Were you a bad #degen this past year and Santa left you nothing but coal in your stocking? No worries, I’ve got a present for you, and it’s just what you need. Here are ten players more than likely sitting on your fantasy basketball waiver wire currently who you can pick up for free and plug and play.
(only includes players rostered in 50% or less of Yahoo Fantasy leagues; stats listed are after Saturday’s games)
Best Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire Pickups: Week of Dec 26th
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope – Denver – SG/SF – 45% Rostered
(11.4 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 2.1 apg, 1.1 spg, 0.4 bpg, 2.1 3PTS)
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has cemented his spot as a regular in this column, but as his ownership continues to creep up he may just become ineligible sooner rather than later. So now’s the time to grab him if you still can. He’s on a run of three-straight double-figure scoring efforts, and five of six, including 20 points, four rebounds, five assists, and four three-pointers last Sunday. Averaging over 31 minutes a game, KCP should continue to be given plenty of opportunities to stuff the stat sheet for you.
Onyeka Okongwu – Atlanta – C – 50% Rostered
(8.6 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 0.9 apg, 0.5 spg, 0.9 bpg, 62.7% FG)
Onyeka Okongwu has been playing so well lately that I tweaked the rules a bit for inclusion in this column and allowed players rostered in 50% of leagues to still make the cut. Double O has double-digit scoring games in three straight and four of five, but the scoring is an added bonus. What you really get from him are the big-man stats you are looking for – rebounds and blocks. In the three games this past week, he has 28 boards and an incredible 12 blocks, including five in his last game.
Royce O’Neale – Brooklyn – SG/SF – 42% Rostered
(9.5 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 4.3 apg, 1.0 spg, 0.6 bpg, 2.4 3PTS)
Royce O’Neale isn’t popping up on this list as often as he did last season, but a hot streak has gained him entrance this week. He’s another guy on a three-game double-digit scoring run, averaging 14 points over that span. He’s also hit 12 three-pointers during those three games and dished out four assists. With solid rebounding, assist, and steal rates already, if he can keep hitting double figures in points he’ll be a must-roster player.
Nicolas Batum – Clippers – SF/PF – 7% Rostered
(6.4 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 1.4 apg, 0.6 spg, 0.8 bpg, 1.6 3PTS)
Nicolas Batum has always been a maddingly inconsistent player, and that certainly hasn’t changed in Year 15 in the NBA. But he’s on a hot stretch right now so he might be worth riding with for a while. Two games ago he had 21 points, all on three-pointers (that would be seven bombs for those of you weak in math), and also had seven boards, two assists, and a steal. Last game he dipped to 10 points, but had three blocks.
Patrick Williams – Chicago – PF – 26% Rostered
(9.5 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 1.3 apg, 0.6 spg, 1.0 bpg, 1.3 3PTS)
Former #4 pick Patrick Williams continues to slowly but surely figure out this NBA thing. He got 15 rebounds over his last two games and three blocks. But it’s not just big guy stuff he brings to your team – he had back-to-back four-assist games to start off the week and has hit a three in six-straight games and nine of ten. Pretty solid.
Torrey Craig – Phoenix – SF/PF – 17% Rostered
(8.2 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 1.6 apg, 0.7 spg, 0.6 bpg, 1.4 3PTS)
He runs a little hot and cold, but overall Torrey Craig is having a decent season for the Phoenix Suns. And he brings a little of everything to your fantasy squad. In fact, he’s hitting career-highs in points, rebounds, assists, steals, blocks, and three-pointers made. So, yes, every category. And he’s been better in December, averaging 9.6 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 1.9 apg, 1.0 spg, and 1.7 threes per game. As long as Cameron Johnson is sidelined, Craig is a worthy pickup.
Other fantasy basketball waiver wire players worth checking out: Kevon Looney, Grant Williams, Derrick White, Jalen McDaniels
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