(Photo: The Ringer)

I remember last summer hearing Zach Lowe of ESPN talk about Dion Waiters like he was the missing ingredient in making a delectable dish, like the blueberries needed in blueberry cobbler. Ok, not the blueberry, but making the baking powder? ‘Waiters Island’ was the term, and he was fully on board.

I thought he was crazy. And I love what Zach Lowe does.

Fast forward to the 2016-2017 season and Waiters was essentially an afterthought as he joined his new team in South Beach. I won’t say that he took his talents there, like the rest of the world has at some point, but let’s not forget that this guy was the 4th overall pick in the NBA Draft; dude can hoop. His ‘hero ball’ mentality and lack of interest in playing defense, you know, half of the entire game, makes him hard to watch sometimes, and is a large reason why he’s now on his third team in six years. That’s a rare feat for a #4 pick that’s averaging 12.9/2.6/2.5 for his career. We’re not talking Chris Paul here, but we’re also not talking Marcus Fizer. Yet he seems to be settling in nicely for the Miami Rileys.

And now he gets four games this week…but let’s be clear, with the way he’s playing he deserves more than just a streamer nod. This dude should be owned at a much higher rate than 34%. GO GET HIM!

Here are the 7 Ahead for Week 6!

The 7 Ahead

Overall Thoughts: Thanksgiving has come and gone for all of America to official go Christmas crazy. And I love it. Put up the tree, hang the stockings and wreaths, light the fires and dream of Santa. I’ll personally be dreaming of a White Christmas, which, down here in Atlanta, has never happened in my lifetime. Don’t worry, my dreams consist of more than snow in December (just stop right there with wherever your mind is going), I also dream of Christmas because it will essentially end the lull we’re about to enter into for the next three weeks. Yes, the NBA is in full roar, but with the NFL entering the last quarter of it’s season, college football nearing conference championships, and fantasy football playoffs starting real soon, the fandom landscape is dominated by the pigskin in early December. That doesn’t mean there aren’t some great contests happening, nor is there a lack of great streamers in fantasy. Ok, actually this week that’s exactly what it means. Some of the names listed above will be solid pickups, but after the league took a day off last Thursday the schedule balances out quite evenly across the next 7 Ahead. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday are almost Stream Days, but Sunday’s the only one with less than six on the slate (4). No more days filled to the brim with basketball like last Wednesday and Friday, but the majority of teams spread out the calendar to three games this week. Take note, and take advantage of the 15 4-game squads for your matchups. Game of the week? The Clippers visit the Cavs on Thursday, which in a few universes could be the NBA Finals preview. A close second is the second-half of a Cleveland back-t0-back that gets LeBron James vs. Dwyane Wade with neither in a Heat uni (Cavs v. Heat). But Dion Waiters is!!!

Monday: The battle to the bottom could kick off the week when Sacramento visits the nation’s capital to face the Wizards. Seriously, both teams have stars, and both teams suck. Maybe a Bradley Beal and Marcin Gortat for DeMarcus Cousins trade could happen. Bring Boogie home! Well, if home is wherever John Wall is. In other cities, the Heat need to get healthy before their matchup vs. Boston can look really intriguing, but in Memphis the Hornets bring their own version of the two towers to town. Haha, ok, nothing about Frank Kaminsky and Cody Zeller could make them feel like NBA towers. For all their whiteness and lack of jumping ability, though, both guys are playing incredibly well lately. Zeller’s averaging 13/8/2 in his two games since returning from a shoulder injury, and Kaminsky is finally playing confidently on the offensive end. Hopefully it’s a harbinger of future ascension, because he’s such a smooth offensive player when he plays inside himself: 13.1/5.3/2.0 and nearly 2 3PG proves that. It will be fun to watch them try to space the floor against Marc Gasol, but their lack of defensive prowess may open the doors for one of my favorite streams of this week, JaMychal Green, to continue his big man dominate lately (10.6/8.5/0.6 on 58% shooting and 81.5% FT%).

Tuesday: Two matchups should get all the eyes on Tuesday. You’ll have trouble watching them, but if you can in any capacity the Giannis Antetokounmpo/LeBron James showdown should be a doozy. The Greek Freak is running point on offense, while playing the 5 on defense on some possessions. The only other person in this generation to effectively do this? LBJ. The Cavs should wax the Bucks, but that head-to-head game should be fascinating. And in the nightcap the Rockets and Jazz give a glimpse at the yin and yang of basketball. The Jazz just completely shut down the Hawks in Atlanta on Friday, and the Rockets score like they don’t give two effs. Because, well…I don’t think they do. None of our streamers play Tuesday, but you can be sneaky if needed with someone like Larry Nance, if he’s healthy enough to go.

