NBA Fantasy Waiver Pickups & Schedule (Week 8): How to Pivot Off LaMelo Ball and Bam Adebayo, More
Brock Williams-Smith/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: LaMelo Ball #2 of the Charlotte Hornets.
COVID and injuries are impacting two key players on separate teams entering this week, while there are some under-the-radar names that are presenting value.
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 7.
Read below to see where they are finding small edges this week.
Fantasy Basketball Schedule — Week 8
- Five games: SAS
- Four games: BKN, CLE, DAL, DEN, DET, LAL, MEM, MIL, MIN, NYK, OKC, ORL, PHI
- Three Games: BOS, CHA, CHI, GSW, HOU, IND, LAC, MIA, NOP, POR, SAC, UTA, WAS
- Two games: ATL, PHX, TOR
Fantasy Friendly Teams in Week 8
- Spurs (@PHX, NYK, DEN, DEN, NOP)
- Lakers (BOS, @MEM @OKC, ORL)
- Nets (@DAL, @HOU, @ATL, @DET)
Waiver Wire Adds
Shallow leagues (8-10 team leagues):
- Guards: Tyus Jones, Alec Burks, Patty Mills
- Forwards: Lauri Markkanen, Pat Connaughton, PJ Washington
- Centers: Dewayne Dedmon, Jarred Vanderbilt
Deep Leagues (12+ team leagues):
- Guards: Lonnie Walker IV, Malik Monk, Dennis Smith, Jr., Garrison Mathews
- Forwards: Doug McDermott, Devin Vassell, Talen Horton-Tucker, DeAndre Bembry
- Centers: Dewayne Dedmon, Dwight Howard
Players to Watch
LaMelo Ball, Charlotte Hornets
Ball was placed into the NBA’s health and safety protocols Saturday along with teammates Terry Rozier, Mason Plumlee and Jalen McDaniels. They will be sidelined for at least 10 days or until they have recorded two negative tests in a 24-hour period.
The Hornets will have the minimum number of players on their roster with eight but they have brought up some reinforcements from their affiliate the Greensboro Swarm.
Season averages with @greensboroswarm:
Bouknight – 25.2 ppg (.456 FG%), 6.8 rpg, 4.0 apg, 2.0 spg and 37.1 mpg in five games
Carey Jr. – 19.5 ppg (.471 FG%), 8.7 rpg and 27.0 mpg in six games
— Charlotte Hornets PR (@HornetsPR) December 4, 2021
Bouknight is notable considering he was the 11th pick in this year’s draft and has been putting up solid numbers in the G-League. However, based on his minutes in Sunday night’s contest against the Hawks, this may just be a short term call up rather than a long-term hold.
Fantasy Impact: Both Ball and Rozier’s absences significantly impact this team’s scoring and facilitating options. Ish Smith and Gordon Hayward should both see upticks in usage as they are the next best facilitators on the team.
Smith is absolutely streamable in most leagues due to sheer volume and is someone to watch for player props. Smith has only averaged about 12 minutes per game but if his minutes can stay around 30, his Per36 averages this season are 11.5 points, 3.0 rebounds and 6.3 assists.
Props Impact: The Hornets will lean on Miles Bridges and Kelly Oubre to score. Both should see their scoring outputs increase and after taking double digit 3-point attempts against the Hawks, Kelly Oubre is someone to watch in the 3-point betting market.
Ten 3s per game would be an increase of nearly 50% from his season average. He’s shooting 45% from 3-point range and in an expanded role this should translate to points and 3s.
Bam Adebayo, Miami Heat
Adebayo has missed the last three games and the Miami Heat will be without him for the next three-five weeks due to the surgery he underwent to repair a torn Ulnar Collateral Ligament in his right thumb. While it’s problematic for any team to lose a starter, Adebayo is a legitimate star and a defensive stud.
Surprisingly enough, Adebayo has been a negative on the offensive side of the ball, but the Heat have been 8.3 points better per every 100 possessions on defense –- the best of all Miami’s starters, per Cleaning the Glass.
Miami will try to replace him with Dewayne Dedmon and Omer Yurtseven. Dedmon has been acceptable as a starter this year. In six starts, he has averaged 7.5 points, 9.3 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.2 blocks, and 0.67 steals across 24.9 minutes per game.
