Fantasy Basketball: Waiver Wire Pickups

Breaking down the top waiver wire pick ups rostered in 60% or less of Yahoo Fantasy basketball leagues.

Ayo Dosunmu totaled 17 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists in the Bulls season-opening win over Miami.

We just had our first nearly-full slate of games Wednesday night, and it was marvelous. We had our share of upsets, big-time debuts, and jaw-dropping highlights, courtesy of Paolo Banchero and Ja Morant.

But while those two are rostered in all leagues, there are plenty of players who stood out or have the opportunity to stand out going forward that you should try to scoop up.

We’re going to follow the same format that we used last year where each and every week, we’ll look at players that you should consider picking up who are rostered in four different roster-ship tiers:

  • 50-60%
  • 30-49%
  • 15-29%
  • 0-14%

What’s more, we’ll give you a breakdown of how many games each team has for the upcoming week so that you can maximize the minutes of your streamers.

Let’s get to it without further delay, starting with the schedule of games being played for next week.

Four games:


Three games:


Two games:


Rostered in 50-60% of leagues:

Jaden Ivey (PG/SG – DET)

Ivey’s performance in his first game will be overshadowed by Banchero and Jalen Duren, but he still posted 19 points, four assists, and three steals. Ivey looked the part, and it was encouraging to see him play 32 minutes in his debut. The usage was a little low at 21.3, but we’re working off a one-game sample. In all, it’s encouraging, and he’s come as advertised.

Ayo Dosunmu (PG/SG – CHI)

Lonzo Ball is out for the foreseeable future, and we just saw Zach LaVine miss the opener with maintenance already. It didn’t matter, as the Bulls upset the Heat on the road, thanks in part to Dosunmu. The second-year guard showed flashes last year but was named the point guard a few weeks before the season started. He played 36 minutes, which tied DeMar DeRozan for the most on the team. What’s more, he shot 50% from the floor — including 50% on 3-pointers — in his first game this season. We’ll see the usage creep up, but the Bulls are using him correctly by getting set in the half-court offense, allowing his teammates to create for him. In their first game, Chicago had 107.8 points per 100 plays in the half-court.

Rostered in 30-49% of leagues:

Santi Aldama (PF/C – MEM)

A national audience learned who Aldama was Wednesday night when the Grizzlies defeated the Knicks in an overtime thriller. Aldama was one of the show’s stars, as unexpected as it was for non-Grizzlies fans. Aldama scored a career-high 18 points with 11 boards in his first career start, as he played with confidence throughout going head-to-head with Julius Randle.

Aldama mainly assumed the corner-three spot for the Grizzlies, as he went 3-for-7 behind the arc. Look for that trend to continue, as the Grizzlies, through one game, lead the league in attempted corner 3-pointers (16). As long as Jaren Jackson Jr. is out, it’s Aldama — not Brandon Clarke — who is the beneficiary. Oh, yeah: he can throw it down if needed, too.

Isaiah Hartenstein (C – NYK)

In my trade advice piece, I wrote that you should look to acquire Hartenstein, whom I believe is the best center on the Knicks. After one game — albeit with Mitchell Robinson in foul trouble — we saw why. Hartenstein was a force offensively, slipping into the paint for easy floaters. He led the Knicks in minutes played (40) and finished with 16 points and eight boards on 7 of 11 shooting. Even against a player like Steven Adams, Hartenstein was big on the boards, with a 15.2 fgOR%, leading to seven of his eight boards being offensive.

Jalen Duren (PF/C – DET)

Maybe no one raised their stock more in one night than Duren. There were concerns over how much he would play early on, as Dwane Casey doesn’t like using his younger players — let alone an 18-year-old big man. And in some ways, that’s true, as the big man played just 22 minutes, but boy, was his impact felt. Duren posted a double-double (14/10) with three blocks against the Magic. He actually had a pretty decent usage rate (25.9%) for his debut, and aside from going 0-for-4 from the charity stripe, it was a fantastic debut. The minutes might not be where we’ll want them, but he’ll be a per-minute beast at 20-24 per night. Scoop him up.

Rostered in 15-29% of leagues:

Jalen Williams (SG/SF – OKC)

Williams played just six minutes in his debut, but that wasn’t because the coaching staff wasn’t trying to get him on the floor. No, it was because he injured his eye when he went up to attempt to block a Jaden McDaniels dunk. Williams still contributed in those six minutes, hitting both shots from the floor — including one from deep. He tore up the preseason with a scoring barrage that helped raise his stock in the draft. He’s worth grabbing and should find his way to 25-plus minutes regularly.

Malik Beasley (SG/SF – UTA)

Beasley must have missed the memo that the Jazz are tanking, as he led them to a shocking upset over the Denver Nuggets. The veteran is one of many like-minded players on the team that have a run-and-gun type approach to their game. He played 24 minutes off the bench and tied Lauri Markkanen and Collin Sexton with 12 field-goal attempts. With four games on the schedule next week, he’s a fine one-week streamer.

Rostered in 0-14% of leagues:

Cam Reddish (SF/PF – NYK)

I don’t think anyone saw this coming. Reddish, after being a DNP since March 7 last season, came off the bench to not only play 28 minutes — his most since he was with the Hawks in January — but also dropped 22 points, five rebounds, four STOCKs, and hit the game-tying three to send the game to overtime. Reddish hasn’t earned the trust of the Knicks for whatever reason, and he’s as likely a trade candidate as there is in the league. He’s worth using for as long as Quentin Grimes is out, but we know how much Coach Tom Thibodeau loves Grimes.

Nick Richards (C – CHA)

It wasn’t Mark Williams who was the primary backup for Mason Plumlee on opening night. You know, the player that the Hornets wanted over Duren. But it was Nick Richards who absolutely balled the hell out, posting a 19/10 double-double in 21 minutes. Plumlee split minutes with Richards, essentially, in the Hornets’ blowout win over the Spurs, but there’s a chance that Richards could overtake the veteran as the starter with a few more performances like this. I’m watchlisting him for now.

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