Week 2 of the fantasy episode season is in the books, and we hope you’ll be able to collect Trey Murphy III, who was only 31% on the list for this time last week. He’s now 41st in terms of value per game thanks to some massive play and injuries to Brandon Ingram and Herb Jones. Even Dennis Smith Jr. (who made a Top 30 value in Week 2) seems to have staying power heading into Week 3 with LaMelo Ball and Terry Rozier still out of the squad.
But this is a new week, and I’m going to break down several of the players on the bottom 50 percent of Yahoo’s fantasy basketball leagues. With one long exception – Bull Bull.
I will also include some category specialists for your consideration.
Before we get to the exemptions for this week, here’s how many games each team played in Week 3.
Four matches: Bucks, Bulls, Clippers, Grizzlies, Hornets, Jazz, Nets, Raptors, Wizards
Three matches: Cavaliers, Celtics, Hawks, Heat, Kings, Knicks, Lakers, Magic, Pelicans, Pistons, Rockets, Sixers, Tottenham, Suns, Thunder, Trail Blazers, Warriors
two games: Mavericks, Nuggets, Pacers
Schedule things to know
Four games are played on Tuesday, two on Thursday, and four on Sunday. These are by far the lightest panels where you can maximize your flows. The only teams playing on Tuesdays and Thursdays this week are Magic, Thunder, and Warriors.
Feel free to interrupt any fringe fantasy players’ bait on Nuggets because they won’t be playing their next game until Thursday. In deep leagues, that means Bruce Brown and Kentavius Caldwell Bob. Also, it’s not worth holding on to Mavericks players early in the week either because they won’t be playing until Wednesday.
Well, now that you know when teams play and when it might be best to use them, let’s move on to pickups.
Ball Pool – PF/C, Orlando Magic (68% listed)
The Magic posts a pretty tall starting lineup these days, and at 7 feet 2 inches tall, Paul is bidding to start the year. He started Orlando’s previous two games and scored 13.5 points, 9.0 rebounds and 0.5 steals with 2.0 blocks and 68% of the field in 28 minutes per contest. He’s given Sixth Round value in seven matches he’s played, and he’s a must-player in all the Points and Category Leagues because he can contribute to each category (up to three times).
Just a few big guys This kind of handle It could end in contact, and it finished fourth in the NBA in blocks (2.3 per game) as well.
Isaiah Hartenstein averages nearly twice as much in 25 minutes per night, plus one block and one steal. It’s a viable option for anyone looking for a position that fills the square’s points in all areas except the triples. It’s currently offering the value of the eighth round, so if it’s floating around on your waiver wire, even in shallow tournaments, make a move.
Royce O’Neill – SG/SF, Brooklyn Nets – 46% are listed
Surprisingly, Royce O’Neill’s total roster is only up 10% from last week – which tells me he’s overlooked in the shallower H2H tournaments. Although the return of Joe Harris and, most recently, Seth Curry, has not affected O’Neal’s time or production. He offers the value of the seventh round mainly because of his arrows (2.5/game) and triples (2.3/game).
Any man who plays 38 minutes a night should be included in over 46% of the leagues. As previously mentioned, the Nets have four games this week, two of which fall on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Jalen McDaniels, SF/PF, Charlotte Hornets (41% listed)
Jalen McDaniels snuck into the top 70 per game value over the weekend. While his stats don’t jump off the page, he does a mix of everything – averaging 11.6 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 2.0 triples with 1.0 arrows, and 48/59/100 shot splits.
Star divisions in shooting and low turnover boosted his rankings but he did not score his first double of the season in his victory over defending champion Golden State Warriors on Saturday night.
Nick Richards – C, Charlotte Hornets (40% listed)
Another familiar name from last week’s column, Nick Richard’s list is up 9% since last week. Its status remained the same, but it still produced in limited minutes. He’s an excellent source of bounces and has provided seventh-round value this season.
His figures per 36 are 21.3 points with 12.8 rebounds on 65% of shots from the field, so anyone looking for doubling potential and shooting high percentage shots, look no further than Richards.
