Home » Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wired, Week 7: Bey Watch

Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wired, Week 7: Bey Watch

The In-Season Tournament has been tremendously exciting, and that’s due in large part to the stunning play of Tyrese Haliburton. Hali led his team to the IST Finals with a big win over the Bucks on Thursday, and after hitting a dagger three late in the fourth quarter, he gave the Milwaukee crowd his own “Dame Time” celebration. The Lakers dismantled the Pelicans in the semifinals, and they’ll face Indiana in Saturday’s IST Final. Because of the IST, fantasy managers will get just one more game Friday, as Saturday’s matchup does not count for fantasy hoops, and there are no games Sunday. There are 13 games on tap to close out the fantasy week, and managers have a ton of streaming options.

The streaming options feature heavily in this week’s column, but those on the streaming radar could provide value into Week 8 and beyond. As has been the case frequently this season, Miami’s role players and backups offer strong value. Brooklyn’s got a pair of players worth targeting off the waiver wire, and Phoenix’s extensive injury list puts a couple more players in perspective. Zach LaVine and Jalen Duren will miss extended time, and while there are worthwhile options in Chicago, there’s no clear pickup in Detroit due to the team’s underwhelming frontcourt platoon. Portland will sit Deandre Ayton and Jerami Grant on Friday, and fantasy managers should keep an eye on the Blazers’ frontcourt depth options, including Duop Reath, Kris Murray and Jabari Walker. With Malcolm Brogdon banged up, defensive specialist Matisse Thybulle may see some additional run, at least in the short term.

The format for this article will feature players who are “tired” and those who are “wired.” Tired players are those worth adding off the wire but with tempered expectations or highly rostered players who can be dropped in favor of a hot pickup. Wired players are those who are the best additions with the highest rest-of-season ceilings.

Thanks for reading! It’s going to be an exciting season bringing this column to you each and every Friday. LET’S GO!

Pickups in Order of Priority

  1. Malik Monk
  2. Saddiq Bey
  3. Dereck Lively II
  4. Orlando Robinson
  5. Caleb Martin
  6. Eric Gordon
  7. Nick Richards
  8. Dorian Finney-Smith
  9. Josh Hart
  10. Alex Caruso
  11. Patrick Williams
  12. Derrick Jones Jr.

Tired: Klay Thompson 89% 😪
Wired: Eric Gordon 43%, Jordan Goodwin 2% ⚡

He’s ranked 192nd in per-game value on the season, and Thompson looks washed. He’s averaging 15.5 points, 3.9 boards and 2.2 dimes to go with 2.7 three-pointers. Thompson doesn’t look like a Splash Brother of old, and he’s shooting just 39.7% from the field. Thompson is ranked just inside the top 200, and there’s no reason for him to take up a valuable roster spot on your fantasy team.

Yikes, Phoenix will be without Bradley Beal yet again Friday, but both Kevin Durant and Grayson Allen have been added to the list of sidelined players. That’s where Gordon and Goodwin come in. Over his last eight, EG has averaged 15.1 points, 1.3 steals, 0.8 blocks and 3.4 triples on better than 48% shooting. Those numbers are more than enough to keep him in the top-100 conversation over that span, and he can make a big impact Friday against Sacramento. He’ll be asked to handle a hefty offensive workload behind Devin Booker. Goodwin should get significant run in this one as well. He averaged 14.0 points, 6.0 boards, 3.5 dimes, 1.0 steals and 1.5 triples in two games with KD sidelined this season. Gordon is the preferred add, but both make fine streamers who might have additional value in Week 8 should Durant or Allen miss more time.

Tired: Robert Covington 9% 😪
Wired: Dorian Finney-Smith 24% ⚡

Kelly Oubre’s return coincided with RoCo logging just four minutes in Philly’s last outing. The 76ers’ forward should see some additional playing time when Oubre or Joel Embiid are forced to miss time, but otherwise, there’s little to no appeal here. He can hit three-pointers and pile up defensive stats, but if he’s not doing either of those things, he’s a complete black hole on your fantasy squad.

