We now have two-plus weeks of NBA action in the books, providing us with a solid sample to consider in terms of roles and rotations. This week, we’re back with more waiver wire recommendations, focusing primarily on players available in at least half of CBS Fantasy basketball leagues.
I’ve listed them below in my order of preference, although naturally, the priority will vary depending on your Fantasy team’s particular categorical needs.
Shake Milton, G, PHI (44% rostered)
Milton is increasingly on the radar in many leagues thanks to his steady production in the backcourt, and with Seth Curry now in COVID-19 protocols, Milton projects to continue serving in a starting two-guard role for at least a handful more games. Even prior to his season-best 24-point effort against the Nets on Thursday (in a spot start), Milton was already trending in the right direction with averages of 12.9 points, 2.9 assists, 1.8 rebounds and 1.1 steals across 24.8 minutes. The third-year guard is uncharacteristically struggling from distance early (27.8% 3PT through nine games), but as he demonstrated in the Orlando bubble last summer, he has no shortage of multi-category upside if given the minutes.
Marcus Morris, F, LAC (43% rostered)
This is a case of a player who almost certainly wouldn’t be rostered in less than half of CBS leagues had he been healthy to start the season. Morris finally made his 2020-21 debut Wednesday after knee soreness cost him the first eight contests of the campaign. And although he came off the bench, he didn’t look rusty while compiling 12 points, two rebounds and two assists over 18 minutes. An eventual ascension to the starting power forward role is likely – even as Nicolas Batum has been more productive of late – and Morris could certainly reward Fantasy managers in multiple categories once he returns to a full workload. It’s worth noting that while he wasn’t as heavily relied upon after coming to LA via trade last season, Morris could well expand his role under new head coach Tyronn Lue.
Rudy Gay, F, SAN (36% rostered)
Gay is still out there knocking down shots consistently at age 34, having posted four consecutive double-digit scoring performances and averaging a solid 13.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.4 assists across 24.8 minutes over eight games. Coach Gregg Popovich trusts the reliable veteran as one of the top scoring options on his second unit, so minutes aren’t going to be in question. Gay hasn’t been anywhere near the source of steals he was earlier in his career for some time now, but he’s averaging 1.0 block per game thus far.
Bobby Portis, C/F, MIL (54% rostered)
Portis has fit into Milwaukee’s frontcourt rotation in seamless fashion, averaging 11.4 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.5 assists while shooting 55.2 percent, including 38.9 percent from 3-point range. After a sluggish opener, Portis has subsequently rattled off seven consecutive double-digit scoring efforts, including three double-doubles. The veteran is averaging 23.5 minutes per contest while backing up Brook Lopez, who’s logging a career-low 23.4 minutes as the starter. That split is likely to continue as coach Mike Budenholzer looks to preserve the 32-year-old while also capitalizing on Portis’ ability to lend some serious offensive punch to his second unit.
Payton Prichard, G, BOS (25% rostered)
Pritchard has hit the floor running in his rookie season, already posting a trio of double-digit scoring efforts and shooting an impressive 50.0 percent over his first nine games. Pressed into a season-high allotment of 32 minutes Monday against the Raptors with both Marcus Smart and Jeff Teague out, Prichard responded with 23 points and eight assists on 8-for-13 shooting. Coach Brad Stevens clearly has no hesitation about entrusting Pritchard with a consistent backcourt role that’s already affording him 22.9 minutes per contest. On a per-36 basis, the Oregon product is already putting up numbers comparable to those of his impressive college career, even as he continues to hone his efficiency from distance. For now, Pritchard is more of a deep-league consideration.
Joe Ingles, G/F, UTA (41% rostered)
Ingles’ robust second-unit role is secure, and the veteran wing has opened the season posting double-digit scoring tallies in five of his first eight contests. The 33-year-old is flashing improved efficiency with a 46.9 percent field goal percentage over his first eight games after falling below the 45.0 percent mark in each of the previous two seasons. Ingles also offers serviceable contributions in rebounds and assists. Additionally, Ingles is probably due for some progression from beyond the arc. He’s sitting at just 35.0 percent right now, but he drained 38.6 percent or better of his shots from behind the arc in each of his five prior seasons.
Justin Holiday, G/F,IND (30% rostered)
Holiday’s production has historically been capped by inefficiency, as the veteran had never finished a season with better than 43.3 percent shooting. However, the 31-year-old has done a complete about-face, draining an outstanding 52.6 percent of his 7.1 attempts per game over the first eight contests, including 42.4 percent from behind the arc. Holiday currently boasts a well-rounded line of 10.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.4 steals. Just as important: those figures are coming over an average of 29.5 minutes off the bench. It remains to be seen if Holiday will experience some regression, but he’s worth the add in the event that this is actually legitimate, lasting improvement.
JaMychal Green, F/C, DEN (10% rostered)
No matter the Fantasy format, Green has seemingly always been a bit underappreciated, considering he’s consistently proven to be a solid rebounder and floor spacer since his early days in Memphis. Since returning from injury, the veteran is thriving in Denver, averaging a career-best 12.3 points, along with 6.0 rebounds and 1.5 assists, over 19.5 minutes across his first four games. What’s more, Green is shooting 54.8 percent, including an excellent 52.6 percent from 3-point range (10-19 3PT) on a career-high 4.8 3-point attempts per game.
Saddiq Bey, F, DET (27% rostered)
The 19th overall pick is averaging 10.4 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.0 assist across 22.3 minutes in seven games. He’s accomplished that scoring average despite atypical inefficiency, as his elite 46.3 percent 3-point percentage (5.9 3PA/G) has helped offset unsightly 36.1 percent shooting overall. Bey shot 45.8 and 47.7 percent in his two seasons at Villanova, so the struggles around the rim aren’t likely to last. The Pistons‘ rotation has been difficult to read thus far, but as Detroit falls further and further from contention, Bey’s role could continue to increase.
Austin Rivers, G, NYK (12% rostered): Averaging 13.3 points on 60.0 percent shooting, including 55.0 percent from deep, across 26.0 minutes over his first four games back from injury.
Cedi Osman, F, CLE (47% rostered)
Dreadful 34.0 percent shooting over his first nine games, but still averaging 11.7 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.0 steals across 27.9 minutes.