Welcome to your midweek guidance for Week Eight! In competitive leagues, the difference between winning and losing often comes down to which player(s) you pick up. The goal of this post is to help you identify those players on your wire who can help win tight head-to-head matchups.  While I primarily focus on nine-category formats, there is applicability for points leagues and eight-category as well.

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Most of the players that I profile are low-usage, but I will inform you when a player is likely to hurt your turnovers.  Also, the players listed below are on rosters in fewer than 50% of Yahoo and/or ESPN leagues.

A good portion of the league only plays one more game this week: Hawks, Celtics, Hornets, Bulls, Warriors, Pacers, Clippers, Heat, Suns, Blazers, Raptors, Wizards.

The Lakers and Spurs have three remaining games, hence the spotlight on Doug McDermott for this week’s action.  Here are the players I’m watching and adding this week:

Two Category Contributors

  • Doug McDermott (Points, Threes): The Spurs possess the most favorable streaming schedule, with all three of their games occurring on low-volume days.  With Keldon Johnson likely to miss time with an ankle injury, McDermott may pick up extra playing time.  He averaged 14 points and 2.5 threes over the past four games (Plays Thurs, Sat, Sun).
  • Garrison Mathews (Points, Threes): Mathews was the bright spot from last week’s post amongst a sea of duds.  He continues to start for Jalen Green and is hitting threes at an extremely high clip (4/game over his previous six contests) (Plays Fri, Sat).
  • Dorian Finney-Smith (Threes, Steals): DFS is a perennial streaming option that is pushing into 12-team roster consideration.  He’s the 73rd ranked player over the past two weeks on higher-than-usual FG% to go along with his typical contributions in threes and steals (Plays Fri, Sun).
  • Terence Davis (Threes, Steals): After early-season injury woes, Davis is recapturing some of the magic that he displayed during year’s fantasy playoffs.  If the minutes remain in the high-20s, he could return 12-team value (Plays Fri, Sat).
  • Gary Harris (Threes, Steals): I don’t think we’ll ever see the ultra-efficient Denver version of Harris again.  However, he started the last eight games for the Magic in place of Jalen Suggs and hit 1.9 threes per game to go along with 1.4 steals (Plays Sat, Sun).
  • Chris Duarte (Threes, Steals): Though the Pacers only have one remaining game this week, Duarte should garner solid minutes with TJ McConnell out and Justin Holiday in health and safety protocols (Plays Fri).
  • Cody Martin (Assists, Steals): Martin is taking full advantage of the Hornets’ starting backcourt being placed in health and safety protocols.  He played 42 and 43 minutes in the Hornets last two games (Plays Fri).
  • Patrick Beverley (Assists, Blocks): It’s unclear how long D’Angelo Russell will be sidelined, but Beverley was putting up solid 12-team value even with Russell in the lineup.  He’s a must roster if you need an edge in assists and defensive stats (Plays Fri, Sun).
  • Dennis Smith Jr. (Assists, Steals): It’s starting to look like a lost season in Portland, with the Blazers sustaining injury after injury.  If you can stomach the hit to your efficiency stats, DSJ will provide excellent defensive stats for as long as he’s playing 30+ minutes per night.  He’s one of the primary ball handlers for the Blazers currently, so beware of the turnover risk if you need that category (Plays Sun).
  • Willy Hernangomez (Rebounds, FG%): The ‘Free Willy’ movement is gaining new life as the per-minute monster puts up excellent shooting and rebounding numbers in less than 20 minutes per game.  In his last seven games, he averaged 8.4 rebounds while shooting 61% on nearly seven attempts (Plays Fri, Sun).
  • Dewayne Dedmon (Rebounds, Blocks): The initial hype surrounding Dedmon’s takeover of starting center in Miami was overblown.  After posting a double-double with two blocks in his first start, he’s since tailed off considerably.  Nonetheless, if you need to stream rebounds and shot-blocking on Saturday, he is a viable option (Plays Sat) 

One Category Contributors

  • James Johnson (Blocks): Johnson’s annual return to relevance is here!  Ironically, he received less playing time in Wednesday’s start than he had in his two previous outings off the bench.  If it’s slim pickings on the waiver wire in your league, however, Johnson is a player who has the potential to provide low-volume production across the board (Plays Fri, Sun).
  • Malik Monk (Threes): Monk’s minutes and production faded on Tuesday, but due to the Lakers’ schedule, he’s a good option for managers who need threes but have limited player additions for the week (Plays Thurs, Fri, Sun).
  • Cedi Osman (Threes): Injuries have caused Osman to miss a decent portion of Collin Sexton’s absence so far.  As a result, we haven’t had the opportunity to gauge where Cedi’s minutes will stabilize.  He averaged 1.7 threes and a steal over the Cavs’ past three games (Plays Fri, Sat).
  • Kenrich Williams (Steals): The minutes and production have ticked up in the past two games.  I wouldn’t count on the gaudy steal numbers he posted in those contests (four in each), but he’s historically hovered around one steal per game when receiving 20 minutes.  He may chip in a few dimes as a bonus (Plays Fri, Sun). 

Hit me up in the comments below with any questions or feedback.  Best of luck!