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How to replace Joel Embiid in fantasy basketball via waiver wire

We take a look at some short-term replacements at center for the Sixers All-Star, who is in health and safety protocols.

Andre Drummond #1 of the Philadelphia 76ers plays against the Detroit Pistons at Little Caesars Arena on November 04, 2021 in Detroit, Michigan. Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Philadelphia 76ers All-Star center Joel Embiid has entered health and safety protocols on Monday, per Shams Charania of The Athletic. The Sixers are scheduled to play the New York Knicks tonight, but will not have Embiid potentially for next several games.

With Embiid out, the Sixers and fantasy basketball managers will go grab Andre Drummond, who has been productive in his short time with Philadelphia. Below we will discuss a couple of waiver wire options at center, including Drummond for your fantasy basketball team needs.

Andre Drummond, Philadelphia 76ers

The backup center signed a one-year deal in the offseason with the Sixers and has played exceptional off the bench and in spot starts for Embiid. Drummond is averaging 5.9 points, 8.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1.6 steals in 17.6 minutes per game this season. The veteran center has only started in one game this season, which was last week against the Portland Trail Blazers.

In that game, Drummond had 14 points, 15 rebounds, seven assists, and five steals in 34 minutes. The 28-year-old center also scored a season-high 66 fantasy points, which just shows the type of potential he has in a starting role. Drummond won’t fill up the box score in the points department, but will feast on the glass. He is currently rostered in 42% of ESPN fantasy basketball leagues.

Steven Adams, Memphis Grizzlies

In the offseason, Memphis shockingly traded away center Jonas Valanciunas in a major deal with the New Orleans Pelicans, where they got back Steven Adams. Adams has not skipped a beat with his new squad and has been productive, averaging 8.9 points and 8.8 rebounds per game this season.

Now granted, the veteran center will not equal the production of Embiid, especially on a team that has Ja Morant, Jaren Jackson Jr., and Desmond Bane. However, Adams is putting up 25.8 fantasy points per game and is ranked 23rd best center in fantasy. He’s currently rostered in 48.9% of ESPN hoops leagues.

Kelly Olynyk, Detroit Pistons

For this last spot, I wanted to go with Daniel Gafford or Olynyk. The latter wins out because he’s more of a scoring threat than Adams and Drummond. Olynyk can be rostered at either center or power forward in fantasy hoops. The veteran big man is averaging 12.4 points and 5.2 rebounds in 22.7 minutes per game off the bench. Olynyk has not shot well from behind the arc to start the season at 31.4%. But we should expect him to improve as he’s a career 36.6% three-point shooter. The 30-year-old center is only rostered in 37.2% of ESPN hoops leagues.