After Sunday’s Christmas Day showcase, the NBA starts Week 11, which is a full week of action to round out 2022. It’s a busy week of games that’s pretty balanced from day to day with at least six games every night, while Tuesday’s 10-game schedule is the only day that reaches double-digit games. There are nine games on New Years’ Eve Saturday with three games on New Year’s Day to wrap up the week.
With the games a little more spread out, only the Portland Trail Blazers have a light week of just two games, while every other team in the NBA plays either three or four times. Make sure to take a look at both the quality and the quantity of matchups, especially if you are looking for players to make a short-term instant impact.
In this weekly post throughout the season, you can find some of the hottest trending players, some deep league additions to consider, and a more in-depth look at four sleeper pickups. The sleeper targets listed below aren’t quite mainstream, but they are emerging as options with plenty of potential upside. The top trending players are good pickups to consider if available but are quickly vanishing off waiver wires. The deep league options at the bottom of the post can be a help if the top options and the four sleeper pickups have already been picked up.
Things change in a hurry from day to day throughout the season, so follow along on my Twitter account @ZT_sports if you are looking for single-game streaming options, along with cheap DFS plays on a daily basis.
Top Trending Players
- PG Cole Anthony, Orlando Magic
- PG/SG Killian Hayes, Detroit Pistons
- SG/SF Bogdan Bogdanovic, Atlanta Hawks
- SG/SF Luguentz Dort, Oklahoma City Thunder
- SG/SF Lonnie Walker IV, Los Angeles Lakers
- SF/PF Brandon Clarke, Memphis Grizzlies
- SF/PF Miles Bridges, Charlotte Hornets
- SF/PF Trey Murphy III, New Orleans Pelicans
- PF/C Walker Kessler, Utah Jazz
- PF/C Jalen Duren, Detroit Pistons
- C Thomas Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
SG/SF Norman Powell, Los Angeles Clippers (at DET, at TOR, at BOS, at IND)
Powell was sidelined for 10 games due to a groin injury, and as a result, his ownership percentage has dipped well below 50%. Powell returned and didn’t show any signs of rust, though, scoring a total of 35 points in 42 minutes in his first two games back.
Dating back to before his absence, Powell has scored double-digit points in nine straight games, averaging 20.4 points, 3.3 boards and 2.0 assists in 25.3 minutes per game. He hit multiple three-pointers in seven of his past eight games and usually shoots a high percentage from the field and from the line.
Powell is the Clippers’ instant offense option off the bench and picks up more work if stars like Kawhi Leonard or Paul George are sidelined. The Clippers start the week with a back-to-back on the road in Detroit and Toronto before finishing with road games in Boston and Indiana in good scoring environments. With the back-to-back, there could be extra work available as well. If someone in your league dropped Stormin’ Norman, he makes a great way to grab some scoring for the coming week.
PF Jeremy Sochan, San Antonio Spurs (vs. UTA, at OKC, vs. NY, vs. DAL)
The Spurs are also headed into a nice four-game week this week that starts with a back-to-back on Monday and Tuesday. As they continue to struggle at the bottom of the NBA in terms of overall record as a key player in the Victor Wembanyama sweepstakes, they look ready to give Sochan all the playing time he can handle. The team used a top-10 pick on Sochan last year, and it makes sense that they’ll try to see what they have in the 19-year-old former Baylor Bear over the rest of the season.
Sochan has scored double-digit points in three straight games, including a career-high 23 points in his best game of the season on Thursday against the Pelicans. He added nine rebounds and six assists in that game while helping to fill in for Keldon Johnson, who was sidelined with a bad back.
Even with Johnson back on Friday, Sochan started again and this time had 13 points, nine rebounds, two blocked shots and four assists. The youngster should continue to get opportunities if he plays this well, and he has very favorable matchups in his three games this week. He’s available in over 85% of leagues coming into Sunday, but he’s worth a look if he can stay in his expanded role
C James Wiseman, Golden State Warriors (vs. CHA, vs. UTA, vs. POR)
This is much more of a long-term pickup than Powell, but Wiseman does have a high long-term ceiling. The No. 2 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft has battled injury and been very limited, but he has worked his way back and looks like he might be ready to earn a larger role.
In Wednesday’s ugly 30-point loss to the Nets, Wiseman played 28 minutes and poured in a career-high 30 points to go with six rebounds, two assists and a blocked shot. He shot an impressive 12-of-14 from the field and even added a three-pointer. Wiseman’s big game was his second straight game with over 20 minutes and came while Golden State was without Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Donte DiVincenzo and Andrew Wiggins. He likely won’t get nearly this much usage and opportunity, but it’s still a huge step forward for the big man who is still just 21 years old.
The Warriors have been working to develop Wiseman behind the scenes, and he has been logging extended time in the G League. This might just be a one-game blip, or it could be the start of Golden State giving him a longer look. He has an incredibly high ceiling, so if you can stash him, he makes sense as an add-and-see option.
PG/SG Immanuel Quickley, New York Knicks, (at DAL, at SAS, at HOU)
As usual at this point in the season, there aren’t a ton of great point guard options available who contribute assists or steals. Quickley is playing well for the Knicks lately, though, and does make some sense as the Knicks travel to Texas this week.
Quickley stepped up in a spot start on Wednesday with 20 points, but he stayed hot coming off the bench on Friday with 15 points, three assists and three rebounds in just 21 minutes. He has 15+ points in three straight games and has the potential for more if he plays over 30 minutes as he did on Wednesday.
While his non-scoring numbers aren’t ideal, he can pile up enough points to be owned in many leagues, as opposed to the under 25% of leagues where he is owned. He’s also shown enough potential that he would be an awesome pickup if inserted into the lineup at any point.
Other options to consider
- PG Dennis Schroder, Los Angeles Lakers
- PG/SG Andrew Nembhard, Indiana Pacers
- PG/SG Ty Jerome, Golden State Warriors
- SG Landry Shamet, Phoenix Suns
- SG Malik Monk, Sacramento Kings
- SG/SF Quentin Grimes, New York Knicks
- SG/SF Austin Reaves, Los Angeles Lakers
- SG/SF Victor Oladipo, Miami Heat
- SG/SF AJ Griffin, Atlanta Hawks
- SG/SF Austin Rivers, Minnesota Timberwolves
- SF/PF Torey Craig, Phoneix Suns
- SF/PF Georges Niang, Philadelphia 76ers
- PF/C Moritz Wagner, Orlando Magic
- PF/C Santi Aldama, Memphis Grizzlies
- PF/C Jalen Smith, Indiana Pacers
- PF/C Wenyen Gabriel, Los Angeles Lakers
- C Naz Reid, Minnesota Timberwolves
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Z.Thompson) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.