The NBA season opens in one week. That means errybuddy’s been drafting, which means errybuddy’s scoping the waivers post-draft. The draft is about finding your starters, acquiring assets for a trade, and screaming bloody murder when one of your “friends” drafts your favorite player one pick before you were going to. But! Your first post-draft waiver (or free agency) adds are about filling in holes on your roster; picking up, ugh!, “sleepers” that were ignored during the draft; or, acquiring D.J. Wilson because Go Blue!
Here are ten players that are owned by under 10% of fantasy teams (via ESPN). These players might be helpful, they might be legacy stashes for next season, or they might just because.
Lauri Markkanen (10.1% ownership)
We’re already cheating! Boy, that was fast. I mean, Krom obviously laughs at your four winds, but it’s never a good idea to make a solemn blood oath and then break it immediately. But, Lauri “Baron Harkonnen” Markkanen might be worth offending your god(s) if he’s anywhere near what the Bulls consider his potential to be. Remember, the Bulls traded Jimmy Butler to Minnesota for Kris “I’m” Dunn, Zach “The Dentist” LaVine, and the Baron Markkanen. The Bulls consider Markkanen to be a prototypical stretch big: able to finish around the rim (he’s listed at 7 feet tall), shoot from beyond the arc, and date a Kardashian.
The Baron will, if all goes as planned, play with Nikola Mirotic in the Bulls’ front court as twin towers who can rain from deep. Things won’t go as planned, for this is the Bulls and only Muad’Dib can see the future, but Markkanen is still an interesting player, he was drafted high so his pedigree will demand he get some minutes, and, seriously, what the hell else are the Bulls gonna do? Not play him? Eat some spice and Get Real. Also, if you need a laugh, just go check out the Bulls’ depth chart. Hahahaha! Ohhh mercy, that’s funny. Paul Zipser is probably the most popular Bull right now and that’s only because it’s fun to say his name. Will Bulls fans chant “Zip it good!” every time he scores? No. They’ll be too busy thinking about who their winter-wife or -husband will be to pay attention.
Jonathan Isaac (9.8% owned)
He’s on the Magic. Literally, anything could happen.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (9.8%)
HE’S 24 YEARS OLD! HE CAN IMPROVE!
Tyreke Evans (8.1%)
‘Reke’s career averages are 16-5-5. That’s not bad, at all! He’s been injured, but these are dudes that are not highly owned, so what the hell do you care if he’s been banged up the past few years? You know who averaged a 15-6-6 last year? Nicolas Batum. Batum is owned in 99% of leagues.
Zach Collins (8.1%)
Collins was drafted 10th overall in the NBA draft, but he’s on a Portland team with a bunch of other bigs. I wouldn’t feel great about having him on my team, but he had an awesome NCAA tournament and the Blazers traded up to draft him. If they believe, maybe you should, too?
Alex Len (7.4%)
Alex Len WILL be the starting center for the Young Suns by the end of this season. I...don’t really know why he isn’t owned more. He could be an absolute steal if Phoenix (rightfully) gives him starter minutes early in the season.
Rodney Hood (6.3%)
Rodney Hood is listed as the starting small forward on Utah’s depth chart. Last season he shot 37% from three (he attempted 5 threes a game), scored 12 points a game, and played less than 30 minutes a game. With more minutes, and sans Gordon Hayward, can Hood average 15+ points per game with 2-3 threes? If he can, he’ll be similar to JJ Redick or D’Angelo Russell (at least in scoring).
Justin Jackson (6%)
Justin Jackson was drafted 15th overall, was a good college player (some folks thought he’d be a lottery pick) who improved his numbers each season. He’s on the Sacramento WTFs, so it’s entirely possible that he starts, though there’s something called a “Bogdan Bogdanovic” that’s listed in front of him on the depth chart.
Frank Ntilikina (6%)
This dude is meant to become the starting point guard for the Knicks, eventually. The first year may be rocky, as rookies’ first years usually are (see below), but you can’t ignore the fact that he’ll be a starter sooner than later. Also, the Knicks draft pretty well in the first round (see: Kristaps Porzingis).
Kris Dunn (5.2%)
His rookie year wasn’t pretty, but most rookies’ years aren’t pretty. He’s the starting point guard for a professional NBA team. Oh, wait, I’m sorry, for the Chicago Bulls. Well, close enough.
Bonus! Thon Maker (4.8%)
Maker is the starting center on the Milwaukee Bucks. Don’t overthink it, just add the man. NBAers think that Thon’s ceiling is the sky.
Okay rapid fire of guys owned in only 1% of leagues! This was a bit tougher, but here are some names to consider since hardly anyone else is considering them:
Sean Kilpatrick - He had a solid season last year, but the Nets backcourt is a tad crowded. However, Jeremy Lin usually misses some games, which means D’Angelo Russell will get more run at the point, which means Allen Crabbe (see below) will start at the 2, which means that Sean Kilpatrick might get some run as the first guy off the bench. He averaged 13 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists last season.
Allen Crabbe - Now THIS guy is under owned! Crabbe got paid by Brooklyn and it looked like he would finally get a chance to shine now that he wasn’t blocked by two good guards (Dame & CJ). Except...now he’s on the Nets and is blocked by two guards (Lin & Russell). But! Da money, da money, da money! Crabbe WILL play a lot, and he’ll most likely be the starting 2-guard by the end of the season once the Nets trade Lin and let D’Angelo run the point alla time.
DJ WIlson - Another stretch big man on a team (the Bucks) that LOVES stretch big men. If he plays well, the Bucks may forego giving Jabari Parker a big contract, and let Wilson (Go Blue!) replace him.
Stanley Johnson - I mean, get real, I talk as much trash about Stanley “Points? What are those?” Johnson as anyone, but he’s gonna start, and it’s almost impossible for him to do worse than he did last season. ALMOST impossible. Never misunderestimate the Pistons.
Mario Hezonja - Super Mario had the HYPE when he was drafted! But, his play was not-so-much, and the Magic have, predictably, buried him in the depth chart. But, Orlando is a team that HAS to make some trades, so Hezonja could be in line for more minutes, either in Orlando or on another team. Never mix Goldschlager with Red Gatorade and never dismiss a player just because they play for the Magic. But, having said that, yeah: we’ll probably never hear from him again.