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Fantasy Basketball waiver wire pickups: Available Players on Top 50 Lists

Natty talks fake hoops adds for Week 3.

Portland Trail Blazers v Philadelphia 76ers Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

Below are widely available players on the wire who are in the top 50 in two or more stat categories. These are players worthy of streaming, or just picking up & riding. These aren’t exhaustive lists. I excluded some dudes who just aren’t as interesting as the fellas below.

PLAYERS WHO ARE ON THREE TOP 50 LISTS

Andre Drummond, C, PHI, 41.6% rostered (ESPN), #128 Player Rater

Desmond Bane, SG, MEM, 39.9% rostered, #42 PR

Chris Duarte, SG, IND, 36.8% rostered, #64 PR

Drum, former Piston, current Sixer, is an automatic double-double if given the minutes. As a backup to Joel Embiid, Drum’s still in the top 50 in rebounds per game, steals per game, and blocks per game. He’s worthy of a roster spot for his actual volume, and for his potential volume (when Embiid sits). I guaranteed on the Long 2 podcast this week that Drumothy would have a 20-20 game this season. I still think this.

Desmond Bane is fast becoming one of my favorite players. He’s getting minutes and shots on Memphis and he’s making the most of the opportunity. Bane is top 50 in shots per game, 3-pointers made, and hello points per game! A guy in the top 50 in scoring should be rostered more than 40%, especially when he’s giving you value in 3PM, as well. He’s a top 50 player, and he may stay that way for the entire season.

The same can be said of Chris Duarte on the Pacers. He’s also in the top 50 in shots per game, 3PM per game, and PPG. I’d personally take Bane, then Drum, then Duarte, but Drummond could be the best fantasy player at the end of the year.

PLAYERS WHO ARE ON TWO TOP 50 LISTS

Ricky Rubio, PG, CLE, 48.4% rostered, #37 PR

Rubio’s dishing dimes, as usual, but he’s also driving: he’s top 50 in drives per game, as well as assists per game. He’s not a great finisher—48 FG% on drives—but he can pass out of drives and cash dimes. Honestly, assists always become more scarce the longer the season goes on. I’d pick up Rubio for the dimes alone, but it’s nice to know he’s being active on offense, too. Also, he’s been a top 50 player so far, & it’s ridiculous to leave top 50 players on the wire.

Kelly Olynyk, PF/C, DET, 41.1% rostered, #102 PR

So, this is more funny than anything else, but Kelly Olynyk, KELLY OLYNYK, who mainly comes off the bench for your beloved Detroit Pistons, is in the top 50 in free throw attempts per game (?!) and in steals per game (?!?!?!). I couldn’t believe it, either, so I had to tell you. He’s good for 3PM, as well, and he gets you double digit PPG.

TJ McConnell, PG, IND, 39.7% rostered, #165 PR

TJ was the star of the zombie Pacers last year, but he’s still producing on a healthy-ish team. He’s top 50 in drives per game and in APG, but he’s a better finisher than Rubio: 53 FG% on drives. He’s another guy whose points are somewhat secondary to his value: TJ’s about APG and SPG. His minutes go up or down depending on overall team health in Indiana, but he’s a great handcuff to roster. He’s been playing more recently, FWIW.

Mason Plumlee, C, CHA, 38.5% rostered, #191 PR

Plumlee, ...another former Piston..., has a smaller role than last year in Detroit, but he’s still top 50 in rebounds per game and blocks per game. You can’t argue with production. If Mason’s role increases at all, he’s a guy who can grab you double-doubles, along with other counting stats. A combination of boards & blocks is extremely useful in fantasy, especially at a cheap price. He’s perhaps better as a streamer, but then again, I’ve found competent Centers to be scarce this season, so if you really need the rebounds, maybe you should just roster him.

Oklahoma City Thunder v LA Clippers Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images

Josh Giddey, PG/SG, OKC, 36.7% rostered, #98 PR

Giddey up because this kid is a stud! The young Thunder guard is top 50 in APG and DPG (50 FG% on drives) and he’s literally one of the younger guys in the league at 19 years old, he’s 6’8”, and he’s being given minutes and shots in Oklahoma City. What’s not to like, really? Giddey should be at least 50% rostered, I think, and he’s already a top 100 player. Big fan of this kid so far.

De’Anthony Melton, PG, MEM, 21.9% rostered, #55 PR

Melton is top 50 in 3PM and SPG, an extremely tasty combo at fast food prices. Melton’s a top 75 player who barely costs you to acquire. Even if his role diminishes, you should still ride the wave when it costs you nothing.

Alperen Sengun, C, HOU, 14.1% rostered, #101 PR

The rookie big man for the tanking Rockets, Sengun is on the top 50 in FTA per game and steals per game, just like THE Kelly Olynyk, gasp! They’re basically giving you equal value right now, except Sengun is a rookie, and he’s not even half as rostered as Olynyk, who again, comes off the bench. I like what I see from Sengun, and he’s a bit more seasoned than most rookies, as he’s been playing professional leagues overseas. Sengun is a good dynasty pick up, f’real.

Jalen Brunson, PG, DAL, 12.6% rostered, #157 PR

Brunson barely misses the top 150 in fantasy, but he’s in the top 50 in APG and DPG (50 FG% on drives). He’s a backup, but he’s also averaging 10-5-4, and that’s not bad when it comes so cheap. I think he’ll end the year closer to a top 125 player than outside of the top 150, especially if his role increases in Dallas.

Matisse Thybulle, SG/SF, PHI, 7.3% rostered, #77 PR

Thybulle is top 50 in steals per game and blocks per game, but his nigh dearth of scoring is REALLY holding back his roster percentages. It’s true, Matisse doesn’t score, like, at all. BUT! He’s still nearly a top 75 player even WITHOUT points! If his scoring improves even a teensy weensy bit, then he’ll vault into the top 50 on the player rater. He’s worth streaming, hard, and maybe even worth rostering if you’re especially hard up for STOCKS (as we spoke about in this week’s Long 2 and the Stock Report). STEALS + BLOCKS are one of the most dynamic duos in fantasy basketball. For instance, being good at those two alone can make you a top 100 player, even if you don’t/can’t score. Thybulle can help you win weeks, and eventually a championship. He’s that dominant in two oft-overlooked stat cats.

*ALL NUMBERS COURTESY OF ESPN.COM, NBA.COM, AND BASKETBALL-REFERENCE.COM. THANK YOU!*