Fantasy Basketball: Top NBA Waiver Wire Pickups for Week 12 of 2022-23
The NBA enters 2023 with a very busy week to start January. There are three massive slates on Monday, Wednesday and Friday with at least 11 games scheduled for each day. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday are lighter schedules with three, four and five games respectively. Wrapping up the week, there’s a nice nine-game Sunday slate that lines up with the last Sunday of the NFL season to create a cross-sport spectacular on January 8.
With so many matches on these megaslates, most teams are lined up for a busy week. Of the NBA’s 30 teams, 21 will play four games in the coming week, eight are expected to play three times and only the Washington Wizards are the outlier with just two games. Be sure to take a look at both the quality and quantity of upcoming matches, especially if you’re looking for players to make an instant short-term impact.
In this weekly feature throughout the season, you can find some of the hottest players, Deep League additions to consider, and a closer look at four dormant mics. The dormant targets listed below are not entirely common, but they are emerging as options with a lot of potential. The top fashion players are good mics to consider if available, but quickly disappear from the waiver wires. The deep league options at the bottom of the post can be useful if the upper options and the four dormant mics have already been picked up.
Things change quickly day by day throughout the season, so follow my Twitter account @ZT_sports if you’re looking for single-game streaming options, as well as cheap DFS games on a daily basis.
Top Trending Players PG/SG Immanuel Quickley, New York Knicks PG/SG Donte DiVincenzo, Golden State Warriors PG/SG Bones Hyland, Denver Nuggets PG/SG Derrick White, Boston Celtics PG/SG/SF Alec Burks, Detroit Pistons SG/SF Norman Powell, Los Angeles Clippers SG/SF Tim Hardaway Jr., Dallas Mavericks SG/SF Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Denver Nuggets SG/SF Luguentz Dort, Oklahoma City Thunder SG/SF Jalen Williams, Oklahoma City Thunder SG/SF Quentin Grimes, New York Knicks SF/PF Cameron Johnson, Phoenix Suns PF Jeremy Sochan, San Antonio Spurs PF/C Jalen Duren, Detroit Pistons PF/C Walker Kessler, Utah Jazz C Naz Reid, Minnesota Timberwolves C Onyeka Okongwu, Atlanta Hawks SF/PF TJ Warren, Brooklyn Nets (vs. SA, at CHI, at NO, at MIA)
Warren was in my suggested mics a few weeks ago when he started to ramp up after being sidelined through injury. He’s still held in less than a third of the leagues, though, and he’s starting to get more involved in attacking the Nets on a regular basis.
Coming into Saturday’s game with the Hornets, Warren was actually coming off a draw on Wednesday, which may be part of his inferior ownership, but it opens up a nice window of opportunity. He scored just two points on five shots against Atlanta in that contest, but had hit double-digit points in six of his previous seven games, the only exception being a game in which he played less than 10 minutes. . On Saturday, he rebounded with 10 points and seven rebounds playing 31 minutes against the Hornets.
Over that seven-game span, Warren averaged nine field goal attempts per game with a 22.8% utilization rate. He averaged 12.7 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.0 steals during that run. He hit his season-high 23 points in a win over the Cavs while adding eight boards, two assists and two steals in 27 minutes.
If the Nets are ever without Kyrie Irving or Kevin Durant, Warren would be an even better game, but he’s becoming a big contributor in his current role and a great pick-up for the week ahead.
PF/C Jalen Johnson, Atlanta Hawks (at GS, SAC, LAL, LAC)
The Hawks were without Clint Capela (calf) for three games, allowing Onyeka Okongwu to enter the starting lineup and Johnson to play more minutes off the bench. The 21-year-old Duke is in his second year with Atlanta but has stepped up, gaining more playing time.
Over those three games, Johnson averaged 12.3 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.0 steals, and 0.7 blocked shots in 23.6 minutes per game. He had 14 and 15 points in his last two games while going super effective 11-on-21. He’s done a good job on the glass and defensively, so there’s a chance that coach Nate McMillan will work to find time for him even when their rotation is back to 100%. Johnson has a high cap if he gets regular minutes in the rotation and is still held in less than 5% of leagues.
PG Duane Washington Jr., Phoenix Suns (at NY, at CLE, against MIA, against CLE)
The Suns’ backcourt is usually the source of most of their scoring, but there’s a huge opportunity for someone to step in while Devin Booker (groin) is out. Cameron Payne (foot) and Landry Shamet (Achilles) are candidates to step in with more attack but are struggling with injuries of their own while Josh Okogie is much more of a defensive option.
Washington has a chance to carve out a role either in the starting five or as one of the first options off the bench if he keeps up his hot shot. Although he showed positive flashes during his rookie year with the Pacers, he was waived and then signed to a two-way contract by the Suns. After appearing in just 15 of the team’s first 31 games and averaging just 9.0 minutes per game, Washington was able to be much more involved in the past two weeks, averaging 14.2 points in 13 .2 shot attempts in 17.1 minutes per game.
He scored 26 points to go with eight assists and four rebounds in 24 minutes in a win over Memphis on Tuesday with five three-pointers. In its two games since then, Washington has scored 10 and 11 points to go with two rebounds and two assists in each game.
Washington doesn’t have a guaranteed playing time, but he’s been good enough to be worth a look. If he can establish himself as an “instant offense” option, he could find himself with a good chance of hitting his high ceiling with the Suns playing four games this week.
C Mark Williams, Charlotte Hornets (against LAL, against MEM, at MIL, at IND)
Another impressive player who has delivered when given a chance but not guaranteed minutes is Hornets rookie Mark Williams. The No. 15 overall pick in last year’s NBA Draft, Williams has appeared to replace Nick Richards (ankle) well in recent games.
Williams played over 15 minutes in each of Charlotte’s last three games heading into Saturday night, culminating in an impressive double-double against the Thunder on Thursday. Over those three games, he averaged 10.7 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.7 steals, and 1.3 blocked shots. In his cap game against OKC, the rookie shot a perfect 7-for-7 from the field and had 17 points to go along with 13 rebounds, two assists, two blocks and two steals.
On Saturday, Richards returned, but Williams still played more minutes with eight points and seven rebounds in 15 minutes while Richards played just three minutes.
When Richards, Williams and Mason Plumlee are all healthy, it will be interesting to see how the rotation unfolds for Charlotte. Williams has shown he can produce when given the chance though, so he makes a nice speculative addition, especially as the Hornets are likely to move towards their younger players as the season continues.
I love the pros of Johnson, Washington and Williams, and they’re worth adding or watching as they all bring high caps if the minutes come in the coming week.
Other options to consider PG Jose Alvarado, New Orleans Pelicans PG/SG Tre Mann, Oklahoma City Thunder PG/SG Ayo Dosunmu, Chicago Bulls PG/SG Jaylen Nowell, Minnesota Timberwolves SG/SF John Konchar, Memphis Grizzlies SG/SF Caris LeVert, Cleveland Cavaliers SF/SF Aaron Nesmith, Indiana Pacers SF/PF Joe Ingles, Milwaukee Bucks SF/PF Deni Avdija, Washington Wizards SF/PF Rui Hachimura, Washington Wizards SF/PF Jalen McDaniels, Charlotte Hornets PF/C Zach Collins, San Antonio Spurs PF/C Trey Lyles, Sacramento Kings C Daniel Gafford, Washington Wizards
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I’m a promoter at DraftKings and I’m also an avid fan and user (my username is Z.Thompson) and may occasionally play on my personal account in the games I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal views on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the views of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will warrant. Success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment to create queues. I can also deploy different players and strategies than those I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.