Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire: Top adds for Week 3

As we enter the third week of the season, we need to start shifting our waiver wire attention. After two weeks of hunting for season-long prospects, most of the best options have been claimed. While there are still some players available who are likely to remain rosterable, it's time we start spending more effort on short-term prospects with higher ceilings.

With the exception of this week's top add, this article mostly consists of players taking on increased roles following injuries or suspensions on their depth chart. Though these players will probably fall back onto waivers when the regular starters above them return, each one is stepping into weeks or months of increased value. 

As with previous seasons, the players in this article must be rostered in less than two-thirds of CBS leagues. Players are listed in the order that I recommend adding them, assuming they are equally good fits for your team.

Double-check your league

A few names rostered in more than two-thirds of leagues, but who are still under-rostered. Double-check to make sure they aren't available in your league.

Isaiah Thomas, Wizards (77 percent rostered)
Bobby Portis, Knicks (70 percent rostered)

Adds for all leagues

Dwight Powell, Mavericks (44 percent rostered)
Powell's getting worked in gradually after missing the first three games of the season with a hamstring injury. The Mavericks' showed their confidence in him by immediately reinserting him into the starting lineup, despite his minutes limit. In his second game, he increased from 14 to 25 minutes. Powell's ceiling is sky-high, as he was a top-40 player after entering the starting lineup late last season. Over the last month-and-a-half of the season, he averaged 14.7 points, 76 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 0.9 blocks, 0.8 steals and 0.9 3s in 30.9 minutes per game. The rate at which the Mavericks are increasing his workload implies that at least 30 minutes per game going forward is likely. Don't be surprised if he becomes one of the highest-value pickups all season.

Richaun Holmes, Kings (48 percent rostered)
Marvin Bargley (finger) has already missed five games and is set to remain out for at least three more weeks. In his absence, Holmes saw his minutes increase, and then he got promoted into the starting lineup. He's still playing just 23.4 minutes, and that number will need to get a little higher for him to stick on shallower-league rosters. Yet, he's averaging 13.0 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.4 blocks and 1.0 steals, so the production is already there.

Harry Giles (knee), a personal favorite of mine, is almost ready to make season debut, which could cut into Holmes' minutes and in turn Holmes' value. That said, the Kings have taken a few actions that imply that they are skeptical of Giles' ability to get healthy and contribute. The most likely scenario here is that Holmes remains a solid play in leagues of all sizes as long as Bagley remains out.

Aron Baynes, Suns (51 percent rostered) 
With Deandre Ayton's suspension on track to last until mid-December, and no news suggesting that his appeal might eventually prove successful, there is a ton of value to be had in Suns' frontcourt. Five games into the 25-game suspension, it's become clear than Baynes is the biggest winner. He's starting, and despite averaging just 25.8 minutes, he's putting up a well-rounded 17.0 points, 6.6 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 2.2 3s and 1.0 block. Frank Kaminsky (49 percent rostered) is also worth a look, especially if you need scoring and are in a deeper league, but Baynes is the more attractive add.

P.J. Tucker, Rockets (65 percent rostered)
Tucker isn't much of a scorer – even his current 13.6 per game is likely to fall as the season wears on. But his workload of 35.9 minutes per game is rock-steady in the defensively challenged Rockets rotation. If you can afford the hit in scoring, he does great work almost everywhere else, averaging 6.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.8 steals, 0.6 blocks, and 3.2 3s.

That production might slow down with time, but Tucker was a top-100 player last season, so his floor is still very high. Danuel House (26 percent rostered) is also worth considering in most leagues, putting up Tucker-lite numbers. The Rockets have been keeping a very tight rotation, helping House average 30.8 minutes. With the extra run, he's averaging 5.4 rebounds, 0.8 assists, 0.8 steals, 1.0 blocks and 2.8 3s – and, like Tucker, with limited scoring.

Other recommendations: Marcus Smart, Celtics (65 percent rostered); Willie Cauley-Stein, Warriors (64 percent rostered); Matisse Thybulle, 76ers (24 percent rostered); Jordan Poole, Warriors (18 percent rostered); Glenn Robinson III, Warriors (28 percent rostered); Goga Bitadze, Pacers (10 percent rostered) Eric Paschall, Warriors (38 percent rostered); Jahlil Okafor, Pelicans (21 percent rostered)

Deep-league special

Nerlens Noel, Thunder (17 percent rostered)
Noel's upside is monumental, as he's long been one of the best per-minute Fantasy producers in the entire league. However, his actual Fantasy vale has been limited during his Thunder tenure as he's been stuck behind Steven Adams on the depth chart. Each season, he puts up a couple of great games in when Adams is out, but otherwise he's been difficult to roster even in very deep leagues.

Noel's roster rate is higher than usual right now, as Adams has missed the last two games with a knee injury. But even before Adams got hurt, he was playing fewer minutes and looked worse than he has in previous seasons. After back-to-back seasons of 33 minutes per game, Adams has been limited to 27.3 through four appearances. That difference allowed Noel to get up to 18.0 minutes in Adams' last two games.

Noel is so good on a per-minute basis that 18 per game would be plenty to make him a 16-team-league mainstay – not to mention the potential upside if Noel were ever to pass Adams and become the starter, or if Adams were to be traded.

Other recommendations: Jaxson Hayes, Pelicans (15 percent rostered); Jevon Carter, Suns (3 percent rostered)

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