NBA Fantasy Waiver Pickups & Schedule (Week 3): Miles Bridges Trending Up, Alex Caruso’s Upside, More

NBA Fantasy Waiver Pickups & Schedule (Week 3): Miles Bridges Trending Up, Alex Caruso’s Upside, More article feature image

Grant Halverson/Getty Images. Pictured: Miles Bridges #0 of the Charlotte Hornets.

We are entering the third week of the NBA season, which means we are starting to see some trends form across the league for starters and bench players alike. It's still early enough to catch good players on the rise and bolster your fantasy squad with some players who may be getting overlook.

Joe Dellera and Dan Titus break down their top six players to watch entering the week along with some notes on how to benefit on worthwhile player prop angles fantasy trends and scheduling quicks for Week 3.

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

Players to Watch

Franz Wagner, Orlando Magic

Wagner has started his career off in exciting fashion for the Orlando Magic. Franz has started each game this season while averaging 13.9 points, 3.6 rebounds, 1.9 assists, on 49.4% shooting while tallying a steal or a block in six of seven games.

A big bonus for Wagner is he can shoot 3s and stretch the floor. He’s averaged 4.6 attempts and 2.0 makes. This is relevant for both his fantasy outlook, but his props outlook as well. Not only that, Wagner is second in minutes for the Magic, tallying 31.1 minutes per game.

He has plenty of opportunity to carve out a consistent role on a young Magic team.

Fantasy Impact: Great target for 12-team leagues.Only 44% rostered in Yahoo leagues, 14% in ESPN.

Miles Bridges, Charlotte Hornets

Bridges continues to be one of the most improved players in the NBA this season. Congratulations if you saw the breakout coming, because at the start of the season Bridges was 150-1 to win the Most Improved Player award.

He’s now jumped to +700, only trailing Ja Morant by a slim margin (+600). He’s averaging an absurd 24.6 points, 7.7 rebounds, 2.7 assists on 50.8% shooting while registering 2.9 3s and 1.6 steals in 35.4 minutes per game this season. Despite Terry Rozier’s return to play, Bridges is a strong hold in all fantasy formats.

In fact, you may want to put some trade offers out for anyone that may want to sell high. With four games this week, keep an eye out on his Points + Rebounds prop, as he’s gone over in five of his last six games.

Fantasy Impact: Should be rostered in all leagues and formats. Currently seventh overall in Yahoo H2H formats, ninth in ESPN leagues.

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Desmond Bane, Memphis Grizzlies 

Bane has set the world on fire and is blowing by his prop lines nearly every night and books have been forced to reset moving his points prop to as high as 15.5. The sophomore breakout is averaging 18.8 points, 4.2 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 2.7 3s on 6.3 attempts per game with shooting splits of .479/.436/.813.

His development has diversified Memphis’ offensive profile with his ability to space the floor. He’s playing 29.7 minutes per game and has the third highest usage rate on the team at 21.4%.

The Grizzlies only play three games this week, the Nuggets (twice) and the Wizards. Interestingly enough, the Wizards have allowed 3s at the lowest frequency in the league and allow the third-lowest shooting percentage (27.4%), per Cleaning the Glass.

The Nuggets are also a tough matchup here, they have held their opponents to just a 30.6% 3-point percentage — sixth-best in the league. With this in mind, we may have to temper our expectations for Bane this week.

Fantasy Impact: Should be rostered in all formats. Currently ranks 30th in Yahoo H2H leagues, and 39th in ESPN. Only Rostered in 68% of Yahoo leagues and 37% of ESPN leagues.

Alex Caruso, Chicago Bulls

The former spark plug for the Los Angeles Lakers bench has a new home in Chicago and he’s immediately demonstrated his value to the team and fans alike. Caruso makes the most of his minutes, and in 28 minutes per game this season (seven more than he averaged last season with the Lakers), he’s producing across the board.

bulls vs celtics-nba-odds-picks-nov-1
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images. Pictured: Alex Caruso.

He is averaging 8.2 points on 47.2% shooting, 2.2 rebounds, 3.5 assists with an absurd 2.7 steals per game. He’s an absolute menace on the defensive side of the ball due to his engine and hustle and even if he sees a slight downtick in steals, with the increased playing time there’s no reason to believe he will take a huge hit to his other counting stats.

Fantasy Impact: Consider him ‘T.J. McConnell’ light and should be rostered in 12-14 team H2H formats for his sneaky steals and assists. Only rostered in 47% of Yahoo leagues, and 29% of ESPN leagues.

Props angle: Although Caruso is averaging 2.7 steals per game, his steal totals so far are 4, 0, 5, 4, 2, 1. He entered the season averaging 1 steal per game in his career, so be leery when books set his prop line for steals.

De’Anthony Melton, Memphis Grizzlies

Another bright spot of the young Grizzlies, Melton earned a spot in the starting lineup with Dillon Brooks (hand) still recovering from offseason surgery. He’s fitting right into the small-ball backcourt with Morant and Bane, delivering 13.7 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.8 assists along with 2.7 3-pointers and 2.0 steals across 29.8 minutes per game.

Over the past four games, he’s tallied 17 stocks (steals + blocks), an average of 4.25 per contest. His play has catapulted his value up to 34th in Yahoo leagues and 49th in ESPN leagues after being drafted outside the top-100 this preseason.

Surprisingly, he’s still only rostered in 65% of Yahoo leagues and 17% of ESPN leagues. This is criminal considering he’s putting up defensive numbers at such a high rate, so if he’s still lingering on your waiver wire, pick him up immediately.

Fantasy Impact: Should be rostered in all formats

Alperen Sengun, Houston Rockets

With the Rockets playing four games this week, the 16th pick in the 2021 NBA Draft is worth a look in deeper leagues. Like many rookies, Sengun is struggling with turnovers (2.4), but he's been productive when given playing time.

In 19.0 minutes per contest, he’s averaging 9.0 points on 43% shooting, along with 4.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 2.5 steals and 0.5 blocks. He ahs racked up at least two steals in six of seven games this season.

If you can withstand his below average field-goal percentage, he is going to be a worthwhile pick up for Tuesday and Thursday with only five games on both of those slates. He’s already outplaying veteran center Daniel Theis, so it's only a matter of time before the Rockets fully commit to their youth movement.

Get him while he’s cheap.

Fantasy Impact: Add in deep leagues, 12+ team formats. Rostered in 51% of Yahoo leagues and 13.3% in ESPN leagues.

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Fantasy Basketball Schedule — Week 3

Schedule Notes

Teams at an advantage: The San Antonio Spurs play four games this week with favorable matchups against the Dallas Mavericks, Orlando Magic, and Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Houston Rockets play four games this week, but their first two games are on Tuesday and Thursday, which are small five-game slates. They play the final two games on a back-to-back set on Saturday and Sunday.

Travel Disadvantage: The Rockets plays four games on the road. The Spurs, Cleveland Cavaliers, Utah Jazz, Boston Celtics, Charlotte Hornets, and New Orleans Pelicans all play three games on the road.

Teams on back-to-backs

  • Trail Blazers (2) Sun/Mon | Fri/Sat,
  • Jazz (1), Sat/Sun,
  • Rockets (1) Sat/Sun,
  • Kings (1), Tue/Wed,
  • Celtics (1), Wed/Thu,
  • 76ers (1), Wed/Thu,
  • Hawks (1), Wed/Thu,
  • Hornets (1), Sun/Mon,
  • Pelicans (1) Tue/Wed

Teams that don’t play on Saturday or Sunday in Week 3: Pelicans, Pistons, Timberwolves, Grizzlies.

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Jun 22, 2024 UTC