Fantasy Basketball: Best NBA waiver leads pickups for week 12 of 2021-2022


Good year! The NBA begins the first week of 2022 with a loaded four-day action roster with at least nine games on the schedule. Hopefully the league can avoid any further cancellations and roll out a full week of games for a lot of fantastic basketball goodness. This week, 18 of the 30 NBA teams have a full four-game roster, while the other 12 play all three times. With a fairly busy but balanced schedule, you can be aggressive in improving your lineup for the leagues throughout the season while targeting teams that play four times. With injuries and players coming in and out of protocols things are changing quickly by the day, so check out my Twitter account @ZT_sports if you are looking for single game streaming options as well as cheap everyday DFS games.

At the top of this article, you can find the hottest mics, most of which have been featured in this space over the past few weeks. They quickly drop from the waivers thread and are likely registered in your league, but they’re great options to consider if available. At the bottom of the article, you can find some deep league options that are worth considering if you are trying to anticipate the rush or if the other options are not available. In between these two groups, you can find four highlighted sleepers who I think are good mics and going in the right direction.


Top trending players

  • PG / SG Eric Bledsoe, Los Angeles Clippers
  • PG / SG Malik Monk, Los Angeles Lakers
  • PG / SG Malik Beasley, Minnesota Timberwolves
  • SG / SF Hamidou Diallo, Detroit Pistons
  • SG / SF Terence Mann, Los Angeles Clippers
  • SG / SF Gary Harris Jr., Orlando Magic
  • SF / PF Herbert Jones, New Orleans Pelicans
  • SF / PF Cameron Johnson, Phoenix Suns
  • PF / C Marcus Morris Sr., Los Angeles Clippers
  • PF / C Larry Nance Jr., Portland Trail Blazers
  • PF / C Mason Plumlee, Charlotte Hornets
  • C Nicolas Claxton, Brooklyn Nets

PG / SG Coby White, Chicago Bulls (vs ORL, vs WAS, at DAL)

Whites have entered the starting lineup for the Bulls’ last five games and are expected to continue running even more with Lonzo Ball (health protocols) and Alex Caruso (foot) sidelined. He missed the start of the season with left shoulder surgery and then passed his own stint in health and safety protocols. However, he’s been starting to find a groove lately, and he has good potential as long as he keeps working so hard.

He’s averaged 21.2 points in 32.3 minutes per game in his last six games and has scored over 12 points in five of those games. In all but one of those games, he’s also scored at least three 3-pointers, including a top six 3-pointer in a 24-point performance against the Pacers. The third-year goaltender also improved his assists production while running the point and had a season-high 12 assists on Wednesday in an excellent double-double against the Hawks. He got the assist on the match winner on Friday and recovered as the Bulls’ main contributor.


SG / SF Aaron Wiggins, Oklahoma City Thunder (at MIN, vs. MIN, vs. DEN)

The Thunder enters the week by continuing to fight its COVID-19 epidemic. One of the bright spots in recent weeks, however, has been the emergence of the 23-year-old rookie from Maryland whom the Thunder won in the second round. Wiggins entered the lineup five games ago and is averaging 29.2 minutes per game with an 18.1% utilization rate slowly increasing.

In those five games, Wiggins has averaged 15.6 points, 5.2 rebounds, one assist and one steal per game. He has scored 13 or more points in four straight games and is expected to remain heavily involved in three favorable clashes this week. He doesn’t have as many advantages as Whites but is more stable as White’s role could take a hit if Ball or Caruso returns. Wiggins also brings a bit more rebound potential and recent production similar to White’s and is still only listed in around 20% of the leagues.


SF / PF Keita Bates-Diop, San Antonio Spurs (at TOR, at BOS, at PHI, at BKN)

Spurs have moved Bates-Diop since his breakout game against the Lakers on December 23. With Doug McDermott and Lonnie Walker IV entering health and safety protocols on Saturday, KBD is expected to be even busier this week, as long as the hamstring issue that kept him out of the roster on Saturday n is okay. Devin Vassell, who stepped up his absence on Friday, has already been highlighted in this article and would be a good option if Bates-Diop was left out, but Bates-Diop had played past Vassell before the pain that kept him away for the loss of Spurs in overtime against the Pistons.

Two days before Christmas, Bates-Diop had a perfect 11-for-11 en route to 30 points in that big game in Los Angeles and started each of the four games since that performance before being sidelined on Saturday. In those four games dating back to that performance, he’s averaged 12.5 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 22.6 minutes per game. With more minutes likely to come, he’s a nice, low-demand option to hook Spurs playing five games in seven days starting Tuesday.


C Guillermo Hernangómez, New Orleans Pelicans (v UTA, v PHX, v GSW, at TOR)

Hernangómez is lined up for a busy week and is set to return to starting lineup with Jonas Valanciunas landing in health and safety protocols after running out of time last week with a back injury. On his first start, Hernangómez had just three points on a 1v11 shot, but still added 16 rebounds and a steal in 32 minutes. He also started the next game and produced 14 points, six rebounds and two assists. He returned to the bench when Valanciunas was back, but has been able to produce double-digit points in nine of his last 17 games, even when Valanciunas was available.

Saturday – JV’s first game due to protocols – Hernangómez started again and registered 11 points and eight rebounds in 20 minutes against the Bucks. His replacement, Jaxson Hayes, looked great in this contest, but I still think the Hernangoat is a safer addition if you’re looking for points, rebounds and good numbers for the big guys this coming week.


Other options to consider

  • PG Rajon Rondo, Cleveland Cavaliers
  • PG Facundo Campazzo, Denver Nuggets
  • PG Payton Pritchard, Boston Celtics
  • PG / SG Donte DiVincenzo, Milwaukee Bucks
  • PG / SG Gary Payton II, Golden State Warriors
  • PG / SG / SF Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Washington Wizards
  • PG / SG / SF Temple Garrett, New Orleans Pelicans
  • SG / SF Isaac Okoro, Cleveland Cavaliers
  • SG / SF Josh Richardson, Boston Celtics
  • SF Amir Coffey, Los Angeles Clippers
  • SF Nassir Little, Portland Trail Blazers
  • SF / PF Obi Toppin, New York Knicks
  • PF Jalen Smith, Phoenix Suns
  • PF / C DeMarcus Cousins, Milwaukee Bucks
  • C Jaxson Hayes, New Orleans Pelicans

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