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Fantasy Basketball 9-Cat Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 1

Well, the 2020-21 NBA season is here! After a shorter offseason than usual, (professional men's) basketball (in the United States) is back!

And with that, we want to welcome you to our first waiver wire column of the year. Each week, I'll be highlighting players to target in 9-Cat leagues. Are you a fantasy manager in a different format? Well, no worries, because you can still glean some insights from this column to help you make decisions about your team!

Our staff at RotoBaller has great insight and daily columns on how to improve your squad and tips to make your team successful, so be sure to check them out! Now, let's get prepared for Week 1. All players in this article are rostered at 50 percent or less.

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Week 1 Standard 9-Cat Leagues - Waiver Wire Pickups

*Securing your categorical needs at this point is important, especially if you're playing in head-to-head leagues*

Columns are written based on H2H 9-category standard size leagues:

Darius Bazley - SF/PF - Oklahoma City Thunder (43% rostered)

A big riser this preseason, Bazley is going to get plenty of opportunities on this rebuilding Thunder team. He'll provide fantasy managers with strong numbers in rebounds, blocks, and steals, plus can shoot from deep and should see a nice shot volume. I'm concerned about his efficiency when he's asked to do too much, but also if he really is asked to do too much for OKC, he'll give you enough raw numbers in other categories to help you forget about potential shooting struggles.

Darius Garland - PG - Cleveland Cavaliers (41% rostered) 

Garland's rookie campaign wasn't the most efficient thing we've seen, but he should see some improvement in year two. His three-point volume likely means he'll average two three-pointers per game, plus he'll give you something like 15 points and nearly five assists per game. If you're okay with taking a hit in field goal percentage, Garland is someone who can provide you with some raw numbers, plus a strong free throw percentage.

Tyrese Haliburton - PG/SG - Sacramento Kings (38% rostered)

Haliburton will open the 2020-21 season coming off the bench in Sacramento, but I expect to see him playing a sizable role as the third guard right from the get. He's a good defensive player who should be able to help you out in steals and blocks, plus can do some damage as a spot-up shooter when playing off-ball with De'Aaron Fox. Haliburton is one of my favorite rookies and a really great sleeper who should find his way onto a fantasy squad in your league soon. Be smart and make sure it's your team.

Deni Avdija - SG/SF - Washington Wizards (32% rostered)

The rookie will come off the bench and fight with Rui Hachimura for minutes, so adding him at this point is more speculative than it is for other guys on this list. Avdija probably won't help you out in Week 1. But if he can fix his shooting woes, he'll provide you solid contributions in most categories and is an interesting stash.

Maximilian Kleber - PF/C - Dallas Mavericks (28% rostered)

Kleber should be playing a larger role early on than he will later down the line, making him an interesting guy to play for the first few weeks of the season. He averaged 9.9 points, 6.4 rebounds, 2.1 threes, and 1.6 blocks in games he started last year, per our Brad Leibfried. If you need some threes and blocks, Kleber should be on your radar.

Talen Horton-Tucker - SG/SF - Los Angeles Lakers (24% rostered)

THT had a strong preseason. Like...a really strong preseason as he showed off his great scoring ability while also adding rebounds and steals to the equation. He's probably not going to be part of the main Lakers rotation from the start, but he has the upside to be a strong bench piece for this team and is my favorite stash guy in the league right now.

Shake Milton - PG/SG - Philadelphia 76ers (22% rostered)

Lots of things could change still in Philly if a James Harden trade materializes, but right now it looks like Shake Milton will get a lot of minutes. He can share the floor with Ben Simmons or run the point when Simmons sits. Milton had a strong training camp and preseason and should be able to provide quick points off the bench, plus can provide fantasy managers with assists and threes.

Sekou Doumbouya - SF/PF - Detroit Pistons (14% rostered)

It's hard to get a sense of what the Pistons will look like until we actually see the Pistons on an NBA court, but second-year forward Sekou Doumbouya should get plenty of minutes. He had a strong preseason, providing scoring and defense for Detroit. I'm really interested in him in deeper leagues where I need blocks, steals, and threes.

