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Week 5 Schedule: Games Played
4 Games: BOS, CHI, DAL, DEN, DET, GSW, IND, LAC, LAL, MIA, MIN, NOR, NYK, OKC, ORL, PHX, SAC, TOR, WAS
3 Games: ATL, BKN, CHA, CLE, HOU, MEM, MIL, PHI, POR, UTA
2 Games: SAS
Week 5 Back-to-backs:
Sunday (Nov. 14th)-Monday: ATL, CHI, DEN, HOU, LAL, OKC, PHX, POR
Wednesday-Thursday: CLE, MIA, MIN, WAS
Thursday-Friday: DEN, GSW, LAC, TOR
Friday-Saturday: BOS, CHA, IND, MIL, NOR, OKC, ORL, SAC
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Waiver Wire Pickups:
*To qualify for this list, players have to be available in over 60% of Yahoo Leagues.
Devin Vassell (25%)- I wrestled with where to put Vassell on this list because the Spurs are the only team with two games this week, so his No. 1 spot for the second consecutive week should be pretty telling. Vassell is coming off a 15-point game with five triples and has been playing out of his mind in November, shooting 51% from the field and 42% from deep. He’s the 67th ranked fantasy player in 9-cat during that span despite playing just 26.6 minutes per game, averaging 13.8 points, 3.4 rebounds, 1.8 dimes, 1.2 steals, 1.0 blocks and 2.0 triples. He's been the most impressive Spur not named Dejounte Murray and Jakob Poeltl, and it won't be long before he's getting 30+ minutes consistently. And who knows, maybe he starts soon.
Coach Gregg Popovich said the next step for Vassell is to pick up the aggression on offense, so his fantasy value is going to the moon.
Frank Kaminsky (19%) With Deandre Ayton continuing to battle a mysterious leg injury that has sidelined him for three straight with no end in sight, Frank The Tank has arrived to carry fantasy teams to the promised land. Kaminsky had 31 points, seven rebounds, three assists and a block in 32 minutes of a close game vs. Portland on Wednesday, but was also trending up prior to that explosion too.
In his previous two games, he averaged 13.0 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.0 blocks and 1.0 triples. Yes things are going to get dicey when Ayton returns, but at this point, who knows when that will be. When that day comes, it’s very possible that Frank steps into the role that Dario Saric had last season, mixing in at the four and five which could potentially keep his workload above 20 minutes. Add him now and worry about Ayton later, and for what it’s worth, coach Monty Williams talked him up big time after the Portland game.
Davion Mitchell (28%)- The Kings play four times this week and Mitchell is still widely available in a ton of leagues. He’s been making waves as a defender and has gotten national attention for it, but his offense is coming around too. In his last six games, which includes a major dud vs. Indiana, the rookie is averaging 12.7 points, 4.7 dimes, 3.7 rebounds and 1.5 triples. When the steals start showing up, and we know they will, there will be loads of upside here.
Josh Hart (39%)- Before you ask why I’m recommending someone who played just 15 minutes Wednesday, it's because Hart was ejected vs. the Thunder. Prior to that, Hart was rolling with a five-game stretch of 12.8 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 0.5 steals and 1.2 triples. Brandon Ingram may be questionable for the rest of his life at this rate and Zion Williamson has made “nice progress” in his last 45 official updates from the team, so there is no telling when he will come back. Basically, the silly season may already be here for New Orleans and Hart appears to be one of their heavy hitters.
Darius Bazley (34%)- The light is turning on for this kid and he’s starting to play within himself instead of forcing up so many bad shots. In his last six games, he’s putting up 13.2 points, 7.2 rebounds, 1.5 dimes, 1.2 steals, 0.7 blocks, 1.8 triples and 2.8 turnovers on 46% from the field. Yes the turnovers are rough and his FT% may scare you away, but at least it’s on low volume. Coach Mark Daigneault said his philosophy is to let players discover what their role is instead of boxing them in, and that hands-off approach is starting to pay dividends. Still only 21 years old, Bazley is just getting warmed up.
Tony Bradley (5%)- Bradley is expected to be the starting center by default in Chicago following the news that Nikola Vucevic (protocols) will be sidelined for multiple games. A summer league legend back in 2019, Bradley has been a respectable backup for four different NBA teams.
I'm not expecting him to come in and take all of Vucevic's minutes, to be clear, but I do think a 24-minute role is within the realm of possibilities. For his career, Bradley has a per-24 minute line of 10.1 points, 8.9 rebounds, 1.0 dimes and 1.2 blocks, and he should offer a nice boost to your FG% as well. The Bulls could also throw a curveball and utilize a ton of small-ball lineups, so for that reason I think it makes sense to throw Alize Johnson, Javonte Green and Derrick Jones Jr. onto your watch lists.
