The NBA is headed into its first full week of action after a solid start, and fantasy basketball is in full swing. If you’re in a season-long league, it’s extremely important that you stay active on the waiver wire throughout the year to build on what you started with a good draft. After getting a look at each team’s rotation to start the season, we have a good idea who is set up for good minutes going forward.
Each week, I’ll give you my top options from the waiver wire and take a look at what’s ahead on the schedule. All stats are current as of Saturday afternoon. In the week ahead, the Celtics, Grizzlies, Wizards and Timberwolves only play twice, but on the other extreme, there are 14 teams that are scheduled to play a full week of four games.
If you’re in a more competitive or active league, I’ve included some other options in addition to the four highlighted pickups at the bottom of the page. If you have specific questions about your roster or league format, I’d be happy to answer them on Twitter @ZT_Sports.
PG DEVONTE’ GRAHAM, CHA (at LAC, at SAC, at GSW)Graham has started out the season on fire while highly paid free-agent acquisition Terry Rozier has struggled. While Rozier is likely to get a long leash as a starter, Graham has provided a great spark off the bench and could continue to get plenty of minutes in garbage time if the Hornets struggle as expected. Graham originally joined the Hornets as a second-round pick last season and averaged just 14.7 minutes in his 46 games during his rookie season.
This year, he has shot a scorching 63% from the field in his first two games including going 12-for-16 (75%) from long range. He had 23 points in the season opener against the Bulls and 24 points in the following game against the Timberwolves while also averaging three boards and six assists. While he’s sure to cool off at some point this season, he’s in line for enough work to be a high-upside source of points, assists and 3-point shooting.
SG/SF JOSH HART, NO (vs. GSW, vs. DEN, at OKC)Hart has played over 25 minutes in each of his first two games with the Pelicans after coming over as part of the Anthony Davis trade. Hart opened the year with 15 points, 10 rebounds, a block and an assist in New Orleans’ overtime loss to the Raptors and followed that up with 16 points, nine boards and two steals against the Mavericks.
When given the opportunity, Hart has shown he can fill up the box score and there should be plenty of usage available while Zion Williamson (knee) and Jrue Holiday (knee) are both sidelined. Even though he isn’t a traditional big, he’s an excellent rebounder and can stuff the stat sheet when given the chance.
PG KENDRICK NUNN, MIA (vs. ATL, at ATL, vs. HOU)While fellow-rookie Tyler Herro is a more well-known name, coach Erik Spoelstra said that it will be Nunn that starts in the backcourt next to Jimmy Butler once Butler returns from his absence due to the birth of his child. Nunn had a better game in both guard’s debut on Wednesday night, scoring 24 points to go with three assists, two steals and two boards.
Nunn and Herro will both have lighter loads and could be squeezed out of fantasy value if Bulter dominates the ball as expected, but Nunn has been impressive ever since the Heat nabbed him from Oakland as an undrafted free agent. Nunn earned first-team honors in the Vegas summer league and also had a very strong preseason.
PF/C FRANK KAMINSKY, PHO (vs. UTA, at GSW, at MEM)The Suns suffered a huge loss with Deandre Ayton facing a 25-game suspension, but it does open up a nice opportunity for Kaminsky and Aron Baynes to provide good fantasy value in the frontcourt. Baynes started in Ayton’s first game out and finished with 15 points, seven rebounds and three assists. The Aussie can provide good rebounding and rugged defense, but Kaminsky is a little better fantasy option due to his range and offensive versatility.
Kaminsky played 33 minutes against the Nuggets in Ayton’s absence and scored 19 points to go with 11 rebounds and an assist. He didn’t even have his outside shot going (0-for-3), so there’s definitely even more room for improvement. Last season, Kaminsky didn’t play much early for the Hornets but finished strong and now has a chance to step up and produce while the Suns need offense from their frontcourtZach Thompson scans the waiver wire and highlights four players who are widely available and ready to step up in MLB season-long leagues..
Other options worth watching
- PG Coby White, Chicago Bulls
- PG/SG Markelle Fultz, Orlando Magic
- PG/SG Delon Wright, Dallas Mavericks
- PG/SG Bryn Forbes, San Antonio Spurs
- PG Isaiah Thomas, Washington Wizards
- SG Luke Kennard, Detroit Pistons
- SF/PF P.J. Washington, Charlotte Hornets
- PF/C Tristan Thompson, Cleveland Cavaliers
- C Aron Baynes, Phoenix Suns
- C Ivica Zubac, Los Angeles Clippers
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Z.Thompson) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.