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Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire Report: Top Pickups Heading Into Week 4

Will Desvallees Nov 5th 5:33 AM EDT.

With injuries in the league becoming a more pervasive issue as we head into the weekend of Week 3 of the regular season, some bench players owned by less than 55% of fantasy basketball teams are beginning to make a serious case to be picked up off of waivers. Here are your weekly fantasy basketball waiver-wire pickups.

By the way, I hope you considered my advice about PG Jallen Brunson yesterday; he lit up at the AT&T Center in San Antonio for 31 points (9 - 17 FG), 10 rebounds, and 2 steals and contributed substantially to the 109-108 road win for the Dallas Mavericks. What a game that was. 

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PG Patrick Beverley, Minnesota Timberwolves

Patrick Beverley is a veteran guard whose energy every time he gets on the floor is perhaps unparallelled. He can score decently, spread the ball across the floor, and defend relentlessly. With a guy like Beverley, you can actually think about how many steals worth of fantasy points he can bring to the table. For every season of his NBA career (2010-present), Beverley has recorded between 0.8 to 1.7 steals per game. What makes him so attractive to your fantasy team right now is the absence of D’Angelo Russel, who sprained his ankle in Monday’s game and has been ruled out for tonight’s contest against the Clippers. So Beverley is running the point for the time being, and in that time, you should try to pick him up. People may hesitate because of his point production, and that’s okay. What I am suggesting is that his energy on the court brings him steals, assists, and rebounds that will make up for a bad night shooting. On Wednesday night, in his first game playing more than 30 minutes for the Timberwolves this season, Beverley recorded just shy of a triple-double with 10 points, 10 rebounds, 8 assists, and even a block. Think about that for a second. Patrick Beverley is 6’1" on a good day and weighs about 180 lbs. He’s rebounding in double figures and getting that block because he’s a smart player with a lot of experience, and he is a relentless fighter in any NBA contest I’ve seen him play in. He’s owned currently by less than 30% of fantasy basketball teams making him very available. Don’t think PPG with this waiver wire pickup; think FPPG. He’ll look to produce FPPG for the T-Wolves, and everyone who picked him up off of waivers.  

PG Furkan Korkmaz, Philadelphia 76ers

With PG Shake Milton playing approximately 20 MPG and the continual influx of news surrounding the Ben Simmons situation, the PG position in Philadelphia is unclear, to say the least. Seth Curry’s presence this season has been felt, but perhaps Korkmaz deserves a look. Korkmaz is currently playing 21.2 MPG and averaging 10.9 PPG on 44.8% shooting from the field. If he continues to produce efficiently, he may earn himself more minutes. He is a key player in the 76ers' rotation who is making a strong case to be picked up off of waivers as he is currently owned by only 23.05% of fantasy teams. 


SF Georges Niang, Philadelphia 76ers

Niang might not be a name that you are familiar with. As the No. 50 pick in the 2016 draft, Niang spent most of the last few years developing his game in the G-League like many second-round picks. Throughout that time, he really developed, even making First Team All-NBA G-League in 2018. When the Utah Jazz called him up in early May of last year, he had a 24-point game against the Houston Rockets. This August, the 76ers signed Niang to a two-year contract worth $6.7 million and so far this season, he’s done little to disappoint. Because SF Tobias Harris has been out recently due to COVID-19, Niang has seen an uptick in his minutes. Though he is currently averaging 22.4 MPG on the season, he has played a minimum of 31 minutes over the last three games. On November 1, Niang scored 21 points, and on November 3, Niang recorded 18 points, shooting 50% (4 for 8) from behind the arc. Last night, Niang shot poorly, converting only three of his 10 three-point attempts. Still, this does not affect my judgment of his value nor should it affect yours, especially while SF Tobias Harris remains inactive. Harris entered COVID-19 protocol on Monday, making him unavailable until at least November 15. Until then, expect Niang to play approximately 30 MPG and hopefully, score at least 15 PPG. He takes a lot of shots and particularly likes the three-ball. His ownership percentage shot up by 28.10%, and he has now been acquired in 52.84% of fantasy basketball leagues. Over the days to come, his ownership percentage will quickly jump to 80%-90% solely based on the MPG he will have. If he is still available on your waiver wire, pick him up. He will not be available on the waiver wire in most fantasy basketball leagues by this time tomorrow. If you do pick him up successfully, you will have an incredible backup SF for your lineup over the next ten days, Niang should be considered a focal part of the 76ers strong start to the season. You might even take a shot on starting him, especially if your wings are currently injured or inactive (ie. Tobias Harris).

