Fantasy Basketball 2021: Notable Pickups to Target on Waiver-Wire for Week 10
Now more than ever, weekly fantasy basketball leagues are as active as DFS.
Between guys sitting out for rest and injury, along with the looming specter of COVID-19-related postponements, has led to nightly last-minute shifts in lineups—all of which makes paying attention to the waiver wire more important.
Finding the right replacement pick on the right night can be the difference in winning a category.
With that in mind, here's a look at a few names worth monitoring coming into this week.
Pick Up Dropped Spurs
The Spurs have not played since Feb. 14, and we live in a world where week-to-week fantasy players can be impatient. Four Spurs players rank among the most dropped players in ESPN leagues, most of whom will provide value once they return to the floor Wednesday night—assuming the team's COVID-19 outbreak is contained and they are not among the players dealing with the virus.
Keldon Johnson is the name to grab if he was dropped in shallow leagues, and he should remain rosterable for the remainder of the 2020-21 season. LaMarcus Aldridge will still hold value whenever he returns to the lineup, provided you have an available injured reserve slot.
However, the name with the most immediate impact and greatest availability in leagues is Jakob Poeltl, who should continue racking up the defensive stats with Aldridge out the lineup. Poeltl is averaging 9.6 points, 9.1 rebounds and 2.9 blocks per game in February. Those stats alone make him an obvious add in all formats, and he's currently available in more than 80 percent of ESPN leagues.
Davis Bertans, F, Washington Wizards
This is a volume threes play more than anything. The Wizards are slated for a five-game week, and with the Wizards playing better basketball of late, Bertans could help you win that category if run of recent play continues.
Bertans began the season struggling mightily from three-point range but broke out with a 35-point performance in Wednesday's win over Denver. He doesn't provide much else beyond threes and a few rebounds per game, but it's possible Bertans will wind up being responsible for 25 long-range shots by himself this week.
In head-to-head category formats, that could make him a winner.
Saddiq Bey, F, Detroit Pistons
Bey appears to be the biggest benefactor in the Pistons benching Blake Griffin. He's logged 30-plus minutes in four straight contests and scored in double figures in seven straight.
Trusting a rookie is always a risky proposition, and Bey doesn't appear to be much of a defensive stat filler. He's recorded just one block all season, and he's down to 0.5 steals per game.
However, Bey's going to get a ton of run on a bad team that needs scoring from someone not named Jerami Grant. It would not be a surprise if he wound up averaging 15-5 the rest of the way with two or three makes from three-point range per night.
That's a must-own player in most formats, even if it's unlikely he'll become an all-around stat-stuffer.
Kyle Kuzma, F, Los Angeles Lakers
Anthony Davis won't be returning to the Lakers lineup anytime soon, and Kuzma is still available in more than 55 percent of ESPN leagues.
That should not be the case.
Kuzma's ownership pre-Davis injury was based more on name value than actual production, but the Lakers are going to rely on him heavily in the coming weeks. Kuz was turning his season around even before Davis went down and has had five games with double-digit points and at least eight rebounds in his last seven.
Like Bey, Kuzma doesn't do all that much beyond scoring and rebounding but he'll be a solid plug in utility spots until at least Davis returns.
Derrick Jones Jr., G/F, Portland Trail Blazers
Jones may finally be starting to put things together on the offensive end after a miserable start to his Portland career. He's reeled off three straight games with double-digit scoring while also grabbing boards and filling the stat sheet with steals and blocks.
If he's going to be a 30-minute player for the foreseeable future with CJ McCollum out of the lineup, Jones has breakout potential. He's one of the league's best all-around athletes and was signed this offseason by Portland to give them much-needed athleticism and defensive presence on the perimeter.
While Jones' offensive production has been disappointing and he's probably never going to be an elite scoring option, someone on that roster not named Damian Lillard has to make baskets. If Jones winds up being a double-digit scorer, he'll have plenty of all-around value.