The first quarter of the NBA season is already a wrap, so in season-long fantasy basketball leagues, it’s time to move on from some unfortunate draft picks or injured players and grab some better options off the waiver wire. This week’s cadence is a little unusual since no one plays on Thursday due to Thanksgiving. There are 13 games on Wednesday and 12 games on Friday, though, so 16 of the 30 NBA teams still manage to fit in four games. The Denver Nuggets and Dallas Mavericks are on the other end of the spectrum with just two games this week, while the other 12 teams play three games.
At the top of the post, you can find the top trending players, who have been hot pickups in the past and are quickly disappearing off the waiver wire. They are likely already owned in your league, but if not, they’re great options to add. At the bottom of the post, are some options that are worth a look if you’re in a deep league or are trying to get ahead of the rush. In between those two groups, you can find four highlighted sleepers who I like for the coming week and beyond. I think they make good additions and will be trending in the right direction over the coming week.
Top Trending Players
- PG/SG Jalen Brunson, Dallas Mavericks
- PG/SG Jalen Suggs, Orlando Magic
- PG/SG Alex Caruso, Chicago Bulls
- PG/SG/SF Desmond Bane, Memphis Grizzlies
- SG/SF Devin Vassell, San Antonio Spurs
- SG/SF Josh Hart, New Orleans Pelicans
- SG/SF Franz Wagner, Orlando Magic
- SG/SF Luguentz Dort, Oklahoma City Thunder
- SF/PF Nicolas Batum, Los Angeles Clippers
- SF/PF Aaron Gordon, Denver Nuggets
- SF/PF Jae’Sean Tate, Houston Rockets
- PF/C Bobby Portis, Milwaukee Bucks
- PF/C Larry Nance, Portland Trail Blazers
- PF/C Kevin Love, Cleveland Cavaliers
SG/SF Kevin Huerter, Atlanta Hawks (vs. OKC, at SA, at MEM, vs. NYK)
The Hawks will be without De’Andre Hunter (wrist) for multiple weeks, which means there will be plenty of playing time available on the wings next to superstar Trae Young. Huerter has moved into the starting lineup in Hunter’s spot, but a hamstring injury cut one of those appearances short and kept him a little off the radar. He was able to return on Wednesday, though, and played 32 minutes against the Celtics. He got hot from long-range in that contest and made five 3-pointers on his way to 19 points. He started Saturday’s game slowly but picked things up, hit a key 3-pointer late and still produced 17 points with four 3-pointers, four assists and two boards.
In his four most recent starts not abbreviated by injury, Huerter has averaged 18.8 points, 2.5 assists, 2.5 steals, 4.0 rebounds and 4.0 made 3-pointers. While Cam Reddish has also stepped up to fill in for Hunter, it looks like Huerter will be involved enough to offer good production across the board while bringing high upside from long range and with overall scoring.
PG/SG Patty Mills, Brooklyn Nets (at CLE, at BOS, vs. PHX)
The Nets have been a little banged up lately with Joe Harris (ankle), Bruce Brown (hamstring) and even Kevin Durant (shoulder) battling injuries. Their limitations have opened the door for Mills to step into a larger role, and the 33-year-old Aussie has come up huge in his first year in Brooklyn. He has started three straight games and scored more than 20 points in three of his past four. In that four-game stretch, Mills has hit an impressive 21 3-pointers and averaged an 18.1% usage rate.
In those four games, he has played 33.1 minutes per game and averaged 20.0 points, 2.3 assists, 1.5 rebounds and 1.3 steals. He doesn’t typically add a ton of non-scoring stats, especially with James Harden running the point, but he should continue to get enough opportunities to stay a very viable contributor while much of the Nets’ rotation is dealing with injuries. If you’re looking for points and 3-pointers, Mills is a great pickup.
PG/SG Patrick Beverley, Minnesota Timberwolves (at NO, vs. MIA, at CHA, at PHI)
If you need contributions in more categories than Mills provides and are hoping to get some defensive contributions, assists and rebounds from a guard slot, check out Beverley, who is another veteran guard finding success in a new spot this season. Beverley has started 10 straight games for the Wolves, averaging 28.9 minutes with a 14.0% usage rate. He typically doesn’t score as many points as Mills, but he has eight points or more in five of his past six games while offering more multi-category production.
In those six games, Beverley has averaged 9.8 points, 4.2 assists, 4.8 rebounds, 1.0 steals and 1.0 blocks. Coach Chris Finch seems to like the pairing of Beverley and D’Angelo Russell in the backcourt, and the veteran PG has become a leader for the Timberwolves on defense. He should continue to get plenty of playing time and chip in production across the board in favorable matchups this week.
SG/SF Alec Burks, New York Knicks (vs. LAL, vs. PHX, at ATL)
The Knicks have gotten great work from their second unit over the past couple of weeks, and Burks has stepped into a key role as a scorer and creator off the bench. He has at least 14 points in four of his past five games after dropping a season-high 20 points on the Rockets late Saturday afternoon. In that game, Burks knocked down six 3-pointers and has hit multiple shots from long range in five straight contests.
In those five games, the 10-year veteran has a 19.7% usage rate and has attempted an average of 10.4 field goals per game after a 17.5% usage rate and an average of 5.9 field goal attempts per game over his first 10 games of the season. All those extra shot attempts have helped him produce 14.4 points to go with solid peripheral production of 4.2 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.6 steals per game. His long-term role is still uncertain since the Knicks have some younger options they may want to develop, but Burks has definitely earned his way into short-term usefulness on your fantasy roster since he can collect points and 3-pointers in bunches and is clearly on a heater right now.
Other options to consider
- PG/SG Shake Milton, Philadelphia 76ers
- PG/SG Frank Jackson, Detroit Pistons
- SG/SF Terrence Ross, Orlando Magic
- SG/SF Cam Reddish, Atlanta Hawks
- SF/PF Rudy Gay, Utah Jazz
- SF/PF Georges Niang, Philadelphia 76ers
- PF/C Khem Birch, Toronto Raptors
- PF/C Jarred Vanderbilt, Minnesota Timberwolves
- PF/C Dwight Powell, Dallas Mavericks
- PF/C Dean Wade, Cleveland Cavaliers
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