Fantasy Basketball Waiver and Lineup Recommendations
Mason Plumlee DEN – Start
With Nikola Jokic out for at least two more games, Mason Plumlee will continue to get the chance to start for the Nuggets at center. He started Saturday, posting 12 points, six rebounds and six assists in 31 minutes. Plumlee, though not Jokic, is a solid passer, and the Nuggets ran a lot of their offense through him in the absence of Jokic. He’ll add value across the box score as a center if he continues to get these minutes, which he should for at least the remainder of this week with Jokic and Paul Millsap banged up.
Jeff Teague MIN – Sit
Teague returned to play 34 minutes on Friday, scoring 11 points and adding 10 assists. The minutes played in his return were encouraging, but it’s unclear whether he’ll be in the lineup each night as he gets back into a rhythm. Teague is an Elevated Injury Risk with a Below Average Health Performance Factor, so it could be a little while before he plays every night. Achilles injuries have been giving others, like Mike Conley, a lot of trouble, so it wouldn’t be a shock if Teague remains a game-time decision moving forward. Overall, it makes sense to keep Teague on the sidelines for a week as he works his way back in, just as a precaution.
J.J. Redick PHI – Start
Redick has been solid for the Sixers in his first season with the team, providing them with a needed veteran presence and a 3-point threat. His stability in the backcourt has been big alongside Ben Simmons, as the Sixers have suffered some injuries in the backcourt and on the wing. Markelle Fultz’ timeline to return remains indefinite, while T.J. McCollum has a banged up left shoulder and missed Saturday night’s game.
Fantasy Basketball Waiver Adds
Tony Parker – PG SA
Tony Parker has been struggling with injuries so far this year, and he has only played in 3 games. But in those three games, he has played fairly well in limited time. In just 16 minutes per game, Parker has averaged eight points and 4.3 assists. If you were to extrapolate that to 32 minutes per game, which is pretty believable for Parker once he gets going, especially with Kawhi Leonard out, then he would be at 16 points and 8.6 assists per game. That would put him back among the elite point guards.
We doubt he will be able to hold that level of efficiency if he is logging that many minutes, but the point is he is playing the most efficient basketball since his age 30 or 31 seasons. The veteran has been good for nearly two decades. While he has most likely lost a step, he is still rosterable in most leagues, and he could even be worth starting some weeks if he has found the fountain of youth.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope – SG LAL
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has been on a tear recently, and his production should only increase with the temporary loss of Lonzo Ball. In his last five games, Caldwell-Pope has averaged 18.8 points, 5.6 rebounds, and two assists per game. Those numbers are dampened by a dud of a game on Saturday, in which he scored three points.
Over the last four games entering Saturday, he was averaging almost 23 points per game. With Lonzo Ball out, Pope is not likely to see more playing time, as he is already starting nearly 40 minutes per game, but he is likely to see higher usage. Lonzo Ball’s struggles have been pretty well documented so far in his young career. Not only has he been shooting for a bad percentage, but he has been shooting a lot. With Lonzo’s shots out of the equation for at least the next few games, Caldwell-Pope could see 2-3 more shots per game, translating to 2-3 more points per game. This would put Caldwell-Pope in starter territory for any league.
Ersan Ilyasova – PF ATL
With all the big men going down with injuries in Atlanta, including 2017 first round pick John Collins and trending waiver wire pickup Dewayne Dedmon, Ersan Ilyasova has a chance to pick up significant Fantasy value. Although he is technically behind Luke Babbit on the depth chart, Ilyasova has more recent playing time and more recent success. In his last four games, he has averaged 11 points and six rebounds in just 25 minutes of playing time. With the recent injuries to the other big men on the squad, he should be able to get more playing time and should be closer to 30-35 minutes for at the very least the next week or so. Look for Ilyasova to be a decent bench piece to stash, and if he improves a tad and becomes the true starter at the position, he could potentially have starter value.
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