Week 8 Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire Pickups (Dec. 6 - Dec. 12)
This week, we're going to try to dig a little deeper. As we head into Week 8 of the fantasy basketball regular season, specifically guards and bigs are becoming increasingly scarce. Gabe Vincent (Heat) and Facundo Campazzo (Nuggets) are two point guards seeing increased minutes over the last week because of injuries sustained by better players in their respective rotations. They are also available in approximately 90% of leagues now, as they are not necessarily the most popular names on the waiver wire. Among bigs, Dwight Howard's role in Los Angeles seems to be growing in importance. This was especially evident when Frank Vogel and DeAndre Jordan got into a screaming match on the bench Wednesday night. Jordan played only four minutes, while Howard played 31. Elsewhere, the return of Boogie Cousins in a Bucks uniform to fill in for the injured Brook Lopez is interesting. Though he only played 15 minutes in his first game, Cousins has established himself as a dominant big man in the league when healthy. Here are some waiver wire pickups for your consideration heading into Week 8 of the 2021-22 NBA regular season.
Teams Playing Five Games: San Antonio Spurs
Teams Playing Four Games: Brooklyn Nets, Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets, Detroit Pistons, Los Angeles Lakers, Memphis Grizzlies, Milwaukee Bucks, Minnesota Timberwolves, New York Knicks, Oklahoma City Thunder, Orlando Magic.
Teams Playing Three Games: Boston Celtics, Charlotte Hornets, Chicago Bulls, Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Clippers, Miami Heat, New Orleans Pelicans, Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings, Utah Jazz, Washington Wizards
Teams Playing Two Games: Atlanta Hawks, Phoenix Suns, Toronto Raptors
PG Gabe Vincent, Miami Heat (10% Owned)
With Jimmy Butler sidelined for at least the rest of the week, and Victor Oladipo still out indefinitely, the Heat don’t have much flexibility on their roster at the point guard position. Over the last week, Gabe Vincent’s role off Miami's bench has vastly expanded. Vincent has played a minimum of 28 minutes over the last three contests and scored in double figures in each game over that span. On Nov. 27, Vincent scored 20 points (6-11 FG) and recorded five assists in 31 minutes played. Vincent then scored 14 points (5-13 FG) against the Nuggets on Nov. 29 and 11 points (4-7 FG) on Dec. 1 against the Cavaliers. Over his last four contests, Vincent has shot the deep-ball particularly well, only falling below 50% from downtown on Nov. 29 against the Nuggets (4-9 3PT). Vincent should produce similar numbers for at least the next week. Depending on when Butler returns, Vincent should play between 25-30 MPG and hopefully continue to produce efficiently like he has since his minutes were increased.
PG Facundo Campazzo, Denver Nuggets (10% Owned)
In the absence of Jamal Murray, the Nuggets have had to improvise this season at the point guard position. Further complicating matters for the Nuggets is P.J. Dozier’s absence, who tore his ACL last week. Without him in the rotation, the Nuggets have Monte Morris, Facundo Campazzo, and Austin Rivers as the best available guards on the team. While Morris starts, Campazzo’s role has increased in the last week, specifically because of Dozier’s injury. Campazzo has played at least 24 minutes in each of the Nuggets’ last six games. He’s also been efficient on offense, shooting at least 50% from the field in four of the last six games. Because Dozier is out for the foreseeable future, Campazzo’s role for the Nuggets has rapidly expanded. His recent production should help him earn even more playing time in the weeks to come.
PG Tyus Jones, Memphis Grizzlies (35% Owned)
With Ja Morant expected to miss at least another two weeks with a sprained knee he sustained before Thanksgiving, Tyus Jones will see a significant uptick in minutes. He’s a good shooter, currently shooting 47.0% from the field. While he has had a few bad games over the last couple of weeks, he seems like a safe guard to claim off of waivers this week.
SF Joe Ingles, Utah Jazz (55% Owned)
Joe Ingles is currently available in almost 50% of fantasy basketball leagues. To me, this is somewhat surprising, especially because Ingles is converting 45.7% of his shots from the field this season. Despite his efficiency from the field, Ingles is scoring less than eight points per game. However, we know that Ingles is capable of better scoring numbers, as he dropped 12.1 PPG last season. Nonetheless, his efficiency on offense in approximately 25 MPG and his experience as a veteran make him a very safe player to scoop off of waivers. He’s not the type of player who will erupt for the occasional huge night. However, you can count on him to produce approximately 20-25 FPTS on any given night. For that reason, you should seriously consider picking him up to fill a spot on your bench while he is still available.
