NBA Waiver Wire: December 8
Justin Fensterman goes around the league, providing players who are worth adding to your roster!
Always know how many moves you’re allowed to make in you fantasy basketball leagues. If your league doesn’t have a move maximum, regularly make adds and drops so you can get as much production as possible. A lot of leagues don’t have move maximums. It makes it much easier to follow the trends and invest in very short-term hot shooters before they cool off.
Kent Bazemore SG, SF POR-31% Ownership: Rodney Hood going down with a torn Achilles tendon is brutal for the Blazers, but, beneficial for Bazemore. He’ll be the primary fill-in option moving forward. The Spurs are already down Jusuf Nurkic and Zach Collins . Bazemore will get a lot of shots from the second unit. He will fire a lot from downtown, but, when the Blazers are in transition, he will cut to the basket more. Bazemore has played 23-plus minutes and scored in double figures in his last two games. He’s also grabbed steals in four of his last five games. The Blazers need all of the help they can get defensively and if Bazemore can show that he could shutdown the perimeter for opposing offenses like Hood did, he’ll be rewarded with more playing time. He’s already playing over 22 minutes per game and those minutes will go up as the season continues. He’s also grabbing 4.3 boards per game as well and that will further help his cause for getting more love in the Blazers rotation.
Ben McLemore SG HOU-18% Ownership: McLemore’s scoring has skyrocketed over his last four games. He’s scored 24-plus in 3 of his last 4 games. While Eric Gordon is out, there’s room for another shooter in Houston’s arsenal. He’ll battle Danuel House Jr. for shots, but he’s been rewarded with more playing time. He’s logged 30 minutes or more in 2 of his last 4 games. McLemore will get set up a lot at the arc. He hits 2.4 three-pointers per game. If his three’s aren’t falling, he may be limited with how much he gets fed. If you’re in need of a short-term scoring solution, the minutes make McLemore a safe add. He will help out a bit on the defensive end as well. McLemore has grabbed steals in four of his last five games and Houston doesn’t pose any threat defensively and they can always use the help on the perimeter.
Damian Jones C ATL-14% Ownership: As the Hawks anxiously await for John Collins suspension to be over, they need to fill the void and Alex Len hasn’t been getting the job done. Damian Jones has been getting more minutes and he’s hit double-figures in scoring and grabbing six-plus rebounds in three of his last five games. Jones has played over 20 minutes in 4 of his last 5 games. He’s averaged over 21 minutes per game over the last 2 weeks. Let’s also not forget that he’s a regular starter and control is more in his destiny based off how effective he’s playing in the post. Jones will fight for boards and he’s slowly starting to see his time with the ball trickle up. The Hawks have a lot of shooters and they need their big men to be standing at the low block ready to keep plays alive. The Hawks keep a lot of players around the arc.
D.J. Augustin PG ORL-25% Ownership: Even though I recently wrote about Markelle Fultz being a good player to add, Augustin is still plenty involved in the rotation. Point guards aren’t as easy to find on the waiver wire and Augustin will be on and off the wire throughout the season. He’s scored in double-digits in his last three games. Augustin plays over 25 minutes per game and hits at least one triple per game. Augustin is a spot-up shooter when he plays off the ball. He looks to find himself open at the arc and often serves as a bailout option if Aaron Gordon and Jonathan Isaac ’s momentum is halted in the post. Augustin has also dished 4.7 assists per game. He produced seven dimes in both of his last two games. Even though Augustin loves to stay at the arc, he’ll drive if the lane is open to draw contact.
Duncan Robinson SG, F MIA-27% Ownership: Even though Robinson cooled off in his last game versus the Wizards, he’s been able to fill in and different spots on the court and with other Heat players banged up, he’ll continue to stay in the Heat’s rotation. Robinson scored in double figures in five of his last six games. He’ll set up a lot at the arc. Robinson hits 2.8 three-pointers per game. He has made more of an effort to rebound recently and it’s starting to show in his stats a bit. While Robinson only averages 2.9 boards per game, he’s grabbed at least 4 in 3 of his last 4 games. Robinson even produced a double-double a week ago. Robinson is another short-term solution and with Goran Dragic banged up, other members of the Heat will have to shift down to point guard to help bring up the ball. Grab Robinson for a few-game rental if you need the scoring boost while the Heat aren’t at full strength.
