Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire: Dec. 10
No matter how your season has gone to this point, there’s way too much time left for fantasy basketball owners to give up. Simply adding good depth via the waiver wire can help foster a turn of fortune.
With that, here are my top five fantasy waiver wire adds for the coming week.
Note: All stats and ownership rates are as of Sunday, Dec. 10 before games were played.
Josh Jackson, SG/SF, Phoenix Suns
Yahoo! Ownership: 28% ESPN Ownership: 15.9%
Jackson has started the last two games for the Suns, in place of an injured Devin Booker. His production has not been outstanding in that short sample, but he has delivered fairly good counting stats (19 points, seven rebounds and four assists).
Going back over his last six games, Jackson has scored in double figures three times while averaging 3.2 rebounds, and 1.2 assists per game.
There’s a potential opportunity in store for Jackson, at least while Booker is out for the next few weeks. That alone make him worth a look in fantasy leagues.
Kenneth Faried, PF, Denver Nuggets
Yahoo! Ownership: 35% ESPN Ownership: 23.9%
Faried has started seven of his last eight games, with 30 minutes of action and a season-high 20 points in the one he did not start.
Over his last seven games “The Manimal” is averaging 13.0 points, 9.3 rebounds and just under a block per game, with three double-doubles over that span.
Faried will help fantasy owners in field goal percentage as much as he hurts from the line. But producing at the level he has been recently, with the absence of Nikola Jokic and Paul Millsap in mind, means Faried is worth a long look on the waiver wire.
Danilo Gallinari, F, Los Angeles Clippers
Yahoo! Ownership: 74% ESPN Ownership: 52.1%
After missing a month with a hip injury, Gallinari returned to action last Wednesday night with the expected kinks (2-for-13 from the floor, seven points).
But in his second game back, Saturday night against the Washington Wizards, Gallinari had 25 points, three rebounds and two assists over 36 minutes as he started for the second straight game.
With Blake Griffin out and DeAndre Jordan possibly on the trade block, Gallinari could become the Clippers’ primary offensive player in short order. The question with him is always health, but Gallinari has to be owned in fantasy leagues.
Jonathon Simmons, SG/SF, Orlando Magic
Yahoo! Ownership: 48% ESPN Ownership: 29.6%
Over his last eight games, since being put into the starting lineup, Simmons is averaging 17.6 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game. That uptick has come in line with the absence of Evan Fournier and Terrence Ross, and both are in line for prolonged absences.
Simmons’ fantasy value is centered on scoring. He has grabbed at least six rebounds in four of his last five games, but the sustainability of that is unclear. Still, as with others on this list, opportunity is knocking for Simmons right now.
Jahlil Okafor, C, Brooklyn Nets
Yahoo! Ownership: 56% ESPN Ownership: 28%
Okafor finally got a much-need change of scenery a few days ago, with a trade sending him to the Brooklyn Nets. He’ll fill a notable void for the Nets as low-post scorer, and even if he doesn’t start right away he should play plenty.
Okafor’s 2015-16 season rookie season seems like a long time ago, and in a lot of ways it was. But he averaged 17.5 points and 7.0 rebounds over 53 games that season (48 starts), with top-notch per 36-minute production (21 points and 8.4 rebounds).
Okafor’s fit with a fast-paced offensive team like the Nets is a concern, and his debut has been delayed for some reason. But Brook Lopez produced just fine last season, while adding the three-point shot to his arsenal, and it’s easy to see a comparison to Okafor once he’s up to speed in his new surroundings.