The injuries and absences continue to pile up in this, our second COVID-19 NBA season. So it’s prudent to turn your attention to your fantasy basketball waiver wire and determine who’s out there and who’s worth picking up or streaming.
Here are four players likely available in your league who are well worth rostering (Percent rostered in ESPN leagues).
DeAndre Jordan, Brooklyn Nets (42% rostered)
In the two Brooklyn games since the James Harden trade, Jordan is averaging seven points, 8.5 rebounds, three assists, one steal, and 1.5 blocks. He played 38 minutes against the Milwaukee Bucks, which is something that may happen more often than not when the Nets play a team with a dangerous front court. Until the Nets acquire another big man, they’ll HAVE to play DJ a lot.
For what it’s worth, only seven players are averaging 1+ SPG, 1+ BPG, and 8+ boards per game: Mitchell Robinson, Bam Adebayo, Anthony Davis, Ben Simmons, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Joel Embiid, and Andre Drummond. If you’re on that list, then you’re worth rostering in fantasy basketball.
Pick up DJ before someone else does. He won’t get you that many points, but minutes are like water, they make everything grow. If DJ gets 30 minutes per game, his counting stats will follow. He’s already top 120 on the Player Rater, he could break top 100 fairly easily and quickly, I think.
Luguentz Dort, Oklahoma City Thunder (31% rostered)
Dort is currently a top 100 player. He’s averaging 13+ PPG and 3+ RPG, along with 5+ three point attempts per game on 43% shooting from outside. Only 14 players are doing that, including Dort.
When you add in Dort’s 1+ steals per game, you get a list of eight players (five games played minimum): Dort, Darius Garland (soon to return, pick him up if he’s available in your league), Terry Rozier, Khris Middleton, Malcolm Brogdon, Paul George, CJ McCollum, and Jayson Tatum.
His scoring numbers are no fluke, either. Out of all the players in the NBA who take at least nine shots per game Dort has the 22nd best True Shooting percentage, 63.4, tied with Patty Mills (more on him later).
This is Dort’s sophomore year in the NBA. He’s 21 years old. He’s the youngest player on the lists mentioned. He’s worth picking up as a possible dynasty keeper. Any time you’re on a list with Tatum, CJ, and PG13, you’re playing pretty good hoops.
Patty Mills, San Antonio Spurs (26% rostered)
Only 21 players are averaging 3+ three pointers made per game. Only four players are doing that while playing less than 30 MPG: Joe Harris, Alec Burks (who’s only played in three games), Jordan Clarkson, and Patty Mills.
Out of the 21 players averaging 3+ 3PM per game, Patty Mills has the FIFTH best 3PT%: 45.7.
Mills is having his best scoring season, averaging a career high in points (14+ PPG), and tying his second-best dishing average, 3+ assists per game. He’s currently a top 100 player on ESPN’s Player Rater, and that could improve if he continues to play this well. EVERYONE needs shooting and EVERYONE needs assists. Patty Mills is one of those bench players who gets you volume and efficiency. He’s worth rostering, not just streaming.
Tristan Thompson, Boston Celtics (13% rostered)
Thompson’s back in the starting unit for Boston, which is great because the Celtics have been hit as hard by COVID-19 with delayed games and DNPs as any team. Thompson’s averaging 7+ points per game (on only six shots per game), but it’s his boards that can be useful to you: his 8+ rebounds per game is top 25 in the NBA. That’s useful as a streamer, or if you’re trying to replace RPG because one of your bigs is out (sigh, Nurkic).
Only Thompson, Bobby Portis, and Enes Kanter average 8+ RPG in under 25 minutes per game. Kanter’s minutes are going to skyrocket after Portland lost Nurk to injury. If Tristan Thompson’s minutes increase, he could be looking at closer to 10+ RPG, something only 15 players in the NBA are currently doing.