The NBA regular season keeps rolling into December with another busy week of action on the hardwood as we continue to approach the Christmas Day showcase later this month. It’s a little more balanced of a schedule this week with at least four games lined up for every night and no more than 10 games on a single day. In Week 9, 18 teams are scheduled for three games and 11 teams play four games. The lone outliers are the Philadelphia 76erswho are only scheduled for two games.
In this weekly post throughout the season, you can find some of the hottest trending players, some deep league additions to consider, and a more in-depth look at four sleeper pickups. The sleeper targets listed below aren’t quite mainstream, but they are emerging as options with plenty of potential upside. The top trending players are good pickups to consider if available but are quickly vanishing off waiver wires. The deep league options at the bottom of the post can be a help if the top options and the four sleeper pickups have already been picked up.
Things change in a hurry from day to day throughout the season, so follow along on my Twitter account @ZT_sports if you are looking for single-game streaming options, along with cheap DFS plays on a daily basis.
Top Trending Players
- PG John Wall, Los Angeles Clippers
- PG Jose Alvarado, New Orleans Pelicans
- PG/SG De’Anthony Melton, Philadelphia 76ers
- PG/SG Alex Caruso, Chicago Bulls
- PG/SG Bones Hyland, Denver Nuggets
- PG/SG/SF Alec Burks, Detroit Pistons
- SG/SF Caris LeVert, Cleveland Cavaliers
- SG/SF Bogdan Bogdanovic, Atlanta Hawks
- SG/SF Malik Beasley, Utah Jazz
- SG/SF AJ Griffin, Atlanta Hawks
- SF/PF Brandon Clarke, Memphis Grizzlies
- SF/PF Caleb Martin, Miami Heat
- SF/PF Deni Avdija, Washington Wizards
- SF/PF Keegan Murray, Sacramento Kings
- PF/C Walker Kessler, Utah Jazz
- PF/C Moritz Wagner, Orlandoabout Magic
- C Mason Plumlee, Charlotte Hornets
PG Jordan Goodwin, Washington Wizards (vs. BKN, at DEN, at LAC, vs. LAL)
The Wizards are dealing with multiple injuries with Monte Morris (groin) the latest to get hurt while Bradley Beal (hamstring), Will Barton (foot) and Kristaps Porzingis (ankle) have already been battling their various injuries to different degrees. Goodwin actually moved into the starting lineup on Saturday in place of Morris, but even before that he was trending in the right direction and showing significant upside.
In his start, Goodwin had 17 points, six assists, seven steals and four rebounds in 38 minutes while only turning the ball over one time. He shot 6-of-13 from the field and knocked down two three-pointers. On Friday before his start, he had 19 points and five steals against the Pacers, and over his previous six games had averaged 8.2 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.5 steals.
He can bring good guard production in multiple categories and is especially worth a look if you need help in steals. He’s still owned in under 10% of leagues, and with his recent strong showings, he should earn some extra minutes especially while Washington is short-handed.
PF/C Jalen Duren, Detroit Pistons (at GS, at MIN, vs. WAS, vs. BKN)
Another player moving into the starting five over the past few days that brings major upside is Duren, who was the No. 13 overall picks in the draft. The rookie big man is still just barely 19, but he’s already shown he can contribute and the Pistons seem ready to give him space and time to grow in their lineup.
He made his first start on Friday in Memphis and played 28 minutes. He had 10 points and 12 rebounds for his fourth career double-double, two of which have come in his two most recent games. He has reached double-digit points in four of his past six games while averaging 6.5 rebounds, 0.8 steals and 0.3 blocks in just 22 minutes per game. With more minutes likely coming his way in the starting lineup, look for Duren to be a regular source of low-grade double-doubles and pick up his defensive totals.
While he probably won’t get all the way to 36 minutes a game, his per-minute production so far this season puts him at 11.0 points, 11.6 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per 36. With more growth seemingly on the horizon, Duren makes a nice pickup ahead of a week with favorable matchups.
SG/SF Austin Reaves, Los Angeles Lakers (vs. BOS, vs. DEN, vs. WAS)
Reaves got a spot start this past week against the Raptors while the Lakers rested some stars and had a solid game with 10 points, three assists and two rebounds. His big game came in the following contest, though, as he poured in a season-high 25 points on four three-pointers with two rebounds, five assists and two steals across 41 minutes in an overtime loss to the 76ers.
The Lakers’ rotation has continually shifted throughout the season, but Reaves has been showing he can contribute some much-needed outside shooting and solid defense. He has scored double-digit points in 10 of his past 14 games. Over that 14-game span, he has averaged 14.0 points, 2.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.4 three-pointers per game. His usage and role could continue to fluctuate, but he has shown he can contribute when the minutes come his way.
SF/PF Kyle Anderson, Minnesota Timberwolves (at POR, at LAC, at OKC, vs. CHI)
Anderson spent four years with the Spurs and four years with the Grizzlies before joining the Timberwolves this offseason as a free agent. He served as a glue guy and as a contributor off the bench early in the year, but he stepped into a much bigger role after the injury to Karl-Anthony Towns (calf). Anderson started three of his past four games coming into Saturday night and is expected to stick in the lineup for as long as KAT is out.
On Friday, Anderson had his first double-double of the season with 15 points, 12 assists, seven rebounds and two steals. In his past five games coming into Saturday’s matchup, he averaged 9.2 points, 6.2 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 1.2 blocked shots and 1.0 steals. While those numbers aren’t outstanding in any one category, they are solid across the board, and he should be able to continue filling up the box score for as long as he’s getting extra run in the lineup.
Other options to consider
- PG/SG Jaylen Nowell, Minnesota Timberwolves
- PG/SG Donte DiVincenzo, Golden State Warriors
- SG/SF Naji Marshall, New Orleans Pelicans
- SG/SF Quentin Grimes, New York Knicks
- SG/SF Eric Gordon, Houston Rockets
- SG/SF Josh Richardson, San Antonio Spurs
- SF/PF Nicolas Batum, Los Angeles Clippers
- SF/PF Torrey Craig, Phoenix Suns
- SF/PF Tari Eason, Houston Rockets
- SF/PF/C Alexei Pokusevski, Oklahoma City Thunder
- PF Patrick Williams, Chicago Bulls
- PF/C Jonathan Kuminga, Golden State Warriors
- PF/C Charles Bassey, San Antonio Spurs
- PF/C Larry Nance Jr., New Orleans Pelicans
- PF/C Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, Oklahoma City Thunder
- C Kevon Looney, Golden State Warriors
- C. Daniel Gafford, Washington Wizards
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.