As injuries and COVID-19 continue to have an impact on each and every NBA rotation, it has become even more imperative for fantasy managers to be both active -- and proactive -- on the waiver wire. For example, with the Milwaukee Bucks missing several starters this past Saturday evening, Jordan Nwora posted the most DraftKings points among power forwards on the main six-game slate.
Bobby Portis was recently placed in the league's health and safety protocol, leaving Nwora -- a player rostered in just 0.9% of ESPN leagues -- as the top offensive option on a depleted Bucks roster. Yes, it's unlikely that Nwora will provide much production once Portis is back in the mix. Still, he's averaged 19 points and 10 rebounds during his last three games (all starts in place of his veteran teammate). This only goes to show how valuable these interim shifts in both role and opportunity rates can be for fantasy purposes.
Spencer Dinwiddie, Washington Wizards: 0 points (0-7 FG), 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 TO
The 14-game losing streak of the Detroit Pistons came to an end on Sunday, as second-year forward Saddiq Bey tallied a team-high 26 points in downing the depleted Heat. Bey had been struggling with his shot for much of the season, but has now scored at least 20 points in three straight games for the first time in his career. As the player with the highest boost in usage on the roster with Jerami Grant off the floor this season, Bey's overall value is rising.
It's not just VanVleet playing well for Toronto lately, as Gary Trent Jr. as fully emerged as a viable 3-and-D option. He now leads the entire league in total steals after registering a game-high four swipes in Saturday's win over Golden State. Another relevant trend from Toronto's rotation is the re-emergence of Chris Boucher. Following a brutal start to the season, he's reclaimed a role in the rotation with Precious Achiuwa sidelined and has recorded a block in eight straight games.
In that loss to the Raptors, the Warriors fielded a Summer League-like roster featuring Jonathan Kuminga making his first career start. Kuminga delivered a career-high 26 points, becoming the youngest player in Warriors history to tally at least 25 points. He's also the second-youngest player in NBA history with 25 points and four made 3-pointers, just behind this LeBron James fellow. There's no immediate fantasy value with this rookie, but it's undoubtedly impressive to see him shine at such a young age.
Haliburton tied his career high in assists and now has had consecutive games with at least 20 points and 10 assists for the first time in his career. It would be interesting to see what Haliburton could do with a high-usage role in Sacramento if the front office were to ever move away from De'Aaron Fox.
The Thunder rebounded from that wild last-second loss to the Hornets earlier this week with a fun buzzer-beating victory of their own against the Clippers on Saturday. Rookie Josh Giddey helped Oklahoma City in the victory with a career-high 18 rebounds, becoming the first teenager in NBA history with 15 rebounds and 10 assists in the same game.
Injuries of note
Andrew Wiggins will miss Golden State's game against the Kings this evening.
Paul George is listed as questionable to play against the Spurs, which is actually an upgrade in designation, considering he's missed the last several games outright.
Analytics advantage for Monday
Kevin Porter Jr. and Jalen Green both remain sidelined for Houston, which means Eric Gordon is an ideal streaming option ahead of tonight's tilt with the Bulls. The veteran sharpshooter has been quietly stellar this season thanks to his having hit a career-high 44.4% of his shots from beyond the arc. With a healthy 24% usage rate over the last three games, Gordon should be busy again tonight.
Buddy Hield, Sacramento Kings: The Kings are missing some key playmakers, which means Hield could be busy lofting deep 3-pointers against the Warriors this evening. A notoriously streaky shooter, Hield is hot at the moment.
Robert Williams III, Boston Celtics: Even though Joel Embiid poses a real challenge for Williams (given the large size disparity between the two) the "Time Lord" should play plenty of minutes and consume a good deal of touches and rebounding chances with Horford sidelined.