23/24 Week 17 Pickups

Standard League (12 Team) Strong Adds 

Previous weeks’ pickup recommendations that are strong adds: Bojan Bogdanovic, Grayson Allen, Aaron Nesmith, Collin Sexton, Donte DiVincenzo, Vince Williams, Alex Caruso, Wendell Carter Jr., Malcolm Brogdon, Jonathan Kuminga, Nick Richards, Tre Jones, Jeremy Sochan, Kevin Huerter, Paul Reed, Ayo Dosunmu, Jaden Ivey

Andre Drummond – The big minute outing against the Wolves was not that exciting. We could chalk that one up to the matchup. However, the 31 minutes against a Memphis team lacking quality frontcourt options should get our attention. That was a surprise, as we haven’t seen that much of the double-big lineup against teams who don’t employ a double-big lineup themselves. It’s very hard to predict where this will go, but given Drummond’s upside, we have to add. If he starts playing even 27 MPG, he will be a mid-round player in friendly builds like punt FT%. The former fantasy first-rounder is still an elite per-minute producer. His per-minute numbers don’t look much different than they did in his prime. He just doesn’t play that much these days. Drummond is currently producing an unbelievable 17.7 PP36 on 56.5 FG%, 18.6 RP36, 2.4 SP36, and 1.4 BP36. If he does start playing major minutes, the FT% hit that will accompany him will be significant (55.1 FT%), but you can’t worry about that. Add and figure out how to save your FT% later. You cannot risk missing out on a potential league-winner.

Marvin Bagley – Bagley is one of the deadline’s big winners. As Washington’s starting center he could be a mid-round player in points leagues. In category leagues, his outlook is murkier, but he should still be added for his ability to put up some big numbers in FG%, points, and rebounds on a Wizards team that will be looking to feature him. In his two starts with the Wizards in mid-January, Bagley played a whopping 37.4 MPG and averaged 20.5 PPG, 11.5 3PG, and 1.5 BPG. He’s not going to play nearly that much going forward, but 30 MPG is doable. With that much run, he could average about 17.0 PPG, 8.0 RPG, and 0.8 BPG while shooting in the high-50s from the field. What stops him from being a home run pick in category leagues is everything else. Bagley’s line has a lot of holes in it. He doesn’t hit threes (0.1 3P36), rarely passes (2.0 AP36), never steals the ball (0.5 SP36), and potentially comes with a major FT% hit. The former second-overall pick has been shooting in the 60s from the charity stripe over the last two months and gets to the line fairly often (5.6 FTA36).

Standard League Low-end Adds

Previous weeks’ pickup recommendations that are low-end adds: Saddiq Bey, Bruce Brown, Tim Hardaway Jr., Luke Kennard, Jalen Suggs, Markelle Fultz, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, John Konchar, Alec Burks, Kelly Oubre, Santi Aldama, Malik Monk

Ausar Thompson – Thompson’s time may not come immediately, but it should come soon. With the Pistons shipping off Bojan Bogdanovic and Alec Burks to New York, the fifth-overall pick’s minutes should end up in at least the high-20s in the short term. 30+ MPG is also possible, but with Monty being Monty, that may not happen for another month. Minutes in the upper-20s is enough to keep the rookie somewhat useful while we wait and hope for the Pistons to fully unleash him. In a role of that size, he should be a strong source of rebounds and defensive numbers. However, we shouldn’t expect a return to his November production. Thompson is still putting up some very solid numbers in his best categories (9.9 RP36, 1.4 SP36, 1.4 BP36), but his per-minute production in all three areas has slipped since his monstrous start to the year.

Brandin Podziemski – Podziemski is a must-roster at the moment not because of any numbers in his line, but because of the number six. Six is the amount of games that the Warriors have in Week 17. They are the only team that plays three games before and after the break. Even with Klay Thompson set to return this weekend, the rookie has a real shot at being a mid-round player on a totals basis in Week 17 due to the elite schedule. With the Warriors extremely busy over the next two weeks, Podziemski should be a very strong source of boards and assists who also helps you win points and steals in Week 17. Over his last seven, in 33.5 MPG, the Warrior has managed 11.1 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 6.0 APG, and 1.0 SPG.

Naz Reid – Naz is another schedule-based add. The big man is more of a 14-team league option these days, but with the Wolves having three games during the first half of Week 17, and none of those games being part of the 13-day Wednesday slate, grabbing Reid will be one of the best ways to pick up extra games during the double week. The center is playing about 22 MPG these days and is giving us around 12.0 PPG, 2.0 3PG, 5.0 RPG, and 1.0 BPG. Reid will be droppable after the break with the Wolves only having two games during the second half of Week 17.

Kelly Olynyk – Olynyk is a reasonable add in 12-team leagues. The veteran only needs minutes in the mid-20s to be a standard league asset. He should get that in Toronto. He should pick up most, if not all, of the backup center minutes while seeing some time at the four. Olynyk could score in the low-teens while averaging about 1.0 3PG, 6.0 RPG, and 5.0 APG. Throw in some plus-contributions in both percentages, and you have yourself a useful piece. If Jakob Poeltl goes down at some point, Olynyk will be a run-don’t-walk type of add. The Raptors don’t have any NBA-level bigs besides Poeltl and Olynyk. If Poeltl is out, and Olynyk starts seeing 30+ MPG, the Canadian could flirt with the top 50.