While Dedmon has been around for a bit, Omer Yurtseven is a rookie who absolutely balled out in the Summer League. He played 30.8 minutes per game and put up 26.0 points, 12.5 rebounds, 1.7 steals and 3.5 blocks. It may have been Summer League but those numbers are incredible.
In his last two games, Yurtseven has seen an uptick in his minutes. He has played about 20 minutes in consecutive games and he recorded a block in both games. While his floor is likely lower than Dedmon’s, his ceiling is significantly higher.
Fantasy impact: Dedmon needs to be rostered in all formats while Adebayo is out.
Scottie Barnes, Toronto Raptors
The rookie out of Florida State continues to deliver for the Toronto Raptors this season. He finished 30th overall on a per-game basis in Week 7, dropping a cool 14.3 points on 51% shooting along with 6.7 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.7 steals, and 2.0 blocks in 38 minutes per contest.
The point-forward came into the league known for his defensive prowess and unselfishness., However, his offensive game matured quickly, as seen by his willingness to shoot from beyond the arc. In his last three games, he’s attempted an average of seven 3s, knocking down 3.3 long range attempts per game.
He’s quietly crept into the top-80 overall this year, putting him squarely in the conversation for Rookie of the Year with Evan Mobley and Cade Cunningham. Barnes has benefited from injuries to Pascal Siakam to start the year and, most recently, OG Anunoby. But even when Anunoby returns, it’s clear that Barnes is a fixture of Toronto’s rotation and isn’t going anywhere.
He’s 11th in the NBA in minutes played per game, and Nick Nurse continues to rave about his play. Given his versatility and skillset, he will be a fantasy stud, so sit back and enjoy the ride if you already have him on your squad.
Fantasy Impact: Buy if he’s available on the trade market.
Garrison Matthews, Houston Rockets
The Rockets have suffered from some injuries and have missed time from rookie Jalen Green and Kevin Porter Jr.
I am not sure if anyone expected Mathews to have this type of impact upon being called up from the G-League. Since he was elevated, he has played extremely well this season, but he’s been even better as a starter over his last five games: 16.4 points, 4.2 3s, 3.4 rebounds in 34 minutes per night.
The 3 point volume is currently there, and he’s shooting a blistering 46.5% from deep, but since he does not provide much else it will be interesting to see if his role reverts when Green and Porter Jr. return. Until then if you’re in need of 3s he is absolutely a strong candidate.
As for his props, the books have adjusted a bit but there’s still some value there as long as he is starting. In his most recent game against the Pelicans on
Sunday, his props were: Over 2.5 3s (-144) | Over 3.5 3s (+184) | Over 4.5 3s (+450)
Mathews made four 3s and cashed two of those lines.
As a starter, he’s taken nine, 11, seven, 10, and six and made five, five, four, three, and four. Based on his numbers as a starter, 2.5 should still be a play, especially if at (-144) the implied odds are 59%.
However, for alternate lines if there is a dip in his volume, anything over four made 3s is a bit riskier, especially when Porter Jr. and Green return.
Fantasy Impact: Solid source of scoring and threes. Worth an add in competitive, 12+ team leagues.
Lonnie Walker IV, Doug McDermott, Devin Vassell, San Antonio Spurs
Volume is king for daily nine-category H2H leagues so it’s imperative to capitalize on the Spurs five-game schedule. This is a rarity for fantasy basketball and the Spurs play on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday in Week 8.
The Spurs have a clear scheduling advantage this week since they play on both days with three game slates (Tuesday and Thursday) while avoiding the big slates on Wednesday (13 games) and Friday (nine games).
This is ideal for streaming purposes because if you pick up any of these three players, they won’t be wasted on your bench. It’s always nice to sneak in some additional production — especially if you’re trailing heading into the weekend.
Make sure to check the injury report for Vassell as he missed three of his last four contests with a quad contusion. Walker is coming off a 21-point, four rebound effort against the Warriors and McDermott is a good source for 3s and scoring. He’s averaging 14.5 points with two 3-pointers per game since coming back from knee injury that cost him four games. Thaddeus Young, Bryn Forbes, and Tre Jones are other speculative fliers for deep leagues.