Fantasy Basketball category analysis & waiver wire advice (Week 7)

FantasyPros walks you through the best waiver wire adds by category.

With Kawhi Leonard and Paul George sidelined, Clippers guard Norman Powell has scored double-digit points in seven straight games.

We’re looking at players who are widely available and rostered in fewer than 60 percent of fantasy leagues on Yahoo. We’ll be focusing on 8-cat leagues because turnovers are a waste of a category, to be honest.

But if you find the turnovers helpful, let me know. I’m happy to include them if enough of you play in 9-cat leagues.

We’ll be looking at players who can help you in each of the eight categories who you can get before your league-mates catch on.

The eight categories we’ll focus on each week are:

  1. Points
  2. Rebounds
  3. Assists
  4. Steals
  5. Blocks
  6. Threes
  7. Field-goal percentage
  8. Free-throw percentage

Let’s get to it.


Norman Powell (SG/SF – LAC) 55%

I’ve written about Powell a lot this week, and while yes, I would look to trade any Clippers players since they are so deep and it’s hard to count on them on a game-by-game basis, it doesn’t mean that I won’t use them in the right spot for a stretch of time. Right now, Powell is hot, scoring double-figures in seven straight games (which includes games with 26, 30, and 32 points, respectively). Will it continue? Not at this level, but I’m going for the ride while he’s hot.


Nick Richards (C – CHA) 18%

Did you know that over the last two weeks, Richards is averaging the 16th-most rebounds in the league (9.4 rpg)? It’s crazy, especially since he tops off around 20 minutes per game. The Hornets won’t play Mark Williams at center (yet) so Richards should continue to have a big rotational role for Charlotte.


Cameron Payne (PG/SG – PHX) 58%

It blows my mind that Payne isn’t rostered in more than 60%of leagues yet. Over the last two weeks, Payne is not only averaging 12.6 points per game, but he’s dropping 7.1 dimes per game.


Theo Maledon (PG – CHA) 2%

Maybe Maledon doesn’t need to be rostered, as he’s only useful if the Hornets are missing Terry Rozier, Dennis Smith Jr. and LaMelo Ball. It’s a lot to need of course, but when it happens, Maledon seems to be the guy. In his last six games — where he’s averaged 22 minutes per game due to injuries — Maledon has 11 steals.


Walker Kessler (PF/C – UTA) 15%

Kessler is a rim-protector and he’s been a pleasant surprise for the equally surprising Utah Jazz, as he has 13 blocks over the last two weeks. What’s been great is that in three of his last five games, he’s eclipsed the 20-minute mark.


Joe Harris (SG/SF – BKN) 10%

With Ben Simmons hurt and missing at least the next week or two, Harris or Seth Curry look to be the add for fantasy managers. Both help in 3-pointers, but we know that it’s Harris’ specialty. I like Curry overall more for fantasy but for the category specifically, I’ll lean Harris.

Field goal percentage

Thomas Bryant (C – LAL) 8%

I’ve actually been happy with what we’ve seen so far from Bryant, as the Lakers have needed an offensive-minded center all season. In his last game against Portland, Bryant played 19 minutes and dropped 14 points, and chipped in with six boards. What’s more, it’s looking like he’s making it a point to space out the floor for the Lakers, as he attempted three 3-pointers — the most he’s attempted in a game since Feb. 25 when he was in Washington. Despite stretching his game a bit, Bryant has still knocked down 74.2 percent of his shots from the field.

Free-throw percentage

Austin Reaves (SG/SF – LAL) 18%

With this category, we typically highlight a player who doesn’t fit in the other areas but can be a sneaky deep-league pickup. This week, it’s Reaves. Reaves has been playing 32 minutes per game for the Lakers over the past two weeks, and during that stretch, he’s put up top-65 numbers for fantasy. What’s more, his FT% has been phenomenal, as he’s gone 31-for-33 from the charity stripe, good for a 93.9 FT%.

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Michael Waterloo is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Michael, check out his archive and follow him @MichaelWaterloo.