Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire Pickups, Week 5: Load up on the Spurs

The fourth week of the fantasy basketball season ended with a bang. Darius Garland delivered a career-high 51-point performance on Sunday that Joel Embiid one-upped — scoring 59 points (also a career-high) with 11 rebounds, eight assists and seven blocks. He's the only person in NBA history to post such a dominant line.

But let's talk about some waivers. It's a new week, so I'll break down several players who are rostered in less than 50% of Yahoo fantasy basketball leagues.

I'll also include some category specialists for consideration.

Before we get to this week's waiver pickups, here are the games played by each team in Week 5.

Five games: Spurs

Four games: Clippers, Heat, Hornets, Knicks, Magic, Mavericks, Pistons, Rockets, Suns and Warriors

Three games: Bucks, Cavaliers, Celtics, Grizzlies, Hawks Jazz, Kings, Nets, Nuggets, Pacers, Pelicans, Raptors, Thunder, Trail Blazers and Wizards

Two games: Bulls, Lakers, Sixers and Timberwolves

Schedule things to know:

Rostering Spurs players in Week 5 is a scheduling advantage for fantasy managers. The Sixers and Lakers don't play until Friday.

The Clippers and Spurs are the only teams with Monday/Tuesday back-to-back sets. And as the week progresses, there is little streaming appeal from the Bucks, Bulls, Pelicans and Thunder because they don't play any games after Friday.

If you want to stream players on the lighter slates, the Clippers and Trail Blazers play on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. The Nets and Kings also play on Tuesday and Thursday, so they'd be the teams best suited for streaming on the days with the least amount of games this week.

Okay, now that you know when teams play and when it might be best to utilize them, let's get to the pickups.

Get the Spurs

Charles Bassey - PF/C, San Antonio Spurs (30% rostered)

The former Philadelphia 76ers castaway is making waves in his hometown of San Antonio, providing a massive spark to the Spurs bench in limited minutes. His rostership went up overnight from 17 to 30 percent, so act quickly if he's still on waivers. He's currently 30th in per-game value through Week 4 (crazy, right?) and is poised to get fantasy managers a lot of counting stats in Week 5. While his minutes are under 20 per game, he's been very active in a limited capacity. Over his last four games, he's averaging 6.0 points, 9.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 3.0 stocks and 64% shooting from the field. The results are there despite playing in a mere four games this season.

Plus, veteran starting center Jakob Poeltl is a candidate to get at least one rest day with five games on the schedule which only boosts Bassey's appeal. His per-36 numbers extrapolate to 15.7 points, 18.6 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 1.7 steals and 4.6 blocks. He needs to be rostered in all leagues this week.

Advice: Add and hold in 12-team points and H2H leagues. Stream in 10-team points and H2H leagues this week.

Jeremy Sochan - PF, San Antonio Spurs (15% rostered)

Sochan is making an impression beyond his Dennis Rodman-like appearance. He's started every game he's played in for the Spurs as a rookie. And he's been steadily improving each day, only a month into the season. Over his last three games, Sochan is averaging 8.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists with 2.0 stocks and 61 percent shooting across 29.5 minutes. That may not seem like much, but in a five-game week, that's an opportunity to collect a considerable amount of counting stats. Given Sochan's youth and minutes creeping into the 30s, he makes for one of the better streaming options for Week 5, and I'd prioritize him and Bassey over others in this column.

Advice: Stream in 12 team H2H leagues.

A quick note before I leave the Spurs

Josh Richardson (14% rostered) and Doug McDermott (5% rostered) are two players I'd consider streaming in deeper H2H leagues this week. They're the elder statesmen of the Spurs and could be rested, but as of Monday, they're not on the injury report. Maybe Coach Pop will surprise us and plays them on both back-to-back sets. Richardson is the preferred add over McDermott because he can produce across more categories than points and threes.

Lonnie Walker IV - SG/SF, Los Angeles Lakers (48% rostered)

I'm back, advocating picking up Lonnie Walker IV because he should be over 50% rostered. He was 60% this time last week, but his production hasn't dropped off. He provided eighth-round value in Week 4 even after being 98th in per-game value through four weeks of the season. He remains a reliable source of points, threes, steals and blocks from the guard position. He scored at least 18 points in five of his last six contests with 1.5 stocks and 2.7 3PM. Just keep in mind that the Lakers don't play until Friday this week.

Advice: Add and hold in 12 teams points and H2H leagues.

Jevon Carter - PG/SG, Milwaukee Bucks (31% rostered)

Jrue Holiday has been ruled out again on Monday with a right ankle injury, so run to get Jevon Carter into your lineups. He's been an auto–play in DFS in the past week, and rightfully so. The man is ice cold and continues to stuff the stat sheet in Holiday's absence. In two games without Holiday, Carter is averaging a robust 28.5 points, 3.0 rebounds, 9.0 assists, 5.0 threes and 1.0 steals across 38.9 minutes. Even if Holiday returns for Wednesday's divisional showdown with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Carter is worth adding, given his production when receiving a significant boost in minutes.

Advice: Stream for Monday in all daily points and H2H leagues

Bruce Brown - SF/PF, Denver Nuggets (34% rostered)

The Nuggets play three games, and two fall on bigger slates (Wednesday and Friday), but Bruce Brown still needs to be rostered in all 12-team leagues. I'm surprised his rostership went down by 1% since last week. In Week 3, he finished 48th in per-game value and returned fifth-round value in Week 4 (49th). Two terrific outings boosted his ranking, with Bones Hyland (protocols) missing time. So, as long as Bones is out, Brown is a smash play, but he'll still hold value even when Hyland returns.

Advice: Add and hold in 12+ points and H2H leagues

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Grant Williams - SF/PF, Boston Celtics (32% rostered)

It's been a few weeks since I recommended picking up Grant Williams, but his efficiency is too good to be left on waivers. He's shooting 60% from the field, 50% from three and 80% from the charity stripe coming into Monday. The Celtics only play three games this week (on Monday, Wednesday and Friday slates), but Williams is posting eighth-round value over his past ten games.

Advice: Stream in 12 team H2H leagues

12-team category specialists to stream in Week 5:


Eric Gordon (16%)

Malik Beasley (44%)

Cam Payne (40%)

Tim Hardaway Jr. (23%)


Malik Beasley (44%)

Norman Powell (41%)

Tim Hardaway Jr. (23%)

Cam Payne (40%)

Seth Curry (38%)

Malik Monk (31%)

Reggie Jackson (34%)

Joe Harris (14%)

Luke Kennard (5%)


Mason Plumlee (48%)

Kevon Looney (29%)

Nick Richards (19%)

Jordan Goodwin (13%)

Chuma Okeke (10%)


Mason Plumlee (48%)

Reggie Jackson (34%)

Cam Payne (40%)

Goran Dragic (8%)


Christian Koloko (6%)

Walker Kessler (28%)

Bismack Biyombo (3%)

Daniel Gafford (12%)

Chuma Okeke (10%)


Norman Powell (41%)

Eric Gordon (16%)

Jalen McDaniels (38%)

Jordan Goodwin (13%)

Otto Porter (7%)

Thaddeus Young (4%)