The key to winning your fantasy basketball league is not how well you draft, but the players you add off waivers. This is extremely important because securing hidden talent could replace those late-round selections that aren’t having the best season. Here at NFS, we provide the best picks for players you should grab off waivers now before it is too late. As always, both opportunity and performance are taken into consideration for these players. Learn to think like a NERD! Check out the NBA Player Consistency Rankings to see how consistent, good or bad, players are, determined by stats, not hunches or anecdotal evidence!
Cole Anthony, PG, Orlando Magic
Despite playing in a crowded backcourt that includes first-round picks, Jalen Suggs and RJ Hampton, and eventually Markelle Fultz, Cole Anthony has still done a great job to find his niche role and produce quality basketball outings. Through the first seven games of the season, Anthony has averaged nearly 18 points, seven rebounds, and five assists. He’s also had major improvements with his shot beyond the arc. He’s jumped at least nine percent compared to only shooting 33 percent his rookie year. Anthony is one of the most popular waiver wire targets right now so grab him while you can. His upside is tremendous going forward with the Magic who don’t have a true number one option.
Desmond Bane, SG, Memphis Grizzlies
After an under-the-radar rookie season where he only started 17 games, Desmond Bane has taken a major step forward to become a major cornerpiece for the Memphis Grizzlies. In the young season, Bane is averaging 19 points, four rebounds, and 1.2 steals while shooting 43 percent from deep. He’s been a perfect complementary player for Ja Morant and a solid pick-up in fantasy basketball. The only issue is his role with the team once Dillon Brooks returns healthy. However, Bane should still have some productive role with the team all season long.
Josh Giddey, PG/SG, Oklahoma City Thunder
After a successful pre-draft period, Josh Giddey was quickly selected with the sixth overall pick by the Oklahoma City Thunder. Safe to say through the first six games of his young career that Giddey has played a unique style of basketball. Standing at 6’8″, Giddey is averaging 11 points, six rebounds, six assists, and 1.3 steals per game. He still needs to improve his outside shot, only shooting about 33 percent from three. But he has shown a lot of promise as a solid partner for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander as part of the young core for the Thunder.
Carmelo Anthony, SF/PF, Los Angeles Lakers
After choosing to team up with LeBron James down in LA with the Los Angeles Lakers, Carmelo Anthony has become a quality scoring option for the crew. In his 18th season, Melo is still averaging 16 points per game while shooting an incredible 52 percent from beyond the arc. His volume can be sustainable as a third scoring option for the Lakers. However, his biggest question is his health and how much load management will affect his production. He’s still a solid pick-up who can be relied on to put points on the board.
Kelly Oubre Jr., PF/SF, Charlotte Hornets
After signing with the Charlotte Hornets this season, Kelly Oubre Jr. hopes to provide some veteran presence for a team hoping to make a deep playoff run this season and beyond. Through seven games, Oubre is averaging 16 points, five rebounds, and a steal per game. He has also dramatically improved his three-point shooting after an awful stretch with the Warriors last season where he only hit about 32 percent. He’s currently shooting around 39 percent this season. He’s an underrated player to pick up right now as he’ll have a consistent role with the Hornets going forward.
Cam Reddish, SF/SG, Atlanta Hawks
With De’Andre Hunter struggling to stay consistent and healthy, Cam Reddish has proven more and more that he should be the starting small forward for the Atlanta Hawks going forward. Cam is currently averaging about 16 points, three rebounds, and 1.2 steals while only playing about 24 minutes per game. Reddish has also taken a major step forward with his outside shooting, hitting only about 26 percent last season to now hitting 43 percent of his threes. It is only a matter of time before Nate McMillan makes the change as long as Reddish continues to play consistently. This gives him solid upside assuming he’ll produce even more with more minutes to work with.
Kelly Olynyk, C/PF, Detroit Pistons
After an incredible 27-game stint with the Houston Rockets that had Kelly Olynyk averaging 19 points per game, he chose to move up north to the Motor City. He’s recently been playing as the backup center behind Isaiah Stewart, but still averages about 25 minutes per game. He also averages 14 points, four rebounds, and 1.7 steals per game. Stewart has been off to a slow start, so it may not be long before Olynyk is eventually given more minutes. These factors make him a quality pick-up on the waivers.
Hassan Whiteside, C, Utah Jazz
After a disappointing season with the Sacramento Kings, Hassan Whiteside now finds himself in a more established backup role with the Utah Jazz. And despite only playing 16 minutes per game, Whiteside has still found ways to produce. He’s currently averaging seven points, seven rebounds, and 1.5 blocks per game while shooting over 60 percent from the field. He’s also been averaging those numbers nightly and is rarely inconsistent due to his simplistic game style. He’s a last resort option on the waiver wire, but certainly one that is reliable for owners.