DFS was a top-30 option last week behind 14.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.5 steals, 1.0 blocks and 3.5 triples. Most impressively, those two games came with Cam Thomas back in the fold. There’s plenty of room for Finney-Smith to continue seeing heavy playing time, and with Ben Simmons and Lonnie Walker IV out for an extended period, he should push for 30 minutes a night. His big three-and-D play is friendly for fantasy managers, and he should be rostered in more than a quarter of fantasy leagues.

Tired: Ben Simmons 74% 😪
Wired: Dennis Smith Jr. 6% ⚡

There’s no telling when Simmons will be available again, and at this point, why are you holding? Hopes for a resurgent 2023-24 campaign were quickly snuffed out due to a back injury, and on December 2, it was announced that he would be re-evaluated in two weeks. We can’t anticipate a return until late December at the earliest. Drop him, and fill out your roster with someone who will be on the court in the foreseeable future.

Lonnie Walker IV will be out for an extended period, and with no Simmons either, DSJ should get enough run to post useful numbers. Over his last two, he averaged 11.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 2.0 steals, while shooting better than 50% from the floor. He put up those strong numbers in 21.5 minutes per game and has looked good since returning from a six-game absence. It’s worth noting that he logged 16.9 minutes per game prior to the injury, so his playing time is trending in the right direction.

Tired: Russell Westbrook 83% 😪
Wired: Nick Richards 10% ⚡

Westy’s roster percentage is a topic of discussion every season, but it bears repeating yet again. He’s averaged 10.0 points, 7.5 boards and 4.3 dimes on 40.6% across his last four games, logging fewer than 20 minutes in three of those contests. With James Harden in town, Westbrook’s playing time and production have taken significant hits, though he wasn’t a must-roster option to start the campaign. There’s no reason to hold unless you’re in a deep points league.

Naughty Nicky posted six points, 11 boards and three blocks Wednesday starting for the injured Mark Williams (back). Williams is questionable Friday, and if he’s unable to go, Richards would presumably draw another start. On the season, Richards is averaging 7.9 points, 6.1 boards, 0.5 steals and 1.3 blocks in just 17.6 minutes per game while shooting 73.5% from the field. He’s been excellent on a per-minute basis, and any time he logs additional playing time, he’s liable to put up monster numbers. Make sure to add for Friday and hold in case Williams’ injury lingers.

Tired: Ausar Thompson 78% 😪
Wired: Malik Monk 62% ⚡

He’s not an immediate drop, but that time may be coming. Thompson started the season on a heater, delivering monster numbers on both ends of the court, particularly on defense. Over his last three, he’s fallen out of the starting five and posted three straight duds, averaging 4.0 points, 6.3 boards and not a single defensive stat across 15 minutes per tilt. Bojan Bogdanovic’s return has been a big part of the problem, but to give Thompson so few minutes is criminal considering how well he’s played. There’s no predicting how Monty Williams’ rotation might shake out in the coming days and weeks, but fantasy managers have got to pay close attention to Thompson’s playing time. Hold for now, but don’t be afraid to pivot when new information is available. A hot start does not always mean a hot finish.

Monk is a little more widely rostered than most players included in this column, but his numbers as of late make him worthy of being rostered in more than 62% of leagues. Across his last five games, Monk has been on a tear, averaging 20.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, 2.4 dimes, 1.2 steals and 3.4 triples while shooting 50.8% from the floor and a perfect 17-of-17 from the charity stripe. In fact, he’s made his last 24 free throw attempts in a row without a miss. Monk won’t score 20 points on better than 50% shooting for the entire season, but can he get close? Managers in need of scoring and three-pointers should ride the hot hand for now and hope that the good times keep rolling.

