Kev Mahserejian offers advice on the Week 5 NBA Waiver Wire and the Top Fantasy Basketball Week 5 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 5 Top NBA Pickups
Top Fantasy Basketball Players To Add
Enes Kanter, C, Portland Trail Blazers (55%)With Jusuf Nurkic out for at least the next month with a fractured wrist, Enes Kanter will step in as the primary option at center for the Portland Trail Blazers. While Kanter may be limited as a player due to his lack of shooting range and poor rim protection, he is an extremely effective rebounder and scorer around the basket. In just 18.7 minutes per game this year, Kanter is averaging 10 points, 8.9 rebounds, and one stock per game on incredible efficiency from the floor (64.1%) and free throw (80%).
Although plenty of time will open up due to Nurkic’s absence, Kanter cannot be expected to take on much more than a low-end starter’s minutes. He will be subbed off of the floor against teams that opt to go small or have “unicorn" type bigs that stretch the floor from the center position. Robert Covington should be expected to take on a much larger role across the front-court as a result. The Blazers could bring in a big off of the free-agent market or trade for an underutilized player elsewhere but that is likely dependent upon exactly how much time Nurkic is expected to miss. As things stand, Kanter should see minutes in the mid-to-high-20s as he did in the past with Portland until Nurkic’s return. After Nurkic’s leg injury in the 2018-2019 regular season, Kanter averaged 29.3 minutes, 18.1 points, 11.4 rebounds, 0.9 steals, and 0.6 blocks per game from the first game he started to the last. He then proceeded to play heavy minutes and contribute throughout the first two playoff series until he was phased out versus the traditionally small Warriors. ➕ Enes Kanter FAAB bid range: 35-40% ➕
Blazers‘ Jusuf Nurkic has suffered a broken right wrist.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 15, 2021
Shake Milton, PG/SG, Philadelphia 76ers (36%)Shake Milton missed three games prior to Thursday due to health protocols but came back STRONG on a near full-strength Sixers team. Milton dropped 31 points, 7 assists, 3 threes, 2 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 block on good shooting efficiency in just 27 minutes. While the opponent was a B-level Miami team, this scoring outburst by Milton is not unexpected. He has been averaging nearly 15 points per game coming in and was fresh off of a 24 point performance against Brooklyn prior to his COVID-related absence.
Milton is assuredly going to take a hit with how well Tyrese Maxey is playing and when Seth Curry returns to action, but even with minutes in the low-to-mid-20s, he can be a productive fantasy player. He provides stats across the board aside from blocks, rarely turns the ball over, and is great for both field goal and free throw percentages. Milton’s a skilled scorer whose ceiling is waiting to be unlocked when his three-point shooting becomes more consistent. If something were to happen to Ben Simmons, Milton would undoubtedly become a top-60 fantasy asset. ➕ Shake Milton FAAB bid range: 15-20% ➕
Best TS% off drives this year (more than 50 drives):— Michael Gallagher (@MikeSGallagher) January 9, 2021
John Wall - 73.0
Luka Doncic - 70.9
Kawhi Leonard - 70.1
Shake Milton - 69.0
Dame Lillard - 68.2
De'Aaron Fox - 66.9
Zach LaVine - 66.7
Jordan Clarkson - 66.7
Kyrie Irving - 66.1
LeBron James - 65.4
Jerami Grant - 65.1
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Obi Toppin, PF, New York Knicks (33%)
With how well Julius Randle has played this season, it is hard to buy into a player who positionally overlaps with him, especially on a team coached by Tom Thibodeau. Thibs is notoriously stingy with rookie playing time, but Toppin may be an exception given how poor the Knicks roster is as a whole and organizational pressure to look at the team’s recent top-10 draft pick. New York’s frontcourt is fairly packed at the moment with not only Randle but also Mitchell Robinson, Nerlens Noel, and Kevin Knox, who is surprisingly playing well.
Toppin is an exceptional scorer who may not have a true position in the league due to his size and inability to defend yet he should be fantasy-viable at least when getting minutes. Toppin can be a contributor in points, rebounds, threes, and maybe even stocks? He has incredible hops and could rack up blocks here. He averaged about one block and steal per game in college and could muster up one full stock per game in reasonable minutes as a role player this year. For real fantasy production though, Julius Randle will either have to get hurt or traded for Toppin to ascend to “must-own" status. He is merely a speculative addition for now to see his role in the coming week and whether it grows. ➕ Obi Toppin FAAB bid range: 3-8% ➕
Obi Toppin only checked in for 57 seconds? pic.twitter.com/WEYEAe0bbC— Knicks Videos (@sny_knicks) January 14, 2021