• After Week 6 of NBA action, the injury reports continue to increase in lengths and end up being a hodgepodge of different diagnoses to your favorite players. With these comical injury lists come many streaming options for you to try and utilize to the best of your ability on your quests to victory each week. Half of the fun, in my opinion, is sticking to the evidence that you gain from the various reports or the different pieces of information provided by coaches and then formulating a new back-end roster that carries a couple categories to sway your way. Even if one game starts the week slow, you have to trust in your choices and do not make the mistake of burning through your weekly claims in one short timeframe.

    Let me give you an example of how Working the Wire can help you. I have been talking about Kevon Looney as a low-end rebounding streamer at around six to seven boards each night, so I took the plunge on him for this week’s slate of games. I won rebounds by less than five counts, and the field-goal percentage category was closer than I had expected. Though I lost some scoring by dropping Harrison Barnes, the scoring and efficiency from one waiver-wire add alone added two wins to my category win totals.

    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 6 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?

    Tyus Jones, PG, Grizzlies (49% rostered last week)

    Last week: 3 GP, 6.3 PTS, 2.0 REB, 6.3 AST, 2.0 STL, 0 BLK, 2.5 3PM, .321 FG, 0 FT, 1.0 TO

    Win. In three games, despite the return of Ja Morant, Jones was still able to give managers a healthy 6.3 assists and a few triples as well. Clearly, he has far less value when the Grizzlies have their superstar, but he is someone who you could have held onto for the entirety of the week while only really sustaining negatives in the field-goal shooting department.

    Larry Nance Jr., PF/C, Pelicans (42% rostered last week)

    Last week: 3 GP, 4.7 PTS, 2.0 REB, 2.0 AST, 2.0 STL, 1.5 BLK, 0 3PM, .583 FG, 0 FT, 0 TO

    Small loss. Nance played less than 18 minutes in each game this week, so his value was sapped largely due to this. He still provided a solid 3.5 combined defensive stats, but he truly lacked everywhere else besides a tiny boost with field-goal percentage. If you decide to move on, we would not blame you but keep an eye out if he starts getting an uptick in minutes again.

    Killian Hayes, PG/SG, Pistons (41% rostered last week)

    Last week: 4 GP, 11.0 PTS, 3.8 REB, 7.3 AST, 2.5 STL, 1.0 BLK, 1.3 3PM, .365 FG, 1.000 FT, 2.8 TO

    Big win. Besides the turnovers and poor shooting, Hayes has continued to stuff the stat sheet as a lead guard out in Detroit with Jaden Ivey (knee) missing some time at the moment. His assists have really come along over recent times, and he has made his claim to being a steals specialist with 1.4 thefts per game over the last two weeks. Hold strongly here.

    Grant Williams, SF/PF, Celtics (32% rostered last week)

    Last week: 4 GP, 5.5 PTS, 4.5 REB, 2.3 AST, 1.0 STL, 1.0 BLK, 2.0 3PM, .347 FG, 1.000 FT, 1.0 TO

    Loss. Williams has lost the starting job back to Derrick White, and the minutes for Williams simply are not encouraging. The defensive stats and triples are nice as a 1-1-1 threat with the cash counters, but the rest does not place him in the must-roster category whatsoever. I would understand moving on from here in 12-team leagues but would hold in deeper formats.

    Shake Milton, PG/SG, Sixers (30% rostered last week)

    Last week: 4 GP, 22.8 PTS, 6.8 REB, 7.8 AST, 1.3 STL, 1.0 BLK, 2.5 3PM, .592 FG, .917 FT, 2.5 TO

    Colossal win. What a slam dunk! Milton has been a top-10 fantasy asset over the last week with 9-cat lines that would have any manager foaming at the mouth for more. While he is not at the Anthony Davis or Shai Gilgeous-Alexander type of influence even in one week, he certainly is giving them a challenge. Hold on tight here until James Harden is back, but Milton is no longer on a majority of wires.

    Patrick Williams, PF, Bulls (29% rostered last week)

    Last week: 3 GP, 13.0 PTS, 4.3 REB, 2.0 AST, 1.0 STL, 2.0 BLK, 2.7 3PM, .556 FG, .875 FT, 2.0 TO

    Win. The former No. 4 pick in 2020 continues to be a defensive highlight for the Bulls, grabbing three defensive stats per game while knocking down a couple triples. There has been much focus on Williams as a candidate to breakout at some point, with his own interviews revealing that he is ready to take another step. Hold here if you have already made the investment.

