The NBA regular season continues to be a wild ride. As we head into the fourth full week of the season, things continue to flex and shift each week. There are plenty of players getting chances to step up and contribute as injuries and health and safety protocols continue to shift things around. Those players stepping into larger roles can help your fantasy team if you can grab them from your season-long league’s waivers.
The 76ers and Pacers have two of the busiest weeks on the schedule for the entire season, with five games in the coming week. The Pacers’ games are all on the road in different cities around the West while the 76ers will also be dealing with shortages due to Seth Curry’s positive COVID-19 test to further cloud who will carry the load for Philly. In contrast, the Timberwolves only play two games in the coming week, so if you are limited in roster moves, you may want to avoid Minnesota and try to target Indiana options. Every other team is scheduled for three of four games in the coming week, which is a more normal pace for this accelerated season.
To help you keep up with players emerging as fantasy options, I’ll give you my top four widely available pickups each week. 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 with your situation. Here are the four widely available players who I think can give your roster a boost in the coming week, and there are some other solid options to consider listed at the bottom.
SG Tyrese Maxey, Philadelphia 76ers (at ATL, vs. MIA, vs. MIA, at MEM, at OKC)
The Sixers are heading into a brutal stretch of their schedule and had to play Saturday’s game with only seven players available due to health and safety protocols and injuries to both Joel Embiid (back) and Ben Simmons (knee). With so few bodies available, Maxey played for a massive 44 minutes and had 39 points, seven rebounds, six assists, two steals and three 3-pointers. While that kind of workload is both insane and unlikely to continue, he did show enough to definitely get a look moving forward if the Sixers are shorthanded in the coming week.
Maxey was Philadelphia’s first-round pick in last year’s draft out of Kentucky and obviously can step up if the Sixers are still just as depleted in their next few games. This all started when Seth Curry tested positive for COVID-19 — so even if the rest of the team is cleared, he probably has the longest road back, and his absence would open up a spot for Maxey if Doc Rivers continues to give the rookie a big role. Long-term, he may not be an extremely valuable piece, but for the short-term he should offer plenty of countable stats.
Don’t tell the Pacers the Holiday season is over; they’re ready to roll into their busy week with Justin Holiday playing a big part in their rotation. His brother, Aaron Holiday, has actually been in the starting lineup lately, but Justin has been the more productive option. On Wednesday against the Rockets, Justin Holiday finished with 20 points, five boards, a steal and three triples in 32 minutes off the bench. He played even more minutes on Monday in the Pacers’ overtime win over the Pelicans, logging 45 minutes and totaling nine points, seven rebounds, five assists, a steel and a block.
Whether he moves into the starting lineup or not, he offers very nice production across the board in the second unit. He has been very efficient with a 67.4% true shooting percentage and has a 12.9 Player Efficiency Rating, which would be the highest mark of his career. As long as Malcolm Brogdon and Victor Oladipo carry the majority of the scoring load, Justin Holiday’s all-around production fits nicely in the top unit in place of T.J. Warren (foot), who is still out indefinitely.
Depending on your team’s needs, Clarkson may be an even better pickup than Holiday. Although his production is much more one-dimensional, he provides plenty of scoring power off the bench for the Jazz and picked up even more work lately with Joe Ingles (Achilles) dealing with soreness.
He has scored double-digit points in eight of his nine games and has averaged 16.7 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.0 steals. He has been shooting the ball even better lately and has a 63.2% true shooting percentage over his past four games while playing over 25 minutes per game during that span. With some very attractive matchups in the coming week, Clarkson should be able to keep putting up plenty of points. If you need some instant offense, he’s a good pickup to consider.
PF/C JaMychal Green, Denver Nuggets (at BKN, vs. GSW, vs. UTA)
With Michael Porter Jr. out indefinitely due to the health and safety protocols, the Nuggets have had to shake up their rotation. One big part of it has been Green, who has continued to come off the bench but has played at least 19 minutes in every game since being limited in his debut on January 1. He has scored double-digit points with multiple 3-pointers in all four of those games, averaging 13.3 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 1.25 assists per game.
Green could be in for even more work as he finds his groove with his new team and the workload left behind by Jerami Grant when he departed for Detroit in free agency still up for grabs. Green and the Nuggets have favorable matchups this week even though there are only three games on tap, and he should be a solid pickup long-term if you need points, rebounds and 3-pointers from a big man.
Other options worth watching
- SF/PF Cedi Osman, Cleveland Cavaliers
- PG/SG Tyrese Haliburton, Sacramento Kings
- PG Patty Mills, San Antonio Spurs
- PF/C Daniel Theis, Boston Celtics
- PG Cole Anthony, Orlando Magic
- PG/SG Austin Rivers, New York Knicks
- PF/C Bobby Portis, Milwaukee Bucks
- SF/PF Royce O’Neale, Utah Jazz
- SF Jarred Vanderbilt, Minnesota Timberwolves
- PF/C Kelly Olynyk, Miami Heat
- PF/C Dario Saric, Phoenix Suns
Put your knowledge to the test. Sign up for DraftKings and experience the game inside the game.
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.
If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (IL). Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ/WV/PA), 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN), 1-800-522-4700 (NH/CO), 1-800-BETS OFF (IA) or TN REDLINE: 800-889-9789. 21+ (18+ NH). NJ/PA/WV/NH/IN/NH/IA/CO/IL/TN only. Eligibility restrictions apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for full terms and conditions.