NBA Fantasy Waiver Pickups & Schedule (Week 13): Klay Thompson, Anfernee Simons and Malik Monk Trending Up

NBA Fantasy Waiver Pickups & Schedule (Week 13): Klay Thompson, Anfernee Simons and Malik Monk Trending Up article feature image
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Getty Images. Pictured (L-R): Anfernee Simons #1 of the Portland Trail Blazers, Klay Thompson #11 of the Golden State Warriors, Malik Monk #11 of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Things are slowly returning to normal around the NBA. Stars are coming back from COVID (and injuries) and role players have stepped up with huge performances over the past week.

Joe Dellera and Dan Titus break down their top injury pivots, players who are rising or falling and note how to benefit on worthwhile player prop angles fantasy trends and scheduling quicks for Week 13.

Read below to see where they are finding small edges this week.

Fantasy Basketball Schedule — Week 13

Schedule Notes

  • Three Games: ATL, CHA, DAL, IND, LAC, MEM, MIA, MIL, MIN, NOP, NYK, OKC, ORL, PHX, POR, TOR, UTA, WAS
  • Four Games: BOS, BKN, CHI, CLE, DEN, DET, GSW, HOU, PHI, SAC, SAS
  • Two Games: LAL

Fantasy Friendly Teams in Week 13

  • Kings (CLE, LAL, HOU, HOU)
  • Nets (@POR, @CHI, OKC, NOR)
  • Cavaliers (@SAC, @UTA, @SAS, @OKC)

Waiver Wire Adds

  • Guards: Anfernee Simons, Malik Monk, De’Anthony Melton, Pat Beverley, Alec Burks, Lu Dort, Gary Harris, Patty Mills, Keifer Sykes, Monte Morris, Facu Campazzo, Immanuel Quickley, Tyus Jones
  • Forwards: Brandon Clarke, Herb Jones, Terrence Ross, Saddiq Bey, Marcus Morris,, Cedi Osman, Marvin Bagley, Royce O’Neale, Jeff Green, Trey Lyles, Max Strus, Matisse Thybulle, Jaden McDaniels
  • Centers: Omer Yurtseven, Onyeka Okongwu, Chimezie Metu, Mason Plumlee, Nic Claxton, Isaiah Hartenstein, Nerlens Noel

Players to Watch

Injury Watch

Dillon Brooks, Memphis Grizzlies

The Grizzlies are riding high in the midst of a nine game win streak, but they’ll be without their starting forward for the next month.

On Sunday afternoon, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Brooks could be out until the All-Star break after spraining his ankle against the Los Angeles Clippers.

Dillon Brooks headed to the locker room after suffering an injury in the 2nd Quarter. pic.twitter.com/yEDWvFN03Y

— Bally Sports: Grizzlies (@GrizzOnBally) January 8, 2022

He’s going to miss at least the next 3-5 weeks and could be sidelined until mid-February. Brooks is averaging a career-high 18.4 points per game this season, along with 3.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.3 steals and 43/32/89 shooting splits across 28 minutes per contest.

While he may not log heavy minutes, he is a usage hog anytime he steps on the court. Brooks is second on the team in Usage Rate at 29%, only trailing Ja Morant (31.9%).

Fantasy Impact: Memphis is already down several players due to injuries and health and safety protocols, so expect players like De’Anthony Melton and Brandon Clarke to step up and get more minutes in his absence.


Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors

Thompson returned to the court for his first game since 2019 and this is incredible for both the Warriors and NBA Fans alike. Thompson is a great defender, a great floor spacer, and an absolute sniper from deep.

Returning this type of talent without needing to make a trade should improve an already deep and talented Warriors roster. We just got a taste on Sunday night, scoring 17 points (7-of-18 FG, 3-8 3PT) with three rebounds and one assist in only 19 minutes of action.

Klay Thompson has made history in his return. With his two 3-pt FG, he became the second fastest in NBA history to 1.8k career threes.

Thompson reached this milestone in 615 games, and the only person who's done it faster is Stephen Curry (545 games). pic.twitter.com/n5VbiaoLwv

— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 10, 2022

But what can we expect from Thompson for the rest of the season?

When Klay last played the NBA was a totally different animal. The league as a whole shot 3-pointers about 4% less frequently. The Warriors’ blitz of 3s and their efficiency was unmatched. (They also had Kevin Durant.)

This team is structured a bit differently now and they are more comparable to the original Splash Brothers teams with Stephen Curry, Thompson and Draymond Green, except they are all a bit older now. When Durant played for the Warriors, the players whose Usage Rate took the largest hits were Durant and Curry relative to their career numbers.