    Tari Eason, SF/PF, Rockets (26% rostered last week)

    Last week: 2 GP, 6.5 PTS, 6.5 REB, 0 AST, 1.5 STL, 0 BLK, 1.0 3PM, .299 FG, 1.000 FT, 2.0 TO

    Push, there is a lot of context here. Eason returned to form as a steal-mongering forward in Houston with a couple solid games that also teased some double-double potential. He still is not playing more than 20 minutes most ball games, so that limits his upside. However, he is one of the most clear candidates to receive a larger role sometime in the future. Whether or not that is worth waiting for in 2022-23 is completely up to you as a manager assessing risk.

    Kevon Looney, C, Warriors (25% rostered last week)

    Last week: 4 GP 7.0 PTS, 6.3 REB, 3.3 AST, 1.5 STL, 2.0 BLK, 0 3PM, .875 FG, .333 FT, 1.5 TO

    Win, for what he is targeted for. I continue to repeat that Looney is merely a rebounds and field-goal percentage booster at the end of your roster. Despite this simple evaluation, he continues to plug away with that role and succeed in exactly how the Warriors need him to. He is a definite grab in 14-team leagues as a back-end big man, but take a look when you need good ole’ reliable Looney Tunes to watch.

    Thaddeus Young, PF/C, Raptors (13% rostered last week)

    Last week: 2 GP, 8.0 PTS, 7.0 REB, 4.5 AST, 2.0 STL, 0 BLK, 0 3PM, .384 FG, 1.000 FT, 2.0 TO

    Small win. Young will never blow you away at this point of his career, but his low-level lines did stuff the stat sheet in a small way. He did not block any shots or hit any threes, but it is hard to find 8-7-5 on the waiver wire at the PF/C spot. For now, use him if both Pascal Siakam and Precious Achiuwa are absent. Those days may be gone as soon as Week 7.

    Corey Kispert, SG/SF, Wizards (3% rostered last week)

    Last week: 3 GP, 7.0 PTS, 1.7 REB, 3.0 AST, 1.0 STL, 0 BLK, 1.3 3PM, .324 FG, .500 FT, 2.0 TO

    Loss, and see below for who to grab on the Wizards. There is not much here to be glad about, except that it is now clear the way that the Wiz rotation will head towards in coming days. Deni Avdija and Will Barton are far more likely to carry value when the team is at full-strength. Also, Kispert is only worth grabbing if he is knocking down most of his shots.

    Post-Week 6 Targets

    Marvin Bagley III, PF/C, Pistons (49% rostered)

    This grab is backed by the idea that Bagley likely still starts when Isaiah Stewart (toe) returns to the starting five spot. We all know Bagley’s fantasy profile at this point in his career, solid scoring in double-digits with decent rebounding and minimal stocks. Well, at this point in time he is double-doubling with boards and collecting upwards of 1.5-plus combined defensive stats. For these reasons, he may end up being a low-end ROS hold at the end of 12-team rosters. The only place to curb your expectations would be with the defense, as Bagley continues to disappoint over the years in that area despite his extreme athleticism. 

    Onyeka Okongwu, C, Hawks (44% rostered)

    The ultimate handcuff for Clint Capela (dental) missing games, Okongwu will continue to flash his extreme upside until he is allowed to man the middle as the full-time starter out in Atlanta. Over his last three games he has swatted away five shots while grabbing 15 boards in his last two games (that were starts with Capela out). Okongwu was probably drafted, then let go after Capela began surging as a nice free-throw punt big man for 9-cat leagues. Do not let his unsexy stats fool you, this guy is for real if he gets bigger minutes handed to him. With many trade rumors floating around Atlanta, be sure not to miss out here if he is thrust into a starting role during the 2022-23 season.

    Trey Murphy, SF/PF, Pelicans (41% rostered)

    Brandon Ingram (toe) is doubtful to start off the week, so that is already a sign that you should grab Murphy if he was dropped previously. Moreover, CJ McCollum (health and safety) has already been ruled out for the Monday game against the Thunder. The Pelicans have four games this week, so this could be a juicy stream for anyone needing points on solid shooting splits with a few cash counters. Murphy has appeared a few times on this list before his minor injury, but his return from injury was absolutely a positive sign for things to come.

