10 Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire Targets for Week 2
We're only a week into the NBA season and there are already plenty of interesting add options emerging from fantasy basketball waiver wires. Let's take a look at the top-10 pick-ups (in relative order) after six days of action.
Cedi Osman, SF/PF, Cleveland Cavaliers
Yahoo Ownership: 70%
Over that span, he's averaged 17.0 points, 2.7 three-pointers, 5.3 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 1.3 steals, 0.3 blocks, and 3.7 turnovers in a robust 35.8 minutes per contest, with a shooting split of 45.2% from the field and 62.5% from the free throw line. The percentages and high turnovers have kept his nine-category ranking down to 99th so far, but his 48.4% shooting mark and 1.7 turnovers per 36 minutes last year suggest he could improve in those areas as he adjusts to his new role (although the free throw percentage figures to remain fairly low).
Osman's 70% ownership rate is admittedly a little high to qualify him as a waiver wire guy, but it's our duty to tell those of you in leagues making up the other 30% to act now. Osman could be in for a breakout year, with mid-round value very much in play.
Malik Monk, SG, Charlotte Hornets
Yahoo Ownership: 40%
Malik Monk may be coming off the bench for the Charlotte Hornets, but he's playing a comfortable 27.5 minutes per game and putting up 83rd-ranked value in nine-category leagues through the first week. Over three games, he's averaging 14.7 points, 3.0 triples, 1.7 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.7 blocks, and a mere 0.3 turnovers per contest, while shooting 41.0% from the field and a perfect 3-for-3 from the free throw line.
Jeremy Lamb might be starting in front of Monk (and is a worthy pick-up himself, as we discussed last week), but Monk is providing instant offense off Charlotte's bench and is earning a healthy complement of minutes because of it. If you're looking for a scoring punch or a few extra triples, Monk is available in over half of the leagues out there.
Danny Green, SG/SF, Toronto Raptors
Yahoo Ownership: 45%
Danny Green has been in late-round value purgatory for the last three seasons, but prior to that, he put up three consecutive campaigns of mid- to early-round value, including a 29th-ranked finish in nine-category leagues in 2014-15. His best days of fantasy production are probably behind him at 31 years of age, but he looks locked into a starting role and the accompanying minutes that come with it for his new team, the Toronto Raptors, and could have a pretty decent fantasy season because of it.
Through three games, Green is the 58th-ranked player in nine-category leagues, averaging 10.0 points, 2.7 threes, 4.3 rebounds, 1.0 assist, 1.3 steals, 1.0 block, and a mere 0.3 turnovers in a healthy 32.1 minutes per contest, while shooting 38.5% from the field and a perfect 2-for-2 from the free throw line.
He'll never give you much in terms of popcorn stats like points, rebounds, and assists, but his contributions in threes, steals, and blocks make him more valuable from a fantasy perspective than most people realize.
Nemanja Bjelica, PF, Sacramento Kings
Yahoo Ownership: 15%
Nemanja Bjelica has been a pleasant surprise for the Sacramento Kings a week into the 2018-19 season. He's started all three games for his new squad so far, and despite a four-point dud on Friday night, he's currently the 49th-ranked player in nine-category leagues.
Through three games, he's averaging 11.3 points, 1.3 triples, 4.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.3 steals, 0.3 blocks, and 0.3 turnovers in 22.9 minutes per contest, while shooting a blazing 65.2% from the field (but without a single free throw attempt). The shooting mark is likely to come down a bit for the career 45.4% shooter, but there's still plenty to like in his line and opportunity.
He's still widely available, so if you can't get your hands on guys like Cedi Osman or Malik Monk this week, Bejlica is a fine consolation prize.
Rodney McGruder, SG, Miami Heat
Yahoo Ownership: 20%
Rodney McGruder is far from a household name, but he's started all three games so far for the Miami Heat so far, and played a healthy 35.7 minutes per contest in the process. While doing so, he's averaged 15.7 points, 3.0 three-pointers, 7.0 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 0.7 steals, 1.0 block, and 2.0 turnovers per game, and shot 50.0% from the field and 75.0% from the line.
McGruder has never even sniffed the top-250 in nine-category leagues over his first two NBA seasons, but he's off to a 41st-ranked start in his third. His current level of production might not be entirely sustainable, but his consistent role and minutes could at least pave the way to late- to mid-round value. He's worth a look to see how long this lasts.