Jaxson Hayes C NO-21% Ownership: While a lot of people recommended on this weekly list don’t have longevity in their future, Hayes is starting to understand the game at the pro-level and he has a chance to stick with the Pelicans rotation. Derrick Favors has missed a lot of time because of injuries and personal reasons. We still don’t have a date set for Zion Williamson ’s regular-season debut and Hayes has to compete with Jahlil Okafor for minutes. Hayes has hit highlight reels at times this season because of his strong reach. You see that reach when he’s driving the lane and dunking the basketball. Once he lifts off the ground, it’s hard to keep him from slamming the ball. He has tremendous leaping ability. Hayes has scored in double figures in three of his last five games and has grabbed five-plus boards in his last five games. Hayes also blocks 1.1 shots per game and blocked 5 shots the other night versus the Suns. Hayes has been given at least 25 minutes of playing time in his last 4 games. He averages 21 minutes per game for the season. He’s also grabbed steals in four of his last six games.
De’Anthony Melton G MEM-10% Ownership: Ja Morant is week-to-week with an injured Back and Tyus Jones hasn’t been producing as much as expected. Melton hasn’t done much better, but, from the fantasy perspective, he’s been helpful enough in other areas to draw attention. Melton has grabbed three or more boards in his last four games. Melton has done a good job serving as a playmaker while Morant has been out. He’s produced at least three dimes in his last four games. The defensive efforts that Melton has been showing have kept him on the court even more. Melton has also hit the 20-minute mark in his last four games. Melton has produced three multi-steal games in his last four. He can hit long-range jumpers, but he’s also shown the ability to attack the paint and draw contact. Melton should be given solid minutes for at least the next few games while Morant recovers.
Elfrid Payton PG NY-12% Ownership: Payton got hit with a Hamstring injury very early in the season and that kept him out for 17 games. Payton has very good speed and even though he hasn’t played 20 minutes in either game since returning, his competition for minutes isn’t there because Dennis Smith Jr. won’t develop and Frank Ntilikina doesn’t give the Knicks enough offense. The Knicks need help hitting long-range jumpers and while Payton won’t be asked to shoot a lot of three’s, he’ll hit open jumpers from downtown. Expect Payton to play the majority of point guard minutes. The Knicks also are in the process of restructuring their offense a bit as they let go of their coach David Fizdale. Payton has grabbed 2.2 steals per game and is actually coming off of a game in which he swiped the ball 3 times. Payton has also dished four dimes a game and now that he’s back, expect his scoring and assist numbers to rise. He’ll start playing deeper into games soon enough. The Knicks are bringing him back slowly so he doesn’t re-aggravate his Hamstring injury.
Kris Dunn G CHI-19% Ownership: Just when we though he was done (pun intended), the Bulls find another way to utilize Dunn. The Bulls need help filling other positions and Dunn has been starting because of it. The Bulls have been running a three-guard offense while Otto Porter Jr. has been out. Dunn has grabbed two steals a game. He’s always been good at defending the perimeter. He’s played 24-plus minutes in his last 4 games and he dished 4 dimes in 3 of those games. Dunn will be playing time both on and off the ball. Expect him to camp out at the arc, but he won’t necessarily shoot from the arc. He’ll wait to see if Wendell Carter Jr. sets up in the post so he can give Carter the quick feed so he can bang his way to the basket. Dunn is more reliable for his defensive numbers than on offense. He’s grabbed 3.1 boards per game (I like when guards average 3 boards per game). If you need the boost in boards and steals, grab Dunn. If he can help stop the bleeding a bit on the defensive side of the ball, he’ll be rewarded with more playing time.
WATCH PLAYER: Mohamed Bamba C ORL-16% Ownership: If you’re in need of a boards and blocks specialist, Bamba is a good short-term option until Nikola Vucevic comes back. Bamba has pulled down six or more boards in four of his last five games. He’ll do more of the dirty work under the glass than Khem Birch . Bamba is not as much of a scorer as he’s hit double figures in three of his last six games, but, against soft frontcourt’s he’ll come through a bit more. Bamba blocks nearly two shots per game. The only other issue with Bamba is staying on the court. He doesn’t regularly get 20 minutes per game, but he’s been averaging over 18 minutes per game over his last two weeks. Al-Farouq Aminu being out works in Bamba’s favor and it could allow him to get on the court a bit more. If you find yourself behind in steals and blocks, and need him as a rental for a game or two, utilize him. His role could grow a tad throughout the season because of the Magic’s limited frontcourt depth.