• Welcome to the first edition of Working the Wire for this, the 2021-22 NBA season. Despite having only navigated a handful of games thus far, the questions have already begun rolling in. GMs everywhere are searching for that early-season pot of gold. Whether it’s seeking a long-term solution or simply a plug-and-play option, the waiver wire is the place to be and we have you covered.

    Being my first time in the driver’s seat when it comes to our weekly waiver piece, I’ve decided to go with a succinct, yet highly detailed version of who I see as potential pickups. Starting with the schedule of games for the week, this will give you an overview of who plays who, and when and where they play. This can be crucial for those with limited weekly moves or a free agency budget to which GMs need to abide by. We then dive into our waiver wire adds for the upcoming week. For the purpose of this piece, I will be focusing on those who could be permanent additions to a standard league roster. Finally, I take a look at possible streaming options, narrowed down to statistical need. Of course, in both of these conversation pieces, you need to be aware of what the needs of your team are and just who might be the puzzle piece you are searching for.

    Games Schedule – Week 2

    Back to Backs

    Mon/Tues: DEN
    Tues/Weds: LAL, OKC
    Weds/Thurs: ATL, MEM, WAS
    Thurs/Fri: DAL
    Fri/Sat: CLE, DEN, IND, MIA, NOP, ORL, TOR
    Sat/Sun: DET, MIL, UTA
    Sun/Mon (of Week 3): CHA, POR

    Waiver Wire Adds

    Guards

    De’Anthony Melton – Often viewed as a fantasy per-minute stud, Melton has perhaps finally arrived. He is currently running with the starting lineup and has done nothing but impress. Currently the 47th ranked player, the time is now and while the top-50 might be a bit of a reach, the top-70 is well within his reach.

    Desmond Bane – Much like his teammate, Bane has firmly positioned himself in the opening lineup for the Grizzlies, churning out top-70 numbers. While his overall upside might not be as high as Melton, it feels like his role could be a little more secure, post the return of Dillon Brooks. Both he and Melton should be must-roster players the rest of the way.

    Ricky Rubio – Having gone with my gut and drafted Rubio in a number of leagues, I am thrilled with his start to the season. Across the first three games of the season, he is inside the top-20 and has been a valid threat from the perimeter. His role is still a little unclear, thanks to an injury to Darius Garland. However, it appears as though they want him on the floor, serving as a mentor to the young core. That, and his upside in assists and steals, should keep him in the standard league discussion for a significant portion of the season.

    Eric Bledsoe – Chances are Bledsoe has already been snapped up thanks to his uplifting play for the Clippers. After flunking out in New Orleans, he appears rejuvenated in Los Angeles and is looking a lot like the player we were used to seeing just a couple of seasons ago. There is a chance his production falls off slightly as the season progresses but his body language alone signals that he is ready, willing and able to help carry the Clippers into the playoffs.

    Alex Caruso – Of all these guards, Caruso has the lowest upside and seems locked into a sixth-man role. That said, he has quickly enamored himself to just about anyone to do with the Bulls organization. He provides elite defense, a reliable 3-point shot and athleticism around the basket. His playing time figures to nudge 30 minutes on most nights and so if scoring is not your focus, he makes for a very sneaky asset.

    Forwards

    Jae’Sean Tate – It’s been an up-and-down start to the season for Tate, something that saw him dropped in a number of leagues. The Rockets are unlikely to make any real noise this season as they continue their rebuilding phase. Tate is a big part of what they are trying to accomplish in the long-term and so while his production can be a bit all over the place, he should end as a fringe top-120 player when all is said and done.

    Cam Reddish – Reddish has not been afraid to get his shot up over the first few games, something that we have seen previously. Unlike Tate, his value is tied heavily to his ability to score the basketball and so when that part of his game abandons him, he is left with very little else. That said, the Hawks like what he brings to the second unit and as long as he stays healthy, he should have a sizeable enough role in which he can at least be in the standard league conversation.

    Terance Mann – Mann received an element of hype during the preseason, after showing out for the Clippers during their playoff run. Thus far, things have not gone exactly to plan but the playing time is there and he is doing enough to hold some value. This is a new role for Mann and so I think as the season moves forward, he should begin to get more comfortable on both ends of the floor and the top-130 is not out of the question.

    Dorian Finney-Smith – It’s basically a cut and paste situation for Finney-Smith, who is once again doing just enough to be held in 12-team leagues. He rebounds well for his position, has a consistent enough 3-point shot and contributes on the defensive end of the floor. He plays in excess of 30 minutes per night and while he is by no means flashy, he is well worth a look.

    Centers

    Kelly Olynyk – Olynyk was drafted in just about every fantasy league but after a slow start to the season, he has been hitting the waiver wire in some situations. Outside of his explosion in Houston to end last season, this is typically what we get from Olynyk on a regular basis. While he isn’t a big part of the future in Detroit, his role appears secure enough that he should have ample opportunity to turn things around over the coming weeks.

    Alperen Sengun – Sengun could be viewed as an elite stash but as we have seen, he does have the ability to contribute right now. The turnovers have been an issue but the defense is there and the current production should probably be viewed as his floor. Given the likely trajectory of the Rockets, it makes sense to hold on and just ride things out until things settle down a bit.

    Nicolas Claxton – Claxton was a surprise starter for the Nets on opening night and he had people running to the waiver wire to pick him up. Despite the opportunity, he is yet to grab it with both hands, and to be honest, he has been quite disappointing. Of all the names on this list, he is probably the one with the biggest element of risk but given the shortage of good centers available, he at least has a path to minutes and could realistically increase his production once he gets used to his new workload.

    Streaming Targets

    Points

    Kelly Oubre Jr.

    Seth Curry

    Patty Mills

    Joe Harris

    Pat Connaughton

    Grayson Allen

    Furkan Korkmaz

    3-pointers 

    Seth Curry

    Patty Mills

    Joe Harris

    Doug McDermott

    Eric Gordon

    Furkan Korkmaz

    Assists

    Dennis Schroder

    T.J. McConnell

    Cole Anthony

    Facundo Campazzo

    Rebounds

    Gorgui Dieng

    Kyle Anderson

    Derrick Favors

    Kevin Love

    Aaron Gordon

    Darius Bazley

    Steals

    Matisse Thybulle

    T.J. McConnell

    Raul Neto

    Lu Dort

    Davion Mitchell

    Facundo Campazzo

    Blocks

    Matisse Thybulle

    Naz Reid

    LaMarcus Aldridge

     


    Is Adam on the money with his Waiver Wire piece? Let him know in our Fantasy Basketball Forums or over on our members-only Discord channel

    For anything fantasy basketball-related, Adam has you covered. Follow him on Twitter @adamking91 or hit us up @HoopBallFantasy or @HoopBallTweets

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