Fantasy Basketball Pickups: Short-term and speculative adds to make off the waiver wire

By Gabe Allen, RotoWire

Special to Yahoo Sports

The waiver wire remains ripe for the picking, which fantasy basketball managers ought to be grateful for. Several recently recommended players are still widely available. However, rather than reiterating the case for players I’ve already suggested over the first several weeks of the season, this week’s column focuses on several short-term streaming options and long-term speculative pick-ups.

Without further ado, here are eight players to add heading into Week 7.

Bogdan Bogdanovic, Atlanta Hawks (49 percent rostered)

Bogdanovic (knee) hasn’t played a single game yet this season, and it’s unclear when he will be ready to make his season debut. Nevertheless, he’s a proven commodity when it comes to statistical production, capable of contributing amply across multiple categories. Trusting players with proven track records is generally a sound strategy, and Bogdanovic will likely be scooped up in most leagues by the time he’s healthy enough to make his first appearance of 2022-23.

Bogdan Bogdanovic #13 of the Atlanta Hawks has fantasy value
Consider adding Bogdan Bogdanovic in fantasy leagues ahead of his season debut. (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images (Cole Burston via Getty Images)

Torrey Craig, Phoenix Suns (32% rostered)

Craig has been making the most of his recent increase in playing time minus Cameron Johnson (knee), who will likely miss at least another month. Over the last five games, Craig is averaging a well-rounded stat line of 12.2 points, 6.8 boards, 2.2 threes, 1.8 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.2 blocks in 29.2 minutes, making him a serviceable short-term option for most leagues.

Jalen Williams, Oklahoma City Thunder (32% rostered)

Over the last seven games, Williams is averaging 12.4 points, 3.9 assists, 3.3 boards and 1.1 threes across 29.1 minutes. The rookie wing is clearly below Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Giddey in the offensive pecking order. Still, he’s performing well off the bench in a role that affords him a decent usage rate. As such, he’s worth a speculative add in case this continues.

Alec Burks, Detroit Pistons (30% rostered)

Cade Cunningham (shin) is out indefinitely, thus opening the door for other Pistons to make an impact, especially on the offensive end. Burks has never been shy about letting his shots fly, and he has scored 15 points or more in six of his last seven appearances while averaging 16.6 points, 2.1 rebounds, 2.1 treys, 1.7 assists and 1.1 steals in 21.3 minutes during this recent span. Those needing help in the scoring department should feel safe turning to Burks, at least for the time being, especially if his playing time continues to increase.

Caleb Martin, Miami Heat (29% rostered)

Across the last six contests, Martin is averaging 15.0 points, 6.2 boards, 3.0 dimes, 2.3 threes, 1.5 steals and 1.2 blocks in 39.5 minutes per night. Jimmy Butler (knee) could be nearing his return to the lineup, but until that happens, Martin makes for a superb streaming option. Those already rostering Butler may be wise to add Martin if Butler’s injury lingers or he suffers a setback once he returns.

Thaddeus Young, Toronto Raptors (23% rostered)

Although Pascal Siakam (adductor) appears to be nearing his return to the active lineup, Scottie Barnes (knee) is dealing with a minor injury. Moreover, most of Toronto’s frontcourt has been bitten by the injury bug, and Young has been called upon to play a decent share of minutes down low lately. In fact, across the last five games, Young has turned back the clock by averaging 12.6 points, 7.2 boards, 3.2 assists and 2.2 steals in 30.2 minutes per night. Even if it’s only for one more matchup period, Young is worthy of consideration in most formats.

Paul Reed, Philadelphia 76ers (16% rostered)

Joel Embiid (foot) will miss his third straight game Friday evening, and the injury could linger in the short- and perhaps even long-term. Meanwhile, Reed has seemingly supplanted veteran Montrezl Harrell for the backup center gig behind two-game averages of 12.5 points, 9.0 rebounds, 2.5 steals and 2.5 blocks in 26.5 minutes. Those already rostering Embiid might want to add Reed, if only for streaming purposes on nights when Embiid sits out.

Thomas Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers (16% rostered)

Bryant has managed averages of 10.3 points, 5.7 boards and 0.7 blocks in 15.7 minutes through his first three appearances of the season. He has had very little luck staying healthy over the last several seasons, but with the Lakers in desperate need of help down low despite Anthony Davis playing at a high level, Bryant could carve out a significant role for himself going forward. Bryant makes for an especially intriguing speculative add.

Recent recommendations: Lonnie Walker IV, Larry Nance Jr., Ayo Dosunmu, Isaiah Jackson, Malik Monk, Patrick Williams, Tari Eason, Jalen Duren, Deni Avdija