Even on a weekend where everyone is focused on the NFL, there is still work to be done to improve your season-long fantasy basketball team! The NBA season keeps right on rolling this week with another very busy week on the accelerated schedule. Every team is scheduled to play three or four games with 16 teams playing four times and 14 teams scheduled for just three contests.
Each week, I’ve been posting my top four pickups for season-long fantasy basketball leagues, with some other options to consider included at the bottom. If you have specific questions about your roster or format, you can find me on Twitter @ZT_Sports, where I’ll be happy to let you know what I would do in your situation. There are definitely some nice additions widely available, so start your waiver wire search with the names on this list.
SG/SF Josh Jackson, Detroit Pistons (vs. BKN, vs. IND, at BOS)
With Wayne Ellington cooling off a bit and now dealing with a right calf strain, there has been more work lately for Jackson off the bench for the Pistons. The former first-round pick of the Suns had 11 points, five assists and three rebounds against his former team on Thursday, but he was even better on Friday night in Los Angeles, playing 38 minutes against the Lakers and producing 28 points, eight rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Jackson has played over 24 minutes in four straight games and posted double-digit points in each contest, averaging three 3-pointers made, 6.3 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.0 blocks over those four contests. Some of that production could fade a bit if Ellington is able to return this week, but his usage rate has been strong all season while serving as a key part of the Pistons’ second unit. Over his past 13 games since returning to the bench, Jackson has posted a 25.4% usage rate and a 52.4% true shooting percentage. He definitely has a nice ceiling and can offer solid production across the board as long as he stays so involved off the bench.
PG/SG Kendrick Nunn, Miami Heat, (vs. NYK, at HOU, at UTA)
Nunn has a unique game log due to all the turmoil in Miami’s rotation. He had not played at all in three straight games before playing 32 minutes against Washington on Friday. He played over 30 minutes in seven straight games before falling totally out of the rotation, so it seems that coach Erik Spoelstra uses him in an “all or nothing” role. Since that’s the case, he’s on waiver wire in many leagues due to his time out of the rotation. That looks like it will change in the coming week, though, since Goran Dragic suffered a left ankle sprain on Friday and was ruled out early for Sunday’s matchup in New York. If Dragic misses games this week, Nunn will likely take on a big workload, and even if Dragic is able to play, Nunn could pick up some work while Avery Bradley (calf) is sidelined.
On Friday, Nunn looked sharp with 25 points on 11-of-17 shooting to go with eight rebounds, two steals and an assist. In his previous stint of games in the rotation, Nunn averaged 17.7 points, 4.1 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.4 steals in 35.2 minutes per game. While his spot in the rotation is shakey and makes him not the best long-term solution, he can definitely add a boost when he’s involved and is a solid pickup for the coming week.
SF/PF Patrick Williams, Chicago Bulls (vs. WAS, vs. NO, vs. LAC)
The Bulls No. 4 overall pick in last year’s draft is getting plenty of run due to multiple injuries depleting Chicago’s frontcourt depth. Williams has started all 21 games he has played, but his usage and minutes have fluctuated depending on who else was available. In each of the past three games, though, he has played over 32 minutes with a usage rate of over 18% in each game.
Williams has scored double-digit points in five straight games and pulled down at least seven boards in each of those three games with elevated minutes. He has shot over 50% from the field and over 80% from the free-throw line during both of those timeframes and usually chips in defensive numbers as well. For at least the next few games while the Bulls remain short-handed, Williams should remain involved and be a nice play up front.
SF/PF Juan Toscano-Anderson, Golden State Warriors (at SAS, at SAS, vs. ORL, vs. BKN)
Like the Bulls, the Warriors are dealing with a ton of injuries to the frontcourt, which is leaving lots of opportunity for players to step up. Toscano-Anderson has played big minutes over the past three games for the Warriors while James Wiseman (wrist) has been sidelined and Kevon Looney (ankle) was also injured in the first game of that three-game stretch. Since both will remain out for the coming week, Toscano-Anderson should continue to get plenty of run.
In each of those three games, JTA has played over 25 minutes and has averaged 10.7 points, 6.7 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.0 blocks. He should be able to continue to chip in boards, points and good field goal percentage over the next week — especially with a pair of favorable matchups against the Spurs, who are without LaMarcus Aldridge. He should be a sneaky way to get center-style production without using up your center spot.
Other options worth watching
- PG/SG T.J. McConnell, Indiana Pacers
- SG/SF Joe Ingles, Utah Jazz
- PF/C Alex Len, Washington Wizards
- SG/SF Alec Burks, New York Knicks
- PF/C Kelly Olynyk, Miami Heat
- C Jakob Poeltl, San Antonio Spurs
- SG/SF Luke Kennard, Los Angeles Clippers
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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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