College Basketball Waiver Wire: Pickups of the Week

College Basketball Waiver Wire: Pickups of the Week

This article is part of our College Basketball Waiver Wire series.

Just like NFL, NBA and NHL, COVID-19 and its variations have hit college basketball hard, forcing a slew of cancellations over the past week. Staying in tune to our college basketball news feed will be vital, as fantasy managers will likely see players lose games and be left to streaming options, trying simply to squeeze some stats out of players who are actually healthy. 

Since we can't predict where the virus might hit most, we'll focus on players who are seeing changes in circumstance as most schools hit finals week. Several players are making long-anticipated returns, so it's worth checking the wire to see if impatient managers cut bait too early during roster crunches.

While I'm filling in for Chris this week, we'll keep the same setup, taking a look at high majors before diving deeper into the next tier of players most commonly used in fantasy college basketball.

Power Conferences

Allen Flanigan, F, Auburn

Flanigan is a player one could easily make a case for stashing after draft day due to his all-around production – 14.3 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 2.9 apg – in 2020-21. He had targeted a December return from an Achilles injury all-along, and while it's the tail end of the month, he apparently has a real chance to suit up Wednesday against Murray State. There will be competition for playing time with freshman wing Jabari Smith more than earning his minutes, though Flanigan's return most likely costs Devan Cambridge and Lior Berman playing time and shots.

Just like NFL, NBA and NHL, COVID-19 and its variations have hit college basketball hard, forcing a slew of cancellations over the past week. Staying in tune to our college basketball news feed will be vital, as fantasy managers will likely see players lose games and be left to streaming options, trying simply to squeeze some stats out of players who are actually healthy. 

Since we can't predict where the virus might hit most, we'll focus on players who are seeing changes in circumstance as most schools hit finals week. Several players are making long-anticipated returns, so it's worth checking the wire to see if impatient managers cut bait too early during roster crunches.

While I'm filling in for Chris this week, we'll keep the same setup, taking a look at high majors before diving deeper into the next tier of players most commonly used in fantasy college basketball.

Power Conferences

Allen Flanigan, F, Auburn

Flanigan is a player one could easily make a case for stashing after draft day due to his all-around production – 14.3 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 2.9 apg – in 2020-21. He had targeted a December return from an Achilles injury all-along, and while it's the tail end of the month, he apparently has a real chance to suit up Wednesday against Murray State. There will be competition for playing time with freshman wing Jabari Smith more than earning his minutes, though Flanigan's return most likely costs Devan Cambridge and Lior Berman playing time and shots. After likely getting eased back in, Flanigan should return to his status as a top SEC contributor in 2022.

Dylan Disu, C, Texas

Disu missed the first nine games of the season while recovering from a knee injury but returned last week Tuesday, albeit on a slight minutes restriction. His activity increased Sunday against Stanford, when the 6-foot-9 Vanderbilt transfer put up 11 points and four boards in just 16 minutes. Depth is a concern with Tre Mitchell and Christian Bishop also available at the position, but Disu did out-produce Bishop in the same amount of minutes Sunday. Considering he averaged 15.0 points and 9.2 rebounds at Vandy last year, he's arguably one of the first names that should be looked up.

Shakeel Moore, G, Mississippi State

While Rocket Watts returned for an eight-game stretch and had modest contributions, he's now facing another multi-game shutdown due to the same hip issue that limited him early in the season. This presumably will lead to a slight usage bump for fellow shooting guard Shakeel Moore, who was already on the fantasy radar due to his 10.7 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.2 assists, and most importantly, 2.2 steals.

Joel Soriano, F, St. John's

With arguably the conference's best playing in Julian Champagnie testing positive for COVID, the Red Storm relied on Soriano for 30 minutes off the bench Saturday against Pittsburgh. While it was in a losing effort, the Fordham transfer logged 10 points, nine rebounds and four blocks. As someone who saw starter's minutes early in the year, Soriano seems to be the direct, short-term pivot for managers who used a top pick on Champgnie. The other two starting forwards Saturday saw just a combined 23 minutes and went 2-for-9 from the floor. Champagnie "likely" will return Dec. 29, which leaves at least one game – Dec. 23 vs. Butler – for Soriano to see increased usage.