Wednesday: The Kings continue their tour of playing teams that sucks when they visit the 76ers Wednesday. This will be a great opportunity to see if Ilyasova can continue his solid scoring, 13.9/6.4/1.3 and 1.7 3PG in the past 14, against a team that struggles defensively (7th worst FG% against, surrendering 10 3PG). While he’s stretching the bigs, this is a prime game for Nik Stauskas to continue firing away from downtown. He’s owned in less leagues, but Stuaskas is the second best thing going in Philly this year. It’s been two weeks since he drained less than 2 3PM in  game, and is averaging 13.3/3.6/1.3 in that time. On 52.5% shooting. It’s that final number that makes him the most attractive: he’s effective. It may not get better than this game for those two, but let’s be really clear: this game’s all about Boogie vs. Joel Embiid. Simply put, the Sixers are a viable NBA team with Embiid, and are abysmal without him. Can’t wait! 10 games on the docket, so there’s plenty of action, but the Baby Lakers v. the grizzled Bulls probably tops my list.

Thursday: The Clippers visiting the Cavs steals the night. Easily. This game should be incredible, even in early December. When two teams face off that are 15-3 and 12-2 it’s the making of a Sportscaster classic. I’ll put the over/under on dunks in this affair at 15, one from Richard Jefferson, of course, and the over/under of Chris Paul, LeBron James hugs at 4. Is that selling them short? Oh, and from a fantasy perspective the Rockets visit the Warriors. Hahahahaha, the over/under for 3PM in this game should be 74. But in reality, they could break 30. 30 3’s!!!

Friday: After two days off I’m hoping the Pistons and Jon Leuer come in strong vs. the Hawks. No, not for the Hawks sake, but for Leuer’s. Andre Drummond should command the interior attention of Dwight Howard (interior emphasized since neither can play outside 8′), leaving Leuer open to stretch Paul Millsap and Mike Muscala. Listen, that’s not easy, and Atlanta’s a great defensive squad, but the chances are here with two days off. Houston finishing a back-to-back at Denver should bring plenty of scoring, the Sixers streams get another great matchup vs. the Magic, and it will be fun to watch Anthony Davis battle Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan.

Saturday: It’s Dion Waiters Day. Well, not officially, but he gets the gem of the day in facing the Trailblazers. They’re allowing 112+ ppg, second worst in the NBA, and it’s not coming from a slue of 3PM. No worries there, though, since Waiters will likely drop 20 without needing to go beyond the arc often. He’s a poor man’s Dwyane Wade. I mean, a really poor man’s Wade, but similar game and style, now on the Heat, and a threat to drop 20 whenever he wants. ‘He wants’ being the key, as he might be his worst enemy. The other streamers have nice matchups, too, but Waiters wins the day. 9 games on the list, so there aren’t a ton of openings, but slide them in where you can, especially Green in his contest vs. the Lakers.

Sunday: And we’ll end on the Stream Day! Only 4 games on the schedule, so not a lot of your regulars are playing. Get sneaky with your pickups, but if you’re in a weekly league, here’s the big reason why you go with Leuer if you have a gap. The Pistons host the Magic for what could be a great end to Leuer’s week since he’s not coming off a back-to-back. And the fantasy highlight of the day clearly lies with the Pelicans/Thunder matchup. It’s a race to the better performance between Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook. My money’s on Russ. AD vs. Steven Adams could bring just a sliver of difficulty. And by a sliver I mean maybe a 30/14/6/3/1 line instead of 40/15/6/3/1. Ha!


Now, DROP THOSE COMMENTS! And don’t be afraid to send along any questions on trades, pickups or life! Good luck in Week 6, and good luck recovering from the feast on Thursday!

  1. Justin says:

    Hi ,someone just dropped Favors in my 8 team league, curious what your thoughts are on him? Thanks so much!!!

    • @Justin: I don’t know what his deal is. Obviously he’s hurt, but even when he’s played there are a lot of negatives in his stat line. For an 8 team league I’d probably hold off on adding him. Your league is too shallow. Wait to see if he rebounds, then jump on him quick.

      • Justin says:

        @[email protected]: awesome, thank you for the feedback!!!

  2. sebapargue says:

    hey there, nice write up. I made a few trades in my money league, looking for feedback, im in first place so i assume i can afford the injuries right now. playing for the playoffs. any sugesstions, guys I should target? thanks in advance.

    14 Team League- 9cat- H2H
    PG- Stephen Curry
    SG- James Harden
    G- D’angelo Russell
    SF- Chandler Parsons
    PF – Kriztaps Porzingis
    F- Robert Covington
    C-Greg Monroe
    C- Joel Embiid
    Util- Nikola Mirotic
    Util – Seth Curry
    Bench – Larry Nance Jr, 2 spots for streamers.

