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Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire: Week 3 Top NBA Pickups

Last Updated: Jan 10, 2021

Kev Mahserejian provides advice on the Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire: Week 3 Top NBA Pickups.

(Note: Roster % is as listed for Yahoo! leagues. FAAB bid range is based on a percentage of a fantasy basketball player’s remaining budget.)

Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire: Week 3 Top NBA Pickups

Top Fantasy Basketball Players To Add


Keldon Johnson, SF, San Antonio Spurs


Keldon Johnson is just another case of San Antonio Spurs devil magic. Johnson was a highly sought-after high-school recruit. He landed in a dream spot at Kentucky under head coach John Calipari but failed to display high-end play as a one-and-done freshman. He fell in the 2019 NBA Draft as a result and the Spurs pounced. In 29.8 minutes per game, Johnson is averaging 15 points, 7.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.8 threes, 1.4 steals, and 0.8 blocks. His field goal and free throw percentages are solid and the only true knock on his stat-sheet is the multiple turnovers per game. This early-season spark from Johnson may be considered a flash-in-the-pan by some but the talent is legitimate and there is a certain need for wing help on this roster. Johnson’s usage will certainly dip when LaMarcus Aldridge returns from injury, but Derrick White‘s arrival may impact Johnson more once White’s restrictions are lifted. Johnson could certainly jump back up in the second half if (when?) the Spurs move on from the Aldridge-DeMar DeRozan era. Nevertheless, expect minutes between 25 and 30 per game. He is reminiscent of prime Otto Porter Jr. You want him on your team. ➕ Keldon Johnson FAAB bid range: 20-25%

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Naz Reid, PF/C, Minnesota Timberwolves


With Karl-Anthony Towns out for the foreseeable future with a dislocated wrist, Naz Reid has stepped into an expanded role as the starting center in Minnesota. Reid is better for fantasy than real life, which is mostly what matters when considering waiver-wire adds. He is averaging 24 minutes, 13 points, 4.7 rebounds, along with roughly one three, steal, and a block per game. Reid’s role is pretty locked in given Minnesota’s lack of depth in the front-court without KAT. Much like losing your QB in football, the T-Wolves are sunk without their most valuable player and are not pressed to make a move from outside their organization to correct it. Jarred Vanderbilt is getting some work in at power forward and could slide up to play a small-ball role in place of Reid, but Reid himself could also play more given his current minute range. His per-36 numbers have been very appealing since last year. KAT is currently “week-to-week," and that could mean anything. According to some sources, without surgery, it could range from 3-to-6 weeks, leaving Reid a viable fantasy option in the meantime. ➕ Naz Reid FAAB bid range: 15-20%

Mason Plumlee, C, Denver Nuggets


A fantasy-viable Mason Plumlee is not what I expected in 2021, but after 2020, nothing shocks me. Plumlee is providing a well-rounded platter of stats that range from the more obvious (rebounds) to the shockingly good (assists/steals). While his assists have dwindled in recent games, his assist rate is similar to past seasons, and with the extreme jump in minutes from those years, he can consistently provide four per-game. Plumlee is playing on a team with nothing to play for. The Pistons are very, very bad and have no reason not to play their highly paid asset plenty of minutes every game. While backup C, Isaiah Stewart will be chomping at the bit to get playing time, it will likely be at the detriment of Jahlil Okafor. Plumlee even has room to improve, particularly in the blocks category where his rate currently sits just above 1% while throughout his career it has floated around 3.5%. ➕ Mason Plumlee FAAB bid range: 15-20%

De’Andre Hunter, SF/PF, Atlanta Hawks


Hunter is a fascinating player. He was drafted out of Virginia in 2019 as a defensive-minded wing who lacked a robust offensive wheelhouse, but as a fantasy player, he has been all offense and no defense. Hunter is averaging 14.2 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 2.4 threes per game on solid percentages from the field. His free throw could use some work but the volume is low enough to consider negligible. On the other end, he has three total stocks on the year through five games. Two blocks and one steal, that is all. He is a fine real-life defender, but it’s just not translating to fantasy production. His rates on both were fairly low last year along with in college. Hunter could always improve given his youth but the expectations for stocks should remain low. Think of them as a cherry-on-top of the rest of his numbers. With Danilo Gallinari dealing with lower-body ailments and the Hawks winning games, Hunter should remain in his role until he shows long-term failure. His shooting percentages will naturally go down, but even with a dip, his offensive game is improved enough to want on your fantasy teams. ➕ De’Andre Hunter FAAB bid range: 12-15%

Sleeper NBA Waiver-Wire Add


DeAnthony Melton, SG, Memphis Grizzlies


DeAnthony Melton remains out due to “health protocol," which is either a positive COVID test or contact tracing. He played in the first game of the season and has missed only a week’s worth of games since. Very much so worth taking a flier on him as the main beneficiary of Ja Morant‘s injury after a game or two back. ➕ De’Anthony Melton FAB bid range: 1-2%

Prepare for your Week 3 fantasy basketball leagues

After gathering your list of Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire: Week 3 Top NBA Pickups, read our full NBA coverage for fantasy basketball and basketball betting tips.

Author

Kev Mahserejian

Kev Mahserejian is an NFL/NBA/MLB analyst at The Game Day, residing in Los Angeles, CA. He graduated from the University of Southern California in 2017 and began creating sports content soon after. Kev currently writes fantasy and betting pieces while also hosting his podcast The Operating Room with various guests from the sports industry to discuss topics primarily regarding fantasy. He also writes for RotoBaller and is quite active on his Twitter @RotoSurgeon.

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