Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire - Payne, Pokusevski Lead Week 6 Adds

Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire - Payne, Pokusevski Lead Week 6 Adds

This article is part of our NBA Waiver Wire series.

Welcome back to the wire. There's another strong pool of pickup candidates this week, mixing in a combination of new and repeat names. 

Something to be on the lookout for next week – the NBA is off for Thanksgiving, which means a packed slate on Wednesday (12 games) and Friday (14 games). Streaming for those days is impossible, so it's a good time to hold some upside guys on your bench while you get two extra games of information about them. Additionally, it means that waiver pickups effectively don't add any value on those days. At first glance, the Raptors' and Rockets' two-game week might negatively impact potential pickups' values. However, 22 teams play both Wednesday and Friday, while Toronto and Houston play only one of those days, and both are on Saturday's light 4-game slate. They actually have more daily-lineups-league value than the Bulls, Pelicans, and Wizards, whose three games are all on hectic nights.

As always, 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

Adds for all leagues

Cameron Payne, Suns (48% rostered)

The Suns are being incredibly annoying when it comes to Chris Paul's (heel) injury. They continue to list him as questionable ahead of each game, only to later rule him out. This treatment gives the impression that Paul is perennially close to returning, but he's missed

Welcome back to the wire. There's another strong pool of pickup candidates this week, mixing in a combination of new and repeat names. 

Something to be on the lookout for next week – the NBA is off for Thanksgiving, which means a packed slate on Wednesday (12 games) and Friday (14 games). Streaming for those days is impossible, so it's a good time to hold some upside guys on your bench while you get two extra games of information about them. Additionally, it means that waiver pickups effectively don't add any value on those days. At first glance, the Raptors' and Rockets' two-game week might negatively impact potential pickups' values. However, 22 teams play both Wednesday and Friday, while Toronto and Houston play only one of those days, and both are on Saturday's light 4-game slate. They actually have more daily-lineups-league value than the Bulls, Pelicans, and Wizards, whose three games are all on hectic nights.

As always, 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

Adds for all leagues

Cameron Payne, Suns (48% rostered)

The Suns are being incredibly annoying when it comes to Chris Paul's (heel) injury. They continue to list him as questionable ahead of each game, only to later rule him out. This treatment gives the impression that Paul is perennially close to returning, but he's missed four games, and there has been no formal indication of a return-to-play timeline. Payne is an all-league must-start any time Paul is out. He's averaged 21-4-6 with a whopping 4.0 threes in 33.5 minutes with Paul on the sidelines.

Payne is droppable as soon as Paul comes back, whenever that is. But even if you only get a game or two out of him, he's worth a pickup.

Aleksej Pokusevski, Thunder (70% rostered)

Technically, Pokusevski's roster rate jumped over the 67% cutoff yesterday, but he's more widely available outside of CBS platforms, and his inclusion marks a complete 180 for me, so I want to give him some specific attention.

For his first two seasons, my attitude towards Pokusevski was the same as my attitude towards Raptors' forward Chris Boucher: "Let him be someone else's problem. The good games are too rare and too random". Poku still suffers from a frustrating amount of night-to-night variability, but the calculus has changed. He's getting more minutes, getting tons of blocks, and scoring more consistently. 

Seth Curry, Nets (38% rostered)

Despite his last two games, I remain convinced that Curry is a high-value all-leagues rest-of-season pickup. Curry's last two games were atypically awful, and the two before that were unsustainably good, so let's focus on what we've seen that should carry forward. Whether hot or cold, Curry played similar minutes in all four games, averaging 25.8 through that stretch. His rebounds and assists were stable and in line with career averages, too – 2.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists. Those are likely reasonable approximations of what to expect, even after Kyrie Irving (suspension) returns to the lineup. 

Mason Plumlee, Hornets (63% rostered)

Shout out to Plumlee, who refuses to fade into the Fantasy background. At 32, he's on pace to have one of his best Fantasy seasons. As he's aged, he's improved as a passer, and he's up to an impressive 4.0 assists per game through the first month. Add that to his gratuitous near-double-double on fantastic field goal shooting, and you've got a solid pickup. 

Herbert Jones, Pelicans (61% rostered)

I'll keep listing him here as long as he qualifies. The sophomore starter had a "meh" week, but he's a fixture in the Pelicans rotation and is usually an excellent source of steals.

Marvin Bagley, Pistons (48% rostered)

Bagley made his season debut last week to very uneven results. First, the good news. Bagley entered the starting lineup in just his second game (before Isaiah Stewart got injured) and played 29 minutes. He blocked two shots in his debut and scored 15 points in game two. Unfortunately, there is also plenty of bad news. He struggled on the boards in his first two games. In the third game, his minutes were limited as he struggled from the field. The former No. 2 overall pick still has a lot of potential upside, but make no mistake – this is a speculative add. Bagley will likely be a drain on your roster in the short term. 

Isaiah Jackson, Pacers (35% rostered)

Speaking of upside stashes. After being a trendy mid-to-late-round pick in the preseason, Jackson has been widely dropped and is now available in nearly two-thirds of leagues. In most cases, I think that's a mistake. Jackson's upside is monumental -- much higher than Bagley's. Bagley is first listed because he has an easier-to-manage timeline and decision tree. We're holding a negative asset with Bagley for a couple of weeks, maybe a month. At that point, either his production has improved enough that he's no longer hurting, or we'll be able to drop with confidence. We know exactly what we want with Jackson – a Myles Turner trade. If that comes, Jackson could realistically be a top-50 player. But that could be three months away. And an eventual Turner trade is incredibly likely. But, until then, Jackson's low workload is tough to hold onto, even if he is a per-minute dynamo. Not every roster is in a place where they can hold onto Jackson, but I'm holding him everywhere I can. 

Other recommendations: Sure, Chris Boucher, I guess, for now, Raptors (61% rostered); Reggie Jackson, Clippers (39% rostered); Grant Williams, Celtics (28% rostered); Malik Beasley, Jazz (49% rostered); Cam Reddish, Knicks (22% rostered); Bruce Brown, Nuggets (35% rostered); Deni Avdija, Wizards (22% rostered)

Deep League Special

MarJon Beauchamp, Bucks (4% rostered)

Beauchamp is seeing extra minutes as the Bucks deal with an injury wave, but there is some quietly building buzz that he may be able to maintain a large role even as the team gets healthy. Beauchamp fits a niche the Bucks have been seeking for their bench for years, as they've cycled through wings like Donte DiVincenzo, Grayson Allen, and Wesley Matthews, who've each struggled to stay healthy. Statistically, we still don't really know what Beauchamp will be, as the rookie 22-year-old has played only 208 minutes in the NBA. But he's had two games with at least 19 points and eight rebounds, and he's demonstrated a willingness to shoot from three. 

Other recommendations: Yuta Watanabe, Nets (3% rostered)

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alex Rikleen
Rikleen writes the NBA column "Numbers Game," which decodes the math that underpins fantasy basketball and was a nominee for the 2016 FSWA Newcomer of the Year Award. A certified math teacher, Rikleen decided the field of education pays too well, so he left it for writing. He is a Boston College graduate living outside Boston.
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