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Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire Pickups, Adds for Week 1

The NBA is back! What a joyful summer it's been and we kick off with Week 1 in fantasy basketball. Hopefully everyone had a successful draft. It's important to note that although it's crucial to do your homework, it comes down to having fun. You are the owner of the team and you have the power to draft players who you feel strongly towards! In this early part of the season, it's super important to have a roster spot open on your team. The reason being is that you are likely to find hidden gems early part of the first week of the season as opposed to later in the season. For example, Pascal Siakam comes to mind as he was not being drafted in a lot of leagues last season, but he became a top-50 player by season's end.

We here at RotoBaller strongly suggest you choose to join leagues that will end a bit early this season (and possibly moving forward). It’s recommended that your playoffs will begin in Week 20, and conclude in Week 22, opposed to ending on Week 23, which is April 5th. The reason being that key players will be at risk of sitting out games during that period in anticipating for playoffs. You hate to lose in a championship round because of DNP – Load Management, right?

As a reminder for most leagues, it's crucial to plan ahead. Waiver wire adds, scheduling and player injuries are all things to consider. Drop the dead weight, make an effort to improve your team by maximizing your weekly adds and utilizing streamer spots via the waiver wire. In some cases, preach some patience in the early part of the season if a player isn't busting out of the gates. For example, owners were dropping Trae Young last season because of his inefficiencies.  Don't be that guy! Be wary of weekly streaming options and stay ahead of your opponents. 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.

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Week 1 Schedule

3 Games - Wizards, Jazz, Raptors, Kings, Trail Blazers, Raptors, Suns, Thunder, Knicks, Timberwolves, Pelicans, Heat, Grizzlies, Lakers, Clippers, Pistons, Bulls, Mavericks, Hornets, Nets, Celtics

2 Games - Hawks, Cavaliers, Nuggets, Rockets, Warriors, Bucks, Magic, Pacers, Sixers, Spurs


Week 1 Standard Leagues - Waiver Wire Pickups

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

I write my columns based on H2H 9-category standard size leagues:

The following adds for Week 1 means all of these players are good to be dropped after you maximize the games played. Owners should be targeting long-term prospects who can contribute in multiple games, if not the entire season during the first couple of weeks of the NBA season.

Dwayne Bacon - SG - Charlotte Hornets (19% owned)

Bacon hasn't been shy in the preseason, jacking up shot after shot for this Charlotte Hornets team. He'll be given opportunities as one of the few who isn't shy about shooting it. He looks to be a good bet to average double-digits given his ability to knock down 3-pointers. The Hornets will be one of the worst teams this season, but look for Bacon to provide a decent source of points and 3-pointers. He's worth a streamer spot to see what happens.

Malik Monk - SG  - Charlotte Hornets (9% owned)

There's no better opportunity than now for Malik Monk, where he will have the opportunity to secure and win over a starting roster spot at the shooting guard position. His path to minutes to all be dependent on if he can play some point and relieve pressure off of Terry Rozier. But I would be shocked if he didn't play a role for the Hornets season. Look for Monk to provide a nice source of 3-pointers and steals with a sprinkle of assists. However, I wouldn't be attached to him if a hot free agent came along.

PJ Washington - PF/C - Charlotte Hornets (13% owned)

The front court of the Charlotte Hornets is very thin, with Cody Zeller looking to start at center on opening night. With the Hornets looking treating this season to give the young core as much playing time as possible, Washington could see himself into a 20-minute role right from the start of the season. Washington averaged 12.2 points with 5.0 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game through preseason. He also has the ability to knock down 3-pointers, averaging 1.6 3-pointers per game with a steal and 0.8 blocks per game as well. He's got a versatile fantasy game which is worth holding onto for the first couple of weeks to see what happens.

Brandon Clarke - PF/C - Memphis Grizzlies (68% owned)

Jonas Valanciunas (foot) isn't quite ready yet and the Grizzlies will ease him back into action once he's healthy. That means Brandon Clarke could see himself into a role from the start as well. Clarke was the Summer League MVP with stellar big man numbers along with defensive stats. Look for him to be a cheap streaming option until we hear more of Valanciunas.

