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.

Exams led to a light schedule last week, so there's not a ton of rotational changes worth noting. It's an abbreviated version of the wire this week as some teams emerge from byes.

Power Conferences

 Christian Keeling, G, North Carolina

Details on Cole Anthony's knee injury are scarce, and while the school deemed him out indefinitely, they also put that label on Armando Bacot (ankle), who didn't miss time. You can see from Sunday's disastrous loss the Heels will rotate their back court as Roy Williams isn't comfortable with any of his options. I personally think freshmen Anthony Harris and Jeremiah Francis will see their roles grow weekly if Anthony is sidelined for an extended period. But Keeling turned in his best game to date Sunday, providing eight points and nine rebounds in just 20 minutes. He hasn't found his confidence since joining the Heels, but it's beyond a put up or shut up period for the transfer. He was highly sought after, and now is his time to shine.

 Naheim Alleyne, G, Virginia Tech

Alleyne has been inconsistent, as Sunday's shutout shows, but the bottom line is he's second in points (12.2 ppg) and minutes (29.3 mpg) on the team. He's likely long been owned in dynasty formats, but certainly merits consideration in redraft formats entering conference play as the Hokies will need a secondary option to Landers Nolley II to compete nightly.

 Justin Smith, F, Indiana

Smith is coming off of his first double-double of the year and is averaging a cool 30.0 minutes for a Hoosiers team that ranks 21st nationally in scoring, putting up 82 points nightly. There's absolutely been peaks and valleys in his production, but the opportunity doesn't figure to slide, which makes him worthy of a bench spot that can slot into weekly lineups when the matchups are favorable.

 Dachon Burke, G, Nebraska

Maybe the Robert Morris transfer is finding his comfort zone? He's poured in 43 points in his last two outings, and has put up at least 18 in three of his last five. With the last two coming against conference foes Purdue and Indiana, why wouldn't we think it can carry over into the coming months?

 Chris Clarke, F, Texas Tech

Clarke has played well enough in the absence of Jahmi'us Ramsey that he should see an uptick in minutes even when Ramsey returns. Clarke has averaged 9.3 points, 10.0 rebounds and 6.3 assists in three starts, and had turned in two double-digit rebound efforts and a double-digit assist game in six games as a reserve. Scoring will never be his forte, but Clarke is more than capable of providing a balanced stat line.

 Jared Rhoden, G, Seton Hall

We'd say someone has to score for the Pirates with Sandro Mamukelashvili sidelined an extended period of time, and Myles Powell questionable for the immediate future due to a concussion, but they put up only 48 points Saturday against Rutgers. Rhoden entered the starting lineup in that contest, playing 29 minutes and providing five steals and eight rebounds to complement six points. He's shooting only 35.4 percent, so if he can creep that up towards 40.0, he's got a chance to score a bit more while the minutes allow him to fall into peripheral numbers. Quincy McKnight and Myles Cale may be worth short-term looks as well in Powell's absence.

 Keyshawn Bryant, F, South Carolina

Bryant made his first start of the season Sunday against Clemson, turning in a season-high 29 minutes. While that netted only seven points and four boards, it also provided two blocks and three steals. The Gamecocks are simply a different team with Bryant in the lineup, and his production only figures to increase the further removed he is from a knee injury that cost him the first eight games of the year. Double-digit points with some solid defensive production is a reasonable expectation.

 Marlon Taylor, G, LSU

This is a mere speculative add, but Taylor appears to be nearing a return from a foot injury that has kept him sidelined all year. He'll likely be brought along slowly, and how the minutes shake out come SEC play remains to be seen, but Taylor figures to push 25+ minutes by the time the year ends and seems worthy of a spot on the back end of your bench to see what he produces.

 Alonzo Verge, G, Arizona State

Verge's role has been all over the map, starting three games, not playing in the three subsequent outings, and seeing his minutes increase in each of the last four since. He's proven a capable scorer on a team that already has multiple top options, and his ability to contribute in all categories makes him worth consideration given his uptick in minutes. Verge, despite a 13-of-23 stretch, is shooting only 34.7 percent from the floor, suggesting scoring growth is possible.

Tier Two Conferences

 Blake Francis, G, Richmond

The Spiders are a rare offense that is producing four capable fantasy starters. Jacob Gilyard and Grant Golden are the preferred choices, and Nick Sherod is providing points and rebounds, but Francis has been a terrific addition, averaging a cool 18.2 points while playing 32.0 minutes nightly. He's hoisting north of seven 3-pointers, but is also quick to the hole and an 86.7 percent free throw shooter. He's averaging just 3.1 assists, 2.2 boards and 1.0 steals, so you'll have to get those numbers elsewhere, but with four 20+ point games under his belt already, Francis can carry you in scoring.

 Neemias Queta, C, Utah State

Queta's health is still a bit of a question, but he managed 23 minutes Saturday against BYU, and averaged 27.1 minutes a season ago. Assuming he continues to stay healthy, there's no reason he can't flirt with double-doubles more nights than not after putting up 11.8 points and 8.9 rebounds a year ago. There's obvious risk, but there's upside and center eligibility too. The window to add or buy low is likely closing.

 Malik Fitts, F, St. Mary's

A weekly reminder that gauging ownership is challenging for this column. Fitts was certainly on draft boards and is a common name for many Tier 2 managers, but the beginning of his senior season didn't get off to a hot start, and it's possible someone got impatient. He's posted three double-doubles in his last five games and has scored 49 points over his last two. He'll be a dominant force in conference play.

 Kessler Edwards, F, Pepperdine

Edwards has taken a big step forward as a sophomore, averaging 17.1 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.3 blocks. He's posted three straight double-doubles and is coming off of a 30-point outing against Central Arkansas.

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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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