Amen Thompson – If you need dimes and steals this weekend and during the first half of Week 17, it’s going to be hard to do better than Amen. As the Rockets’ starting point guard, Thompson should give us 5.0+ APG and 1.5+ SPG until Fred VanVleet is back. He should also be an elite source out-of-position boards. Over his three starts this year, Amen has averaged an impressive 12.0 RPG. That number obviously isn’t sustainable, but he could do 8.0+ RPG until the break. Thompson is producing an outstanding 10.0 RP36. If some of points, threes, FT%, and turnovers are toss-up categories this week and/or next week, you may want to look elsewhere. The fourth-overall pick will be a drag in all four areas. Once VanVleet returns, likely right after the break since his absence is being called precautionary, Thompson will be just a boards and steals streamer.

 

Deep League (14+ Team) Adds

Previous weeks’ pickup recommendations that are deep league adds: Matisse Thybulle, Bennedict Mathurin, Norman Powell, Kris Dunn, Cam Whitmore, Malik Beasley, Gary Trent Jr., Dennis Smith Jr., Harrison Barnes, Trey Murphy, Jabari Walker, Caris LeVert, Larry Nance, De’Andre Hunter, Precious Achiuwa, Bilal Coulibaly, Rui Hachimura

Corey Kispert – Kispert is red hot at the moment and is worth considering in most leagues if you need a points and threes bump and would like to avoid taking a FG% hit. That last bit is key and is what separates the Wizard from most bench gunners. Kispert is one of the few players potentially on a 12- and 14-team league wire who can give us 2.5+ 3PG without hurting our chances in FG%. The sharpshooter is shooting 49.1 percent from the field on the year and has averaged 20.8 PPG and 3.2 3PG over his last five.

G.G. Jackson – Jackson’s upside isn’t very high because he’s not going to do much besides score inefficiently while providing us with a handful of boards, but in 14- and 16-team leagues, that can be enough to make a player worth rostering. The rookie is not for every team, but if you are punting one or two of his weak categories and need a points and threes boost, he’s worth considering. The Grizzlies will probably give the second-round pick an extended look down over the next two months. They have been lately and Jackson has responded by averaging 14.6 PPG on 38.0 FG%, 2.1 3PG, and 5.3 RPG over his last seven outings.

Marcus Sasser – It’s hard to know what exactly Sasser’s role is going to look like from now until the end of the season because we haven’t seen a post-deadline Pistons lineup that includes Cade Cunningham, Quentin Grimes, and Simone Fontecchio yet. However, the odds of the rookie seeing minutes in at least the mid-20s are good. With both Alec Burks and Bojan Bogdanovic now in New York, there are a lot of shots and minutes available in Detroit. Sasser should pick up at least some of them. In a mid-20s role, the Piston should be able to average points in the low-teens while giving his managers about 1.5 3PG and at least 4.0 APG. He should do all that without hurting his squads too much from the field. Sasser has shot 48.4 percent from the floor through the first 46 games of his career. That is an impressive connection rate for a rookie guard.

Tre Mann – Mann should be useful until at least the break with LaMelo Ball still recovering from yet another ankle injury. With Ball down, and Ish Smith now waived, Mann doesn’t have much competition for playing time. The Hornets are currently running Cody Martin at the one and are not getting great results. In a featured role, Mann could produce useful numbers in points, threes, and assists while taking a sizable bite out of your FG%. His per-minute numbers aren’t great, but they also don’t mean much since his role with the Hornets won’t look anything like what his role with the Thunder did. Mann has flashed in the past and the opportunity in front of him makes him worth at least a deep league add. Once LaMelo is healthy, Mann will be a drop in most leagues. He should be in the rotation, but he won’t play enough to be more than a deep league streamer.

T.J. McConnell – Buddy Hield taking his talents to Philadelphia should lead to some extra run for McConnell. He’s not going to see a major boost in minutes but given how productive the point guard is on a per-minute basis, a minor boost could be enough to allow him to flirt with the top 150. McConnell has needed only 17.4 MPG to crack the top 190 this year. If he picks up even a handful of Hield’s minutes, the Pacer could move up forty spots or so. He’s an excellent streaming option in 12-team setups and is worth considering as a long-term hold in 14+ team leagues if you need dimes and swipes. Over the last month, in just 20.8 MPG, McConnell has averaged 8.7 PPG, 6.6 APG, and 1.1 SPG while shooting 51.9 percent from the floor.

Andrew Nembhard – Nembhard should also receive a boost with Buddy Hield no longer in the Pacers’ rotation. He should play more than McConnell, but he’s less attractive than the veteran because he’s not nearly as productive on a per-minute basis. McConnell is a 14-team league add while Nembhard is more of a 16-team league pickup. The Aurora native (shout-out to my hometown) has a shot at minutes in the upper-20s now. If he does land in that range, Nembhard could average around 11 PPG, 1.0 3PG, and 5.5 APG. The rest of his line will be very forgettable.

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