As we finish up week 5 of the 2022-23 NBA season, most fantasy owners should have a strong idea of who their team is at this point and what they need to add to it in order to compete. I urge teams to take chances at the bottom of their depth chart with guys who aren’t providing the numbers you had drafted them for. The NBA has changed over the last 5 years, seeing more and more players sit games out and coaches being more and more cautious with minor injuries. So if you have some guys on your roster who aren’t doing much aside from frustrating you, I’d say now is the time. Make a move. Find your flaws, find someone who fixes them and scoop ’em up.
Under 50% owned on Yahoo Fantasy
Bruce Brown (SF/PF) DEN – 45% Owned
It’s ridiculous to me that Brown is available in 45% of leagues. Sure, for the season he is barely a top 125 players, but he has jumped up to a top 90 asset in fantasy over the last two weeks. Denver has had a rash of minor injuries which has thrust him into the starting lineup. He responded by jumping his 11/4/4 nightly average to 14/7/5. More importantly, an already solid shooter from the field, Brown has jumped his FG% up to the mid .500’s. He is an 80%+ shooter from the charity strip and he is hitting nearly two 3’s a game. His production will fluctuate with the Nuggets’ injuries, but even when he is removed from the starting lineup, he will remain rosterable. Scoop him up before someone else does.
Larry Nance Jr (PF/C) NOP – 42% owned
The son of the first Slam Dunk champion has also been the beneficiary of some injuries on his team. The Pelicans have been without Zion for the past week and Trey Murphy went down Saturday night with a foot injury as well. Despite being only 42% owned, Nance has provided 6th round value on the season, on the backs of his shooting percentages as well as his defensive stats. He has been especially good over the last week, ranking in as a top 35 players. I love Zion, but the guy can’t stay healthy. If he continues to miss games, Nance will be an absolute steal for your team. But even if Zion stays healthy, Larry will provide enough to keep him rostered for the rest of the season. Brown might not be available in your league, so make sure you scoop up Nance if you’re in need of big man stats.
Under 40% owned in Yahoo Fantasy
Shake Milton (PG/SG) PHI – 30% owned
If you’re in need of some point guard production, stop what you’re doing and run to your waiver wire for Mr. Milton. Tyrese Maxey has joined James Harden on the injured list, where the two will remain for at least the next two weeks. Enter Shake Milton. In his two games as a starter, he has absorbed more than 34 minutes a night leading to some beautiful averages… 21/4.5/4 with 60% FG shooting, 75% FT shooting and two 3’s a game. He turns the ball over more than I’d like, but if you’re not punting TO’s at this point, you’re probably not winning. I don’t see Milton doing much once Maxey and Harden eventually return, so he truly will be a two-week rental for you. But who doesn’t love a two week vacation?! Scoop ’em up and enjoy the short ride!
Under 30% owned in Yahoo Fantasy
Jalen Williams (SG/PF) OKC – 20% owned
Here he is again! The rookie is a HARD scoop right now. Over his last 6 games, his minutes have risen to 28 PG, after averaging less than 21 prior to that. He has started 2 of the last 3 games for the Thunder and has responded with some very sexy lines. During those three games has has averaged 13/5/5 whole shooting 50% from the field. His low turnovers and ability to steal the ball are definitely attractive as well. But what I love about Jalen most, are his prospects for the remainder of the season. After being injured to start the season, we have seen Williams get more and more minutes as OKC’s third playmaker. An injury to Gilgeous-Alexander or Josh Giddey would drive his usage through the roof. But even without an injury to one of those guys, Jalen’s usage and production will continue to improve all season. And I have a feeling we will see a ton of him during the fantasy playoffs as the Thunder play their youth and tank for Victor Wembanyana.