Bismak-C Scouting, Phoenix Suns (38% are listed)
Deandre Ayton has a left ankle sprain that can sideline him for up to a week. Time will split with Jock Landale, but I prefer Bismack Biyombo if you need blocks and bouncing balls. Biyombo already has a double to his name since Ayton’s fall, along with seven blocks in two games.
Teos Jones – PG/SG, Memphis Grizzlies (39% listed)
Tyus Jones is an instant add-on any time Ja Morant is wasting time. The reserve point guard filled in impressively for Morant on Saturday night, scoring 23 points (10-15 FG, 3-3 PM), along with ten assists, one rebounds and two steals. Morant is questionable again on Monday (non-Covid illness), Desmond Payne too (ankle).
There may be two tracks of additional playing time for Jones, and with the Grizzlies playing four games this week, it’s worth adding daily points and H2H leagues.
Jaylene Noel – PG / SG Minnesota Timberwolves (30% listed)
Before Sunday’s failed weekend, Jaylen Nowell averaged 14.5 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.5 triples and 0.8 steals over the first six games of the season. He was a bucket of microwave off the bench, and he tried nearly 13 shots in a backup role. He rarely flips the ball, and leads the NBA in assist-to-turn ratio during the first two weeks of an NBA season.
The return of Kyle Anderson and (eventually) Jordan McLaughlin might eat into Noel’s minutes. However, he has proven that he needs to be a staple in the Timberwolves’ rotation. His numbers per 36 are divided into 23.1 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.9 assists, and 1.3 steals. If you can take his shot on the low goal (41%), he has the resourcefulness for points, rebounds and triples in the H2H leagues.
Jalen Williams – PG/SG Oklahoma City Thunder (39% listed)
I had to include at least one Thunder player this week because they play in a smaller roster of games in Week 3. Thunder is notorious for fiddling with their lineups, but Jalen Williams is relatively unknown and is the perfect player you’ll want to grab before it goes into production. The game industry rookie was out of the squad as he was recovering from an orbital fracture he suffered on October 19, but is finally back on the court after missing his previous four matches.
He didn’t disappoint either, losing 13 points with three rebounds, three assists, four steals, and one block in 27 minutes of work. He was active on both ends of the ground and made it easy to come to the edge against the good Dallas Mavericks. He would benefit from the absence of Josh Giddey (ankle) in the near term, but given Thunder’s reputation for mailing in early, Williams is a player to love now and for the rest of the season.
He has a better way to play than Rockets striker Tare Eason at the moment, so grab him while you still can.
Sheldon Sharp – SF/PF, Portland Trail Blazers (11% listed)
The class of the 2022 NBA Draft is getting deeper and deeper by the day. Shaedon Sharpe is the latest rookie to enter the scene after putting together two solid games for the Trail Blazers. He contributed similarly to Jaylen Nowell – exchanging passes for a better field goal percentage.
He did a few standout reel plays.
As long as Damien Lillard is off the commission, he should see 20-30 minutes per game. He’s only 19 and head coach Chauncey Billups seems to trust him as a bucket off the bench – seeing a 20.6% usage rate. He looks like a real deal and a player I was thinking of sticking with out of Damian Lillard’s injury.
Nagy Marshall – SG/SF New Orleans Pelicans (10% listed)
Brandon Ingram and Herb Jones continue to waste time with their injuries, which gave Nagy Marshall plenty of minutes. And with the minutes comes the opportunity, and he’s seized the moment – averaging 17.7 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 2.0 three-pointers and one steal in a whopping 35.7 minutes over his previous three games.
He contributes in every category except the blocks, and as long as Ingram and Jones are out, Marshall shouldn’t be available for compromises in the 12-team H2H Championships.
Justis Winslow – SF/PF Portland Trail Blazers (5% listed)
The combo striker has almost 25 minutes a night for the Trail Blazers, but in the wake of Damien Lillard’s calf injury that will keep him out for up to two weeks, Justise Winslow has emerged as a vital contributor to rebounds, assists, steals and blocks in the H2H tournaments. In his first game without Lillard, he had an usage rate of 18.3% (the highest of the season) and finished with seven points, six rebounds, seven assists, three steals and one block. Basic font similar to Draymond Green / Ben Simmons. He has scored at least one steal in every game and played at least one block in four out of five matches.
It represents a deeper addition to the league but is still worth studying.