• Merry Christmas! I hope you all enjoyed the holidays and the five-game slate that we were presented with by the NBA. I was lucky enough to attend the Lakers at Mavericks game in Dallas, especially since some military orders had made me unable to go home to California for the holiday. Besides the Christian Wood masterclass that absolutely punched the Lakers in the mouth, I also got to see firsthand just how bad the Lakers are without Anthony Davis (foot). When it comes down to it, their streaming options to fill in for the No. 1 9-cat player on a per-game basis are not as great as you might imagine (more below, of course). There are still people you can stream, but expectations really do need to be managed since there is no real way to replace the kind of impact that Davis has. I tried to enjoy the game outside of the fantasy lens, but it was hard to do when you are invested in many leagues and are always keeping an eye out for the next waiver addition that can change the ROS outlook for your roster. Altogether, I hope you had some good times with good people and are ready for this edition of waiver looks after Week 10 of NBA action.

    In this edition of Working the Wire, I will revisit the last week’s takes to see if there was a win or a loss for each player, while also introducing a few new names rostered less than 50% to look at after Week 10 due to new intel. Remember to take this list and use it how you need it. If an obvious surging player is already scooped up in your competitive league, then our hope is to help you find the next gem ahead of time. If managers are ignoring the more obvious value on the wire, then fire away without spilling the beans on these potential studs while waivers reset for many come Monday morning.

    (Positions and rostered percentages are from Yahoo leagues.)

    Win or Loss?

    Larry Nance Jr., PF/C, Pelicans (49% rostered last week)

    Last week: 0 PTS/REB/AST/STL/BLK/3PM/FG/FT/TO

    Loss, but Nance got hurt and missed all three games last week. Sorry, there was no injury report until Sunday the 18th when this last article came out. Tough break.

    Marcus Morris Sr., PF/C, Clippers (48% rostered last week)

    Last week: 12.0 PTS, 3.5 REB, 1.0 AST, 0.5 STL, 2.0 BLK, 3.0 3PM, .438 FG, 1.00 FT, 2.0 TO

    Win. There is not much else to say besides the fact that Morris continues to be a player right around the top-120 mark of 9-cat rankings and he has his strengths with scoring and solid triples or free-throw percentages any given week. The upside is not huge but there is nothing wrong with a safe play.

    Markelle Fultz, PG/SG, Magic (45% rostered last week)

    Last week: 14.3 PTS, 4.7 REB, 6.7 AST, 1.7 STL, 0 BLK, 0.7 3PM, .529 FG, .455 FT, 1.7 TO

    Win and a slam dunk. Now 57% rostered and no longer in the minority of being rostered, Fultz has successfully shown glimpses of his potential as a starting point guard in this league. Managers can hold on tight until he slows down.

    Alex Caruso, PG/SG, Bulls (42% rostered last week)

    Last week: 6.0 PTS, 4.0 REB, 1.5 AST, 2.5 STL, 0.5 BLK, 1.0 3PM, 1.00 FG, 1.00 FT, 1.0 TO

    Push. His steals were awesome as usual, but he also got a concussion right after having some seriously productive games as the Bulls starting point guard. He is just outside the top-125 players ranking for 9-cat formats this season and should be regarded as a nice steals or assists specialist off of your fantasy bench.

    Kevon Looney, C, Warriors (32% rostered last week)

    Last week: 3.7 PTS, 6.0 REB, 3.0 AST, 0.3 STL, 0.3 BLK, 0 3PM, .444 FG, .500 FT, 0.3 TO

    Small loss. Looney still grabbed some good rebounds off of the waiver wire with peripheral assists at the center spot, but his field-goal percentage took an unfortunate turn. There is a lot of buzz around James Wiseman as a better option in some deeper leagues, but we have to collect more data on the Warriors rotation before calling that final.

    Thomas Bryant, C, Lakers (25% rostered last week)

    Last week: 12.3 PTS, 7.8 REB, 2.0 AST, 0.5 STL, 0 BLK, 1.5 3PM, .559 FG, .714 FT, 1.5 TO

    Big win. Bryant manning the middle for the Lakers has been a nice gain for any manager who took the plunge on the old Indiana Hoosier. The big man has been able to shoot the ball a bit while grabbing nice boards. Expectations have to be limited with his defense, but for now you can roll with him as a low-end big man.

    Nickeil Alexander-Walker, SG/SF, Jazz (19% rostered last week)

    Last week: 4.7 PTS, 1.7 REB, 3.3 AST, 0 STL, 0.7 BLK, 0.7 3PM, .353 FG, 0 FT, 1.0 TO

    Big loss. Alexander-Walker lost his minutes and is not playing much over 19 minutes per contest. Also, he is simply not looking aggressive at times and this flier of a grab absolutely fell flat on its face. Luckily, he was advertised more as a deeper-league target but managers can move on with confidence now.

    Austin Reaves, SG/SF, Lakers (17% rostered last week)

    Last week: 18.0 PTS, 2.0 REB, 1.0 AST, 0.5 STL, 1.0 BLK, 2.0 3PM, .647 FG, .833 FT, 2.5 TO

    Win. As Reaves continues to develop his offensive game, these streaky shooting weeks are awesome for anyone to reap the benefits. While he is this hot, you might as well ride the heat wave but just realize that shooting over 50% on the season from the field will be challenging.

