Heading into Week 5 of the craziest NBA season in recent memory, the fantasy basketball landscape is similarly jumbled. Even a month in, it’s hard to tell which teams are truly bad, and which teams are just in the midst of a slow start. This past week was full of intriguing opportunities and performances. The Harden trade rocked the league, even if it was a bit unexpected, while Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks endured a remarkably rough week. Here’s a look at some of the players to target on the fantasy basketball waiver wire for this week.
Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire Targets: Week 5
The Portland Trail Blazers have just had awful luck. They’ve faced a tough initial schedule, and they’ve lost both Jusuf Nurkic and CJ McCollum for at least a month each, if not more. The silver lining, however, is that Enes Kanter should be able to emerge as a fantasy basketball waiver asset after several seasons in fantasy anonymity. Kanter has been a solid fantasy player in his 20 minutes per game, and now his minutes and thus his production will accordingly increase. He’s flashed some of that potential in the last two games, averaging about 10 points, 12 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks in 28 minutes. Look for Kanter’s offensive role to continue increasing, and while the blocks may be an anomaly, it’s not crazy to expect him to leverage his offensive rebounding prowess into fantasy stardom.
Indiana Pacers forward Justin Holiday’s usage increased following the T.J. Warren injury, and while he still isn’t a starter, he’s put up a respectable 11 points, four rebounds, and 1.2 steals in 30 minutes per game. He’s also shooting a clean 43.1 percent from three. With the departure of Victor Oladipo, Holiday should inherit some of Oladipo’s catch-and-shoot looks. Holiday isn’t much of an on-ball creator, but as long as Caris LeVert remains sidelined with a kidney condition, expect Holiday’s workload to increase. He may get some minutes as a starter.
On the season, Cedi Osman is averaging 13.1 points and 3.7 assists in 30 minutes per game for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Over the last seven games, however, Osman is putting up 21 points and 5.5 assists in a whopping 39 minutes per game. As long as Sexton and Garland are out, Osman will continue to be the primary source for Cleveland’s offense. His minutes are rising, as are his total shots per game. He’s not a long-term add, but he’s a solid plug-and-play for however long Cleveland remains hindered by injury.
DeAndre Jordan is the only serviceable big man on the Brooklyn Nets. This season, he averages five points, seven rebounds, and 1.3 blocks in just under 2o minutes. However, his role looks to massively change with the James Harden trade, which shipped Jarrett Allen to Cleveland. With Allen gone, look for Jordan to start playing many more minutes and potentially many more double-doubles. Case-in-point: in his first game without Allen, Jordan scored 12 points, 12 rebounds, and two blocks in 38 minutes.
Isaac Okoro has been decent this year for the Cavaliers. After a two-week absence, Okoro has emerged as one of the better rookies in this class. On the season, he’s averaging 8.6 points, 2.1 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1.1 steals in 37 minutes. These are solid numbers, but the 37 minutes aspect is particularly intriguing. Okoro’s efficiency has been relatively subpar, and his scoring has steadily improved over the course of the season. Okoro’s potential improvement and major opportunity give him a high floor relative to other fantasy basketball waiver wire free agents.
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