By my count there are 19 NBA teams who play four games next week. However, there is only ONE team that plays only two: the San Antonio Spurs. If you’re streaming in fantasy basketball, I’d suggest staying away from the Spurs next week. I love and roster several of their players, but you’d rather have the volume when streaming available players, especially in weekly leagues.
Here are some players who are mostly available on the waiver wire and who are worth picking up, either as streamers or as full-time roster adds. All stats are prior to Thursday’s games, and are courtesy of ESPN.com, NBA.com, and Basketball-Reference.com.
Players with four games:
JALEN BRUNSON, PG, DAL, 26.8% ROSTERED (ESPN LEAGUES), #94 PLAYER RATER
Jalen Brunson is the backup point guard in Dallas, but he plays starter’s minutes for the Mavs, and he’s fourth in field goal attempts on the team. Currently averaging 14+ points per game, 5 rebounds per game, and 4+ assists per game, Brunson is due for some positive regression to his shooting as last year he shot 40% from three, while this season he has a 34 3PT%. He’s one of the best handcuffs in fantasy, too. Were Luka Doncic ever to miss a game or any time, Brunson would be in store for big minutes. We’ll take the volume this week as the Mavs play the Nuggets, the Suns twice, and the Clippers. Brunson should have a big role in those games, whether they’re close affairs or not.
FRANZ WAGNER, SF, ORL, 26.1% ROSTERED, #73 PR
Wagner is a top 75 player in fantasy, and he should be rostered like it. He’s a good player on a bad team, which is fantasy gold. Jonathan Isaac, when/if he returns, won’t relegate Wagner to the bench because he’s been so good to start the season, and the Magic have to see what they have in him. Wagner’s minutes and shots are safe for the season, I think. He’s second in minutes and third in shots on Orlando. His volume alone is valuable in fantasy, and the Magic play four games this week, all on the road: at Atlanta, at the Knicks, at the Nets, and at Milwaukee. Those are four teams who should make the playoffs this season. I’m not saying that Orlando will win any of those games, but I am saying that Wagner will be out there, no matter what occurs, blowout or close game. He’s averaging 13+ PPG, 3+ RPG, 2 APG, 1+ steal per game, and 1+ 3-pointer made. He’s a rookie, so relax with the expectations, but his volume and acumen will keep him in top 100 territory. He’s widely available, and he shouldn’t be.
T.J. MCCONNELL, PG, IND, 45% ROSTERED, #93 PR
McConnell is one of the best bench players in fantasy. He gives you assists whether he comes off the bench or starts, and his counting stat production, along with his efficiency (53 FG%) is worthy of a roster spot. You don’t pick him up for points, but McConnell delivers in fantasy when given the minutes (and, he definitely gets the minutes with the constant MASH unit that is the Indiana Pacers). The Pacers play at the Knicks, at the Pistons, at Charlotte, and home for New Orleans. The Pacers should beat the Pistons and the Pelicans, perhaps handily, which could mean more minutes for McConnell.
JOSH GIDDEY, PG/SG, OKC, 49.2% ROSTERED, #113 PR
Giddey-Up is 19 years old and he’s the starting small forward for the young Thunder. He’s averaging 6+ RPG and 6+ APG, and that’s really all you need to know, because any other counting stats are pure gravy. Giddey’s a rookie, so his scoring will presumably go up and down, but if he can keep up his other counting stats, then he’ll be a must-roster player moving forward. If his scoring prowess increases even a little bit, you’ll see his roster percentages shoot up. OKC plays the Heat at home, Rockets at home, and then at the Bucks and at the Celtics. Three of those should be rough games, but the Thunder have a chance to beat Houston in Oklahoma City. Could be a big game for Giddey.
Players with three games:
DILLON BROOKS, SG/SF, MEM, 20.5% ROSTERED (JUST RETURNED FROM INJURY)
This is just a reminder that Dillon Brooks averaged 17+ PPG last season, and he scored 20 in his season debut against Charlotte (that was the crazy game where Kelly Oubre, Jr., sank 7 threes). He’s another solid player for a team that’s currently in the 8th seed in the West. Whether Brooks starts or comes off the bench, I expect him to have a significant role for the rest of the season. The Grizzlies play the Rockets, Clippers, and TimberKATs this week, but I would imagine that Brooks sits for at least one of those games. This is less of an addition for this upcoming week as it is for the season. I think Brooks will be worthy of a roster spot. He’s certainly rostered in my main league.
TYRESE MAXEY, SG/PG, PHI, 49.5% ROSTERED, #49 PR
Tyrese To-The-Maxey is the starting point guard for the Philadelphia 76ers, and he’s a top 50 player in fantasy, and this is his second year in the league, and he’s getting tons of volume because A) Ben Simmons isn’t playing, and B) the Sixers have been hit hard by the Rona, and a lot of important players are missing time right now. Maxey is GOOD, and he gets you VOLUME. I’ll stop ranting about him when he’s over 50% rostered. Thank you for understanding.
GRAYSON ALLEN, SG, MIL, 19.6% ROSTERED, #45 PR
Speaking of teams with a lot of absences, the Milwaukee Bucks have absolutely needed Grayson Allen. He’s THIRD in minutes per game on the Bucks, and Khris Middleton is second, who’s only played in six games this season. If Giannis misses any time, Grayson Allen might acquire an even larger load. Allen is averaging 15+ PPG on better than 41 3PT%. Of the 16 players who average 8+ 3PA per game, Grayson Allen, GRAYSON ALLEN, is the ONLY one who’s shooting better than 40% on threes. He’s already a top 50 player! Can the Bucks even afford to lessen his role when they get healthy, IF they get healthy? The Bucks are at .500, and in the 9th seed in the East. They play all three of their games at home this week, against the Lakers, the Thunder, and the Magic. They need to win two of those games, and so I think they’re going to lean hard on their best perimeter shooter thus far. Grayson Allen will have a big week, and he’s barely rostered. If he’s available on your wire, pick him up immediately.
RICKY RUBIO, PG, CLE, 48.8% ROSTERED, #44 PR
Rubio is now the starting point guard for the Cleveland Cavaliers. He’s also one of the best producers in assists in the NBA. He’s currently scoring at a career-high level, but the Cavs are feisty, and Rubio’s taking advantage. He’s worth rostering for the assists alone, but a top 50 player is a top 50 player. He’s another must add if he’s available in your league.
DE’ANTHONY MELTON, PG/SG, MEM, 19.3% ROSTERED, #69 PR
SHAKE MILTON, SG/PG, PHI, 12.3% ROSTERED (MISSED SEVERAL GAMES TO BEGIN THE SEASON)
Melton and Milton are two players who I like, but I’m unsure of their roles going forward. I believe both of them will get big minutes, but perhaps not starter’s minutes. Melton’s been a top 75 player, but now Dillon Brooks is back. Milton was a fantasy asset last year, but now he’s backing up Tyrese Maxey and Seth Curry. Both Melton and Milton are good handcuffs, and they should absolutely be streaming options when their teams have 4 game weeks. However, both should be good for the upcoming week, as both teams are dealing with players with ailments and absences. If you’re not going to roster them, at least keep them on your radar.