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Fantasy Basketball: Top NBA Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 6 of 2020-21

Zach Thompson gives his top additions from the waiver wire for your season-long fantasy basketball leagues heading into Week 6, which starts Monday, January 25.

NBA: Orlando Magic at Indiana Pacers Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA regular season rolls on with another full schedule this week as we come to the end of January. Teams continue to adjust their rotations and players’ fantasy value changes from week-to-week. Staying active on the waiver wire is key to success in season-long leagues, and there are some nice pickups who are widely available.

Every team plays three of four games in the coming week except for the Grizzlies, who only have two games on the schedule and are dealing with health and safety protocols-related issues. You’ll need to stay on top of all the breaking news as teams’ schedules continue to shift in the coming week.

As you try to give your team a needed boost, check out the four additions from the list below, with some other options to consider listed at the bottom. If you have specific questions about your roster and format, you can ask me on Twitter @ZT_Sports, where I’ll be happy to let you know what I would do in your situation.


SG/SF Jeremy Lamb, Indiana Pacers (vs. TOR, at CHA, at CHA, vs. PHI)

Lamb tore his ACL last February but made a complete recovery in under a year. He returned to game action last Wednesday and looked sharp with 10 points in 19 minutes. He was even better against the Magic on Friday, ramping up to 28 minutes and scoring 22 points to go with seven rebounds, a steal and an assist. Lamb was very productive last season with the Pacers, averaging 12.5 points, 4/3 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.2 steals in 28.1 minutes per game.

As quickly as he can get ramped up, the Pacers will give him as much work as he can handle since he offers more scoring than the other options on the wing while Caris LeVert (kidney) and T.J. Warren (foot) are out. Lamb should serve as a solid complement to Malcolm Brogdon in the backcourt and gets a great week ahead, highlighted by two games against his former team, the Hornets, who are a great matchup for opposing SG and bring the “revenge game” narrative into play for Lamb.


SG/SF Wayne Ellington, Detroit Pistons, (vs. PHI, at CLE, vs. LAL, at GSW)

After starting the season out of the rotation and only getting into one game in the Pistons’ first six, Ellington has started five straight games and suddenly become a key part of the team’s offense. The sharpshooting veteran has caught fire and started pouring in 3-pointers over his past four games. In that four-game stretch, Ellington has played 29.9 minutes per game and averaged 16.8 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists. He has made at least five three-pointers in three straight, going 18-for-34 (52.9%). He had these hot streaks earlier in his career, and he can be a great short-term boost while he keeps hitting from long distance.

Long-term, Ellington isn’t part of the Pistons’ future plans and will likely have a reduced role as people get healthy and the team looks to the future. Short-term, though, he can buoy your points and 3-pointers while chipping in a few counting stats and good percentages. He has a good slate of games ahead, as well, and the Pistons will need him to keep scoring from the outside to make up for their shaky defense. If you need a long-term pickup, Lamb is the better option. But if you are looking for an immediate short-term answer, Ellington can be an instant fix.


PG/SG Kendrick Nunn, Miami Heat (at BKN, vs. DEN, vs. LAC, vs. SAC)

Another player heating up that has high upside short-term is Nunn, who has helped the Heat cover for the absences of Jimmy Butler (health and safety protocols), Tyler Herro (neck), Avery Bradley (health and safety protocols) and Meyers Leonard (shoulder). All those players will miss Monday’s game against the Nets but could return later in the week for the Heat’s three home contests.

Nunn was out of the rotation and logging DNP-CDs early in January but has emerged as a great play over his past four games. In those four games, Nunn has played 33.6 minutes per game and produced 18.8 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.5 steals with a 24.2% usage rate. His sudden re-emergence will make things interesting when everyone gets healthy. He had a strong start to his rookie year last year but struggled towards the end of the season. There is definitely uncertainty about his long-term role, but Nunn has been too good to leave on the wire while he’s getting this kind of minutes and usage.


SF/PF/C Jeff Green, Brooklyn Nets (vs. MIA, at ATL, at OKC, at WAS)

If you need a big man to fill in your stat sheet in non-scoring categories, it looks like Green will have to play a ton of minutes for the new-look Nets. DeAndre Jordan is really the only true center left after the Nets trade for James Harden, and he is unable to carry a full load at this point in his career. As a result, Green has had to step in at center while also logging time at both forward spots. He helped fill in while Kevin Durant (rest) was out and could continue to fill in with extra usage when any of the big three get a day for recovery.

Green has played at least 26 minutes in five straight games, averaging 34.1 minutes and scoring 12.8 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.2 assists per contest. He won’t get a lot of shots or usage when Harden, Durant and Kyrie Irving are around, but he will still get plenty of minutes and countable stats. Think of him like a more productive version of P.J. Tucker with the Rockets, who logged a ton of minutes and was a solid producer with an occasional outburst of scoring and regular non-scoring contributions.


Other options worth watching

  • PG/SG Jalen Brunson, Dallas Mavericks
  • PG/SG Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Los Angeles Lakers
  • PG/SG Monte Morris, Denver Nuggets
  • SG Jae’Sean Tate, Houston Rockets
  • SG/SF Norman Powell, Toronto Raptors
  • SF/PF Taurean Prince, Cleveland Cavaliers
  • SF/PF Doug McDermott, Indiana Pacers
  • SF/PF Rudy Gay, San Antonio Spurs
  • PF Xavier Tillman, Memphis Grizzlies
  • PF/C DeMarcus Cousins, Houston Rockets
  • PF/C Paul Millsap, Denver Nuggets
  • C Naz Reid, Minnesota Timberwolves
  • C Cody Zeller, Charlotte Hornets

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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 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.


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