NBA Waiver Wire Pickups: Deeper League Adds (Week 3)

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We're knee deep into Week 3 of the new NBA season and some things are starting to unravel. All of us have had the opportunity to figure out which picks have made us look silly in the eyes of our competition and whether or not those players deserve our patience. I know I have a few of them who don't. How about you?

Greg Monroe's lesser role and now an injury have given his competition some boost in fantasy value, and a rookie is proving to be quite valuable and showing a glimpse of what he could become in the future, and boy, what a (fantasy) player he could be!

If you're in a deep league and need to replace some dead weight on your roster and just can't decide who to put your faith into, here are today's Week 3 deeper league waiver wire pickups for your fantasy basketball teams.

Editor's note: Purchase any NBA Lineup Optimizer pass (including daily DFS cheat sheets), and you also get access to NFL and NHL Optimizers and DFS cheat sheets.

 

The Demise Of Greg Monroe

Two of our three players for you to consider in deeper leagues are battling for minutes in the Milwaukee Bucks front court this season. And part of the reason their value might be going up is that Monroe's seems to be plummeting.

After seeing just under 30 minutes a game in his first year with the bucks, Greg has played just 22.5 last season and he's at 16 at the start of this one. Coach Jason Kidd seems to be sending a clear message that Monroe is not in his long term plans. Furthermore, he got injured and is set to miss around two weeks of action.

It's also interesting to mention that one of Monroe's strongest suits-his defensive stats, which have kept him in many fantasy rosters through thick and thin, have gone missing in action. He has no blocks or steals so far in the first five games. That's 80 minutes of his on-court time... No defensive stats... NONE!

 

Deep League Adds for Week 3

Thon Maker, PF/C, Milwaukee Bucks (10% Owned in Yahoo! Leagues)

Thon Maker seems to be the center of the future for the Bucks. After averaging 10 minutes per game last season, he's already up to 17 this year. And it's all coming at the expense of Greg Monroe. And with him being sidelined, Maker is set for an even larger role in the next two weeks. He already played 19 and 20 minutes in the 2 games with no Greg, and may get even more run going forward. He was a starter in Milwaukee's previous game.

His stats aren't too impressive, at least not yet. But he is showing some consistency and some fantasy value. Especially if you're looking for some out of position stats for a center. His strong suits this season are, get ready for this, threes, FT% and steals. He is hitting 0.9 3PM, getting 1.1 steals and hitting 80.0% of his free throws.

Now the threes are realistic, but he shot 65.3% from the free throw line last year and only had 0.2 steals. Although, to be fair, he played just 10 minutes per game back then, and had 0.8 in 20 minutes per game in the playoffs. Thon is actually a much better shot blocker than his 0.3 per game so far this season suggest. He blocked 0.5 shots last regular season and an amazing 1.8 in the playoffs so we should see an increase there, too. His owners get 4.9 PTS, 2.7 REB and 0.9 AST from him with just 0.4 TO so far this year so that's not too bad.

Now Maker is not really making his shots at the moment, with just 33.3% of them going in. But his 45.9% from last year give us hope that he will fix that in the upcoming period.

If you're in the market for some frontcourt depth and believe that he can make a step forward while Monroe takes a step back, Thon Maker is an intriguing, high upside option for your fantasy team.

 

John Henson, PF/C, Milwaukee Bucks (10% Owned in Yahoo! Leagues)

John Henson is playing just 18 minutes per game so far this year, but is posting some interesting fantasy lines, especially valuable for certain punt builds. His 4.6 PTS on 57.1 FG% and 50.0 FT%, 5.1 REB, 0.7 AST, 0.3 STL, 1.9 BLK and 1.3 TO may have already won a few matchups by tipping the scale on blocks or rebounds in his owner's favor.

And now Monroe is out and Henson has played 28 and 22 minutes in the two games without him. He turned quite a few heads in that first game against the Hawks with a line of 12 points on 5-of-8 from the field and 2-of-4 from the line, nine rebounds, three assists, two steals, three blocks and three turnovers. That was beautiful. He failed to build up on that, following such a performance with a dud of just 1 point (0-of-2 FG and 1-of-4 FT), one turnover in 22 minutes against the Thunder. He did block three shots though and had four rebounds so the stats you're primarily picking him for were still there.

If John can stick around with 20-25 minutes per game, his blocks and rebounds could do wonders for your FT+PTS punt build. And with him not taking too many free throws, his addition to your squad doesn't necessarily mean you have to punt. But it does mean that you have a lean mean blocking machine!

 

Donovan Mitchell, PG/SG, Utah Jazz (11% Owned in Yahoo! Leagues)

The 13th pick in 2017 draft, Donovan Mitchell has stepped into a much larger role then anticipated this early in his career. Not a month after him becoming a part of the Jazz, Utah's star player Gordon Hayward packed his bags and went to Boston leaving a big hole in the roster. And Mitchell has made a case to be the main guy to fill it.

He followed up his great performances in Summer League with a decent preseason and is impressing us yet again at the start of the regular season. Over the first seven games of the season Mitchell is averaging 9.3 PTS with 1.1 3PM on 32.9 FG% and 87.5 FT%, 1.4 REB, 2.4 AST, 1.1 STL, 0.6 BLK and 2.3 TO in 22 minutes per game.

Now his shooting is awful, which is normal for a rookie, but will improve a little. Not too much, but a little. He shot 41.8% in college, 39.6% in Summer League and 41.1% in preseason so around 40.0 FG% is what we can expect going forward.

Also, 2.3 TO in just 22 minutes is huge, so if you pay particular attention to that category, Mitchell will make a negative impact there. Maybe not 2.3 in 22 minutes negative since he averaged just 1.3 TO in 26 minutes per game back in college, but with him turning it over 2.4 times in 28.4 minutes in Summer League and 2.0 times in 24.6 minutes in preseason, he won't be Otto Porter for you.

Moreover, Utah's starting backcourt consists of two players with a history of injuries in Ricky Rubio and Rodney Hood. If either of them would miss time (Hood has already missed two games this year and Mitchell played his career-high 30 minutes in one of them) that would further propel Donovan's potential value.

If you like what you get with Mitchell, or you believe he can fulfill an even greater potential I would advise you pick him up. Especially if you are in a category head-to-head league and own a low FG% high TO star like James Harden or Russell Westbrook and are already punting something that Donovan is poor at.

 

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