Tired: Bobby Portis 71% 😪
Wired: Dereck Lively II 55% ⚡

Big Bobby P is ranked just inside the top 150 in per-game fantasy value behind lackluster averages of 11.0 points, 6.5 boards, 0.7 three-pointers and 0.8 steals across 23.6 minutes per game. With Brook Lopez and Giannis Antetokounmpo both healthy and Damian Lillard taking on big minutes, there’s no room for Portis’ playing time or production to improve. He can be dropped for a more productive option.

Lively II has been absolutely cooking to kick off his rookie campaign, and he needs to be rostered in more than 55% of fantasy leagues. Over his last two, he’s averaged 15 points and 10 boards to go with 4.5 swats. He’s recorded multiple blocks in four straight and six of his last eight while shooting efficiently and crashing the boards. He’s in line for a big performance Friday against a Blazers team that will be missing Deandre Ayton and Jerami Grant, so fantasy managers can end the week on a high note by picking up and playing Lively II.

Tired: Andrew Wiggins 68% 😪
Wired: Torrey Craig 1%, Alex Caruso 39%, Patrick Williams 39% ⚡

We really need a standalone article for Wiggins at this point. He’s been a fixture in the Waiver Wired piece for weeks now, and while his roster percentage is dwindling, it should be far lower than 68%. What is this guy doing for your fantasy team? He’s averaging 12.6 points, 4.3 boards, 0.7 stocks and 0.8 three-pointers while shooting 42.3% from the floor. A couple of big scoring performances have tricked people into thinking there’s hope for a bounce-back, but that’s just not happening. Wiggins has not been good this season, and he belongs on the waiver wire.

Zach LaVine is out for at least three to four more weeks with a foot injury, which means Craig, Caruso and Williams will have to chip in to pick up his slack. Williams has averaged 1.8 steals and 1.8 blocks over his last four, and Craig has posted 10.3 points, 6.0 boards, 2.0 assists, 1.3 stocks and 2.3 triples over his last three. Caruso has been able to do a bit of everything in the box score, and he’s the most appealing pickup of the trio, though all deserve consideration in light of LaVine’s extended absence.

Tired: Markelle Fultz 61% 😪
Wired: Derrick Jones Jr. 13% ⚡

Seriously, is he ever going to return to the lineup? Fultz has been sidelined for 13 straight games, and he’ll miss his 14th in a row Friday due to a lingering knee injury. In six full NBA seasons, he’s played 60 or more games twice and fewer than 20 four times. This season, he’s been available for just five of Orlando’s games, and with the Magic rolling, there’s no reason to rush him back before he’s ready. Fantasy managers shouldn’t feel inclined to hold him, as there’s no telling when he’ll take the court again.

DJJ is a pickup again? He ranked 71st in per-game fantasy value last week, but he’s delivered solid output throughout the season. He’s logging 23.5 minutes per game and posting a number of career highs with the Mavs, but over his last four, he’s averaged 16.8 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.8 blocks and 3.3 triples across 30.8 minutes. Three of those games were played with multiple injuries across the roster, but he still posted a 12/4/1/1/2 in 25 minutes in his last game with Dallas back at full strength. He’s not the most exciting pickup out there, but he’ll get it done where it counts for fantasy managers.

Tired: Benn Mathurin 55% 😪
Wired: Caleb Martin 20% ⚡

Just when we think things might get better, we get more of the same from Big Benn. Mathurin is a strong complementary option in Indiana’s loaded offense, offering microwave scoring off the bench and useful perimeter defense. He’s not a great fantasy option, however, and he currently ranks outside the top 200 in per-game value. On the season, he’s seeing just under 25 minutes per game and posting just 13 points and 3.9 boards while shooting 42.2% from the field and 52.9% from the free-throw line. Those types of numbers just won’t get it done for fantasy managers, and there’s no reason why Mathurin should be rostered in 55% of leagues.

Will the next Miami Heat role player please step up? It’s been Martin’s turn to shine down in South Beach as of late. He’s averaged 18.4 points, 5.4 boards, 2.6 assists and 1.8 triples over 29.6 minutes across his last five games, shooting an efficient 53.6% in the process. Injuries continue to plague this already thin roster, and Martin has been available to soak up the playing time and take advantage of the opportunities. He’s worth an add, especially for managers in need of points and triples.

