Fantasy Basketball Week 6 Waiver Wire: Schedule offers quiet Thanksgiving, busy bookends
Brace for a busy Wednesday and Friday sandwiching an idle Thanksgiving.
The NBA schedule in Week 6 is pretty balanced -- every team plays either three or four games -- so the biggest storylines relate to some shifting rotations around the league. The Rockets have given Carmelo Anthony a friendly version of the Joakim Noah treatment, the Magic and Grizzlies got some important players back and the Knicks keep tinkering.
The most exciting players this week are all already rostered in more than 50 percent of leagues, but below this article's cutoff point of 67 percent. Those players get their own breakout section at the top of the article, and if any of them are available in your league, they should be your highest priorities. As always, the players are listed in the order I'd recommend adding them, but after that top section no player really emerges as a must add immediately option. If you need assists or defensive stats, your best options are probably D.J. Augustin or Kyle Anderson, and they don't show up until the "other recommendations" list.
One note for managers in daily lineups leagues: There are no NBA games on Thanksgiving, which causes unusually large 13- and 14-game slates on Wednesday and Friday. Every team plays on one of those days, and most play on both. With so many teams active, pretty much every Fantasy team will have completely full starting lineups on both of those days. As a result, waiver wire prospects who only play on one of those days see a big boost in value, as their production won't be wasted on Fantasy benches. The six teams who only play on either Wednesday or Friday -- but not both -- are the Clippers, Heat, Magic, Wizards, Mavericks and Kings.
As always, and as mentioned above, 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.
Shouldn't even be available
Players rostered in between 50 and 67 percent of leagues, but whose roster rates should already be much higher. To avoid spending the whole article on players with somewhat limited availability, I'm only blurbing the most egregious, but all of these players should be added ahead of those in the "adds for most leagues" section below.
E'Twaun Moore, Pelicans (64 percent rostered)
Moore barely qualifies, and I've mentioned him several times in previous weeks, so I'll get to the point: He's a top-100 player with a steady role of 30-plus minutes per game. He's one of the best 3-point shooters in the league and he has a better field goal percentage than many traditional big men, such as Jonas Valanciunas, Tristan Thompson, Jusuf Nurkic and Andre Drummond. Moore should be rostered in all leagues.
Others in this category: Jonathan Isaac, Magic (54 percent rostered); Bogdan Bogdanovic, Kings (53 percent rostered); Larry Nance, Cavaliers (63 percent rostered); Cedi Osman, Cavaliers, 53 percent rostered)
Adds for most leagues
This week, the only players definitely worth adding in leagues with 10 or fewer managers are listed above.
James Ennis, Rockets (9 percent rostered)
Ennis is a highly inconsistent player, but he just stepped into a massive role now that the Rockets gave Carmelo Anthony a permanent paid vacation. Ennis was already starting, but Anthony had been eating up 29.4 minutes per game off the bench. Ennis' workload started increasing after Anthony's release, and now Ennis has averaged 31.3 minutes per game over his last three. Ennis is an OK scorer who adds a lot of value in 3s, steals and efficient field goal shooting with a tiny turnover rate. His inconsistency will probably drive some managers crazy, but over the long term, he should average out as a source of solid yet unspectacular value.
JaMychal Green, Grizzlies (23 percent rostered)
Jaren Jackson, Jr. was good while Green (jaw) was sidelined, but he didn't run away with the starting job in the way that many -- myself included -- were expecting. Now, if the Grizzlies were heading toward another lottery finish, that distinction might not matter, as they'd be inclined to get their 2018 lottery pick as much experience as possible. But the Grizzlies are tied for second in the West and are very much in the playoff hunt with Marc Gasol and Mike Conley healthy. In that context, Green has a much better shot of reclaiming his old starting job. And while Green didn't start in his first game back, he did play more minutes (21) than Jackson (19). If Green re-enters the starting lineup, he'll warrant a roster spot in most leagues.
Monte Morris, Nuggets (23 percent rostered)
Morris is listed above Terrence Ross (below) because Morris has more season-long upside, but managers with shorter-term needs should focus on someone like Ross instead. Morris' role has increased dramatically over the past four games, during which he has averaged 30.5 minutes per game. The Nuggets are enthusiastic about their young sophomore, sometimes using him in crunch time and giving him a start when Jamal Murray was disciplined by the team. He's not quite useful in 12-team leagues yet, and he's not worth adding in 10-team leagues, but his workload and situation make him an interesting stash for standard 12-team managers.
The Nuggets are loaded with excellent shooters and distributors, so Morris should continue to see great opportunities in this offense. Like most of his teammates, he's an efficient shooter with a solid 3-ball and a good passer, and if his usage rate increases, those are the areas in which he'd provide the most Fantasy value. In the longer term, Morris' outlook is a bit clouded given the impending return of Isaiah Thomas, who figures to work his way into the mix behind Murray.
Terrence Ross, Magic (42 percent rostered)
Ross is on a hot streak. He's a 27-year-old in his seventh season. Based on all those years of evidence, his current production -- 15.6 points and 2.8 3s per game while shooting 51 percent from the field and 48 percent behind the arc -- is completely unsustainable. But he's worth rostering in almost all leagues until he cools off, and those stats above are from a nine-game sample. His workload is unlikely to decline, as the Magic are almost completely healthy. Just make sure you don't drop anyone with season-long value for him.
Other recommendations: Quinn Cook, Warriors (41 percent rostered); D.J. Augustin, Magic, (44 percent rostered); Trey Burke, Knicks, (20 percent rostered); Tyler Johnson, Heat (38 percent rostered); Jeremy Lin, Hawks (30 percent rostered); Kyle Anderson, Grizzlies (36 percent rostered); Mikal Bridges, Suns (23 percent rostered); Jordan Clarkson, Cavaliers (44 percent rostered); Gary Clark, Rockets (7 percent rostered); Bryn Forbes, Spurs (20 percent rostered)
Most of the players listed above have low roster rates and may be available in many deep leagues. Those players, if available, should probably be considered ahead of the names listed below.
Allonzo Trier, Knicks (18 percent rostered)
For the first time in recent memory, the Knicks are being smart. They're not a good team, they have almost no chance of making the playoffs, and they have several interesting young players on their roster -- several of whom have contracts that either expire at the end of the season. So they're experimenting. It's great! It's what they should be doing! They are trying different starting lineups and playing different groupings of players, and getting a couple games of sample size out of each trial. It's had Fantasy managers chasing our tails trying to find the best Fantasy prospects, but for the long-term health of the NBA franchise, I love what they're doing.
How does all this relate to Trier? Well, while his workload has been inconsistent, he's been one of the steadiest beacons shining through all of the experimentation. He's a part of this team's future. His workload is far too inconsistent to remain on a 12-team roster, but he's a great deeper league choice. He's been too good for David Fizdale to ever cut his minutes below the mid-teens again, and as the Knicks continue fine-tuning their rotation, Trier's workload will likely trend upward. He'll probably have a few streaks of standard league value, and deep league managers will be able to avoid missing the first games of those stretches by sticking with him. In the meantime, he should be good for a handful of points, a few rebounds, and some defensive contributions.
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