Fantasy Basketball Pickups: Brandin Podziemski is back on the radar

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Warriors rookie guard Brandin Podziemski (32% rostered, Yahoo) has been a pleasant surprise, averaging 9.5 points, 5.6 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 0.9 steals, and 1.2 3-pointers in 25.5 minutes per game. Injuries have pushed him into Steve Kerr’s rotation, and he’s taken advantage of his opportunities. Podziemski played 39 minutes off the bench in Saturday’s 141-134 overtime loss to the Hawks, accounting for 15 points, 11 rebounds, five assists, and one blocked shot.

He hasn’t been a great fantasy option recently, providing 12th-round value in 9-cat formats over the past two weeks. However, the minutes have been there for Podziemski, especially with Chris Paul and Moses Moody among the rotation players currently sidelined. Also, Andrew Wiggins went down during the first half with a sprained ankle on Saturday and did not return. Podziemski started the third quarter, playing 26 minutes after halftime.

The Warriors begin their Week 16 slate in Brooklyn on Monday, so we’ll see if Wiggins is available to play. If not, that likely means a move back into the starting lineup for Podziemski, and his offensive skill set is needed to supplement Stephen Curry’s mastery. Let’s look at a few of Saturday’s top pickups, and the list includes a few players who will be solid options on Sunday.

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Ayo Dosunmu (36%)

On Saturday afternoon, the Bulls announced that Zach LaVine will undergo season-ending surgery on his right foot. Add in Patrick Williams being sidelined with an ankle injury, and Dosunmu was well-positioned to add value to fantasy rosters. He started and played 39 minutes in Chicago’s loss to Sacramento, accounting for 15 points, four rebounds, five assists, two steals, and three 3-pointers. Williams is unlikely to return before the All-Star break, and there’s also the matter of the trade deadline to deal with. Now would be an excellent time to add Dosunmu because it will be more challenging if the Bulls move a veteran contributor (or more) at the deadline.

Luke Kennard (21%)

The Grizzlies didn’t play on Saturday but will visit the Celtics on Sunday. And they’ve got a lengthy injury report, which includes John Konchar and Vince Williams Jr., who are both questionable to play. Kennard is one of the few perimeter contributors who isn’t on the injury report, so he should have value, especially for category league managers needing 3-pointers on the final day of Week 15. While he’s ranked just inside the top 200 over the past two weeks, Kennard is averaging 4.0 3-pointers per game during this stretch.

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Lonnie Walker IV (17%)

Walker is Brooklyn’s most dependable bench scorer with Cam Thomas in the starting lineup. He performed well in Saturday’s win over the 76ers, logging 30 minutes and finishing with 20 points, two rebounds, three assists, and three 3-pointers. His value for Week 16 will be influenced somewhat by the availability of Dorian Finney-Smith, who hasn’t played since January 27 due to an ankle injury. Finney-Smith only resumed running on Friday, so Walker may be in play as a deep-league pickup when the Nets host the Warriors on Monday.

Josh Green (6%) and Maxi Kleber (1%)

Neither Green nor Kleber was on the radar ahead of Saturday’s action, as evidenced by their rostered percentages. However, both played well in the Mavericks’ loss to Milwaukee, so the gamble paid off for the few who did add them. Green tallied 20 points, nine rebounds, three assists, one steal, and four 3-pointers in 38 minutes, with Kleber recording a line of 21 points, three rebounds, two assists, two steals, and four 3-pointers in 34 minutes.

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Neither one needs to be added in the aftermath of Saturday’s game, but it’s worth noting that Dallas begins Week 16 with a road back-to-back against the 76ers and Nets. That will impact multiple players, including Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic, who aggravated a right ankle injury during the first quarter (but did return).

Corey Kispert (6%) and Delon Wright (2%)

The struggling Wizards welcome back Bradley Beal on Sunday, and they’ll be shorthanded. Kyle Kuzma has already been ruled out, while Tyus Jones and Bilal Coulibaly are both questionable. Kuzma being sidelined opens things up for Kispert, who went off for 26 points and six 3-pointers in Friday’s loss to the Heat. As for Jones’s potential absence, Wright would figure more prominently in the rotation, likely as a starter. Wright and Kispert are extreme deep-league options, but they should play plenty against the Suns.

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