What Thompson provides does not infringe on the Warriors’ primary ball handlers — if anything, he is just helping their assist numbers with his elite shooting. One byproduct of having Durant was a suppression of everyone’s scoring. Since 2014-2015 season these are Thompson’s averages:

33.5 Minutes | 21.6 Points | 3.7 Rebounds | 2.4 Assists | (8.1/17.2) 47.1% FG% | (3.2/7.7) 42.3% 3P%

Thompson scored about three points per game fewer whenever he played alongside Durant while taking fewer 3-point attempts. Here are his splits with and without Durant from 2016-17 onward.

  • With Durant: 199 Games | 34.1 Minutes | 20.9 Points | 3.7 Rebounds | 2.4 Assists | (8.0/17.0) 47.3% FG Pct | (3.1/7.5) 41.5% 3-Point Pct
  • Without Durant: 30 Games | 33.7 Minutes | 23.9 Points | 4.4 Rebounds | 2.0 Assists | (9.2/19.3) 47.7% FG Pct | (3.9/9.0) 43.3% 3-Point Pct

Although I’m sure there is some rust, he is obviously relied on more as a scoring option without Durant. I’m curious to see if he will fall closer to his career averages or to those averages without Durant.

Thompson’s return obviously impacts other players on the Warriors. It likely means fewer minutes for Jordan Poole, Damion Lee, Andre Iguodala, Gary Payton II, etc., so they may see their scoring opportunities decrease. But if his defense holds, then the Warriors can reintroduce their death lineup with Green at the center.

When Draymond played center, before the Durant years, it typically meant that the Warriors played a lineup of Curry, Thompson, Iguodala, Barnes, and Green. I’d imagine the modern iteration of this would be Curry, Poole, Thompson, Wiggins, and Draymond.

In the 2015-16 season, these lineups with Draymond at center resulted in a +28.0 point differential per 100 possessions (they played 1226 possessions in this formation), a mark that was in the highest percentile of all lineups in the NBA, per Cleaning the Glass. A lineup like this would give the Warriors immense flexibility while maintaining offensive firepower.

While Curry and Green do not see much difference in their games with and without Thompson on their career numbers, the gravity and spacing Thompson provides is critical for this Warriors team.

Right now, the Warriors are so dependent on Curry that at the end of games everyone knows exactly where the ball is going; however, if you have a player such as Thompson who moves so well off the ball, and with a lightning fast release, he’s someone that teams must account for. This should open up more looks for both players.


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Risers

Malik Monk, Los Angeles Lakers

The former Kentucky Wildcat has finally been unleashed and he’s making the most of his opportunity in Los Angeles. He was buried on the Hornets bench for years, only contributing as a fringe rotational player who averaged 9.1 points, 2.0 rebounds, and 1.8 assists across four seasons in Charlotte.

Coming into the 2021-22 season, Monk inked a one-year $1.79M minimum contract with the Lakers to start over. Fast forward to January and Monk has established himself as the number two scoring option for the Lakers.

Over the past 10 games, Monk is averaging 21.9 points, 3.0 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 0.9 steals, 1.0 blocks with 3.9 3PM in 34.4 minutes per game. His shooting splits are elite as well — 56/48/90 — catapulting him to 23rd overall in 9-category H2H formats in the last two weeks.

Fantasy Impact: He’s still under 63% rostered in Yahoo leagues and that’s still too low considering his jump in playing time, efficiency, and budding role within the Lakers sputtering offense.

Look at the month-over-month improvement and its clear Monk will be fantasy relevant for the foreseeable future. He should be rostered in all formats and if he has an off night, consider reaching out to any frustrated managers looking to sell. He’s outplaying his current deal, which is always a great sign for sustained fantasy production.


Anfernee Simons, Portland Trail Blazers

Simons was one of the most productive fantasy players in Week 12, finishing seventh overall in 9-category H2H formats after delivering averages 29.0 points, 6.8 assists, 2.5 rebounds with 0.8 steals, and 5.8 3’s in 36.3 minutes per game last week.

He’s going to be a hot pickup because Damian Lillard is expected to miss at least the next eight games with an abdominal injury.

Damian Lillard (abdominal) out at least an additional 8 games. https://t.co/LJycLjaz5M

— FantasyLabs NBA (@FantasyLabsNBA) January 10, 2022

Also, Norman Powell entered health and safety protocols on Sunday so the Blazers backcourt is severely undermanned heading into Week 13.

Fantasy Impact: Simons is 64% rostered on Yahoo, but it’s worth checking the wire if he’s available because he’ll get three games this week and four the following week. He’s proven to be a high volume scorer, as he torched the Hawks on Jan. 3 for a career-high 43 points with seven assists and is coming off a strong Sunday performance, scoring 31 points with six assists.

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