The NBA continues the first month of 2020 with another busy week of fantasy basketball action. Week 13 is a pretty balanced week with at least five games each day until Sunday, when there are just two games that will have to compete with the NFL Conference Championships. You’ll want to make sure to get your lead early if you’re in head-to-head contests, so stay active early in the week. As you check the waiver wire for upgrades, take a look at my four widely available options profiled below. If those aren’t perfect fits or are not available, you can check out the other options listed at the bottom of the page.
As you consider your options, take a close look at each team’s slate of matchups for the week. The Hornets, Grizzlies and Wizards only play two games this week, but the Celtics, Bulls, Cavaliers, Pacers, Timberwolves, Thunder, Magic, 76ers and Trail Blazers are lined up for busy four-game schedules. The Timberwolves and Pacers have a back-to-back, home-and-home set, so we’ll get a double-dose of that matchup.
Here are the four widely available options that I like the most going into the week. All stats are current before Saturday’s matchups.
PG/SG/ JARRETT CULVER, MIN (vs. OKC, vs. IND, at IND, vs. TOR)The Timberwolves took Culver with the No. 6 pick in last year’s draft, and the rookie is starting to step into a larger role on a regular basis for Minnesota, even with Andrew Wiggins back. Culver has started eight of his past nine games and has logged over 28 minutes in each of his past six.
In each of those six contests, Culver has produced double-digit points and averaged 15.2 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.8 steals in 31.7 minutes per game. He had a career-high 24 points against the Grizzlies on Tuesday and should continue to get all the usage he can handle even if the Timberwolves fade from playoff contention.
SG/SF TIM HARDAWAY JR., DAL (at GSW, at SAC, vs. POR)Hardaway has been on our list of pickups before, but missed three games with a hamstring injury around New Year’s, causing his ownership to dip again as owners moved on. He has looked strong since returning, though, and should be set to continue his role as the backcourt-mate that gels best with breakout star Luka Doncic. On Yahoo, he’s only owned in 35% of leagues, and he’s barely owned in 25% of ESPN leagues.
In each of his three games since returning, Hardaway has made three three-pointers and scored at least 15 points. If you don’t count the game in which he left injured, he has multiple three-pointers in eight straight while averaging 3.8 three-pointers per contest over that span. He doesn’t usually chip in great non-scoring numbers but gets a few steals, assists and rebounds. If he’s back to his typical 30-minute workload every night for Dallas, he’ll be a good option moving forward.
PF OMARI SPELLMAN, GS (vs. DAL, vs. DEN, vs. ORL)The Warriors acquired Spellman in an offseason trade from the Hawks, and the second-year big man got his first start as a Warrior on Friday night against the Clippers. Spellman played 28 minutes in the loss and finished with 17 points, five rebounds, three assists, three steals and four three-pointers. Spellman replaced Willie Cauley-Stein in the lineup and could stick as the starting center if he continues to play at this level.
Spellman has logged over 20 minutes in four of his past five games and averaged 14.8 points, 5.2 rebounds, 1.8 steals and 1.6 assists over that span. If he starts seeing over 25 minutes a night as starter, he’ll be a great option for his long-range shooting, steals and rebounds. He also has the potential to fit in nicely in the Warriors’ lineup even when they turn up the tempo after the return of Stephen Curry (hand).
SF/PF SEKOU DOUMBOUYA, DET (vs. NOP, at BOS, at ATL)The Pistons have been high on Doumbouya’s long-term potential since they drafted him with the No. 15 pick in last year’s draft. He was used sparingly at the start of the season, logging just 3.4 minutes per game in seven games over the first 34 contests Detroit played. However, he got the start in the Pistons’ first game of 2020 and has been in the starting lineup for each of the five games since then, averaging 30.5 minutes per contest.
The 19-year-old should stay very involved, especially now that Blake Griffin (knee) is out indefinitely and the Pistons are reportedly actively shopping starting center Andre Drummond. Doumbouya had a double-double in each of his first two starts and has averaged 12.0 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 0.6 assists per game in the five starts he has made. He struggled against Kevin Love and the Cavs on Thursday and was saddled with early foul trouble. While there are likely to be some bumps in the road for the barely-19-year-old, Dr. Doum has enough upside to be a nice addition to your team if you need a forward that gets high usage and good rebounds.
Other options worth watching
- PG Darius Garland, Cleveland Cavaliers
- SG/SF Norman Powell, Toronto Raptors
- C Jaxson Hayes, New Orleans Pelicans
- SG/SF Dillon Brooks, Memphis Grizzlies
- PG/SG Markelle Fultz, Orlando Magic
- PF/C Alex Len, Atlanta Hawks
- SG/SF Josh Hart, New Orleans Pelicans
- C Dwight Howard, Los Angeles Lakers
- SF/PF Jerami Grant, Denver Nuggets
- SG Bruce Brown Jr., Detroit Pistons
- PG/SG Delon Wright, Dallas Mavericks
- PG/SG/SF Kris Dunn, Chicago Bulls
- C Daniel Gafford, Chicago Bulls
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.