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Deep Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire Adds (Week 5)

The injuries surrounding the New Orleans Pelicans have opened up massive windows for two players on the roster. With Derrick Favors hurt, we have already seen breakout performances from both Jaxson Hayes and Nicolo Melli. Breakout might be a strong word, but they were fantasy relevant performances nonetheless. The upside that both carry into their next few games is almost unmatched given how little cost there is in playing them.

It shouldn't matter the league size for someone like Jaxson Hayes, but someone like Nicolo Melli carries a significant amount of relevance as long as he is hitting shots. Since he contributes across the board but doesn't dominate a certain category, he is more specifically a game-by-game streamer play compared to Hayes who could be a double-double threat every night if the Pelicans stay injured. All in all, I would buy shares of both for the near-future.

Make sure to stay updated on injuries and return times, but as far as I'm concerned, these next three players will see the biggest benefit. As a reminder, for standard (10-12 team) league adds, we use a general rule of thumb of an ownership rate of under 50% on Yahoo. All position eligibility based on Yahoo leagues.

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Free Agent Waiver Adds for Week 3

Terrance Ferguson, G  – Oklahoma City Thunder

Ownership: 1%

5.5 PPG /  1.8 RPG /  .512 FG% /  1.1 APG

After making a dramatic return to the Thunder rotation, it's clear his career projection is still on the same upward path. Since the Thunder are lacking extra sources of production, there is no reason why he can't repeat this type of night with similar usage. His first game back, he contributed 19 points on 9 shots, but wasn't able to do much more in the box score. This is normal for him, but don't expect much else other than points and few rebounds even if it is consistent.


Nicolo Melli,  PF – New Orleans Pelicans

Ownership 1%

 6.3 PPG /  1.2 3PM /  1.3 APG / .460 FG%

With one percent ownership, nobody will be flocking to Nicolo Melli after scoring double digits in the only two contests he's played over 25 minutes. This is a good sign after a slow start, but without Derrick Favors the Pelicans are desperate for frontcourt consistency. New Orleans next four games are against the Trail Blazers, Suns, Jazz, and Clippers. Playing against those teams do not give him the best outlook for the next week, but I am confident he is going to find a way to be productive with the minutes he is lined up for. His ability to score, generate and facilitate on offense make it hard to pass him up if you are needing those type of stats.


 Damian Jones, C – Atlanta Hawks

Ownership 4%

6.1  PPG /  3.3 RPG /  .681 FG% /  0.9 BPG

It's been a rough start for Damian Jones from a statistical standpoint, but he has been slowly improving nearly every game. His two games before his contest with the Lakers were impressive, but playing against Anthony Davis clearly caused a problem. Luckily, that's the case for nearly every player Davis faces, so look at this game as nothing out of the ordinary. A semi-talented center faced off against one of the best centers in recent memory and didn't have a good game.

Looking forward, he will continue to get minutes and usage, but when John Collins returns, nearly all his value is gone. Jones has solid streaming upside for anyone needing rebounds, but he needs to improve defensively before he can think about getting starter minutes and non-deep league recognition.

More Fantasy Basketball Analysis

By popular demand, RotoBaller has aggregated all of our fantasy basketball NBA waiver wire pickups into a running list of NBA waiver options, so bookmark the page and check back often for updates.