November 19, 2023, 10:21 pm
Another week, another batch of pickups for fantasy GMs to ponder. Teams are settling in and we’re getting a sense of how the standings might shake out, which has cracked open the can of worms as to potential trades that could shake the fantasy landscape. Managers who are sitting pretty in the standings could start to think about how those moves create and change the value of fringe players across multiple teams, though most of us don’t have that luxury just yet.
It was a fairly quiet week overall, with no obvious must-adds emerging from obscurity, but some of the top pickups are familiar faces who have found their groove for one reason or another. Let’s see what we’ve got.
Jordan Clarkson, G, Utah Jazz
Keyonte George (who would’ve been profiled here if we didn’t mention him a few times previously — though he’s a must-add if he’s on your waiver wire) rising into the starting lineup has done more than create his own value. The Jazz running with their best natural playmaker has been a rising tide that lifts all boats, and George’s ascension has had a particularly strong impact on Jordan Clarkson, who is now playing a more natural role as a bucket-getter rather than someone who has to get his teammates involved in the flow of the offense.
As of Sunday morning, Clarkson has been cooking. In the last four games he’s scored 33, 26, 30 and 37 points and while that definitely will not last forever, you have to try and catch the tail end of this heater while you can. Even if Clarkson doesn’t continue providing plus-plus value in points, he’s going to be more than solid thanks to George setting the table. He’s not a lock to be a top-150 value the rest of the way, but clearly he’s capable of week-winning stretches and will always give you points, which are oh so hard to find on waivers.
Alex Caruso, G, Chicago Bulls
Caruso has started to pop up in trade rumors but in the meantime he’s been rounding into form for the Bulls, who have plugged him back into the starting lineup. A showcase? Maybe, but it’s not like Caruso doesn’t have a well-earned reputation already. He was a clear top-50 value last week, thanks largely to 1.0 steals and 1.3 blocks per game, though 15.5 points will never hurt.
The defensive upside alone makes Caruso worth a look, and with the Bulls scrambling to get some wins they could end up just running with him as a starter. They need defenders in a bad way and Patrick Williams can’t seem to hold onto that final spot.
Dyson Daniels, G, New Orleans Pelicans
Daniels might qualify as an injury fill-in, but the Pelicans are dealing with enough injuries that this could become a long-term situation. Beyond that, Daniels is a former top pick who the team would surely love to build around, and you can bet that they would be thrilled if he simply held down a big role thanks to a long run of quality play. He’s delivered so far and is a nightly source of rebounds, assists, steals and 3-pointers, and Daniels’ scoring game has come along in recent outings as well. He shouldn’t be on waivers.
Jonathan Isaac, F, Orlando Magic
Isaac has been able to stay healthy so far, and while he’s not getting his old workload he has been playing well lately. The playing time is ticking up ever so slowly and Isaac has been able to turn limited minutes into multiple defensive stats anyway. As it stands, he’s an asset for steals and blocks, but if he continues to look like his old self then managers could end up with a real gem. Isaac’s stat set supports easy middle-round value when he’s at his best.
Bismack Biyombo, C, Memphis Grizzlies
From one extremely enticing potential pickup to a boring one, we have Biyombo ready and waiting to grab rebounds by the handful and block the occasional shot. The Grizzlies just can’t get healthy and Biyombo doesn’t move the needle much, but he’s an easy grab for managers chasing the traditional center stats.
Santi Aldama, F, Memphis Grizzlies
Aldama was a must-start player last season while filling in for Jaren Jackson Jr., but at this point the Grizzlies are missing so many guys that they’re just going to have to pile minutes on anyone who is effective. Count Aldama among that group, as he put up two massive games this week and clearly has plenty of skills. It’s a little dicey with JJJ actually in the lineup but Aldama is worth a scoop in competitive leagues given his role.
Dario Saric, F, Golden State Warriors
More suspension than injury, Saric is getting a great opportunity to rack up numbers while Draymond Green is out for the next couple of games. It’s worth pointing out that Saric has managed to displace Kevon Looney from the starting five at times even with Green available, so he does have a little more utility than you might think at first glance. He was an easy top-125 value over the last week, and that was without standout production in any single category.
Donte DiVincenzo, G, New York Knicks
DiVincenzo had a chance to get his legs underneath him last week as both RJ Barrett (migraine) and Quentin Grimes (wrist) hit the injury report. It took two absences to get DiVincenzo into the starting lineup but he made the most of his expanded run, and this is a player who was a legitimate top-100 option at times last season. He may be safe to stream until both Barrett and Grimes are back, but obviously this becomes a very easy call when both are out.
John Konchar, G, Memphis Grizzlies
Another member of the Grizzlies here, and Konchar has moved into the starting five in the wake of Marcus Smart’s multi-week ankle injury. He’s been a stat magnet at every level of his career and while the playing time has been shaky so far, the Grizzlies no longer have a choice but to give Konchar minutes. If he can get to 24 mpg, he’ll be a top-150 value. Anything more and he becomes very compelling.
Duncan Robinson, G, Miami Heat
Robinson was a second-round value last week and has found his vintage form in the wake of Tyler Herro’s absence. He has incredible chemistry with Bam Adebayo and will play a ton with Miami so thin in the backcourt. You’ll need to be wary of the occasional shooting clunker, but Robinson is an automatic play for managers in need of 3-pointers.
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