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Josh Richardson (8%)- This guy hasn’t been the same since he left Miami years ago but he’s back on the fantasy radar with Jaylen Brown nursing a hamstring injury. He cleared 30+ minutes in his last two games, putting up 14.0 points, 2.5 rebounds, 2.0 dimes, 1.5 steals, 1.0 blocks and 1.5 triples. This type of defensive production has eluded him for years as injuries have taken their toll, but he has looked rejuvenated lately so maybe he does have something left in the tank.
Kevin Huerter (25%)- Feel free to move Huerter up this list if we get word that the Hawks will be short handed again this weekend. Huerter, who came into the season battling an ankle injury, is just now rounding into game shape and it shows. He had a 28-point explosion on Wednesday with six triples, and had 11 points and three triples the game before. Cam Reddish has cooled off lately, and while I’d argue he has more overall upside, it’s Huerter who has the hot hand.
Monte Morris (28%)- He started off the season as a boring late-rounder but is quietly offering a bit more upside with Michael Porter Jr. out of the equation. Over his last six games, he’s putting up 11.3 points, 4.2 dimes, 3.0 rebounds, 1.0 steals and 1.2 triples, but he’s still not shooting the ball well at 42%. Of course you run the risk of Monte losing minutes to Bones Hyland, so he’s mostly just a low-end player to hold for his assists and steals.
Jeff Green (4%)-. According to coach Malone, Michael Porter Jr. could be out anywhere from one day to 17 years, so yeah we basically know nothing here. If you’re new to fantasy, a lot of people in the industry refer to him as Dr. Malone for a reason, so take everything he says with a grain of salt. But while we wait for an actual update on MPJ, consider giving Jeff Green a look. Yes he’s 35, but he’s still moving really well and is coming off a terrific season with the Nets. He averaged 31 minutes in his previous two games, and while he didn’t light up the stat sheet, you can’t argue with that workload and his per-minute production throughout the years has been solid. Just double check who you are adding so you don't pick up JaMychal Green by mistake. That definitely didn't happen to me. No way.
Javonte Green (2%)- I’m actually rooting for Alize Johnson to pick up more minutes as opposed to Green with Nikola Vucevic out because he has more upside. However, Green is the safer bet because he’s already getting a decent chunk of minutes and has the trust of Billy Donovan. He’s averaging 1.8 steals over his last four games but doesn’t offer much else apart from rebounding.
Derrick Jones Jr. (4%)- DJJ is another sneaky name to watch in Chicago. His minutes are trending up and he could be a blocks specialist this week with 2.5 per 36 minutes this season. He’s also been a very good source of steals throughout his career.
Cedi Osman (7%)- His value will dry up a bit whenever Lauri Markkanen and Kevin Love are back, but with Collin Sexton (knee) out they will need Osman to run things for the second unit. He’s worth a look for points, 3s and dimes.
Gary Payton (18%)- He’s the new +/- king in the NBA -- the Warriors are +95 in Gary Payton II's 129 minutes this season… Read that again. Coach Steve Kerr kept his promise about leaving him in the rotation and he’s slowly getting more and more minutes. He’s flirting with top-100 numbers over his last four games, mainly for his 2.3 steals, and he’s doing it in just 18.5 minutes.
Nemanja Bjelica (9%)- He’s on here because Draymond Green is battling a “nasty” thigh contusion. Say what you want about Bjelica, but he’s a heck of a fantasy player when he gets minutes. In fact, he’s ranked inside the top-150 in 15 minutes per game this season.
Daniel Theis (24%)- Alperen Sengun is under the weather so Theis’ floor is a bit higher these days. Don't drop anything of value for him though because Sengun will be taking his lunch money in two months.
Malik Monk (5%)- The Lakers are, well, they’re something. Monk has always been an empty fantasy asset outside of points and 3s, but he’s putting up a bunch of those two lately -- he had 27 points, six rebounds, three assists and one block in 35 minutes of his last outing. The Lakers are dropping like flies so Monk is a decent stream until LeBron is back.
Pat Connaughton (21%)- His value will take a massive hit when Khris Middleton comes back which is why he’s in the streamers section. Plus, Grayson Allen is playing way too good for the Bucks to take minutes away from him.
Patrick Beverley (14%)- The Wolves are experimenting with a Beverley/Russell backcourt right now, but it could be just a phase as their losing streak continues.
JaVale McGee (11%)- Like I said earlier, I have no idea when Ayton is returning so I’m going to keep going back to the well. McGee isn’t capable of playing big minutes consistently, but he’s averaging a respectable 8.7 points, 6.7 rebounds, 1.7 dimes and 1.0 blocks over his last three.