Week 2 Waiver-Wire Adds

Ryan Venancio brings you his top adds for week two of fantasy basketball leagues.

Desmond Bane, Memphis Grizzlies  

Rostered in 8.6% of ESPN, 37% of Yahoo Leagues –

The second-year guard out of TCU is a freak of an athlete. Finally got his chance to play as a starter with the injury of Dillon Brooks. As a guard that can shoot and finish at the basket, he’s a perfect fit to play off of Ja Morant. Because of all that, Desmond Bane was a popular sleeper pick this season. 

Through the first two games, he has not upset those that bet on him. Averaging 20 points, three three-pointers, and a steal per game. To go along with 48-percent shooting from the field on 15 attempts per game. The counting stats may be pretty weak but that’s not what you pick up Bane for. Those three-pointers, steals, and scoring stats are hard to find on the waiver wire.

The long-term concern with Bane is that Brooks should be coming back from a hand injury in a few weeks. Reports are that he should be re-evaluated in a week or so and we’ll get more information from there. While we are waiting for Brooks to come back, Bane should continue to produce and play near 30 minutes a night.

Chris Duarte, Indiana Pacers 

Rostered in 33.9% of ESPN, 65% of Yahoo leagues –

Chris Duarte is going to be the obvious choice out of the bunch. As you can see he is already owned in the majority of Yahoo leagues. If you play on ESPN, there’s a good chance no one rosters him.

Duarte is a four-year college starter from Oregon that has been inserted into Indiana’s starting lineup right away. Though it’s hard to tell what kind of stat line Duarte will put up down the road. He’s going to be an effective option for three-pointers and scoring until the likes of Caris LeVert and T.J Warren get healthy. From the looks of it, that might not be for a while. Warren is still in a boot, recovering from a stress fracture in his foot. LeVert is currently recovering from a stress fracture in his back, held to pre-game workouts and shooting. It sounds like he’s a few weeks away from game action.

Considering both players are coming back from major injuries. Neither one is going to get starter minutes as soon as they return. Which gives Duarte at least another month of seeing what he has. In that period, you need to add him and see what he’s made of. We can’t expect him to shoot 46-percent from three-point range the rest of the season. But, he should still produce as a bench player on your squad, at the least.

Franz Wagner, Orlando Magic 

Rostered in 6.7% of ESPN, 12% of Yahoo leagues –

The German-born forward has had some solid success during his first two games in the NBA. Though he is only 20-years old, playing on the worst team in the league, Wagner has more than held his own. Getting the start in each game, Wagner has averaged 14 points, four rebounds, two three-pointers, and a block per game. Most importantly, he has been given 34 and 32 minutes in each of the first two games. 

While Jonathan Isaac returning from injury could put a dent into Wagner’s fantasy value. This Magic roster is completely bereft of talent. If he continues to produce and become a reliable scoring option for them. There’s no scenario in which Wagner loses minutes and goes any further below the 25-27 mark. On top of the fact that Isaac hasn’t played basketball since the 2019 season and will almost definitely sit most back-to-backs and be eased in. There is little to worry about here, scoop Wagner before it’s too late. 

Alperen Sengun, Houston Rockets 

Rostered in 17.9% of ESPN, 59% of Yahoo leagues – 

This one is a little less under-the-radar than Bane and Wagner. Sengun was possibly the most popular sleeper pick in all of basketball this pre-season. Given how bad Houston is and how bad they are going to be after making trades mid-season, Sengun is the best potential hold out there. 

Even if he doesn’t play more minutes in the next couple of weeks, you still want to hold or pick him up if someone in your league becomes impatient. Sengun has the makings of a fantasy superstar that produces in nearly every category. 

Just in the few games, he has played 18 and 19 minutes in. If you combine the two games that he played in and call it a 37-minute game. Sengun has produced 17 points, ten rebounds, three assists, four steals, two blocks. Shooting 6-9 from the field and 5-6 from the free-throw line. Granted, that comes with eight fouls and nine turnovers in those 37 minutes. There are going to be some growing pains with a 19-year old in the NBA. 

Josh Giddey, Oklahoma City Thunder  

– Rostered in 17% of ESPN, 65% of Yahoo leagues – 

Here is yet another 19-year old on a horrible basketball team. Josh Giddey was the sixth overall pick in this year’s draft. He is expected to be a building block for them alongside Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. 

Through the first two games of the year, Oklahoma City is playing Giddey at the two, sharing ball-handling duties with Gilgeous-Alexander. Even though his numbers don’t jump off the page, at all. It’s encouraging to see that he’s starting this early in the season. The numbers will come with time. 

One of the main issues has been blows outs. Which, sure, the Thunder will be involved in a ton of blowouts because of how bad they are. Though, it really should not affect how often Giddey and the starting lineup are utilized. Oklahoma City wants to see how good their players are and wants to give them all the minutes they can handle. 

Giddey is a savvy passer as well as a plus ball handler. It would not be surprising to see him eventually give you results in rebounds, assists, and steals while providing you with 12 points and one three-pointer per game once he gets settled in. 

Keep an eye out on your waiver wire to make sure an owner had not become impatient in the first few weeks of the year with Giddey. There are going to be stretches of poor play. Keep him on your bench and wait to reap the rewards once he figures it out.  

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