Week 10 of the fantasy basketball season is upon us, and, like every Monday, I'll break down several players who are less than 50% of Yahoo fantasy basketball leagues — with a few exceptions this time around.
But before we get to this week's waiver pickups, here are the games played by each team in Week 10.
Four games: Six teams (76ers, Bucks, Knicks, Lakers, Mavericks and Suns)
Three games: 20 teams (Bulls, Cavaliers, Celtics, Grizzlies, Hawks, Hornets, Jazz, Kings, Magic, Nuggets, Pelicans, Pistons, Raptors, Rockets, Spurs, Thunder, Timberwolves, Trail Blazers, Warriors and Wizards)
Two games: Four teams (Clippers, Heat, Nets, Pacers)
Okay, now that you know when teams play and when it might be best to utilize them, let's get to the pickups.
Thomas Bryant, C, Los Angeles Lakers (52% rostered)
Editors note: Bryant's rostership moved above the typical 50% threshold before the story was published.
Anthony Davis is out for at least a month with a right foot injury, and the next man up on the Lakers' depth chart is Thomas Bryant. Bryant got the start for the Lakers on Sunday night versus the Wizards and delivered a double-double (16 points and 10 rebounds) with two assists, two threes and two turnovers in 33 minutes. He also posterized Kristaps Porzingis off of a beautiful dime from Lebron James.
Bryant is averaging 13.7 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 0.7 threes, 2.4 stocks and one turnover per game in three starts for the Lakers this season. His career numbers as a starter are on par with what we've seen this season, which lends more confidence in Bryant sustaining this level of play.
The Lakers play four games in Week 10, and if he can stay healthy, he'll be worth holding onto through mid-January. Bryant has double-double potential and is a reliable shot blocker who shoots a high percentage from the field. He doesn't have much competition for minutes at the center spot unless the Lakers elect to play small ball, but even so, he will be getting 25+ minutes for the foreseeable future. His roster percentage is climbing fast, so grab him now.
Advice: Add in all points and H2H leagues
Onyeka Okongwu, C, Atlanta Hawks (51% rostered)
Editor's note: Okongwu's rostership moved above the typical 50% threshold before the story was published.
Clint Capela was the next player to hit the injury list for the Hawks with a calf injury that will sideline him for at least one week. Enter Onyeka Okongwu, who steps into the starting center role with Capela in street clothes.
Okongwu won't light up the jumbotron, but he'll make an impact defensively and on the glass for fantasy managers. Okongwu is averaging 5.8 points, 8.0 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 3.1 stocks and 1.5 turnovers across 29.4 minutes per game in four starts without Capela in the lineup this season.
He's Clint Capela with better defensive stats; only he shoots better from the charity stripe. For some reason, he's been better in limited minutes off the bench this season but perhaps getting more reps as the starter will yield better results in the short term.
Advice: Add in all leagues while Clint Capela is out.
Nickeil Alexander-Walker, SG/SF, Utah Jazz (19% rostered)
The only Virginia Tech alum currently in the NBA (shoutout to the Hokies), Nickeil Alexander-Walker, is thriving in his new role off the bench with Collin Sexton still out with a hamstring injury.
He's outplayed and replaced Talen Horton-Tucker in the Jazz' rotation. Over his past six games, Alexander-Walker is averaging 14.8 points, 3.2 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 2.8 threes and 1.5 stocks with 3.0 turnovers across 26.4 minutes per contest. The turnovers are high, but he's offset that inefficiency with 63/55/100 shooting splits.
The shooting splits are not sustainable, but he's clearly riding a heater at the moment. I don't want to discount the work he's reportedly put in this season, but he was statistically one of the worst shooters in the NBA last season – only Jalen Suggs was worse.
Fortunately for Alexander-Walker, he's now up to 57% eFG this year, so fantasy managers will want to stream him while he's locked in. The Jazz play a Monday/Tuesday back-to-back set against Cleveland and Detroit to start the week, and Sexton was already ruled out on Monday, leaving the door open for more production from NAW.
If news of Sexton's return is imminent, let's drop him, but I'll wait until after the Jazz play on Thursday. It's a smaller slate, leaving three additional days to stream another player to close out Week 10.
Advice: Stream for Week 10 and hold depending on Collin Sexton's health.
Quentin Grimes, SG/SF, New York Knicks (28% rostered)
The Knicks have reeled off seven straight victories, and Quentin Grimes has been one of the catalysts of New York's recent resurgence. The Knicks are 10-5 with Grimes as a starter this season, and he's been quite productive in fantasy over the past two weeks.
Despite a low usage rate of 13.4%, Grimes has provided fourth-round value over that span by averaging 13.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 2.8 triples, 1.8 stocks and 1.3 turnovers per game with 54/50/82 shooting splits.
He's playing almost 33 minutes per night in his last six games and has become a reliable spot-up shooter and wing defender for the Knicks. The Knicks are one of six teams playing four games in Week 10, so there's streaming appeal in the short term, but I think we'll see his role expand as the season progresses — making him a hold for the foreseeable future.
