If you’re in a H2H categories league, you know by now that the direction of your matchup usually starts to come into focus around this time each week. For those of you in ultra-competitive leagues, you’ve also probably learned that victory is often found on the margins, and winning or losing can hinge on a single rebound, block, or free throw. Although the week’s final few days always bring some plot twists, you can help yourself out by identifying players on the waiver wire who will help you carve out a path to victory.
To help out, I’ve listed a few punt builds that are common across the fantasy hoops landscape, and provided some recommendations for player additions based on those scenarios. For instance, if you have a streaming spot and find your team getting mercilessly bludgeoned in threes, assists, and FT%, check out strategy 1 for players who can provide value in your more winnable categories.
The players listed below have two or more games remaining in the current week and are rostered in 50% or less of Yahoo and/or ESPN leagues.
Strategy 1: Punt Threes, Assists, FT%
- Ivica Zubac (ESPN 26%, Yahoo 37%): The playing time will fluctuate, but Zubac’s floor is relatively high for rebounds and good efficiency, albeit on low volume shooting (Plays Fri & Sun).
- Robert Williams III (ESPN 5%, Yahoo 10%): Pay attention to the injury status of Daniel Theis for Friday’s game against Atlanta. If he’s out again, expect Williams to push 20 minutes again and bring the rebounds and D stats on high efficiency (Plays Fri & Sun).
Strategy 2: Punt Assists, Steals, FT%
- Saddiq Bey (ESPN 28%, Yahoo 46%): Bey took full advantage of the Pistons’ lineup churn over the past four games, posting averages of 17 points, 3.5 threes, and 6.5 rebounds. If Dwane Casey continues to trust him with meaningful minutes, he figures to be a long term add in 12 team leagues (Plays Fri & Sun).
- Marcus Morris Sr. (ESPN 5%, Yahoo 34%): The absences of Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and Nicolas Batum left a scoring vacuum for Morris to fill, and has not disappointed so far. His FG% over the past two weeks is unsustainably high at 50%, so expect a regression bomb there at some point (update: he shot 4 of 15 from the field on Wednesday). (Plays Fri & Sat).
- Jaden McDaniels (ESPN 1%, Yahoo 2%) McDaniels received his first start in the Timberwolves frontcourt on Wednesday night, posting 11 points, 3 threes, and three blocks across 37 minutes. The blocks and threes appear to be the features in his game, as he’s posted averages of 1.5 threes and 1.6 blocks in mostly limited playing time off the bench (Plays Fri & Sun).
Strategy 3: Punt Threes, Steals, and FT%
- Ivica Zubac
- Jae’Sean Tate (ESPN 17%, Yahoo 20%): The Rockets play a back-to-back to wrap up their week, which comes with rest days for John Wall and Victor Oladipo. This should result in more big minutes for Tate, who gives you scoring, rebounding, and 61% true shooting (Plays Fri & Sat).
Strategy 4: Punt Rebounds, Blocks, FG%
- Theo Maledon (ESPN 4%, Yahoo 11%): The jury is still out on Maledon’s upside as the starting PG in OKC. If you are facing a team that’s bigs heavy, Theo is a good candidate to boost your steals and assists. Just keep your expectations in check on the scoring and three-point shooting until he shows more consistency (Plays Fri & Sun).
- Grayson Allen (ESPN 11%, Yahoo 14%): With multiple injuries in the Grizzlies’ backcourt, Allen is playing more than 25 minutes per game and producing efficient points and threes. Monitor the injury status of De’Anthony Melton and Desmond Bane prior to Friday. If both are out again, Allen will have the green light to maintain his current role (plays Fri & Sat).
- Saddiq Bey
Strategy 5: Punt Points, Assists, Rebounds
Strategy 6: Punt Points, Assists, Steals
- Saddiq Bey
- Marc Gasol (ESPN 12%, Yahoo 20%): Gasol saw 30 minutes in the first game of Anthony Davis’s extended absence. The usage will be low, but the boards, threes, and blocks make him worth a short term add if you have room and are battling for those categories. He plays on low volume days this week, making him potentially more valuable than players who may not fit into your lineup on Friday and Sunday (Plays Thurs & Sat).
- Jae Crowder (ESPN 25%, Yahoo 33%): Crowder has quietly put up top 120 overall value this season, and Phoenix appears to be gravitating back towards him as their starting SF over Cameron Johnson. He responded to that vote of confidence with averages of 10 points, 2.5 threes, 8 rebounds, and a block over the past 4 games (Plays Fri & Sat).
- Jae’Sean Tate
There are hundreds of matchup scenarios, so hit me up in the comments section if you want more feedback on your team’s direction for the week. Best of luck!