Immanuel Quickley - PG - New York Knicks (3% rostered)

Here's our deep league guy, who might end up playing a lot of minutes at point guard for the Knicks because the Knicks are...well, the Knicks, and their other options to back up Elfrid Payton at the point include a couple of guys who are looking like potential busts in Frank Ntilikina and Dennis Smith Jr.

Quickley's preseason numbers are likely a bit of an illusion, but in the final game, he had 22 points, five assists, five steals, and made three three-pointers. He probably won't get a lot of minutes because Tom Thibodeau doesn't love rookies, but considering the dearth of reliable bench options at the one in New York, we can't rule him out, and if he gets minutes he can provide scoring, threes, and steals.

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ROTOBALLER PLAYER NEWS

Treylon Burks2 hours ago

Ruled Out Sunday
Trae Young2 hours ago

Practices On Sunday
James Harden2 hours ago

On Pace To Play Monday
Brandon Bolden2 hours ago

Josh Jacobs, Brandon Bolden Officially Active In Week 13
Alex Caruso2 hours ago

Questionable For Sunday
Mikal Bridges2 hours ago

Available On Sunday
Joe Mixon2 hours ago

Not Cleared In Time For Week 13
NFL2 hours ago

Ja’Marr Chase Officially Active Sunday
Doug McDermott2 hours ago

Josh Richardson Out On Sunday
Courtland Sutton2 hours ago

Questionable To Return In Week 13
Lamar Jackson2 hours ago

Officially Ruled Out Sunday
Deebo Samuel2 hours ago

Trent Williams Officially Active Sunday
Aaron Jones3 hours ago

Returns Versus Bears
Aaron Jones3 hours ago

Questionable To Return In Week 13
Treylon Burks3 hours ago

Evaluated After Scary Hit
Lamar Jackson3 hours ago

Questionable To Return Sunday
Josh Jacobs5 hours ago

Will Play In Week 13
Zay Jones5 hours ago

Travis Etienne Jr., Zay Jones Active In Week 13
Darius Slayton5 hours ago

Active For Week 13
Michael Carter5 hours ago

Officially Out Against Vikings
Antonio Gibson5 hours ago

To Play In Week 13
Courtland Sutton5 hours ago

Jerry Jeudy Active Against Baltimore
Deebo Samuel5 hours ago

Will Play Against Dolphins
Bryan Reynolds6 hours ago

Pirates Offered Bryan Reynolds Franchise-Record Deal
Joe Mixon6 hours ago

Unlikely To Play In Week 13
Dansby Swanson6 hours ago

Cubs, Phillies Showing Interest In Dansby Swanson
Ja'Marr Chase7 hours ago

Won't Have Snap Limit
Michael Carter7 hours ago

Not Expected To Play In Week 13
Mitchell Marner7 hours ago

Sets New Record With 19-Game Point Streak
Kasperi Kapanen8 hours ago

Hits His Second Career Hat Trick
Connor McDavid8 hours ago

Tallies Two Goals, Two Assists Saturday
Radko Gudas8 hours ago

Lasts For Just Two Minutes Saturday
Darcy Kuemper8 hours ago

Forced Off Early
Petr Mrazek8 hours ago

Suffers Another Groin Injury
Artturi Lehkonen8 hours ago

Sustains An Upper-Body Injury
Anfernee Simons8 hours ago

Explodes For Career-High 45 Points
Andrew Wiggins9 hours ago

Scores Season-High 36 Points
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander9 hours ago

