For the first time this season, there is no major injury to report. A little shocking I guess, but this is a trend that we would definitely welcome. This week, we’ll be welcoming De’Andre Ayton back from his 25-game suspension. Congratulations if you bought low or survived his 8-week absence. Good times are ahead. Nikola Vucevic will be back on Sunday, Mike Conley figures to play on Tuesday while De’Aaron Fox has targeted a December 17 return date and John Collins will be back next Monday. Better days are coming.
Next week figures to be a busy week as only the Golden State Warriors play just 2 games. Eleven teams play 4 games and they are CHA, DAL, DET, LAC, MEM, MIL, OKC, PHX, POR, TOR, WAS while the rest play 3 games. It pays to scout your next opponent and also check your schedule. Check out our streaming articles by our streaming expert Rhett Bauer. Now for this week, let’s look at some waiver options who might be able to help your team push you over the hump. I’ll be discussing players who are owned in 40% or less in Yahoo leagues.
Defense wins Championships
NERLENS NOEL – OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER PF/C
Strengths: FG%, Boards, Steals and Blocks
Availability: 61% of Yahoo Leagues
I can’t believe that Noel is available in such a high number of leagues while Kyle Kuzma is rostered in 69% of leagues. That has to change soon as Noel is just one of 4 players averaging at least 1.0 steals and 1.5 blocks per game. Noel also has an improved touch from the line, shooting at a career high level of 80.4%. Steven Adams is not playing as well as expected and could be moved at the trade deadline. This could give Noel the opportunity to start and produce top 30 numbers which is easy for him to achieve. His per-36 numbers are very mouth-watering at 14.9ppg, 10.2rpg, 2.9apg, 1.9spg, 3.0bpg(!!!). So it would be a good idea to stash him if you have an available spot on your team.
MATISSE THYBULLE – PHILADELPHIA 76ERS SG/SF
Strengths: Threes, Steals, Blocks
Availability: 81% of Yahoo Leagues
Thybulle has been up and down this season. But that has to be expected for every rookie playing in the NBA. Josh Richardson’s recent injury has given Thybulle the opportunity to showcase his defensive prowess and ability to contribute in winning basketball. In the span that Richardson was out, Thybulle averaged 2.0 threes, 7.6 points, 1.6 boards, 2.0 dimes, 1.4 steals, 0.8 blocks and only 0.8 TOs per game. He shot the ball well during this time with 53.8% and 100% shooting splits on the field and on the line. It has been 4 games since Richardson’s back but Matisse has continued to play significant minutes averaging 28 per game. His game and ascent to his role is quite reminiscent of those of former Sixer, Robert Covington. The comparison doesn’t only end there but we can see what Thybulle could become in the near future. If he will be given this amount of minutes moving forward, he could very well be the game-changer we all have been waiting for to help us win our leagues.
DANUEL HOUSE JR. – HOUSTON ROCKETS SG/SF
Strengths: FT%, Threes, Steals
Availability: 61% of Yahoo Leagues
House has been in a bit of a slump after coming back from an injury and it didn’t help that Ben McLemore has been scorching hot since House was out. This will get rectified soon as I believe that House is still the better player. It also didn’t help that James Harden has been dominating all the shots in Houston. But once everything gets back to normal, we will see House get back to his old self. Remember that at one point in the season he was returning Top 35 value. I can see him settling at a Top 75 to 90 value which is not bad considering that at the start of the season he was getting undrafted in almost all leagues. For the season, he is averaging 2.3 treys, 11.2 points, 4.1 boards, 1.4 dimes, 1.1 steals, 0.6 blocks and only 0.9 TOs per game at 44.8% shooting at the field and 82.1% at the line. He is worth picking up and I believe that he will provide steady value when he finally feels 100% healthy.
MARQUESE CHRISS – GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS PF/C
Strengths: Boards, Steals, Blocks
Availability: 91% of Yahoo Leagues
Now this one is a longshot by a mile but if only Marquese Chriss ever pull it together we could be looking at a player that Bam Adebayo has become. Chriss was a big favorite of our guys in Roto-bleep back in 2017 and was touted to be a KG clone. This guy can do it all, score, rebound, pass, defend, shoot the three but just always seemed mentally unprepared. Well, he never became what we all expected him to be. This season though, he was at least serviceable with spurts of brilliance at times. There’s still plenty of time for him to right his career especially with the Warriors just needing a live body this season. Even when the Warriors are healthy, he could easily outplay WCS and Looney if he could just focus and play to his full potential. Unfortunately for us in fantasy though, we can’t predict when that time will come. Chriss has recently put up back-to-back double-doubles (12/10/2/1/3 vs. NYK & 12/13/5/1/2 vs. UTA) with some juicy defensive stats. If he ever does it again this Sunday in Sacramento, he would definitely be a must-add.
DERRICK JONES JR. – MIAMI HEAT SF/PF
Strengths: FG%, Steals
Availability: 97% of Yahoo Leagues
This is a deep league special. There was a time when Derrick Jones Jr. had the same output as Jonathan Isaac. This season, Isaac is a Top 15 player because he had elevated his game a few notches up. I believe and I think Coach Erik Spoelstra does too, that reaching that same level is not impossible for DJJ. Oh well, maybe that was too much but you all get my point. Airplane Mode has played in 4 consecutive games with a minimum of 26 minutes and in that span has averaged 9.7 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.0 steals and 0.3 blocks. It helped that Justise Winslow is still out but then again, it’s not far-fetched to think that all the summer workouts that Coach Erik has been raving about DJJ would be all for naught.