s playing 29 minutes a night for a terrible team and should be able to keep producing like this for the foreseeable future.


Jeremy Lamb Hornets 21% – Lamb was really picking up momentum as a hot waiver wire grab, but cooled off on Saturday with just four points, four rebounds and nothing else on 2-of-8 shooting in 23 minutes. But even with that game, he’s averaging 12.0 points, 3.6 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 0.4 steals, 0.8 blocks and 1.6 3-pointers on 54 percent shooting over his last five games. If you need a player in a deep league, Lamb looks like a nice bet for success.


Others to considerMarcus Thornton,  Alec Burks


Small Forwards


Marco Belinelli Kings 10% – Belinelli has hit double figures in scoring in four of his last five games, and it would have been five straight had he shot it better than 2-of-10 on Friday night. He’s averaging 13.0 points, 1.5 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 0.6 steals and 1.6 3-pointers over his last five games, shooting it at just a 37 percent clip. Small forward is so thin on the waiver wire right now that Belinelli looks like one of the better ones.


C.J. Miles Pacers 20% – Miles has missed a couple games with an ankle injury, but might play on Sunday. Before he went down he was playing pretty well for the Pacers and scored 18 points in each of the first two games of the season. He’s averaging 10.3 points, 2.0 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.7 steals and 2.0 3-pointers on 35 percent shooting this season.


Will Barton Nuggets 12% – Barton has quietly scored in double digits in all six games this season, averaging 13.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.5 steals, 0.7 blocks and nearly a 3-pointer per game on 42 percent shooting. He’s getting 27 minutes a night and should continue to do so.


Jerami Grant Sixers 3% - Grant has been starting for Robert Covington, who’s been out with a sore knee, and getting a consistent 24 minutes a night. He’s averaging 9.2 points, 4.4 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.8 blocks on 45 percent shooting. He’s going to take a hit once Covington comes back, but as you can see by this list, SFs are tough to come by, and Grant might be worth a look in your league.


Justise Winslow Heat 15% – Winslow’s numbers aren’t that exciting, but the fact he’s played 30-plus minutes in three of his last four games is, at least to me. He’s averaging 7.2 points, 4.4 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 0.6 steals and is shooting 44 percent over his last five games. But he played 31 minutes on Friday, hit 6-of-10 shots and finished with 13 points, eight boards and five fouls. If you’re in a deep league and looking for an up-and-comer, Winslow’s minutes are extremely encouraging.


Power Forwards


Gorgui Dieng Wolves 66% – Dieng has been tough to own thus far, but has shown signs of life lately. His minutes have been low and he’s been spending almost all his time at back up center while Nemanja Bjelica is getting most of the PF minutes. Dieng is averaging 6.8 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.0 steals and 0.8 blocks while shooting 50 percent on the season in 21 minutes per game. It might take an injury to a teammate to set him free, but he has too much talent to be this quiet all season. With Wolves going five times this week, I can't think of any reason he should be available by Monday night.


Aaron Gordon Magic 57% – Gordon’s still not consistent enough to plug him into your lineup and just let him rip, but the signs are there that the day is coming. He had 19 points, eight boards and a block last Wednesday, but has scored 10 or fewer points in four of his last five games. He’s averaging 8.0 points, 5.4 rebounds and 0.8 blocks in 19 minutes over his last four games, which isn’t great, but again, he should only get better from here on out.


Nemanja Bjelica Wolves 14% - This is the guy that appears to be the flavor of the day. He’s been coming on steadily all season and Mike Gallagher and I spoke at length about him on last week’s podcast. He had his coming out party on Saturday night, hitting 5-of-9 shots and two 3-pointers for 17 points, 11 rebounds, five assists, a steal and a block in 40 (count ‘em) minutes. Kevin Garnett is starting at PF for the Wolves, but getting just 15 minutes a game and after Saturday’s explosion, Bjelica might be getting the rest of them. In my opinion, he looks like the most interesting pickup in fantasy hoops right now and I wouldn’t hesitate to take a flier on him - especially with the Wolves playing five times this week. 


Meyers Leonard Blazers 64% – Leonard was dropped in a lot of leagues when he scored a total of 15 points in four games, and then got hurt to boot. But then he came back in the next game and had his second best game of season with 14 points, five rebounds and a 3-pointer. I don’t see Leonard as a must-own player, but there’s certainly nothing wrong with picking him up or having him on your roster. If I had to choose between him and Bjelica right now, I’d take Bjelica.


Dwight Powell Mavs 11% – Powell has quietly played well all season and has really come on in his last three games, scoring in double figures in each and averaging 8.7 boards, On the season he clocks in at 11.3 points, 8.0 rebounds, 0.5 steals, 0.7 blocks and 51 percent shooting in 23 minutes a game. If you’re in a deep league and need a big man, Powell might be the answer for you.  




Festus Ezeli Warriors 17% – Ezeli has been playing well in the absence of Andrew Bogut (concussion). So well in fact that he might keep a decent role even when Bogut is over the injury.  He’s averaging 10.0 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.8 blocks over his last five games while shooting 65 percent in 20 minutes a game. Given how fragile Bogut it, it’s not hard to see Ezeli continuing to get close to twenty minutes a game, in a perfect world.


Kosta Koufos Kings 35% - Koufos has been rolling since DeMarcus Cousins left with an Achilles injury four games ago. He’s averaged 11.25 points, 7.5 points and a steal and a block in those four games, but he could disappear when Cousins plays again. And unfortunately, at least for Koufos as a pick up, Cousins could play on Monday. But holding onto Koufos until we’re sure Boogie is good to go also makes sense.


Zaza Pachulia Mavs 33% – Zaza’s hit double figures in rebounds in three of his last four games and is averaging 9.4 points and 10.2 rebounds over his last five games, but is shooting just 42 percent from the field. He’s also not much of a shot blocker, so he’s not for everyone.


Joffrey Lauvergne Nuggets 6% – Lauvergne has missed three straight games but sounds like a possibility for Monday’s game against the Blazers. He’s averaging 10.7 points, 6.3 rebounds and a 3-pointer in his three games thus far, and holds some extra appeal considering that Jusuf Nurkic still isn’t ready from after his knee surgery.


Dwayne Dedmon Magic 3% – Dedmon has been solid while filling in for Nikola Vucevic, who’s been out with a sore knee. He is iffy for Monday, so Dedmon still might hold a little short-term value. He’s averaging 8.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 2.3 blocks in his last four games, two of which were starts for Vuc. Unfortunately, once Vucevic is back, Dedmon will lose a lot of luster.


Others to consider – Kyle O’Quinn, Alex Len, Alexis Ajinca

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.