SG/SF Nicolas Batum, Los Angeles Clippers

French veteran guard Nicolas Batum is currently owned by 38.10% of fantasy basketball teams. He went up +8.51% in ownership percentage this week because he’s finally warming up and producing more for the Clippers. He’s played a minimum of 30 minutes in the last two games and scored 14 points and 20 points respectively in those contests. He’s also tallied a minimum of five rebounds in each of those games. SF Kawhi Leonard and PF Serge Ibaka are yet to start their 2021-22 seasons. Leonard is still months away from a return while Ibaka is week-to-week having been cleared for full five on five practices as of mid-October. The combination of their absences has increased the importance of Batum's role as a veteran coming off of the bench. He is a smart player and a great shooter with enough experience for him to be a safe pick-up from waivers this week. So far this season, he's shooting respectably with 9.8 PPG shooting 45.8% from the field and 40% from downtown. One of Batum's physical best physical attributes (as it pertains to basketball) is his seven-foot wingspan which has allowed him to be a strong defender throughout his career and even a good rebounder. Right now, he's averaging 6.2 rebounds and 1.0 steals per game. He's even sneaking in a subtle 0.8 blocks per game so far this season. Those numbers reflect his versatility on both sides of the floor. If he improves his shooting slightly and maintains a strong defensive form, he is one of if not the best still vastly available in many leagues that owners should pick up quickly.


C JaVale McGee, Phoenix Suns

Deandre Ayton is still inconsistent, and when he is having bad games, Phoenix coaches don’t hesitate to sub him out. This is where veteran fan-favorite JaVale McGee comes into the conversation. This season, McGee has been surprisingly efficient with the limited minutes he receives. He is currently averaging 14.2 MPG. For that playtime, he is scoring a whopping 10.1 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 0.7 blocks. One of the downsides to McGee’s game is the number of turnovers he has. This has been an issue throughout his career, and it would be dishonest to not mention the average of two turnovers per game he currently has this year, especially for the 14.2 MPG he is currently playing. His ownership percentage increased by +13.77 points, making him unavailable in 25.93% of fantasy basketball leagues. That means you currently have a 74% chance of seeing his name on the waiver wire. If you are looking for a big man, McGee is worth taking a look at. If you can look away from his TOs and focus on his offensive production and his ability to get rebounds this efficiently, you could pick up a player who seems to have drastically improved his game during the offseason and who is making the case to become a more important piece of Monty Williams rotation for Phoenix this season.

C DeAndre Jordan, Los Angeles Lakers

The Lakers are hurting all around. At the big man position, both Anthony Davis and Dwight Howard have already missed games this season due to injury. DeAndre Jordan hasn’t missed a game and is scoring on 84.6% of his field-goal attempts. In contrast, Howard is shooting 72.7% from the field, is averaging one more minute per game than Jordan, and scoring 1.3 PPG less than him as well. Jordan is making a case to be the backup starter over Howard. This is because he’s remained healthy, and is producing more efficiently than Howard so far this season. If he does become the go-to backup for Davis, his MPGs will increase. Even if he doesn’t become Davis’ main substitute, I would be surprised if his MPGs do not increase over the next few weeks. If Deandre Jordan plays 20-25 MPGs moving forward, and is able to maintain his current high level of production, he is worth grabbing even if you want him to sit. The only season of his career where Jordan has played less than 50 games was 2018-19. Jordan was the most valuable asset the Mavericks had in the blockbuster multi-player deal to acquire Kristaps Porzingis from New York. I honestly don't even care if he was injured or not that season. In my opinion, no player who is traded halfway through should be evaluated on the statistics he produced that year. So, if we subtract 2018-19 from his career stats, Jordan is a player who has been consistently healthy, unlike Porzingis. He has played in all nine games for the Lakers so far this season which suggests that he is on track to stay healthy this year and play at least fifty games (though I think he will hit 60). It's also important to note that Jordan is 33, so a healthy season for a veteran like him does not mean 70 games but rather somewhere between 50-60. If he plays 70+ games at his age and with his weight, that would be a testament to his offseason regiment and conditioning. If you combine his promising health and conditioning with the current 84.6% field-goal shooting, he at the very least is worthy of a bench spot on your fantasy team. With his current level of production and a good chance that his MPG sees an uptick, it would be irresponsible to leave him sitting in the waiver wire this weekend. I think he also will not be available for much longer, as I think he is currently making the case to play more than Dwight Howard. 

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Waiver Trends

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Malik Beasley MIN SG +19.2
Thaddeus Young SA PF +18.6
Grayson Allen MIL SG +14.3
Joe Ingles UTA SF +13.3
Trey Lyles DET PF +11.5
Deni Avdija WAS SF +11.2
Eric Bledsoe LAC PG +11.1
Alex Caruso CHI SG +11.0
Maxi Kleber DAL PF +10.4
Patrick Williams CHI SF +10.1
Drew Eubanks SA C +9.6
Kyle Anderson MEM SF +9.2
De'Anthony Melton MEM PG +9.1
Cody Martin CHA PF +9.1
Chris Boucher TOR PF +9.0
Franz Wagner ORL SG -14.6
Victor Oladipo MIA SG -12.1
Patrick Beverley MIN PG -11.4
Alperen Sengun HOU C -10.8
Andre Drummond PHI C -10.7
Jaden McDaniels MIN PF -10.3
Jordan Clarkson UTA PG -10.2
Isaac Okoro CLE SF -10.1
P.J. Tucker MIA SF -10.1
Steven Adams MEM C -8.6
Cam Reddish ATL SF -7.1
Anfernee Simons POR SG -6.9
Terrence Ross ORL SG -6.9
Jonathan Kuminga GS SF -6.6
Jarred Vanderbilt MIN PF -6.6

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