Jabri Abdur-Rahim, F, Georgia

With starting power forward Jailyn Ingram done for the year after suffering a torn ACL, Abdur-Rahim will be one of the options called upon to help fill in. He'd already been playing well prior tot he injury, averaging 13.5 ppg on 55.2 percent shooting over his last four games. The sledding will be tough in conference play, but in deeper or SEC-only formats, both Abdur-Rahim and Kario Oquendo should be on the radar to see increased production.

Charles O'Bannon, G, TCU

O'Bannon made his first start of the season against Georgetown on Saturday in place of Micah Peavy, posting 15 points and seven boards. He's reached double figures in four of his last six games, posting 10.8 points and 4.2 rebounds over that stretch. Should this pattern continue, the fifth-year senior could become a secondary option for the Horned Frogs after Mike Miles.

Adonis Arms, G, Texas Tech

Might be a bit of a long shot here, but with Mylik Wilson (knee) and Terrence Shannon (back) both out, Arms made his first start of the season and put up 14 points against Gonzaga. That followed up a 15-point performance four days earlier, so the Winthrop transfer can clearly score when given the minutes. The Red Raiders get an up-tempo matchup against Eastern Washington this week, so there should be plenty of counting stats to go around for the players that do suit up.

Rodney Chatman, G, Vanderbilt

Chatman put up just two points and two steals in Sunday's season debut, but it was great to see the Dayton transfer on the court after missing the first nine games of the year while rehabbing from a knee injury. The Commodores have just one game this week and Chatman's role is unclear, but it's worth keeping an eye on his usage to see if he can become a much-needed secondary scorer to Scotty Pippen. There at least appears to be starting spots open, as Vanderbilt shuffled its starting five Saturday and gave Jamaine Mann (seven points) and Gabe Dorsey (three points) their first starts of the year.

Tier 2

Junior Ballard, G, Fresno State

Ballard missed the first six games of the season due to a lower-leg injury but has slowly seen his role expand since his Dec. 1 return. He returned to the starting lineup Friday against his former team, putting up a season-high 18 points on 6-for-11 shooting. Ballard started 19 of 23 games for Fresno State last season, posting averages of 7.2 points and 2.6 rebounds. We'll have to assume some progression, but the opportunity at least appears there.

Javohn Garcia, G, Massachusetts

Garcia hadn't played since Nov. 27 due to academic issues, but he returned Sunday and saw a season-high 34 minutes off the bench. That turned into 13 points on 6-of-11 shooting, to go along with four steals and three rebounds. He did benefit from the fact that TJ Weeks and Noah Fernandes were both out due to illness, but this is still a double-digit scorer who started 10 games in 15 appearances last season, so there's some unfulfilled potential here for a player who is presumably widely available.

Branden Tucker, G, College of Charleston

This is a deeper dive that requires a bit of monitoring of the injury reports, but Tucker has taken on a larger role as part of the starting five in the absence of John Meeks (undisclosed). With few injury details coming out of Charleston, it's possible Meeks misses additional games. Charleston also has three games remaining on the schedule in 2021, so there could be multiple opportunities to produce.

Want to Read More?
Subscribe to RotoWire to see the full article.

We reserve some of our best content for our paid subscribers. Plus, if you choose to subscribe you can discuss this article with the author and the rest of the RotoWire community.

Get Instant Access To This Article Get Access To This Article
RotoWire Community
Join Our Subscriber-Only College Basketball Chat
Chat with our writers and other RotoWire College Basketball fans for all the pre-game info and in-game banter.
Join The Discussion
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jake Letarski
RotoWire Editor for College Basketball and MMA. Frequent podcaster, plus radio and video guest. Follow Jake on Twitter at @RotoJake.
College Basketball Draft Kit: Ten Key High-Major Coaching Changes
College Basketball Draft Kit: Ten Key High-Major Coaching Changes
College Basketball Draft Kit: Ten Key Mid-Major Coaching Changings
College Basketball Draft Kit: Ten Key Mid-Major Coaching Changings
DFS College Basketball: National Championship Preview
DFS College Basketball: National Championship Preview
Caesars Sportsbook NY Promo Code: Snag $1100 Bet Insurance for Kansas-UNC NCAA FInal
Caesars Sportsbook NY Promo Code: Snag $1100 Bet Insurance for Kansas-UNC NCAA FInal