Returns With A 33-Point Effort
Pascal Siakam9 hours ago

Gets A Double-Double With Assists
Terry Rozier9 hours ago

Delivers 26 Points Saturday
Bobby Portis9 hours ago

Leads Bucks To Victory Saturday
Tim Hardaway9 hours ago

Jr. Hits Knicks With Eight Treys
Juancho Hernangomez9 hours ago

Exits With An Ankle Sprain
Jeremy Sochan16 hours ago

Out Versus The Suns On Sunday
Jakob Poeltl16 hours ago

Remains Out Versus Phoenix
Torrey Craig16 hours ago

Sidelined For Meeting With The Spurs
Mikal Bridges16 hours ago

Probable Against San Antonio
Chris Paul18 hours ago

Won't Be Back On Sunday
Herbert Jones18 hours ago

Sitting Again Versus The Nuggets
Brandon Ingram18 hours ago

Out Against Denver
Jeff Green18 hours ago

Questionable Against The Pelicans
Anthony Cirelli23 hours ago

Will Play Saturday
Brayden Schenn23 hours ago

Good To Go Saturday
Josh Manson23 hours ago

Considered Week-To-Week
Anton Lundell23 hours ago

Unavailable Saturday
Thatcher Demko24 hours ago

Out For Six Weeks
Lawson Crouse24 hours ago

Returns For Coyotes
Brock Boeser24 hours ago

Out As A Healthy Scratch
Bryan Reynolds1 day ago

Requesting A Trade
Kyle Gibson1 day ago

Orioles Agree With Kyle Gibson
Eddy Alvarez1 day ago

Brewers Sign Eddy Alvarez
Brandon Nimmo1 day ago

Yankees Have Met With Brandon Nimmo
Justin Verlander1 day ago

Mets, Yankees Interested In Justin Verlander, Carlos Rodon
Jameson Taillon1 day ago

Mets, Rangers In On Jameson Taillon
Noah Syndergaard1 day ago

Orioles Meet With Noah Syndergaard
Justin Verlander1 day ago

Mets Now Looking At Justin Verlander
Trea Turner1 day ago

Padres Have Met With Trea Turner Twice
Kevin Holland1 day ago

Hoping To Rebound With Main-Event Victory
Stephen Thompson1 day ago

Set To Headline Main Event
Bryan Barberena1 day ago

Will Highlight Co-Main-Event Matchup
Rafael Dos Anjos1 day ago

Rafael dos Anjos In Saturday's Co-Main Event
Johnny Gaudreau1 day ago

Has Another Multi-Point Performance
Patrik Laine1 day ago

Returns With A Two-Goal Effort
Mathew Barzal1 day ago

Pots A Power-Play Goal
Roman Josi1 day ago

Bags Two Power-Play Points
Matt Duchene1 day ago

Logs Three Points In Friday's Win
Mika Zibanejad1 day ago

Stays Hot With 12th Goal
Brady Tkachuk1 day ago

Notches Three Points Versus Rangers
Matt Schnell2 days ago

Matthew Christopher Schnell Hoping To Be A Tough Out
Matheus Nicolau2 days ago

Can Continue To Make Strides In The Division
Jacob deGrom2 days ago

Signs Five-Year Deal With Rangers
Jason Castro2 days ago

Announces His Retirement
Lewin Díaz2 days ago

Lewin Diaz Claimed By Orioles
Andrew Cave2 days ago

Phillies Claim Jake Cave Off Waivers From Orioles
Sergei Pavlovich2 days ago

Can Secure Fifth Straight Win Saturday
Justin Verlander2 days ago

Yankees In On Justin Verlander, Carlos Rodon
Chris Martin2 days ago

Agrees With Red Sox
Jesse Winker2 days ago

Abraham Toro Heading To Brewers
Kolten Wong2 days ago

Mariners Acquire Kolten Wong From The Brewers
Tai Tuivasa2 days ago

Facing Off Against Dangerous Heavyweight
Jack Hermansson2 days ago

Looking For Victory Over Rising Star
Roman Dolidze2 days ago

Set For Huge Test Saturday
Kyle Daukaus2 days ago

Looking For Big Finish Saturday
Zack Britton2 days ago

Should Be Full-Go For Spring Training
Salvador Perez2 days ago

White Sox Looking To Trade For Salvador Perez?
Eryk Anders2 days ago

Hoping To Prevent Losing Skid On Saturday

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