    • @sebapargue: Thanks man! Love playing for the playoffs. That’s all that matters once you get there.

      WOW! Chef and Harden together is bananas. Freakin’ a.

      Monroe is droppable. Unless he’s traded I don’t see him breaking through enough to give a ton of value. For a 14 team league I’d say you need more REB. JaMychal Green may be great for that, at least while Randolph is out. Either of the Hornets guys, too.

      You don’t need 3PM. Assists should be solid. Scoring, as well. It’s the big man stats you need to find. Make sure Mirotic and Covington doesn’t destroy your FG%…

      • sebapargue says:

        thanks man, im a believe that monroe will get traded or jason kidd either gets fired or give minutes back to him. anyways I traded tim frazier for him ( since frazier will probably lose value in the future). For curry I had to give up blake and teague.

        • @sebapargue: Feels like a lot, but it’s shaped up your team nicely. With more minutes for Monroe it would solve your problem, I just don’t know that it will happen.

  3. miles proudfoot says:

    Could use someone with Forward eligibility. Hate to do it, but is Brendan Knifht a drop for any of the following…Josh Rich, Mason Plumlee, Jaymichael Green, Nick Young? Thanks!

    • miles proudfoot says:

      @miles proudfoot: even just a SG, Jamal Murray is available as well.

      • @miles proudfoot: I’m all about getting Murray on your team. And cray enough, I’d probably rather have him than Knight. The minutes aren’t up, and his assists are down. Way down. That to me is one of the biggest knocks. he’ll score low teens still, but so will Marco Bellinelli.

        From the others you mentioned I’d take Green in the short term, and Plumlee ROS.

  4. BootsyBaby says:

    Trade offered: His KAT for my LeBron.

    12 team roto redraft Yahoo 9 cat.

    Currently in 11th – could use points, shooting % and maybe blocks. Love the all around LeBron stats, but who do you like better ROY?

    • Lasandro says:

      @BootsyBaby: IMO would absolutely take that offer! KAT is the safer roto option by a bit ROY.

      • @Lasandro: I would NOT take that. Love the ceiling, potential, ability, future, etc of Towns, but he’s not getting you 27/7/7 like LeBron. If you need scoring and % I’d rather have LeBron because you can find a % replacement at C for Towns easier than the hit you’d take for a LeBron replacement.

        Hard not to that the hype, but I wouldn’t do it yet. Even with LBJ prob resting some once the winter comes.

  5. rexjiang says:

    Currently top 3 in my 14 team h2h 9-cat league.

    Got a decent team, but looking to sell high on Rudy Gay/Lou Williams and possibly Brook Lopez.

    Any idea as to who I should be targeting?

    PG- Lou Williams
    SG- RHJ
    G- Kawhi Leonard
    SF- Kevin Durant
    PF – Rudy Gay
    F- Jokic
    C- Brook Lopez
    C- Enes Kanter
    Util- Eric Gordon
    Util – Josh Richardson
    Bench – Marvin Williams, Aaron Gordon, James Johnson

    • @rexjiang: You need to target assists. RHJ, Lou, JRich, Kanter and your entire bench can be sold.

      If it means selling Brook you can do that too. Try a Lou/Kanter package for Teague.

  6. Harvey Lee says:

    Great post as always, your post always helps me a lot
    I was curious about whether to take this trade or not…
    Gobert, Klay Thompson

    Millsap, Tobias Harris
    Here is my team right now, 14-man league that takes DD and A/T into account(any further suggestions would be very much appreciated)
    PG Stephen Curry
    SG Klay Thompson
    G Knight
    SF Durant
    PF Green
    F Covington
    C Pachulia
    C Gobert
    Util Seth Curry
    Util Deng
    BN Frye Mozgov Augustin
    IL MCW CJ Miles
    Again, thanks a lot for the posts!

    • @Harvey Lee: Thanks Harv! And man…went all in on the Warriors, didn’t ya. You have all four?

      I actually wouldn’t do this deal. Not that I love having all of the big four, but you would be lacking at SG in a big way if you move Thompson for Millsap. Millsap is the best player in the deal, but his rebounds are down with Dwight in town, meaning the DD bonus is less likely for him this year. Hold tight instead of making that deal. You would also lose a lot in blocks if you move Gobert. He’s your only real threat there.

      I’d keep going with the hot hands at your UTIL spots like it seems you have been. A Knight turn around would be golden for you. I’d focus on a high % big man with a lot of REB and BLK since scoring, 3PM, assists and steals seem locked up.

      Good luck!

      • Harvey Lee says:


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