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Max Strus remains undervalued in fantasy leagues

Max Strus

Max Strus

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

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Saturday’s nine-game slate offered some opportunities for fantasy managers to hit the waiver wire, as multiple teams played their second game in as many nights. Alperen Şengün remaining with the second unit despite Bruno Fernando (knee) being held out was disappointing. Still, at least we got to see Pacers big man Isaiah Jackson in the starting lineup. Neither Sengun nor Jackson has a rostered percentage at or below 40% in Yahoo leagues, so they aren’t eligible for the list below. Here’s a look at some of Saturday’s top pickups, beginning with a Heat shooter who is undervalued in fantasy circles.

Max Strus (20%)

Strus had a poor Friday, shooting 1-of-5 from the field and scoring two points in a loss to the Celtics. But he bounced back Saturday night, helping propel Miami past the Raptors with a line of 20 points (8-of-14 FGs, 1-of-1 FTs), five rebounds, three assists, two blocks, and three 3-pointers in 37 minutes. Strus has played 23 minutes or more in all three games, with two 20-point efforts to his credit. Add in the occasional production in the rebounding and defensive stats, and his rostered percentage should definitely be higher. Managers who missed out on Strus’ 20-point night shouldn’t be too upset, as the Heat will play four games next week.

Derrick White (40%)

After scoring two points in Boston’s opener, White’s impact increased in each of the team’s next two games. Saturday night he scored 27 points (his high as a Celtic) to go along with four rebounds, four assists, one steal, and five 3-pointers. Al Horford being held out opened things for White, who was a far wiser “roll of the dice” than spot starter Noah Vonleh.

Grant Williams (28%)

Williams was also worth a look due to Horford’s absence, and he finished the win over Orlando with 13 points, six rebounds, two assists, two steals, and three 3-pointers in 31 minutes off the bench. He’s got some deep-league appeal moving forward, as Williams is a lock to hit the mid-20s in minutes, even when the aforementioned Horford is available.

Precious Achiuwa (15%)

Achiuwa struggled in Friday’s loss to the Nets, so it’s unlikely that many managers rushed to add him ahead of Saturday’s game against the Heat. Well, he played 34 minutes, recording a line of 18 points, 11 rebounds, one assist, and two 3-pointers in the 112-109 defeat. And with Scottie Barnes suffering a sprained ankle, this would be a good time to add Achiuwa. Two caveats: Toronto only plays three games next week, and the opponents won’t be pushovers (at Miami, two home games vs. Philadelphia).

Cedi Osman (8%)

Darius Garland (eye) being ruled out for Saturday’s game opened up a spot in Cleveland’s starting lineup, with Isaac Okoro filling the void. However, in the immediate aftermath of Garland’s injury, many pegged Osman as the one to stream. He repaid the faith of those who did, finishing Cleveland’s blowout of the Bulls with 15 points, two rebounds, four assists, and two 3-pointers in 26 minutes off the bench. With Garland listed as doubtful for Sunday’s game against the Wizards, managers who picked up Osman should hold onto him.

Terrence Ross (6%)

Ross has started all three of Orlando’s games, hitting double figures in each. Saturday night, he dropped 29 points on the Celtics while accounting for four rebounds, one assist, one steal, and five 3-pointers. With Jalen Suggs (ankle) sidelined, Cole Anthony isn’t the only Magic guard who stands to benefit. Ross doesn’t offer much outside of the points and triples, but managers in need of some help in those categories can benefit from rostering Ross.

Goga Bitadze (1%)

Two issues were at play with the Pacers heading into Saturday’s game against the Pistons. First was the status of Jalen Smith (face), who was not cleared until just over an hour before tipoff after leaving Friday’s game due to injury. The second was Rick Carlisle stating after the loss to San Antonio that he was considering making changes to the starting lineup. Isaiah Jackson and Aaron Nesmith were promoted (Terry Taylor and Chris Duarte were demoted), and the former’s move into the starting five opened up additional opportunities with the second unit for Bitadze. The end result: 14 points, 15 rebounds, four assists, one steal, one block, and one 3-pointer in 25 minutes. Bitadze isn’t the most trustworthy fantasy option, even with Myles Turner (ankle) sidelined, but he’s capable of the occasional big night.