November comes to a close and December gets underway this week as the NBA season rolls on into its second full month. After Thanksgiving’s off day gave us multiple days of double-digit games last week, this week’s schedule is much more balanced with between four and nine games on tap each day of the week. Twenty of the 30 NBA teams play three times this coming week, eight teams play four times, but the Detroit Pistons and Los Angeles Lakers only play two times. How many times a team plays is definitely an important factor to consider, especially if you’re looking for a short-term pickup.
At the top of the post, you can find the top trending players, who have been hot pickups in the past and are disappearing off the waiver wire. They are likely already owned in your league, but if not, they’re great options to consider. At the bottom of the post, you can find some options that are worth a look for deeper leagues or if you are trying to get ahead of the rush. In between those two groups, you can find four highlighted sleepers who I think make good additions and will be trending in the right direction over the coming week and beyond.
Top Trending Players
- PG/SG/SF Desmond Bane, Memphis Grizzlies
- PG/SG/SF Kevin Porter Jr., Houston Rockets
- PG/SG De’Anthony Melton, Memphis Grizzlies
- PG/SG Patty Mills, Brooklyn Nets
- SG/SF Kelly Oubre Jr., Charlotte Hornets
- SG/SF Kevin Huerter, Atlanta Hawks
- SG/SF Pat Connaughton, Milwaukee Bucks
- SG/SF Josh Hart, New Orleans Pelicans
- SF/PF Aaron Gordon, Denver Nuggets
- SF/PF Cedi Osman, Cleveland Cavaliers
- PF/C PJ Washington, Charlotte Hornets
- PF/C Lauri Markkanen, Cleveland Cavaliers
- PF/C Jarred Vanderbilt, Minnesota Timberwolves
- C Daniel Gafford, Washington Wizards
PG/SG Malik Beasley, Minnesota Timberwolves (vs. IND, at WAS, at BKN)
Beasley is rostered in barely one-third of fantasy leagues, but he should be a great source of 3-pointers and scoring over the next couple of weeks while Patrick Beverley (adductor) is sidelined. Beasley was already starting to get some extra run and should get even more usage while Beverley is sidelined.
In his seven games that preceded Minnesota’s contest on Saturday, Beasley had a 21.1% usage rate after compiling a 17.9% usage rate over his first 12 games of the season. In those seven games, Beasley averaged 13.9 points, 2.7 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 0.9 steals per game. He also made at least four 3-pointers in five of those seven games, including each of the two games after Beverley’s injury. He didn’t get as much going on Saturday vs. the Sixers, but he’s still a solid option to add for the coming week. He doesn’t offer as much as some of the following options in non-scoring numbers, but no widely available option comes close to matching his scoring and 3-point upside.
PG Tyus Jones, Memphis Grizzlies (vs. OKC, at SA, at MEM, vs. NYK)
The most significant injury in the NBA over the past week happened on Friday when Grizzlies superstar Ja Morant sprained his knee vs. the Hawks. While there is no timetable for his return, it looks like he’s headed for an extended absence, which opens up plenty of playing time for Jones, who has been Morant’s primary backup the past two seasons.
Jones has only averaged 6.2 points, 3.1 assists, 2.1 rebounds and 0.6 steals per game this season, but he has been limited to just 15.7 minutes per contest — his lowest average for the past five seasons. Before joining the Grizz, Jones had a very successful end to the 2018-19 season with Minnesota, starting the final 15 games of that season and producing 11.2 points, 7.3 assists, 2.5 rebounds and 1.0 steals per game. He also had three double-doubles during that span, showing his potential upside if he gets most of Morant’s minutes. Jones has never been a very dynamic scorer, but he usually hands out plenty of assists and contributes solid non-scoring numbers on a per-minute basis. Desmond Bane would actually be my top Grizzlies pickup, if available, followed by De’Anthony Melton, but since they are rostered in most leagues already, grab Jones if you can and see how the minutes and workload are distributed.
PG Facundo Campazzo, Denver Nuggets (at MIA, at ORL, at NYK)
The Nuggets continue to be one of the most injured teams in the NBA, and this past week, they lost P.J. Dozier (knee) for the season while Bones Hyland (ankle) also battled injury in the backcourt. In the frontcourt, Michael Porter Jr. (back) could be out long term, and even MVP Nikola Jokic (wrist) is banged up. In the midst of the chaos, Campazzo has stepped into a larger role and has even been outplaying starting PG Monte Morris.
He has played over 25 minutes in each of the past four games for the Nuggets, averaging 12 points, 3.3 assists, 1.8 steals and 2.8 3-pointers per game. He has hit multiple 3-pointers in each of those games, posting a 17.5% usage rate. Campazzo could remain the primary creator in the second unit with Hyland sliding to SG and taking Dozier’s role once he is back. Either way, Campazzo can be a solid source of hard-to-come-by PG numbers, including steals and assists, as long as he stays in a key role.
PF/C Marvin Bagley III, Sacramento Kings (vs. LAL, at LAC, vs. LAC)
The pedigree and upside are definitely there for Bagley, who was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft — just ahead of Luka Doncic. While that misstep has kept the Kings from climbing back to relevance, it also shows how much the team had planned for Bagley at one point. He actually showed solid potential throughout last year, shooting over 50% from the field and averaging 14.1 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.0 assists on 25.9 minutes per game over 43 games, producing 1.03 DKFP per minute. This season, though, he was in former coach Luke Walton’s dog house and barely got any time in the rotation. He only appeared in one game over the first 13 of the season, but he had been getting more work even before Walton was fired and replaced by Alvin Gentry. Gentry has a history of success working with big men, so there’s definitely a chance he can find a way to bring Bagley’s career back around.
Bagley scored 10 points to go with eight rebounds vs. the Trail Blazers on Thursday and looked even better with 13 points, seven rebounds and four assists in 35 minutes in the Kings’ triple-overtime win vs. the Lakers. Further boosting his minutes in that game were the absences of Richaun Holmes (eye) and Harrison Barnes (foot), so he isn’t likely to get that much work under normal circumstances. There is definitely a chance, though, that he works his way back into the regular rotation and becomes fantasy relevant with points and rebounds.
Other options to consider
- PG Immanuel Quickley, New York Knicks
- PG/SG Coby White, Chicago Bulls
- PG Armoni Brooks, Houston Rockets
- PG/SG Cameron Payne, Phoenix Suns
- SG/SF Cam Reddish, Atlanta Hawks
- SF Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, Oklahoma City Thunder
- SF/PF Brandon Clarke, Memphis Grizzlies
- SF/PF Cameron Johnson, Phoenix Suns
- SF/PF/C Jalen McDaniels, Charlotte Hornets
- PF/C Serge Ibaka, Los Angeles Clippers
- C Alperen Sengun, Houston Rockets
Put your knowledge to the test. Sign up for DraftKings and experience the game inside the game.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Z.Thompson) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.
If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (IL).
Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (IN/MI/NJ/PA/WV/WY), 1-800-522-4700 (CO/NH), 1-800-BETS OFF (IA), 1-888-532-3500 (VA), 1-800-NEXT STEP (AZ), call/text TN REDLINE 1-800-889-9789 (TN), or 888-789-7777/visit ccpg.org/chat. (CT).
21+ (18+ NH/WY). AZ/CO/CT/IL/IN/IA/MI/NH/NJ/PA/TN/VA/WV/WY only. Eligibility restrictions apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for full terms and conditions.