The 2021-22 NBA season has begun and the fantasy basketball season is underway with the first week behind us.
Of course, star players like Giannis Antetokounmpo, Stephen Curry, and Kevin Durant had monster weeks to start the season, but what about the low-profile players you can pick from waivers to bolster your roster?
There are always a ton of players who are not drafted, but have an impact on larger roles than projected, which makes them waiver wire gems.
MORE: Fantasy Rankings – Top 200 Players
Below you can find five players to add to your roster right away if they are still available in your league, along with three other players to include on your watchlist in case they continue to produce the way they did throughout the week. inaugural.
All players belong to less than 50% of the leagues. All percentages and ownership positions are based on ESPN Fantasy Basketball.
Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire Pickups
Mo Bamba, C, Orlando Magic
Property in: 44.2 percent of leagues
For those who got on Bamba before his escape the first week, congratulations to you.
The former No. 6 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft is finally getting his chance to play consistent time, and he’s made the most of it so far. New Magic head coach Jamahl Mosley has placed Bamba alongside Wendell Carter Jr. in the starting lineup in a slightly surprising pair. Bamba has thrived in the situation during the first week, averaging 16.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, 3.0 blocks, 2.5 assists and 1.0 steals per game while shooting an efficient 70.6 percent from the field.
Perhaps the most shocking contribution is that Bamba is averaging 3.0 triples per game, a lethal addition to his game as a fantasy gamer (and real gamer, for that matter).
If it’s still available, add Bamba now before it’s too late.
Ricky Rubio, PG, Cleveland Cavaliers
Property in: 31.8 percent of leagues
Rubio was not drafted into most leagues, likely due to his unknown role on a new team with a young backcourt couple of Collin Sexton and Darius Garland.
If the first week is any indication, it is clear that Rubio will continue to make a fantasy impact as a playmaker, dropping a pair of double-doubles with assists. Rubio dished out 10 assists in each of his first two games and should also remain a solid source of 3s and steals.
Averaging 26.5 minutes per game, Rubio should have plenty of playing time to be worthy of a permanent spot on the roster.
Tyrese Maxey, SG, Philadelphia 76ers
Property in: 24.5 percent of leagues
As long as Ben Simmons is out, Maxey will have everyday fantasy value.
The second-year guard has taken over Simmons’ spot in the starting lineup, putting together a solid opening week to make the most of the opportunity. Maxey went for 20 points, seven rebounds and five assists on opening night, before following up that performance with 15 points, two rebounds, two assists and one steal the next game. He has proven capable of producing in multiple different categories and can earn a point guard position designation while maintaining that starting role.
Maxey deserves a look for his playing time and the talent on the roster that surrounds him.
Chris Duarte, SG, Indiana Pacers
Property in: 30.7 percent of leagues
Duarte made a statement in his first game as a professional, scoring 27 points on six 3-pointers to create a buzz around his name.
It appears that a spot has been established in the Pacers’ starting lineup, which means the minutes will be there for him to be productive enough to deserve a spot on the roster. The 24-year-old rookie was the oldest player in this year’s draft class and the expectation was that he could have an immediate impact. He showed it during the first week, after his great debut with a balanced 15 points, five assists, four rebounds, three triples and a steal in his second game.
It looks like Duarte will be a constant source of points and triples with some contributions to other counting stats. It’s worth a spot on the list if it’s still available after that first breakout game.
Will Barton, SF, Denver Nuggets
Property in: 23.5 percent of leagues
After missing every 2021 NBA Playoffs, Barton has started the 2021-22 season with a bang.
The 30-year-old forward has returned to the Nuggets’ starting lineup, taking on some playmaking duties in the absence of star guard Jamal Murray, who is still recovering from a torn ACL.
Barton’s production as a scorer has always been known, but the explosion of assists in the first two games has been a pleasant surprise from a fantasy point of view. Barton had 20 points, six rebounds and five assists in his first game, followed by 12 points, seven rebounds and six assists in his second game.
If he can continue to rack up other counting stats in addition to points, Barton would be a great addition to any fantasy roster. Add it now and see if this trend continues.
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Patty Mills, PG, Brooklyn Networks
Property in: 34.5 percent of leagues
Mills has been doing exactly what was expected of him after signing with the Nets this offseason: coming off the bench for baskets.
He made 21 points on a perfect 7-of-7 shooting from beyond the arc in Brooklyn’s first game of the season, followed by another 3-of-3 night on shooting from deep in his second game, where he scored 11 points.
Mills had two rebounds, two assists and one steal in each of his first two games, giving you a realistic idea of what to expect from him in other categories. But when it comes to points and 3s, Mills could be a great source all season long.
He’s worth monitoring in the coming weeks to see if he can deliver more than just those two categories as he places himself with the Nets.
Steven Adams, C, Memphis Grizzlies
Property in: 47.2 percent of leagues
You know exactly what you’ll get out of Adams: bouncing in hopes of scoring enough points to land a double-double.
If you’re in a league where double-doubles are rewarded, Adams may be worth an immediate addition after knocking down 14 boards in his Grizzlies debut. He only scored eight points, but if his rebounding numbers can be around the double figures, he is sure to record a few handfuls of double-doubles throughout the season. Your efficiency should also be a boost to your team’s field goal percentage.
At the very least, keep Adams on your watch list while he plays a few more games with his new team.
Desmond Bane, SG, Memphis Grizzlies
Property in: 8.6 percent of leagues
Bane began to appear as a fantasy player towards the end of his rookie season last year and this season, it looks like he may be worthy of a spot on the list.
It’s only been one game, so it’s too early to tell, but Bane looked fantastic in his season opener, with 22 points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals with a pair of 3s.
It will be interesting to see what his playing time will look like once Dillon Brooks returns from a hand injury, but for now, keep an eye on Bane to see if he can maintain a significant role in the Memphis rotation.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.