    Chris Duarte, SG/SF, Pacers (12% rostered last week)

    Last week: 9.0 PTS, 2.0 REB, 3.0 AST, 0.5 STL, 0 BLK

    Small loss. Another guy who was focused for 14-team leagues or deeper, Duarte is playing in a marginal role behind Aaron Nesmith and Bennedict Mathurin on the wings for the Pacers. Any indication that he may have been a starter can be shut down until head coach Rick Carlisle says anything differently. The 2.0 triples are not worth hanging onto at this point.

    Bismack Biyombo, C, Suns (8% rostered last week)

    Last week: 4.5 PTS, 5.0 REB, 1.5 AST, 0.8 STL, 1.5 BLK, 0 3PM, .615 FG, .250 FT, 1.3 TO

    Win for what we expected. Look, we knew he would be a high field-goal percentage player with high blocks and decent boards. That is exactly what we expected from him as he filled in for Deandre Ayton during his injury and starred in his bench role. You can let go of Biyombo to stream a different big, but perhaps wait to see how he plays in the next couple.

    Post-Week 10 Targets

    Onyeka Okongwu, C, Hawks (49% rostered)

    Okongwu has climbed up the rankings after a slow start and is nearly in the top 120 of 9-cat players on a per-game basis. Clint Capela suffered another calf injury setback that has him questionable to play to begin the week. Therefore, look for Okongwu to continue his strong play with blocked shots and double-double numbers otherwise.

    Marcus Morris, PF/C, Clippers (46% rostered)

    Honestly at this point, there is no reason to sway off what Morris provides. As mentioned above, he is a consistent top-120 option that sometimes has upside weeks with blocks (2.0 per game last week) that certainly cannot be trusted to be consistent. Sometimes, safety is better than a boom-or-bust player.

    Derrick White, PG/SG, Celtics (45% rostered)

    Over his last four games, White has received at least 30 minutes in three of them while playing 26 minutes in the other. He is scoring in the double-digits while racking up 0.7 steals and 1.0 (!) blocks at the guard position. In his career, he usually hovers between 0.8 and 1.0 blocks as an average, so it is encouraging he is finding his way back to his defensive ways.

    Donte DiVincenzo, PG/SG, Warriors (42% rostered)

    DiVincenzo scored 13.3 points over his last four ball games, grabbing 6.5 rebounds with 4.3 assists and 1.0 steals in the process. He is taking full advantage of the absence of Stephen Curry (shoulder), so you should probably capitalize on this opportunity if you need a guard worth streaming.

    Royce O’Neale, SG/SF, Nets (42% rostered)

    Far from his must-roster days filling in for an absent Kyrie Irving amongst many other injured players, O’Neale has started to see an uptick in his usage lately thanks to better shooting. In his last two he has scored 15.5 points while blocking 1.0 shots and knocking down 4.5 triples. This cannot be maintained fully, but maybe he has figured out his shooting stroke a bit.

    Jeremy Sochan, PF, Spurs (26% rostered)

    Forget about his one-handed free-throw form, Sochan is getting big minutes and putting up numbers in the process. Yes, the line is bad for the rookie. However, last week saw him put up 16.0 points, 8.3 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.0 blocks on 50% from the field. That is worth a flier if you need a big man in a roster built for free-throw punting.

    Patrick Williams, PF, Bulls (25% rostered)

    I’ll admit, I am mostly disappointed in Williams this season even though he has appeared on this last a couple times in the past. With mixed results, he sometimes puts it together to be a competent offensive player and absolute force with the steals or blocks. The main flier here is that Zach LaVine has been in trade rumors lately, and Williams gains the most when he is off the floor. It is up to the manager to decide if you do anything with that information.

    Landry Shamet, SG, Suns (24% rostered)

    Devin Booker (groin) continues to struggle to stay on the floor and Shamet filled in admirably over the last four games as he put up 22.5 points with 4.0 assists and 5.5 triples. He is a must-roster player while Booker struggles with health but expectations should mostly be managed with the amount of triples going in at this rate.

    Austin Reaves, SG/SF, Lakers (22% rostered)

    Reaves has been a fan-favorite here at SportsEthos for a while, even if admittedly there are times he still needs more volume to be a 12-team league producer. Well, he is currently getting those minutes off of the bench and he is also producing nicely on defense. The last five ball games have him averaging 13-3-2 with 2.2 combined defensive stats on high efficiency. Until he slows down, you might as well roll with this underrated wing in Reaves.

    Aaron Nesmith, SG/SF, Pacers (18% rostered)

    Another underrated sophomore, Nesmith is currently nursing an ankle injury but has been thrust into a starting role for the Pacers.In his last five games, Nesmith has put up 14.0 points with 5.8 boards and 1.8 combined defensive stats on 53.8% shooting. He also knocks down triples at a decent rate and does not turn the ball over much. There are worse players to take a flier on as long as he is starting for head coach Rick Carlisle.

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