Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire Pickups, Streamers and DFS Plays
There are only six weeks remaining in Fantasy Basketball season and with Jimmy Butler’s torn meniscus likely keeping him sidelined for 4-6 weeks, it’s safe to release him in redraft leagues. Meanwhile, DFS players must bemoan the loss of a beast who had recorded 28 straight games of at least 30 Fantasy points before he was injured in the loss at the Rockets on Friday night. Can Minnesota sports fans catch a break?
There’s no one on the Timberwolves roster who’s going to replace the 22.2 points, 5.4 rebounds and five assists that Butler provided each game. The big winners in Minnesota are Jeff Teague and Andrew Wiggins, both of whom have seen an increase of at least 4.2 percentage points in usage rate without Butler. The duo combined for 47 points in Saturday’s victory, with Teague adding seven rebounds and seven assists. Look for Teague, who has a 20.9 percent usage rate, to see his UR approach the 24-26 percent mark the remainder of the season, making him a good option in DFS ($6.7K at FanDuel). Wiggins appears to be out of his month-long skid with 21 points at the Rockets and 23 against the Bulls on Friday and Saturday, respectively. Expect Wiggins ($6K at DraftKings) to see his usage rate of 22.1 percent to hover in the 25-27 percent range the rest of the way.
Waiver Saviors (Jimmy Butler Tribute Edition)
David Nwaba, G, Bulls: Chicago’s youth movement will feature Nwaba, who put up 39.80 Fantasy points in Thursday’s loss to the 76ers and rocketed from two percent ownership to 26 percent at CBSSports.com. Nwaba is shooting 52 percent from the field and should be a source of steals as well, making him a solid play ($6,800 at FantasyDraft) in both standard leagues and DFS.
Alex Len, C, Suns: He’s averaged 13 points, 13 rebounds and 2.7 blocks in his last two games while seeing his ownership go to 49 percent in CBSSports.com leagues. With a 19.72 Player Efficiency Rating and 20.4 percent rebound rate, the Suns owe to themselves to keep Len in the lineup even when Tyson Chandler returns because, really, no one is building their future around Chandler. Len is a free agent this summer, so a strong finish could add a few more zeros to his next contract.
Buddy Hield, G, Kings: A 29-point effort at the Rising Stars Challenge All-Star Weekend was followed up by 19 points, nine boards and four dishes in Thursday’s loss to the Thunder before Hield added 21 points and eight rebounds in Saturday’s loss to the Lakers. Owned in 61 percent of CBSSports.com leagues, Hield has become an effective weapon off the bench for the Kings, shooting 46 percent from the field and 45.5 percent from 3-point range. He has considerable value the rest of the way, especially if he continues to hit the glass at his current rate.
Jordan Bell, F, Warriors: More of a speculative play, Bell (15 percent ownership at CBSSports.com) will return to the roster at some point during the Dubs’ swing to the left coast this week. Bell has missed the last 14 games with an ankle injury and, with the Warriors getting meh-like production at center, he could get a chance to display his 19.43 PER more frequently.
Streamers. Lots of Streamers
Cristiano Felicio, C, Bulls: Chicago plans to give him extensive minutes as a starter, as they did Saturday when he played 31 minutes. Felicio scored 11 points and added three boards, three assists and a pair of blocks while holding his own against Karl-Anthony Towns. He’s risky, but the $3,500 investment at FanDuel could lead to a reasonable harvest of FP.
Trey Burke, G, Knicks: Raise your hand if you envisioned Burke averaging 26 points and seven assists in his first two starts after the ASB. If you raised your hand, you’re a liar and should ask forgiveness. Burke costs $3,500 at DraftKings and is worth the gamble for at least one game this week.
Andrew Harrison, G, Grizzlies: Entrenched in the Memphis lineup, Harrison is shooting 48.7 percent from the field this month and offers a smattering of assists and steals. The Grizzlies have the league’s second-worst offense, so if Harrison stays consistent, the $8,500 to buy him at FantasyDraft will produce good numbers as his usage rate of 19.1 percent continues to climb.
J.J. Barea, G, Mavericks: Do 8.7 assists per game sound good? Of course, it does, which is why Barea is an intriguing FanDuel play at $6,000. Barea’s 8.7 dimes this month has come with 47 percent shooting from beyond the arc in his last five games.
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Another Day, Another DFS Play
Monday: Lonzo Ball, G, Lakers at Hawks, $6,500/FanDuel: Only the Cavs allow more assists per game than the Hawks. Even with his shooting woes, Ball should thrive.
Tuesday: Dwight Howard, C, Hornets vs. Nets, $7,800/DraftKings: D12 entered Sunday’s game against the Pistons with 37 double-doubles this season. He’ll have at least 38 after tearing apart Brooklyn’s paper-thin interior.
Wednesday: Russell Westbrook, G, Thunder (at Suns, $21,400/FantasyDraft): He put up 60.50 FP in his first game against Phoenix, so imagine what he can do the second time around.
Thursday: George Hill, G, Cavaliers (vs. 76ers, $11/Yahoo): Friday’s 27.40 FP against the Grizzlies was a step in the right direction for Hill, who is feeling more at ease with the Cavs’ offense.
Friday: Jamal Murray, G, Nuggets (at Grizzlies, $6,800/FanDuel): Developing as a top-end stat stuffer, Murray still put up 35.30 FP against the Spurs on Friday despite shooting 3-for-11 from the field.
Saturday: Bogdan Bogdanovic, G, Kings (vs. Jazz, $5,600/DraftKings): Sure, the Kings struggle to score, but Bogdanovic has emerged as perhaps the team’s most consistent threat.
Sunday: Devin Booker, G, Suns (at Hawks, $14,700/FantasyDraft): That he has become more of an all-around player makes Booker more dangerous.
TEAMS PLAYING FIVE GAMES THIS WEEK
TEAMS PLAYING FOUR GAMES THIS WEEK
Hawks, Nets, Hornets, Mavericks, Pistons, Pacers, Clippers, Grizzlies, Bucks, Thunder, Magic, 76ers, Suns, Raptors, Wizards
TEAMS PLAYING THREE GAMES THIS WEEK
Celtics, Bulls, Cavaliers, Nuggets, Warriors, Rockets, Lakers, Heat, Timberwolves, Pelicans, Knicks, Trail Blazers, Jazz
TEAMS PLAYING TWO GAMES THIS WEEK
Winners: Please ignore what you saw in Oakland on Saturday night as the Thunder should eat hearty on a four-course meal of a schedule that features games against the Magic and Suns, who are ranked 27th and 30th in points allowed per game, respectively. OKC also has roadies against Dallas and Portland that will favor them. Steven Adams has settled nicely into a consistent 14-point, 7-9 rebounds per game performer and had games of 51.90 and 45.20 Fantasy points in his last three games prior to Saturday. He’s a solid $6,900 play at FanDuel and should be able to deliver an impressive ROI for DFS players this week.
Losers: Outside of LaMarcus Aldridge, the Spurs are an unpredictable grab bag in Fantasy play. This is a good week to avoid them since they only have a pair of games at home against the Pelicans and Lakers, both of which could turn into the type of nights during which the reserves get as many minutes as the starters. If the need to rep SA in your DFS is too intoxicating to ignore, keep Pau Gasol ($5,800 at DraftKings) in mind. He entered Sunday’s game against the Cavaliers having put up double-doubles in two of his last three games while putting up at least 30 FP in three of his last five games.
Alex Len Photo Credit: AP Photo/David Zalubowski
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