Tired: Kevon Looney 54% 😪
Wired: Orlando Robinson 11% ⚡

Is there anyone in Golden State worth rostering whose name isn’t Steph Curry? Seriously, this lineup has been extremely disappointing in 2023-24, with Klay Thompson and Andrew Wiggins falling well short of the mark, guys like Mosese Moody and Jonathan Kuminga failing to produce consistently and Draymond Green giving us strong games mixed in with poor efforts. Looney is in the same boat. He’s averaging 8.6 boards, and his percentages are solid, but other than that, he’s not offering elite defensive stats, strong scoring or any other stat of note. He’s fantasy’s 150th-ranked player and certainly not a must-roster option.

No Bam, no problem! Robinson has stepped up in a big way across his last two games, going for 15.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.5 steals, 0.5 blocks and 2.0 triples across 31 minutes. In his last game without Bam before that, he posted a 14/9/2/1/2 line with a triple in 28 minutes. Adebayo is dealing with a bruised left hip and will be sidelined for at least one more contest. Robinson is a phenomenal streaming option for Friday’s home matchup with the Cavaliers, in which he should be counted on for big minutes to contend with Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen. Add for the stream, and hold in case Adebayo is forced to miss additional time moving forward.

Tired: Jalen Johnson 76% 😪
Wired: Saddiq Bey 53% ⚡

Johnson is a candidate for Most Improved Player, and if you were able to get him in fantasy hoops, he’s likely one of your team’s most valuable picks. Johnson was taken at the end of drafts and often went undrafted before turning into the hottest waiver wire pickup of the season. Unfortunately, he fractured his wrist and won’t be re-evaluated until late December. That means his earliest possible return will be early January, but we have no firm timeline. If you have the IL spot to hold JJ, you have to do it, but given the number of key injuries across the Association, you may not have the luxury of holding. It might be tough, but if you need production, Johnson might have to be cut.

Bey moved into the starting five after Johnson went down, and he’s been solid across his last five games. In that span, he’s averaged 14.4 points, 6.4 boards, 1.2 dimes, 1.2 steals and 2.6 triples while shooting 58.1% from the floor and 90% from the charity stripe. Bey’s minutes have increased in each of his last five, and he logged a season-high 37 minutes against Brooklyn on Wednesday, delivering 21 points in the process. He’s available in nearly 50% of fantasy leagues and needs to be added everywhere he’s available.

Tired: Immanuel Quickley 59% 😪
Wired: Josh Hart 49% ⚡

Is it time to drop a promising young Knicks guard? Unfortunately, it might be, and fantasy managers need to make a “high IQ” decision about their roster construction. Quickley’s minutes have taken a significant hit, dropping from 28.9 a season ago to 24.2 in 2023-24. Despite the drop in playing time, he’s averaging a career-best 15 points per tilt, but the peripheral contributions have been minimal, and his shooting is woefully inefficient. Over his last three, he’s hit less than 27% of his shots and averaged just 7.3 points in 19 minutes per game. Guys like Donte DiVincenzo and Josh Hart have been able to carve out meaningful roles in this rotation, leaving Quickley fighting for scraps. He’s not a must-roster player, especially in 12-team leagues.

Speaking of Hart, he’s worth an add, just like he was a week ago when we recommended picking him. He’s been a top-65 option over the last week, averaging 14.0 points, 6.0 boards, 1.5 assists, 1.5 steals and 2.0 triples across his last two outings. If we dig back a little further, we can see that’s he’s posted top-95 numbers over the last two weeks, delivering solid, yet boring production in 28 minutes per contest. Hart’s role on this team is well-defined, and he’s in no danger of losing it any time soon. Still available in half of Yahoo leagues, he’s worth an add.

Others to consider: Reggie Jackson, Duop Reath, Jabari Walker, Kris Murray, Daniel Theis, Matisse Thybulle, Ochai Agbaji, Simone Fontecchio