SF Jae Crowder, Phoenix Suns (49% Owned)
Jae Crowder remains widely available across most fantasy leagues. While I wouldn't recommend starting him in Week 8 due to the Suns' two-game schedule, this is more of a long-term recommendation. Crowder is playing 27.7 MPG this season and averaging 8.7 PPG. He makes up for his low point production by playing outstanding defense. This season, Crowder is averaging 1.3 steals per game, which is pretty impressive for a forward. He's a great defensive player and his peripheral stars make up for his low-scoring output. Because he plays between 25-30 MPG, is owned in less than 50% of fantasy basketball leagues, and plays for a Suns team that has won 18 straight games, everyone should check if Crowder is available on their league's waiver wire.
SG/SF Devin Vassell (54% Owned) & SF Doug McDermott (14% Owned), San Antonio Spurs
The Spurs play five games in Week 8, which means even the players deep in their rotation are worthy pickups and potential streaming options. Vassell is playing 25 minutes per game and has scored at least 15 points in five of his last eight contests. With five games on the slate next week, Vassell could be valuable for fantasy owners in need of points (11.9), threes (1.8), steals (1.2), and field goal percentage (46.8%).
Meanwhile, McDermott has started all 13 games he has played this season and is seeing 25.2 minutes of action per game. He's not quite as valuable as Vassell, but he does convert 2.1 three-pointers per game. Fantasy owners in rotisserie leagues looking for an edge in threes should absolutely consider Dougy McBuckets considering the number of games San Antonio plays next week and McDermott's appetite to shoot from long range.
C Dewayne Dedmon, Miami Heat (46% Owned)
Dewayne Dedmon is not nearly owned enough across all fantasy basketball leagues. That said, he was available in more than 90% of leagues last week and is now only available on just about 50% of waiver wires. The rush to pick him up off of waivers comes as a result of Bam Adebayo’s thumb injury, which will require surgery and keep him sidelined until at least mid-January. Besides Adebayo, the Heat roster is limited in size. Wednesday night, Dedmon played a season-high 31 minutes and recorded an 11-point, 13-rebound double-double along with two blocks. Because Abedayo will miss the next six to eight weeks, Dedmon is the best big man to target this week on waivers. He will help fantasy owners significantly in the rebounds and blocks department.
C Dwight Howard, Los Angeles Lakers (21% Owned)
This season, Frank Vogel has essentially allowed Lakers bigs DeAndre Jordan and Dwight Howard to compete for minutes. Early on in the season, it looked like Jordan showed more promise. Now, Howard seems like the most viable option in Los Angeles. While both bigs are averaging less than 15 MPG this season, Howard erupted for a double-double on Nov. 30 against the Kings in 35 minutes, even though he shared the floor with Anthony Davis for the duration of the game. While by no means am I suggesting that Howard will play 30 MPG consistently, Vogel seems to have given Howard the nod at center over Jordan (Jordan played just four minutes on Nov. 30). Moreover, footage of the Lakers' bench of Tuesday's game against the Kings captured a pretty intense debate between Vogel and Jordan. If Vogel and Jordan are on shaky terms, this is even more of a reason to pick up Howard. The big man is currently available in more than 75% of fantasy basketball leagues and seems to have secured the role of go-to backup big behind Anthony Davis. Jordan seems to have been relegated to a third-string role in the rotation, and will likely play less than Howard in the weeks to come.
Cousins returned from injury to play his first game of the season. Although Cousins logged just 14 minutes, he was fairly efficient in his limited time on the floor. The veteran big man tallied seven points, converting three of five field-goal attempts, and hauled in four boards. With Brook Lopez out for the foreseeable future after undergoing back surgery, the Bucks will need Cousins to protect the rim and produce on the offensive end of the floor in the paint. Cousins will be eased into action but he could see 20-25 minutes per game until Lopez returns from injury. The Bucks gave Cousins the day off yesterday, so he won't reach his potential until he can suit up each and every night. Still, he is worth a speculative add of the waiver wire. FantasySP is developing betting tools to provide users with something nobody else in the industry can offer. Upgrade to an Edge+ account today and get 50% off your first year at just $99.99 for the year. After a year, the price is going to increase to $199. Lock in your special early-bird deal today!
PF/C DeMarcus Cousins, Milwaukee Bucks (26% Owned)
Cousins returned from injury to play his first game of the season. Although Cousins logged just 14 minutes, he was fairly efficient in his limited time on the floor. The veteran big man tallied seven points, converting three of five field-goal attempts, and hauled in four boards. With Brook Lopez out for the foreseeable future after undergoing back surgery, the Bucks will need Cousins to protect the rim and produce on the offensive end of the floor in the paint. Cousins will be eased into action but he could see 20-25 minutes per game until Lopez returns from injury. The Bucks gave Cousins the day off yesterday, so he won't reach his potential until he can suit up each and every night. Still, he is worth a speculative add of the waiver wire.
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