Jae Crowder, SF/PF, Utah Jazz
Yahoo Ownership: 30%
Jae Crowder had a dud of a fantasy season last year (211th in nine-category leagues), splitting time between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Utah Jazz, but he's off to a hot start to the 2018-19 campaign.
Through two games, he's averaging 15.0 points, 2.0 triples, 6.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.0 steal, 0.0 blocks, and 0.0 turnovers in 30.9 minutes per contest off the bench, while shooting 42.9% from the field and 87.5% from the free throw line.
That 37th-ranked value might not be sustainable given his bench role, but don't sleep on the fact that Crowder's still firmly in his prime, at 28 years of age, and is only two seasons removed from two consecutive years placing in the top-50 in nine-category leagues.
Derrick Rose, PG, Minnesota Timberwolves
Yahoo Ownership: 25%
Derrick Rose's breakout performance on Saturday night (28 points on 11-for-21 shooting, 2 triples, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, 1 block, and 3 turnovers) was largely due to Jimmy Butler's absence (rest), but it's hard to overlook his 91st ranking in nine-category leagues through three games.
Over that span, the 30-year-old has averaged 16.0 points, 0.7 threes, 4.3 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.3 blocks, and 1.3 turnovers in 28.8 minutes off the pine for Minnesota, while shooting 43.6% from the field and 85.7% from the line.
MVP Rose is never walking through the door again for fantasy owners, but he's worth a look while he's producing like this. With Butler firmly on the trading block for the Timberwolves, there is a decent enough chance that Rose has space to turn a decent start to the season into semi-consistent late-round value as the year progresses.
Damian Jones, C, Golden State Warriors
Yahoo Ownership: 25%
We all know that Damian Jones as the starting center for the Golden State Warriors is just a placeholder while DeMarcus Cousins works his way back from a torn Achilles, but Jones is playing well enough so far to warrant fantasy consideration.
Through three games, he's averaging 8.0 points, 0.0 threes, 3.0 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 0.7 steals, 2.0 blocks, and 0.7 turnovers in 21.2 minutes per contest, while shooting 80.0% from the field and 0-for-2 from the free throw line. Jordan Bell -- the guy who most people would've expected to start the year as the Warriors' starting center -- has only played 10 minutes so far this year and even picked up a DNP-CD in Golden State's second game of the season.
Jones' value comes with an expiration date, but fantasy owners in need of a blocks specialist or a boost to their field goal percentage should take a look at the third-year big man for as long as he holds down his starting job.
Isaiah Canaan, PG, Phoenix Suns
Yahoo Ownership: 5%
Through five NBA seasons, Isaiah Canaan has only had one entry in the top-200 in nine-category leagues, and that's his 199th-ranked finish in 2015-16 with the Philadelphia 76ers. Although it would be a stretch to suddenly expect even late-round value on a consistent basis from the 27-year-old sharpshooter, it's hard to deny the opportunity he has at the moment as the de facto starting point guard for the point-guard-starved Phoenix Suns.
Through two games, Canaan is averaging 11.5 points, 2.5 triples, 5.0 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.0 blocks, and 1.5 turnovers in 31.7 minutes per contest, with a shooting split of 44.4% from the field and 66.7% from the charity stripe. That's good enough to make him the 115th-ranked player in nine-category leagues.
He runs the risk of falling off the map in short order if the Suns ever acquire a veteran point guard, but for now, owners in need of threes and assists should give Canaan a look. He's available in 95% of Yahoo leagues, so deep-leaguers should especially consider him, as locked-in starters are rarely this easy to find on the wire.
J.J. Barea, PG/SG, Dallas Mavericks
Yahoo Ownership: 15%
A 34-year-old J.J. Barea is not suddenly going to become a top-100 fantasy asset after 12 consecutive campaigns of failing to break the top-170, but his ranking 40th in nine-category leagues through the first two games of this season makes him worthy of a temporary add if nothing else.
Over those two contests, Barea has averaged 10.5 points, 1.5 triples, 2.0 rebounds, 10.5 assists, 1.5 steals, 0.0 blocks, and 0.5 turnovers in 21.1 minutes off the bench for the Dallas Mavericks, while shooting 38.9% from the field and a perfect 5-for-5 from the free throw line. He's hit double-digit assists in both games, so that's enough for dime-hungry owners to take notice.
There's a good chance that adding Barea now just means dropping him a week from now, but go ahead and take the flier in deep leagues and see where it goes.