Man, this Antetokounmpo kid is pretty good at basketball, huh? Through six games, the Greek Freak has averaged 35.0 points, 10.6 rebounds, 5.6 assists, 2.4 steals, and 1.0 blocks on a ridiculous 62.4% from the field. Imagine if he ever decided to start shooting from the outside more. It might just be six games, but Antetokounmpo is fully capable of putting up these numbers over a full season.
Well, we didn’t have a big name star get injured last week, so that’s something. However, all the big stars that got injured last week remain out this week. Chances are, you have an injured player or two on your fantasy basketball team that you need to replace. Luckily, there are plenty of good options on the waiver wire this week that can give your team a boost. The six men in the waiver section below are a good mix of guard and big men. So, whatever you need, there’s likely a player or two available that can help you out.
Fantasy Basketball Week 3 Preview
Games Played by Team This Week
4 Games: BOS, CHA, DAL, DEN, HOU, IND, LAC, LAL, MEM, MIA, MIN, NO, NY, ORL, PHO, POR, SA, TOR, UTA.
3 Games: ATL, CHI, CLE, DET, GS, MIL, OKC, PHI, SAC, WAS.
2 Games: BKN.
Waiver Wire/Buy Low Targets
John Collins (PF/C – ATL): We’re not even two full weeks into this basketball season, and I’m already pretty close to anointing John Collins as the steal of the 2017 NBA draft. Through six games, he’s been able to provide late-round fantasy value playing only 19.3 minutes per game. His playing time should only continue to rise, too, especially if he keeps playing this well. His per36 stats (shown below) should make fantasy owners’ mouths water. As a guy that owns Collins in multiple leagues, I’ve been sending telepathic messages to Mike Budenholzer to give Collins more minutes. It hasn’t worked yet, but hopefully he starts listening soon. Collins has the chance to be a difference maker in fantasy, so make sure he’s not sitting on the waiver wire.
Marco Belinelli (SG/SF – ATL): Wait, recommending two Atlanta players in one article? Crazy, right? Well, when both guys are playing this well, it needed to be done. The main reason why Belinelli should be an attractive addition for your team is his three-point shooting. Through six games, Belinelli is averaging 15.5 points and 3.2 three-pointers per game. He’s not a strong contributor elsewhere, but the scoring and 3s make him worthy of a roster spot until he cools off.
Kelly Oubre Jr. (SF – WAS): I put personal opinions aside on this one. Despite the fact that Oubre is kind of a punk (see the video of him assaulting, I mean pushing, Kelly Olynyk last playoffs), he’s turning into a pretty good basketball player. The Markieff Morris and Jason Smith injuries opened up big playing time, and Oubre has seized the opportunity. He’s provided 4th round value due to his 3s and defensive statistics. These big minutes will likely take a dip when Morris returns in a couple of weeks. However, until then, Oubre needs to be owned in standard leagues.
Jeremy Lamb (SG/SF – CHA): Losing Nicolas Batum was tough, but Lamb is softening the blow so far for the Hornets. He’s scored 15+ points in every game so far and has chipped in a little across the board. His value will take a hit when Batum returns next month, but Lamb will be a solid source of points and 3s until that happens.
Jakob Poeltl (C – TOR): With Jonas Valanciunas out, Poeltl has performed adequately, especially on the defensive end. In the last three games, he’s averaged 9.7 points, 11.0 rebounds, 1.0 steals, and 2.0 blocks on 61.9% shooting. Even when Valanciunas returns, Poeltl should still hold late-round value on the strength of his rebounding and blocks. If you’re desperate for a big man, give him a long look.
Kris Dunn (PG – CHI): A preseason sleeper pick, Dunn missed the beginning of the season due to a dislocated finger but has finally returned to the Bulls lineup. He’s likely going to back up Jerian Grant for a bit, but Dunn’s upside should soon have him in the starting lineup.
Myles Turner (C – IND): A concussion and sore neck have now kept Turner out for the last four games after dominating in the season opener. Make that five in a row now, as he’s been ruled out for today’s game against San Antonio, too. Concussions are tricky to get a read on, so Turner’s return is still up in the air at this point. The fact that Turner still is experiencing some concussion symptoms isn’t a good thing. That likely means he’s probably still at least a week away from returning, making him a risky play this week.
Hassan Whiteside (C – MIA): Like Turner above, Whiteside has also missed the last four games and remains day-to-day with a bone bruise in his left knees. Bam Adebayo will continue to start in his absence, and the rest of the big men on the Heat get a slight bump in value until Whiteside returns. Consider him questionable for Monday’s home game against Minnesota.
Kawhi Leonard (SF – SA): Still nothing to report here. Unless we hear otherwise, consider him doubtful to suit up at all this week.
Elfrid Payton (PG – ORL): A hamstring injury has kept Payton out for the last three games and likely a few more DNPs are on the way. D.J. Augustine has played incredibly well as the starter and will continue to get big minutes until Payton’s return. For all you DFS players out there, Augustine should remain a solid low-cost option as long as he’s starting.
Jonas Valanciunas (C – TOR): The velociraptor has missed the last three games with an ankle injury but is expected to return on Toronto’s current road trip. Monitor his status Monday afternoon before inserting him back into fantasy lineups.
Markelle Fultz (PG/SG – PHI): This year’s top pick hasn’t looked quite right all season. After continuous struggles, Fultz will be rested at least three games to give his bothersome shoulder a break. That means we won’t see him back on the court until Wednesday at the earliest. With Philadelphia’s recent history of injuries to their top picks, expect them to be extra cautious with Fultz and hold him out until that shoulder is 100%. He’s still a recommended hold in non-shallow leagues due to his upside, but if you need someone to drop for a hot free-agent on the waiver wire, I wouldn’t blame you for cutting him loose.
Situation to Monitor
The Phoenix Suns seem content waiting for the right offer for Eric Bledsoe to present itself. There’s really no need for them to rush, either. Phoenix is a bad team, destined for the lottery, and Bledsoe not playing even helps their chances of getting a higher pick. That was all just a more proper way of saying that they’re tanking. Having Bledsoe on the court obviously makes them worse. This situation is far from clear, but Bledsoe is too good of a fantasy asset not to hold. Most every team without a good point guard has been mentioned as a possible suitor at this point. All Bledsoe owners can do is wait and hope for a trade into a good fantasy situation.
Got a question about a player not covered here? Then follow me on Twitter @EricCross04 and ask me there. Also, make sure to follow and listen to @The3andDPod every Tuesday as Jon Sauber and I break down the latest from around the NBA and fantasy basketball.