The NBA heads into December with what should be another good week of fantasy basketball. There are plenty of injuries and rotations causing things to shift around and creating opportunities for new fantasy players to step up, so be sure to stay active on the waiver wire. Check out my top four widely available options below and feel free to reach out with any league or roster-specific questions on Twitter @ZT_Sports.
As you prepare for the coming week, take a look at each team’s slate of matchups. The Celtics and Spurs only play two games in the coming week, while a dozen teams play four games and the remaining 16 have three matchups on tap. The Hornets are home for all four of their games while the Pacers and Suns are on the road for all four of their contests.
Here are my top four widely available options for this week with some additional players worth considering at the bottom of the page. All stats are current as of Saturday afternoon.
SF/PF CARMELO ANTHONY, POR (at LAC, vs. SAC, vs. LAL, vs. OKC)Anthony is an obvious option after his strong start and growing role with the Trail Blazers. However, he’s still owned in just 36.3% of ESPN leagues 62% of Yahoo leagues. Melo joined the Portland lineup on Nov. 19 and has produced double-digit scoring in each of his six starts while averaging 17.7 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.2 assists and over 30 minutes per contest.
He was a little shaky out of the gate but has settled in very nicely. His best game of the season came Friday night against the Bulls when he had 23 points and 11 rebounds for his first double-double of the year. He should continue to be a key part of Portland’s lineup and offer good scoring and rebounding while chipping in a few assists, steals and blocks. This week he gets a matchup against his buddy LeBron James and a matchup against his former team, the Thunder.
C ARON BAYNES, PHO (at CHA, at ORL, at NO, at HOU)The Suns got Baynes back on Friday and the Aussie big man picked up right where he left off posting 17 points and seven boards in under 25 minutes. Baynes missed five games with a hip injury and, as a result, is only owned in 55% of Yahoo and 32.9% of ESPN leagues. Now that he’s back and has three weeks to go before Deandre Ayton’s return from suspension, he’s a great pickup if you need a big man.
In 11 games started before the injury, Baynes averaged 15.4 points, 5.9 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 0.8 blocks per game. He had double-digit points in nine straight games during that run and typically contributes great boards and scoring while helping your shooting percentages as well. He has great matchups coming in the next week and can provide your frontcourt a nice boost.
SG/SF TIM HARDAWAY JR., DAL (at NO, vs. MIN, vs. NO, vs. SAC)Seth Curry was starting for the Mavericks until he got sick and lost his job when Hardaway stepped in and added some nice scoring to support the Mavs’ hot start. Hardaway has started the past five games for Dallas, averaging 28.8 minutes per game. He has averaged 20.2 points and 4.0 made three-pointers over that span while chipping in 2.8 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.8 rebounds.
Hardaway has a very high ceiling as he showed by dropping 31 points against the Rockets and is shooting a sizzling 20-for-33 from long-range while also making 15-of-17 from the free-throw line. Hardaway has shown upside in bursts before, but he should be able to sustain this success since he is able to let Luka Doncic run the show and serve as a great complementary scorer from the wing.
PG/SG MARKELLE FULTZ, ORL (at WAS, vs. PHO, at CLE)Another player making the most of an expanded role in their tam’s rotation is former No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz, who is making the most of his second chance with the Magic. Orlando moved him into the lineup in place of D.J. Augustin on Nov. 2, and he has started all 13 games since that point.
He has been solid throughout that run but has picked things up over his past seven games, scoring double-digit points in each contest. Over that span, he has averaged 27.5 minutes per contest and produced 14.7 points, 4.1 assists, 2.6 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game. Point Guards can be hard to find for your fantasy team at this point of the season, so grabbing Fultz and hoping he continues to take steps towards reaching his sky-high ceiling is a strategy worth considering. He can definitely help you out in assists and steals while offering good scoring especially while getting more shots with Nikola Vucevic (ankle) sidelined.
Other options worth watching
- PG/SG Tyus Jones, Memphis Grizzlies
- PF/C Bismack Biyombo, Charlotte Hornets
- SF DeAndre’ Bembry, Atlanta Hawks
- SF/PF P.J. Washington, Charlotte Hornets
- C Mohamed Bamba, Orlando Magic
- PF/C Dario Saric, Phoenix Suns
- PG/SG Alec Burks, Golden State Warriors
- SG/SF Donte DiVincenzo, Milwaukee Bucks
- PF/C Marquese Chriss, Golden State Warriors
- SG/SF Garrett Temple, Brooklyn Nets
- PF/C Kelly Olynyk, Miami Heat
- PG/SG Derrick White, San Antonio Spurs
- SG/SF/PF Duncan Robinson, Miami Heat
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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.