January 23, 2022, 4:25 am
In this edition of Working the Wire, we’ll take a look at the games scheduled for week 15, including those teams that have a back-to-back set. Before looking ahead, let’s quickly take a look at last week’s waiver wire pickups and whether we struck gold or came up empty. We will then run down the list of players you could consider picking up for longer than a couple of games, although do remember that not every player is going to suit your needs. Finally, we take a look at a list of current streaming options, based on categorical need.
Games Schedule – Week 15
Back to Backs
Tue/Wed: BKN, CHA, DAL, DEN, LAC, POR, SAC, SAS, TOR
Thu/Fri: LAL, MIN
Fri/Sat: BOS, IND, MEM, MIA,
Sun/Mon (of Week 16): CLE, LAC, POR
A Look Back…
Alec Burks (267th ranked player) – Trending the wrong way again, a loss
Amir Coffey (61st ranked player) – Has slowed but still a clear win
Hamidou Diallo (203rd ranked player) – Maybe a soft hold, probably a loss
Coby White (102nd ranked player) – A strong win
Justin Holiday (70th ranked player) – Also a strong win
De’Andre Hunter (109th ranked player) – A nice win here
Darius Bazley (205th ranked player) – Somewhat expected, a loss
Jae Crowder (76th ranked player) – A win but keep an eye on his wrist injury
Kelly Olynyk (160th ranked player) – I’m calling this a pass
Chris Boucher (47th ranked player) – A strong win but watch his minutes
Waiver Wire Options
Ayo Dosunmu- This is a no-brainer really, especially given the recent injury news concerning both Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso. Dosunmu is the 22nd ranked player over the past week, a number that is obviously unsustainable. That said, he has a nice ability to contribute across multiple categories and he is going to be playing a ton of minutes. Make sure he isn’t somehow available in your league.
Chris Duarte – Another beneficiary of injuries to other players, Duarte also finds himself inside the top-25 over the past seven days. Malcolm Brogdon is going to be shut down for at least the next 10 days, while who knows what is going on with Caris LeVert. The Pacers seem as though they are at least considering a shake-up to the roster, leaving Duarte as a nice rest-of-season breakout candidate.
Monte Morris – Morris is about as boring an option as you will find but he has been getting it done over the past week, coming in as the 86th ranked player. He really has no serious competition for minutes, meaning his fantasy floor is high enough to warrant a backend roster spot on most nights. A recent bump in his scoring has piqued the interest of many, making him a viable addition to most 12-team rosters.
Terence Davis – Topping this list as the ninth-ranked player over the past week, Davis has been on fire and simply needs to be added. His playing time is on the back of absences to both De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton, both of whom could return for the next game. However, perhaps the coaching staff has seen enough over the last few games to at least increase his playing time on a more regular basis. At this point, we go and grab him and just see how things play out.
Devin Vassell – A regular topic of conversation around the fantasy water-cooler, Vassell is at it again and perhaps this time it’s for real? Inside the top-75 over the past week, the Spurs do seem to be starting to lean into him a little more. He has the tools to be a sneaky add down the stretch, with the ability to chip in across the board. Although he is still somewhat of a stash, he is doing enough right now to have value across just about every format.
Nic Batum – This one could absolutely blow up in my face but given he is the number two player in standard leagues over the past week, he needs to be picked up again. Obviously, a sample size of this nature is nothing to get too excited about. However, we know Batum can be a solid top-100 option when healthy, something that has been a major issue thus far this season. Managers should at least be giving him a look despite the fact he could regress hard and in a hurry.
Cam Johnson – Johnson was chugging along as a top-70 player prior to the return of Jae Crowder but has fallen off a cliff in recent times. Having just returned from the health and safety protocols, Johnson also has to get himself back into top shape. Crowder left Saturday’s game with a wrist injury and while there has been no word on the severity of said injury, if he misses time, Johnson should slider straight back into the starting lineup.
Chuma Okeke – Okeke was a difference-maker to end last season and things could be headed that way once again. It is a little unclear when trying to project the Magic rotation moving forward, although Okeke is likely to feature quite heavily given their current trajectory. His efficiency from the field can be an issue but if you need steals and triples, he is absolutely worth a flier, at least for a handful of games.
Ivica Zubac – After a period of playing some of the best basketball of his career, Zubac fell in a hole, resulting in him being dropped in a lot of leagues. However, over the past week, he has rediscovered some of that early form, landing inside the top-35 over the past week. His fantasy ceiling is quite limited but he typically does enough to be a solid end-of-the-bench player. He scores efficiently from both the field and the line while adding a handful of points, boards and blocks, just the recipe for those in need of a cheap big man.
Goga Bitadze – The Pacers are without both Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis, leaving Bitadze as the next man up. I’m not of the belief the coaching staff sees him as a long-term option but at this point, they are out of options. He is a proven per-minute monster and so now the hope is that he can translate that into meaningful fantasy production. The next chapter in this story is yet to be written but his upside alone warrants a roster spot in basically every league right now.
Marvin Bagley III
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