NBA Waiver Wire: Best Adds for Week 8

NBA Waiver Wire: Best Adds for Week 8

This article is part of our NBA Waiver Wire series.

As always, the players in this article must be rostered in less than two-thirds of CBS leagues. Players are listed in the order that I recommend adding them, assuming they are equally good fits for your team.

Adds for All Leagues

DeMarcus Cousins (87% rostered) and Jae'Sean Tate (20% rostered), Rockets

I'm cheating by including Cousins here, but he's still available in one out of eight leagues and that needs to change ASAP. Christian Wood (ankle) needed a wheelchair to leave the arena after getting hurt Thursday night. In the three games he missed a couple weeks ago, Cousins averaged 17-14-5 and 2.7 "stocks" (steals + blocks) in 32.0 minutes per game. We're still waiting for word on the severity of Wood's injury, but don't miss your chance to snag Cousins if you still can.

If you miss out on Cousins, and are still looking for a potential beneficiary from the Wood injury, consider Tate (20% rostered). He's already starting, but he's only averaging 27.0 minutes over the last two weeks, so there is room for growth there. Cousins, Wood, and Rodions Kurucs (who is out of the rotation) are the only Rockets taller than 6'6", so Tate's absurd wingspan makes him arguably their best bet to play frontcourt minutes when Cousins or P.J. Tucker rest. In games when he's played at least 30 minutes, Tate is averaging 12.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 2.0 stocks and 1.3 threes. It's not what Cousins can do, but it's more than enough

As always, the players in this article must be rostered in less than two-thirds of CBS leagues. Players are listed in the order that I recommend adding them, assuming they are equally good fits for your team.

Adds for All Leagues

DeMarcus Cousins (87% rostered) and Jae'Sean Tate (20% rostered), Rockets

I'm cheating by including Cousins here, but he's still available in one out of eight leagues and that needs to change ASAP. Christian Wood (ankle) needed a wheelchair to leave the arena after getting hurt Thursday night. In the three games he missed a couple weeks ago, Cousins averaged 17-14-5 and 2.7 "stocks" (steals + blocks) in 32.0 minutes per game. We're still waiting for word on the severity of Wood's injury, but don't miss your chance to snag Cousins if you still can.

If you miss out on Cousins, and are still looking for a potential beneficiary from the Wood injury, consider Tate (20% rostered). He's already starting, but he's only averaging 27.0 minutes over the last two weeks, so there is room for growth there. Cousins, Wood, and Rodions Kurucs (who is out of the rotation) are the only Rockets taller than 6'6", so Tate's absurd wingspan makes him arguably their best bet to play frontcourt minutes when Cousins or P.J. Tucker rest. In games when he's played at least 30 minutes, Tate is averaging 12.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 2.0 stocks and 1.3 threes. It's not what Cousins can do, but it's more than enough for a waiver add.

Gary Trent, Trail Blazers (67% rostered)

Trent squeezes in under the limit to qualify for this article. The Trail Blazers have been decimated by injuries lately, pushing Trent into more minutes and a higher usage rate. Since he entered the starting lineup, his only dud game was a 28-point blowout loss that drove down his minutes. He's more of a deep-leagues-only guy if Portland ever gets back to full health, but for now he's an auto-start in all leagues.

Cody Zeller, Hornets (64% rostered)

Not sure what the last third of you all are waiting for. I know I've hammered this for weeks, but Zeller is an all-leagues guy. 11.4 points, 11.0 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.0 blocks since rejoining the starting lineup.

Theo Maledon, Thunder (34% rostered)

Maledon entered the starting lineup when George Hill (thumb) went down, and he's instantly made an impact. He's averaging 11.6 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 2.6 threes and 2.0 steals in 29.8 minutes – and those numbers look even better if we ignore his first start, a mediocre effort in which he played just 22 minutes. Hill is out at least three more weeks, and Maledon may have earned himself some extra run even after Hill returns. 

Jakob Poeltl, Spurs (19% rostered)

Poeltl's value will probably be short-lived, but he's a solid pickup until LaMarcus Aldridge (hip) returns. We don't yet have a timeline on Aldridge, other than that he will miss multiple games. Starting in place of Aldridge Wednesday, Poeltl put up 19 points, eight rebounds and four blocks in 34 minutes. He probably won't maintain that scoring pace, but he's always been a strong per-minute rebounder and shot-blocker. Furthermore, though he only logged one assist on Wednesday, he averages 3.3 per-36 this season, so he'll likely add some value in that category as well.

Other recommendations: Josh Jackson, Pistons (37% rostered); Daniel Theis, Celtics (41% rostered); Malik Monk, Hornets (12% rostered)

Worth a Look

Xavier Tillman, Grizzlies (20% rostered)

For some teams, Tillman should be the highest priority add once Cousins is off the board. For others, he's an easy skip. Since entering the starting lineup, Tillman is averaging 9.8 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 1.2 blocks on 51-70-33 shooting. The low points and minimal assists and threes make him unrosterable for some managers, but the hefty defensive stats on efficient shooting will make him a perfect fit for others. He's starting because Jonas Valanciunas (Covid protocols) is sidelined, but Tillman is getting these numbers in just 24.0 minutes per game, so he can stay on rosters even after Valanciunas returns. Tillman was averaging 19.7 minutes alongside Valanciunas before the latter entered the protocols.

Speculative Adds

De'Anthony Melton, Grizzlies (26% rostered)

Melton has had a few windows of Fantasy usefulness through his early career, but he started this season ice-cold. This surge came with Grayson Allen (Covid protocols) sidelined, and we have no updates on when he might return, which is the biggest concern here. Melton has averaged 14.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 4.5 assists in 26.3 minutes with Allen out, so there is value available here if it can last. Melton was ahead of Allen in the rotation for most of last season, and if Melton stays hot there's no reason he can't keep up a workload of 25-ish minutes. My assessment is that he's worth adding if you have a player you're ready to drop, but he's not a must-add even in deep formats. If you do add him, hold onto him through the first game with Allen back, and then drop instantly if Allen plays more or equivalent minutes to Melton.

Other recommendation: Aron Baynes, Raptors (8% rostered)

Deep League Special

Anfernee Simons, Trail Blazers (12% rostered)

Ok, maybe I have a slight Simons problem. But just because I've been overeager on him a bazillion times in the past doesn't mean he won't pan out this time! His minutes have been down the last two games as he plays through a minor hamstring injury, but Portland was (shockingly) helpful about updating us with Simons' minutes limit before Thursday's game. The Portland depth chart is completely decimated, and Simons is the only actual point guard who's been playing the last few games. Before his hamstring tweak, he was averaging 15.8 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.8 threes in 27.4 minutes over a five game span.

Other recommendations: Desmond Bane, Grizzlies (11% rostered)

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alex Rikleen
Rikleen writes the NBA column "Numbers Game," which decodes the math that underpins fantasy basketball and was a nominee for the 2016 FSWA Newcomer of the Year Award. A certified math teacher, Rikleen decided the field of education pays too well, so he left it for writing. He is a Boston College graduate living outside Boston.
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