As the second week of the NBA season wrapped up, some notable injuries, like guard Ja Morant (Grade 2 ankle sprain – out for 3-6 weeks), Karl-Anthony Towns (Dislocated wrist – week-to-week) and Kevin Love (Aggravated calf strain – out for at least three weeks), popped up on the injury report. In order to be competitive in your leagues throughout the season, you’ll need to work the fantasy basketball waiver wire to find some hidden gems to help fill that void.
We’ll highlight some of those gems in our fantasy basketball waiver wire pickups!
Here are the top fantasy basketball waiver wire pickups for Week 3 of the NBA season. In order to be included in the weekly waiver article, players must be rostered in less than 60 percent of ESPN fantasy basketball leagues.
Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire Pickups
Kyle Anderson, Memphis Grizzlies (46.7%)
With Ja Morant sidelined for the next few weeks and Jaren Jackson Jr. still out from his torn meniscus, the Grizzlies are without their two main offensive threats. Kyle Anderson and Dillon Brooks seem to be the guys that stepped up and are now controlling the offense each game. But for a safer all-around option, grab Anderson. He’s averaging career-highs in points, rebounds, assists and minutes so far this season, with an average of 16.3 ppg, 9.0 rpg and 4.0 apg. As long as Morant and Jackson Jr. are off the floor, Anderson will continue to be a nightly triple-double threat. However, his shooting efficiency has been poor, shooting just 46% as a small forward/power forward.
He is a huge fantasy basketball waiver wire add for 8-cat and 9-cat leagues and a trustworthy start in points-based leagues.
OG Anunoby, Toronto Raptors (55.2%)
If you’re looking for an all-around player that will return solid stats in all categories, OG Anunoby is a great consideration. The Raptors have looked out of sorts this season, starting 1-4, but their long, athletic forwards continue to contribute on both sides of the floor. Anunoby will likely struggle against the Celtics in his first matchup of Week 3, but he faces some favorable defenses that allow great FG% to opposing small forwards in Phoenix, Sacramento and Portland. Don’t count on Anunoby consistently scoring, simply because of his role on his team, but he will almost always provide solid defensive stats each game.
Keldon Johnson, San Antonio Spurs (37.9%)
Despite not being a major option in the Spurs offense, Keldon Johnson has impressed in his sophomore campaign thus far. He’s averaging 15.0 ppg, 7.6 rpg and 1.4 spg all while playing 30.0 minutes per game. Head coach Gregg Poppovich loves to run his young guys more often than not, so Johnson could be in line for a steady workload all season long. He is only 21 years old and plays alongside veteran stars in DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge, leaving the door wide open for him to have a breakout sophomore campaign. He is a pure volume pickup and, if you need consistent minutes from a player in a deeper league, he’s a great option moving forward.
De’Andre Hunter, Atlanta Hawks (26.5%)
Through six games, De’Andre Hunter is averaging 14.7 ppg, 5.7 rpg and 2.2 apg — all slight increases from his rookie campaign last year. The Hawks look like an entirely different team, with the additions of Danilo Gallinari and Clint Capela playing with Trae Young and John Collins. But despite all of these additions, Hunter is carving out his own role. He’s most likely owned in deeper leagues already due to his age and upside, but with the absence of Gallinari to injury, he seems to be jumping off the waivers right now. He has a very high upside on a team filled with young talent, and he will continue to see plenty of volume and opportunities to impress in his sophomore campaign.
Derrick White, San Antonio Spurs (19.2%)
Derrick White performed quite well in the NBA bubble, where he averaged 18.9 points, 5.0 assists and 4.3 rebounds through seven games. In the last game in the bubble for the Spurs, he went down with an injury and ultimately fell down most of our draft boards as well. He normally splits minutes with other guard Dejounte Murray, who has looked sharp this season, but it’s going to be hard for Poppovich to ignore his performances in the bubble. If White can improve his shooting and ball handling this season, he should have a large role going forward, making him a valuable fantasy basketball waiver wire pickup.
Other considerations for all league-types: Cam Johnson, PHO (16.3%); Jeff Teague, BOS (10.3%); Monte Morris, DEN (9.5%); Naz Reid, MIN (8.2%); Josh Hart, NO (7.3%); Tyus Jones, MEM (6.6%); Doug McDermott, IND (4.1%)