    Killian Hayes, PG/SG, Pistons (41% rostered)

    As stated above, Hayes continues to be an attractive hold in 12-team leagues while many Pistons players continue to struggle with minor injuries. So long as Cade Cunningham (shin) is out long-term, it is Hayes who can be held onto as an assists and steals specialist flier. He does not provide game-breaking stats by any means, but it is definitely hard to find what he provides on the waiver wire without another big injury. For now, there is no reason to let go unless someone was silly enough to drop Shake Milton, for example.

    Caleb Martin, SF/PF, Heat (37% rostered)

    The ultimate plug-in for the Heat whenever they are depleted, Martin continues to live on our Working the Wire lists thanks to his diverse skill set. Fans who have followed him and his brother, Cody, since their Nevada days will tell you about their two-way potential. On the Heat, Ca. Martin has received an increase in touches with the injury bug having its way with the boys in South Beach. As long as the Heat are not quite one-hundred percent healthy, there is a role that Martin can fill in for. Think of him the same way you do a utility baseball player, if you watch that sport, because he does it all from serving as a solid defender to playing as an initiator on the offensive end.

    Deni Avdija, SF/PF, Wizards (37% rostered)

    Returning back to the target list, Avdija has been playing huge minutes lately in some nice starts for the Wizards. Though their lineup has been shifting due to injuries or health and safety protocols, the wing from Israel continues to show all-around skills that can stuff the box score quickly. Considering that Avdija is continuing to start with the team at full strength, he is likely the lowest-level hold that can be had from the Wizards. Beyond the likes of Bradley Beal and Kristaps Porzingis, this team has a few specialists who allow the team to continue competing for some victories out east. Avdija will never be a massive scorer, but he continues to flash low-level triple-double potential that can be utilized sometime soon.

    Alec Burks, PG/SG/SF, Pistons (34% rostered)

    With Bojan Bogdanovic (knee/ankle) still banged up after Week 6, Burks will continue to have improved value as a scoring option for the Pistons. He has put up 18.0 points, 2.0 boards, 1.3 assists, 1.3 steals and 2.3 3-pointers over his last four. If you need some cheap points and triples off of the waiver wire, Burks can be your guy. As a plus, in Yahoo formats, he has three positions that he is eligible for. As for his ROS outlook, there are quite a few guards ahead of him in the pecking order, especially when considering who the team will want to develop. However, as he served as with the Knicks, he is an elite and professional scorer off of any bench who can get hot for some streaky fun.

    Torrey Craig, SF/PF, Suns (28% rostered)

    Similar to Royce O’Neale earlier this season, Craig is becoming a low-level player for anyone who wants to target some nice all-around stats with a low ceiling. The Suns forward does not have quite the green light as O’Neale in Brooklyn, but Craig continues to grab boards while serving as a defensive specialist. The shooting will not blow you away, but his numbers are enough to help you out in a few categories by the end of the collective week. Until the Suns find an actual replacement for Cam Johnson (knee), their trade rumors will remain only as such and Craig will keep his starting job while playing over 30 minutes most nights.

    Tari Eason, SF/PF, Rockets (26% rostered)

    Simply put, this guy is a per-minute monster. In 18.3 minutes per game, the rookie has put up 8.5 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.5 steals on solid 85.5% free-throw shooting. He is more of a lock in 14-team leagues, but his services can be utilized in 12-team leagues when targeting steals. We may sound like a broken record at this point with Eason, but his outlook depends on minutes given when people like Eric Gordon have to sit out random games. The staff in Houston love him, as do the SportsEthos staff, so hold on if you have the standings cushion and healthy players to make it happen.

    Walker Kessler, PF/C, Jazz (17% rostered)

    The departure of Kevon Looney from this new target list comes with a new addition in Kessler. The rookie big man is averaging an awesome 1.5 blocks in only 15.5 minutes per game. He is also grabbing 5.0 boards and shooting 71.7% from the field in the same timeframe. If the Jazz ever start losing games and sell the house for more draft capital, it is likely Kessler will be thrust into a larger role. His game is extremely friendly for specific 9-cat builds as his strengths are very clear. He is one of the most impressive shot blockers to enter the league, and with big minutes there will be many waking up to the new man in the middle out in Salt Lake City. Do not leap at this opportunity just yet in 12-team leagues, but managers in deeper formats can certainly do far worse than stashing this young big man.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x