Advice: Add in 12 team H2H leagues
Austin Reaves, SG/SF, Los Angeles Lakers (23% rostered)
The Lakers will be desperate for scoring options now that Anthony Davis is out, and Austin Reaves is a player that I think will step up. Over the past five games, Reaves is averaging 13.2 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 2.2 threes, 2.2 stocks and 1.8 turnovers in 33.7 minutes per game. He'll likely crack the top 150 in per-game value this week, making his outlook very promising.
The most impressive part about Reaves is his efficiency. He's on the cusp of being a part of the 50/40/90 club, falling just shy of 40% from distance at 39.1% this year. His contributions on the defensive side have also been vastly underrated lately.
He's registered at least two stocks in four of his last five contests, so with a four-game week on deck, Austin Reaves is someone I would prioritize over Lonnie Walker IV, Patrick Beverely or Dennis Schroder. Keep in mind that he sprained his ankle on Sunday night, but it doesn't appear that the injury will keep him out for long, though he will sit on Monday.
Advice: Stream in 10 team H2H leagues and add in 12 team points and H2H leagues
Kevon Looney, C, Golden State Warriors (36% rostered)
Looney has been holding down the frontcourt for the Warriors lately, dropping consecutive double-doubles in his last two outings.
Kevon Looney has back-to-back double-doubles for the first time in his career with 11 points and 10 rebounds tonight (had 14 points & 11 rebounds on 12/16 at Philadelphia).— Warriors PR (@WarriorsPR) December 19, 2022
He's the consummate professional who plays whatever role this team needs to succeed. That usually means he's unreliable for fantasy, but with the Warriors below .500 and battling for the play-in tournament right now, Looney's veteran presence is needed more than ever. Looney is 129th in per-game value for the season but is shockingly providing fifth-round value in fantasy over the past two weeks.
Big men are hard to find on waivers, so I would grab Looney with the quickness. Even with a low usage rate, he's an effort guy who can quickly rack up rebounds and protect the paint. He'll be a solid source of boards and stocks as the only interior presence outside of Draymond Green.
Advice: Stream in 10 team leagues and add in12 team leagues
Markelle Fultz, PG/SG, Orlando Magic (47% rostered)
The Magic starting point guard finished 32nd in per-game value in Week 9, and outside of a high turnover rate, Markelle Fultz should be well over 50% rostered coming into Monday.
If you're looking for rebounds, assists and steals from the guard position, Fultz is worth adding. Fultz is averaging 4.7 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.4 steals in 10 games since returning from injury this season. His scoring output is on par with last season (10.8 vs. 10.4) so offensively, his only deficiencies are his lack of threes and turnovers. The backcourt situation is still fluid with Jalen Suggs (ankle) out of the lineup, so take advantage of Fultz before it gets too crowded, and he has to compete for minutes.
Advice: Add in 12 team points and H2H leagues
Short-term but worth a look:
Torrey Craig, SF/PF, Phoenix Suns (15% rostered)
I'd pick up Torrey Craig on Monday because the Suns play a Monday/Tuesday back-to-back, so you're getting a 2-for-1 to start Week 10. The Suns have four games in total, so he can be helpful if you need rebounds, a three-pointer, plus one or two stocks. His numbers won't wow you, but he's worth considering as he continues to fill in for Cameron Johnson at PF. He's quietly provided top-100 value over the past month in fantasy.
Advice: Stream in 12-team H2H leagues on Monday and Tuesday and re-assess midweek.
Jalen Williams, SG/SF, Oklahoma City Thunder (20% rostered)
Take a glance at the Oklahoma City injury report — it's an infirmary. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was upgraded to questionable on Monday, but Josh Giddey and Tre Mann are out on Monday, so that leaves a lot of available minutes in the backcourt.
Jalen Williams will likely see the biggest boost as he's played at least 30 minutes in four straight contests and is averaging 30.2 minutes over his last 10 games. He shoots a high percentage for a guard, and he's a playmaker that can fill up the box score in a myriad of ways; if the injuries continue to linger for the Thunder.
He's currently ranked 232 in per-game value this season which is objectively bad, but it's because Williams doesn't make many threes and has a high turnover rate relative to his assist rate. Still, he was the Western Conference Rookie of the Month for November and is worth streaming for the sheer opportunity with increased minutes and usage.
Advice: Stream in 12 team H2H leagues
Aaron Nesmith, SG/SF, Indiana Pacers (7% rostered)
Nesmith has started three of the past four games for the Pacers, scored in double figures in four of his last five contests and made at least two threes in six straight. He dropped his first double-double versus the Knicks on Sunday, too, so his arrow is pointing up if you need points, rebounds and threes.
Jalen Smith has fallen out of favor in the rotation, so Nesmith can get even more playing time at multiple positions. I wouldn't recommend streaming the Pacers in Week 10 because their only games are on Wednesday and Friday, but he's someone I'm watching should any trades or further injuries transpire for the Pacers.
Others to consider by my rankings:
Larry Nance - PF/C, New Orleans Pelicans (42%)
Derrick White - PG/SG, Boston Celtics (46%)
Kyle Anderson - SF/PF, Minnesota Timberwolves (40%)
Tyus Jones - PG, Memphis Grizzlies (38%)
Jalen McDaniels - SF/PF, Charlotte Hornets (35%)
Grant Williams - SF/PF, Boston Celtics (27%)