Steve Alexander

Waiver Wired

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NBA Top Pickups after Week 1

Sunday, October 21, 2018


Welcome back to another season of Waiver Wired. It’s my favorite column to write and I’ve been doing it for at least 15 years or so.  It’s also going to be the subject of Monday’s podcast with Matt Stroup this week, as well as possibly a weekly video, but the details are still being worked out on that. In any case, I hope your season is off to a great start!

 

Week 2 Games Played Schedule:

 

4 Games: CHA, CHI, DAL, GSW, LAL, MIL, PHX, UTA, WAS

3 Games: BOS, BKN, CLE, DET, IND, LAC, MEM, MIN, NOP, NYK, ORL, PHI, POR, SAC, SAS, TOR

2 Games: ATL, DEN, HOU, MIA, OKC

 

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Sunday night update: Iman Shumpert started for the Kings on Sunday and went nuts. He'll struggle once Bogdan Bogdanovic is ready to go, but the huge stat line will turn heads. Alex Len was nice for the Hawks and Montrezl Harrell had a big Sunday for the Clippers. Kent Bazemore should also be owned and it seems like only a matter of time before Collin Sexton is starting for the winless Cavs. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander also played well for the Clippers and is closing games. Keep a close eye on him. Buddy Hield is also having a nice start and should be owned in most leagues.

 

Point Guards

 

Trey Burke Knicks 22% - Burke has scored in double digits in two of his three games and nearly double-doubled with 11 points and nine dimes on Saturday. The season numbers are at 11.3 points, 3.7 boards, 5.7 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.3 3-pointers on 41 percent shooting. Frank Ntilikina is playing off the ball and Burke looks locked into the point guard role for the foreseeable future.

 

Derrick Rose Timberwolves 19% – Rose was plodding along modestly for a couple games and then Jimmy Butler sat out on Saturday night. Rose responded with a monstrous 28 points, five rebounds, five assists, two steals, a block and two 3-pointers on 11-of-21 shooting. The absence of Jimmy B was a direct cause of the explosion, but it’s still a good sign for Rose, who is now averaging 16 points, 4.3 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 0.7 steals and 0.7 3-pointers through three games. Maybe I should be higher on Rose, but it’s only a matter of time before he starts missing games. And I’m really interested to see what he does when Jimmy is back. If he has another good outing in that one, he’ll be well on his way to becoming a must-own player.

 

Bryn Forbes Spurs 7% owned in Yahoo! leagues – Forbes is quietly starting at point guard in the absence of Dejounte Murray and Derrick White, and has hit six 3-pointers in two games. He’s averaging 14 points, 2.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.0 steals and 3.0 3-pointers on the season, and should get a few more weeks of run as White recovers from his heel injury. Forbes isn’t a must-own player, but he’s sneaky.

 

Isaiah Canaan Suns 5% – The point-guardless Suns have decided to roll with Canaan in that role until they can trade for a veteran starter, but it’s possible Canaan could be in the role for some time. He had 15 points and three 3-pointers on Saturday, and is averaging 11.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 2.5 3-pointers through two games. Another guy who’s not exactly a must-own player, but if you need a guard, you could do much worse.

  

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander Clippers 24% - SGA had 11 points, four dimes, a steal and a block in his pro debut on Wednesday and then posted a dud on Friday with two points, three boards and four assists. He’s yet to hit a 3-pointer, but with Milos Teodosic hanging on by a thread and Patrick Beverley coming off a major injury, the plan is for SGA to get at least 20 minutes a night. He’s also been closing games and the best is yet to come. I’m a little surprised that he’s so heavily owned, but he makes sense as a stash if you can do it.

 

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Shooting Guards

 

Josh Hart Lakers 70% – I drafted Hart everywhere and a bunch of you did too, given his 70% ownership. But for the 30% of leagues where he is available, he’s a must-own player. He should be starting for the Lakers before it’s all said and done, and with Brandon Ingram’s Saturday night meltdown, Hart should be ready to step right in and fill the hole that’ll be left in his absence, not too mention Rajon Rondo’s pending suspension, as well. Hart’s already averaging 15.5 points, 4.5 boards, 1.5 assists, 2.5 steals, 1.5 blocks and 2.0 3-pointers on 52 percent shooting, and should be on the verge of having a big four-game week. I don’t care who you have to drop to get him, if Hart’s somehow available in your league, he needs to be owned.

 

Rodney McGruder Heat 20% – The Dwyane Wade era is coming to a close and the McGruder era is just getting going. After an eight-point debut on 2-of-9 shooting on Wednesday, McGruder took off on Thursday and Saturday with 20 and 19 points respectively. He’s averaging 15.7 points, 7.0 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 0.7 steals, 1.0 blocks and 3.0 3-pointers on 50 percent shooting, and is getting a whopping 36 minutes a night. McGruder is still a relatively cheap DFS option and now looks like he should be one of the hottest pickups of the week. And unlike Hart (and Monk), McGruder’s still available in most leagues.

 

Malik Monk Hornets 41% – Monk has scored in double digits in all three of his games and is averaging 14.7 points, 2.0 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.7 blocks and 3.0 3-pointers on 41 percent shooting. He looks better than Jeremy Lamb and has been the primary ball handler for the second unit. He’s already at 27 minutes per game and should get better as he gets more experience under his belt. He’s been one of the most pleasant surprises or the young season.

 

Editor's Note: Looking for an edge when it comes to fantasy hoops? Our new NBA DFS Toolkit has a Lineup Optimizer, Customizable Projections, Next Man Up tool and more for FanDuel, DraftKings and Yahoo! And for season-long, the NBA Season Pass provides weekly projections, rankings, Pickups of the Day and more.
 

Jordan Clarkson Cavaliers 20% - Clarkson has hit double digits in both his games and is averaging 17 points, 3.5 boards, 0.5 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.5 blocks and 0.5 3-pointers thus far. There’s not a lot to love about those numbers outside of the scoring on 52 percent shooting, but the Cavs need offense and he can provide it. And some of the peripheral stats should start coming in as the season develops.

 

Austin Rivers Wizards 5% - Rivers is averaging 10.5 points, 1.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.0 blocks and 1.0 3-pointers on 53 percent shooting. He’s getting 26 minutes per game thus far and there is concern that he’s eating into Otto Porter’s minutes and role. I still think Porter will be fine, but if Rivers keeps getting these kind of minutes, he will eventually get hot and could be worth owning.

 

Bonus: J.J. Redick is owned in most leagues already, but just in case he’s on the wire in yours, he’s a must-own now that Ben Simmons could miss time with his back injury, although it’s not thought to be too serious.

 


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Steve "Dr. A" Alexander is the senior editor for the NBA for Rotoworld.com and a contributor to NBCSports.com. The 2017-18 NBA season marks (at least) his 16th year of covering fantasy hoops for Rotoworld. Follow him on Twitter - @Docktora.
Email :Steve Alexander



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