Landry Shamet - PG/SG - Los Angeles Clippers (35% owned)

The Clippers have a great schedule this week, being the only team to play on both Tuesday (opening night) and Thursday (typically a less busy night), so taking a flier on a couple of Clipper players makes sense if you have some dead weight. Shamet will play a nice role with this point of the rotation and there's some noise he'll be playing some back up point guard minutes behind Patrick Beverly, which means well for his assist numbers. He's more of a 3-point specialist in most leagues, but will be a much better fantasy option if he does increase his assist numbers. Keep an eye on Shamet.

Maurice Harkless - SF/PF - Los Angeles Clippers (4% owned)

Paul George (shoulder) will be out for the first ten games of the season, meaning Harkless is a name that could be starting alongside Kawhi Leonard for the time being. With that said, Harkless has the ability to get defensive stats and hit 3-pointers, meaning he's another Clippers who owners can use this week. He's more of a deeper league add in most cases.

Marquese Chriss - PF/C - Golden State Warriors (10% owned)

Recently having signed with the Warriors, Chriss will get an opportunity at minutes with Willie Cauley-Stein (foot) still out for the next couple of weeks. The Warriors big man isn't deep, with Kevon Looney likely not exceeding 30 minutes out of the gates. Chriss could have some upside as a early-season sleeper to boost 3-pointers and defensive numbers.

Jordan Poole - SF/PF - Golden State Warriors (2% owned)

The Warriors are high on Poole, as he could potentially be the next starting small forward for the Golden State Warriors. The upside isn't great, but on a team with willing passersl - Poole could have some value early in the season. Poole's more of a deeper league add in most cases.

Isaiah Thomas - PG - Washington Wizards (13% owned)

It's been reported that Thomas has been cleared and went through a full practice on Sunday, meaning he could potentially play in the opener. Although we should not expect to see Isaiah Thomas from the Boston Celtics days, he's a player who can get hot on any given night and be a nice sneaky source of points, assists, and free throw percentage. He's definitely worth a flier if he's available on the waiver wire and you're in need of a point guard.

OG Anunoby - SF/PF - Toronto Raptors (56% owned)

OG Anunoby has been killing it in the preseason, scoring 18 points with six rebounds, one assist and four 3-pointers in 28 minutes against the Nets on Friday. He'd be battling Norman Powell for the small forward minutes, but he's also got path to play the power forward whenever the Raptors decides to go small. OG has some upside as well, since he can hit 3-pointers and generate some steals with a sprinkle of assists and boards. We're not expecting him to be the next Pascal Siakam, but if he can evaluate his play from last season - he's certainly worth a look in standard leagues.

Matisse Thybulle - SF - Philadelphia 76ers (16% owned)

Thybulle was a defensive ace back in college, averaging 3.5 steals and 2.3 blocks per game. He's now brought that into the NBA, averaging 2.6 steals and 1.4 blocks through 5 preseason games. I believe the defensive numbers are real and we need to pay close attention to Thybulle as he can legitimately flirt with top-90 numbers for the entire season. The minutes will be there as he's likely the back up shooting guard and small forward. Grab Thybulle if he's available in your league and see what happens.

Jahlil Okafor - C - New Orleans Pelicans (5% owned)

I'm not ready to give up on Okafor just yet, and I do believe he's still going to be a contributor on most NBA teams. The injury to Zion Williamson (knee) will likely open some minutes to Okafor. He could have some value early into the season as Derrick Favors is being eased back and the guards on the Pelicans are all willing passers. Keep an eye on him as Pelicans are one of the four teams who play on Tuesday night, he could be worth a cheap stream pick-up to see what happens.

Nickeil Alexander-Walker  - PG/SG - New Orleans Pelicans (19% owned)

NAW was fantastic on Friday against the Knicks, scoring 17 points with two rebounds, one assist, one block and three 3-pointers in just 19 minutes. He's more of a dynasty and a deep league asset at this point, and he's worth a gamble to pick up as well, seeing the Pelicans play three times this week with an game on opening night. He's been a stand out thus far for the Pelicans and he'll likely be someone who becomes a must-own player in the second half of the season.

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.

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