College Basketball Waiver Wire: Pickups of the Week

College Basketball Waiver Wire: Pickups of the Week

This article is part of our College Basketball Waiver Wire series.

Power Conferences

 Moses Wright, F, Georgia Tech

Wright has carved out a role for himself, and is being overlooked by the great start from Michael Devoe and feast-or-famine nature of James Banks. He's averaging a stable 12.1 points, 8.1 rebounds and 1.4 blocks, doing so with a woeful 28.6 free throw percentage and 14.3 3-point percentage. He's averaged 17.5 points and 9.0 rebounds in his last two against increased competition and if his form maintains, Wright appears safer than Banks.

 Manny Bates, F, North Carolina State

Schedules come into play for the next couple of weeks, which leaves lineup options more scarce than usual, particularly in smaller player pools, as I was forced to add Bates in an ACC/SEC dynasty league where six teams aren't playing this week. Bates can single-handedly carry you in blocks, averaging 3.4 while playing only 18.9 minutes. The playing time could see a slight bump this week too with Jericole Hellems nursing injury, assuming Bates can avoid foul trouble.

 Mike Watkins, F, Penn State

Watkins appears to be rebounding from a disappointing 2018-19 season, averaging nearly a double-double with 10.7 points and 9.2 rebounds. The real appeal here however is his increased defensive production, swatting 3.8 shots nightly, including a whopping 18 over the past four games. While that rate isn't sustainable, he did average north of two blocks in each of his first two seasons.

 Pete Nance, F, Northwestern

Nance broke out of a three-game scoring funk Sunday at Purdue, dropping 14 on the Boilermakers. He posted two double-doubles in the Wildcats' first three games this season, but fell off after, likely leaving him unowned in most leagues. The fact Nance played 32 minutes in the team's conference opener is encouraging, and he leads the team in rebounding and blocks while being second in scoring, despite his inconsistencies. 

 Ochai Agbaji, G, Kansas

Minutes are never a problem for Agbaji, playing 33.6 nightly. Consistently knocking down open shots has been, but he's coming off of a season-high 20 points Saturday against Colorado (grabbing 12 boards to boot), knocking down four 3-pointers. If we assume he's a streaky shooter, he makes for a solid streaming option with two games this week, and his rebounding and steal potential don't hurt things.

 Cartier Diarra, G, Kansas State

Diarra's productivity has taken a big step forward as a junior, nearly doubling his scoring to 11.8 ppg from 6.8 a year ago. He's doing that while shooting an ice-cold 36.2 percent, including 21.1 percent from 3-point range. Maybe that doesn't improve, but there's at least some reason to believe he can score a bit more over the season's remaining months. And if he does and maintains the 6.6 assists and 2.6 steals he's providing, he's rosterable in most formats.

 Terrell Allen, G, Georgetown

The obvious add for the Hoyas is Mac McClung following the roster attrition of the last week. But Allen looks like a sneaky option moving forward. He's moved into the starting lineup, playing 29 and 33 minutes over the past two. He scored 15 points once, and handed out 10 assists in another outing. The Drexel and UCF castoff should continue to produce out of necessity.

 Saben Lee, G, Vanderbilt

Lee is arguably the best sixth-man in the country, but has largely been overshadowed by the breakout of star Aaron Nesmith. Lee has topped 20 points three times while dishing out at least four assists in every outing and only twice failing to reach four rebounds. His 28.8 minutes is stable, making his reserve role largely irrelevant, but it's still fewer minutes than he saw a year ago. We have to assume the minutes slightly increase once league play begins.

 EJ Montgomery, F, Kentucky

Montgomery has been inserted into the starting lineup over the last two games, and has responded by averaging 15.5 points and 8.5 rebounds while playing 29.0 minutes. He's taken 29 shots in that span, and that usage is well worth a speculative add in hopes his role remains the same moving forward.

 Jonah Mathews, G, USC

Somewhat lost among the Trojans' impressive front court is Mathews' freedom to hoist shots, taking 25 percent of his team's shots when on the floor. He's connecting on only 36.7 percent of those chances, well below last year's 43.1 percent clip. With defenses having to focus on the Trojans' forwards, Mathews gets clean looks, and you have to assume they'll eventually start falling, which should put him in position to boost his scoring.

Tier Two Conferences

 Yoeli Childs, F, BYU

It's anyone's guess on Childs' availability. With larger rosters, Childs was assuredly a draft and stash during his early-season suspension. But given that he left his debut with an injury, perhaps he was dropped, or perhaps other managers simply ignored him all-together given the long wait for a return. The bottom line is he's a fantasy superstar and should have 100 percent ownership wherever available. 

 Joel Ayayi, G, Gonzaga

The Bulldogs currently have no depth, as we saw all five starters play 30+ minutes Sunday, all taking double-digit shots. Ayayi is rebounding terrifically for a guard (6.6 per game), and isn't a drain in the scoring column, averaging a reasonable 10.1 points. So much about about production is opportunity, and Ayayi clearly has it.

 K.J. Lawson, F, Tulane

Subscribing to the big fish, small pond theory, Lawson was likely rostered in most leagues featuring the AAC after previous stints at Memphis and Kansas. He's certainly taking advantage of his fresh start in New Orleans, averaging 16.0 points and 5.0 rebounds, including a 30-point effort recently against Southern. I don't love the peripherals with Lawson, but you can certainly do worse. It's worth checking to see if he's available.

 Armel Potter, G, George Washington

Bad teams usually yield solid to great fantasy options. That's what Potter looks to be for the Colonials. After playing only eight minutes in the team's first three games, Potter has been unleashed, playing all but seven minutes total over the team's last four games. He's taken a whopping  82 shots over the last five games, averaging 20.6 points 4.4 rebounds and 5.2 assists. 

 Deandre Williams, F, Evansville

Williams is coming off of a monster 37 point, 10 rebound outing against Miami (OH) – his second double-double in three games. He made an incredible 17-of-18 from the floor in that contest, and has now gone for double-digit points in four straight. His usage has been all over the map, previously being in a reserve role and playing 16 minutes or less in three prior, but that seems like a thing of the past. 

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Chris Bennett
Bennett covers baseball, college football and college basketball for RotoWire. Before turning to fantasy writing, he worked in scouting/player development for the Atlanta Braves and Montreal Expos. He's also a fan of the ACC.
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