Fantasy Basketball: Waiver Wire Pickups, Week 6
The injury bug continues! Nikola Vucevic, Malcolm Brogdon, and Kemba Walker were the most notable players to be sidelined this week. There hasn’t been a week go by without a top 20 player going down with some sort of issue. Let’s hope this trend doesn’t continue and we can have some sort of normality in our fantasy lives and not have to hit the waiver wire so hard each week.
Aside from the injuries, Luka Doncic is going on a tear that hasn’t been seen from a 20-year-old before. In the last week, Doncic has averaged 33.3 points, 10.8 rebounds, 11 assists, and 1.5 steals on 53% from the field and 44% from three-point land. On top of Luka’s incredible performances, there are still some surprising players early in the year. Paying close attention to injuries, trades, and specific matchups will be the key to grabbing good value off the waiver wire from week six and beyond.
Below are five key players on your waiver wire to gain an advantage on your competitors.
Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire For Week 6
De Andre Hunter – SF – Atlanta Hawks (68% rostered)
Strengths: Points & 3 pointers
If you have you Hunter available in your league, grab him now. Hunter is really starting to find his scoring groove in the Atlanta offense beside Trae Young. He had a great game tonight with 26 points, four rebounds, and one assist along with six three-pointers. In the last week, he has averaged 20.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 3.0 three-pointers per game.
Hunter is a rookie, so expect some inconsistency, but you can’t deny the massive upside he has for the rest of the season. With the Hawks floundering in equal last in the eastern conference, Hunter will be afforded plenty of opportunities. Don’t be surprised to get at least 16 points, five rebounds, three assists, and two three-pointers per game for the rest of the year.
Mo Bamba – C – Orlando Magic – (43% rostered)
Strengths: Blocks, rebounds & 3 pointers
Bamba should be the beneficiary of additional playing time with both Nikola Vucevic and Aaron Gordon going down with injuries. Bamba scored nine points on Saturday, going 4 of 9 from the field, as the Orlando Magic lost to the Indiana Pacers 111-106. Bamba pulled down seven rebounds and added an assist, tallying a plus-minus of -8 in his 21:26 on the floor. He added two blocks and went 1 of 2 from behind the arc.
Bamba has the physical talents to be an elite shot-blocker and he has also been working on his three-point shot. Don’t be surprised to see him let loose from beyond the arc this week. I would expect at least 20 minutes per game to continue until Vucevic is back. The extra minutes should see him contribute around 10 points and eight rebounds per outing. His real upside is his shot-blocking and the occasional three-pointers from the center spot though. Bamba is a solid short-term waiver wire pick up whilst Gordon and Vucevic are on the sidelines.
Donte De Vincenzo SG – Milwaukee Bucks– (33% rostered)
Strengths: 3 pointers & steals
De Vincenzo has really come on of late. He averaged 12.0 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 2.0 steals with 1.8 three-pointers in the past week. Given he is in his second season and the Bucks are now starting to surge, winning six games in a row, I expect these numbers to continue for the foreseeable future. De Vincenzo is also a fantastic athlete. If his three-point shooting continues to improve, he will earn big minutes next to Giannis Antetokounmpo. Grab him off your waiver wire if you need some decent scoring, steals, and three-point shooting.
Nerlens Noel – Oklahoma City Thunder (59% rostered)
Strengths: Blocks, Steals, and FG%
Noel appears to be slowly working his way into consistently over 20 minutes per game. Meanwhile, Steven Adams is currently looking like a late ‘30 something’, slow center. Noel has proven that he can protect the rim and be more versatile on defense than Adams. The minutes for both Adams and Noel will be match-up dependent, but with most teams now running smaller lineups, I think Noel will see at least 20 minutes a game going forward.
Noel will provide your squad with elite defensive numbers. However, don’t rely on his scoring, he will only take simple and easy shots in the half-court and transition offense. Noel is a longer-term play than Mo Bamba. He has a little more upside than Bamba now, especially with Adams looking like he will miss time in the future.
Brad Wanamaker – Boston Celtics (14% rostered)
Strengths: Assists and Steals
Kemba Walker went down on Friday night and was stretchered off the court with a concussion. Whilst the initial verdict of how bad Walker’s concussion is unknown, Wanamaker should be in the starting lineup in Walker’s place. Wanamaker has reached double-digit scoring for the third straight game tonight and the additional time he will receive should see an overall uptick on his season averages of 7.1 points, 1.9 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 0.9 steals. Wanamaker is 30 years old, so he doesn’t have a heap of upside. However, he is a solid short term add if you need some assist and steals.
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