Fantasy Basketball 2021: NBA Pickups to Watch After December 15

Theo SalaunCorrespondent IDecember 16, 2021

Fantasy Basketball 2021: NBA Pickups to Watch After December 15

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    Tony Dejak/Associated Press

    With players getting bounced left and right by injuries and health protocols, 'tis the season to be fluid. The best fantasy basketball managers are adapting, making use of their IR spots and bringing on surging talent.

    Here, we'll discuss three NBA pickups who should be available in a variety of leagues: Cameron Johnson, Darius Bazley and Isaac Okoro. Each fits a different level of need and all are available in at least 60 percent of leagues (per Yahoo).

    But first, for those in shallower leagues, here are some less-widely available names to consider: Tyus Jones, Marcus Morris Sr. and Luke Kennard.

Cameron Johnson, SF/PF, Phoenix Suns

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    Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

    At the time of writing, Phoenix's Johnson is only rostered in 39 percent of leagues. But that number should continue ballooning.

    Since Devin Booker injured his hamstring on November 30, Johnson has scored double-digit points and hit multiple threes in seven consecutive games. And the 6'8" forward has also chipped in with 5.3 rebounds per game during that span.

    While his average minutes per game are likely to dip under 30 once Booker returns, Johnson's potential is still intriguing. While he's valuable as a short-term band-aid during Booker's absence, the 25-year-old could remain productive if he's truly found his rhythm with these increased opportunities.

Darius Bazley, SF/PF, Oklahoma City Thunder

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    Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

    The Thunder's Bazley is a unique waiver add.

    Bazley was a beloved late-round pick this year because of guaranteed opportunity and an exciting ceiling as a surprisingly versatile, 6'8" 21-year-old. But, while Baz is still averaging 27-plus minutes, his shooting has been woeful over the first third of the season.

    It's not surprising that he's only rostered in 27 percent of leagues. Shooting splits of 37.6 percent from the field, 28.7 percent from three and 63.0 percent from the line will do that. But, for managers who are comfortable in the scoring and efficiency departments, Bazley still provides interesting upside.

    Balancing his scoring regression, Baz is now averaging 1.5 blocks and 1.0 steals per game over his past 14 contests. In that span, he has five games with three-plus blocks and four games with two-plus steals. If you want to boost your defensive stats and rebounding, with a chance at positive regression in the scoring department, he's worth considering.

Isaac Okoro, SG/SF, Cleveland Cavaliers

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    Morry Gash/Associated Press

    Yes, you should consider picking up Okoro simply because he managed to put three Houston Rockets on a poster simultaneously. That kind of flash is just a subconscious morale booster for any organization.

    But, on a serious note, let's look at what the highly touted 20-year-old is doing right now. Over his past four games, Okoro is averaging 18.5 points, 2.5 threes and 3.8 rebounds. While those might not be earth-shattering numbers, they're a glimpse of the sophomore's potential.

    Rostered in just 18 percent of leagues, Okoro might be paving his way to a bigger role in Cleveland. And, if he can keep it up, there's no better time to get in than on the ground floor.


    Individual player rostered percentages can be found via FantasyPros if you don't have access to Yahoo.