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NBA Fantasy Waiver Pickups & Schedule (Week 11): How to Pivot Off Injury to Paul George, Lonzo Ball and More

NBA Fantasy Waiver Pickups & Schedule (Week 11): How to Pivot Off Injury to Paul George, Lonzo Ball and More article feature image
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Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Paul George #13 of the LA Clippers.

For the past few weeks, this column has read like a pseudo injury report due to players going into health and safety protocols in droves. This week’s version is no different. As we close out the final week of the year, some notable names are leaving a void for a few unknowns to fill.

Writers Joe Dellera and Dan Titus break down their top injury pivots, one player who is quietly rising and note how to benefit on worthwhile player prop angles, fantasy trends and scheduling quirks for Week 11.

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

Fantasy Basketball Schedule — Week 11

Schedule Notes

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

Fantasy Friendly Teams in Week 10

  • Mavericks (@POR, @SAC, @SAC, @OKC)
  • Suns (MEM, OKC, @BOS, @CHA)
  • Lakers (@HOU, @MEM, POR, MIN)

Waiver Adds

  • Guards: Delon Wright, Payton Pritchard, Cam Reddish, Coby White, Gabe Vincent, Javonte Green, Malik Beasley, Malik Monk
  • Forwards: Jalen McDaniels, Talen Horton Tucker, Luke Kennard, Caleb Martin, Juan Toscano-Anderson, Gary Payton II, Deni Avdija, Bruce Brown, Brandon Boston
  • Centers: Omer Yurtseven, Naz Reid, Gorgui Dieng, Robin Lopez, Nic Claxton, Jaden McDaniels

Players to Watch

Injuries

Paul George, Los Angeles Clippers

Paul George has been in and out of the lineup since the start of December due to his elbow injury. Ultimately, George has been diagnosed with a tear to his UCL (for reference, this is the injury that many pitcher’s suffer that requires Tommy John surgery) and will miss the next three to four weeks before being re-evaluated.

One good thing is that we are already a bit prepared regarding who picks up the slack when George misses time since he missed six games just this month and then Sunday night’s contest against the Nuggets.

Fantasy Impact: The two players with the biggest scoring differential with and without George are Luke Kennard and Terance Mann. Kennard jumps to 18.3 points per game with 4.5 rebounds, and 3.0 assists (10.1, 3.3, 1.8 otherwise), and Mann improves to 13.8, 7.3, 2.5 (9.3, 4.9, 2.4).

nba odds-picks-predictions-best bets-december 26-2021
Alex Goodlett/Getty Images. Pictured: Luke Kennard

While Marcus Morris Sr. takes four more shots per game without George, his output remains about the same. Brandon Boston also had a strong showing on Sunday and is someone to monitor if he continues playing minutes in the mid-twenties.

Considering Reggie Jackson is also out right now due to COVID protocols, these fringe roster players are worth a longer look. While Eric Bledsoe does not contribute much across the board, he does see an uptick in assists without George, and if Jackson is missing as well then Bledsoe may be asked to facilitate for this offense full of sharp shooters.


Lonzo Ball, Chicago Bulls

Ball was placed into the league’s health and safety protocols and Coby White entered the starting lineup.

This is White’s opportunity to show that he belongs, but in 33 minutes Sunday he posted a disappointing eight points (3-for-10 from the floor), two rebounds, and one assist. I’d imagine he remains in the starting lineup until Ball returns, but this effort was certainly disappointing considering he contributed 24 points on the 20th against the Rockets.

Aside from White, Javonte Green is someone that will see extended run and his positional flexibility gives him even more value (PG, SG, SF in Yahoo leagues). Green played 28 minutes on Sunday while scoring 13 points, grabbing four rebounds, and dishing one assist. What is notable is that he saw 28 minutes alongside LaVine and DeRozan which is an uptick from his season average of 21.4 minutes.

Green is not going to pour it in but he provides more than just some scoring with strong percentages. He shoots 47.7%, 36.7% from 3, 76.9% FT, with just 0.6 turnovers per game. He will not hurt you and the Bulls have a four-game week coming up.


Dejounte Murray, San Antonio Spurs

Another rising star has entered health and safety protocols and this one will hurt both the Spurs and Fantasy managers alike. Murray is nearly averaging a triple double and he doesn’t turn the ball over much (2.3 per game) considering his monstrous Usage Rate of 28.8%.

With Murray out, Derrick White and Keldon Johnson should see as much run as they can handle, while Lonnie Walker and Devin Vassell should see an uptick in minutes as well. In Sunday’s absolute dismantling of the Pistons, Keldon Johnson lead the team in scoring with 27 points, but it’s tough to have many takeaways since it was a blowout.

Fantasy Impact: The one player to keep an eye out for is Joshua Primo, who just turned 19 and has played in just nine games this season. Primo played 15 minutes against the Pistons and set season highs in points (9), rebounds (5), and assists (2).


Atlanta Hawks

The Hawks have been decimated by COVID, but it seems that a few players may be close to returning. Clint Capella returned for their L on Christmas day against the Knicks, but they now will be without John Collins.

The full list of Hawks that are out due to Health and Safety Protocols is: Trae Young, Kevin Huerter, Jalen Johnson, John Collins, Onyeka Okongwu, Wes Iwundu, Sharife Cooper, Lou Williams, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, and Danilo Gallinari. They simply are a shell of themselves.

While missing any number of players can be tough to deal with, losing Trae Young is nearly impossible to deal with and the Hawks’ offense is abysmal. While there is opportunity for others to pick up the slack, they simply do not perform. In 12 games without Young over the last two seasons, the Hawks are 6-6 and score just 102.2 points per game.

Fantasy Impact: In the three games this season without Young, Atlanta has turned to Delon Wright and Cam Reddish to lead the charge. Reddish has been excellent, with averages of 20.7 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 3.3 assists and Wright has contributed across the board with 11.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 4.0 assists.


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Risers

Omer Yurtseven, Miami Heat

Omer Yurtseven, the rookie Summer League standout put on an absolute clinic Sunday against the Orlando Magic as he scored 16 points and grabbed 15 rebounds while contributing two assists across 33 minutes.

This should not come as a surprise considering he was next in line to man the Center position with the injuries to Bam Adebayo and Dwayne Dedmon.

Throwing this out there.

Omer Yurtseven’s per 36 min stats:

13.9 points | 14.1 rebounds | 1.9 assists, | 0.8 steals | 2.0 blocks

— Joe Dellera (@JoeDellera) December 26, 2021

His per 36 minute stats had always been impressive and now that he is the starter he should see plenty of counting stats. He had already recorded four consecutive games with twelve rebounds prior to Sunday and that was without ever surpassing 25 minutes.

Fantasy & Props Impact: He is a must add in all formats and someone to track for props. On Sunday, his prop lines were set at 10.5 points, 9.5 rebounds, 1.5 Blocks (+110), 2.5 Steals + Blocks (+150), Double Double (+150).

There is clear opportunity to capitalize on his props. I escalated his rebounds on Sunday and the lines were 12+ Rebounds (+190) and 14+ (+400). They had as high as 16+ (+830) but I declined to go that high because it exceeded his per 36 minute splits.

Keep an eye out for their next game Tuesday night against the Wizards who are ranked 19th in Rebound Percentage, per NBA Advanced Stats.


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