Welcome to The Playlist: my new weekly column that lets you know who and what to play — when it comes to music or other things in my rotation — for the upcoming week in fantasy basketball.
Each week, you'll see a compilation of the pickups you need to make, lineup notes (who's in and out of rotations) followed by the must-watch games from across the league.
So press play and shuffle through the latest fantasy basketball info.
Who's in my rotation: players to add on waivers who are less than 50% rostered in Yahoo leagues
Jalen Johnson, SF/PF, Atlanta Hawks (51% rostered)
Johnson's rostering crept over the 50% threshold Monday morning, but I had to include him because he's still criminally under-rostered in Yahoo leagues. One of my top year-three sleepers coming into the season, I thought it would take longer for Johnson to crack the starting lineup, but it only took a couple of games. He's an excellent passer-efficient scorer and racking up a ton of stocks to start the year (1.6 steals + blocks per game). Add him in all leagues.
Dereck Lively II, C, Dallas Mavericks (50% rostered)
Mavs head coach Jason Kidd has been playing jedi mind tricks on fantasy managers rostering Lively. He said he'd start from the jump, then came off the bench to play 31 minutes in the season opener. Then, he started the second game of the season but played only 17 minutes when he wasn't in foul trouble. Make it make sense! Ok, it was likely because the Nets played small ball, but either way, Lively is worth adding for his double-double and blocking upside. He's been great near the rim (11-12 from the field) and doesn't have a high volume of free throws to tank you in that category. He will only get better as a lob threat for Luka and Kyrie, so add him now and hold.
Cole Anthony, PG, Orlando Magic (33% rostered)
The Magic have a great streaming schedule this week, starting with a back-to-back on Monday and Tuesday, meaning you can fit Anthony in your lineups for at least three of the four games. He's looking like an early sixth-man-of-the-year candidate and is carrying the second unit for a Magic squad that is 2-0. Add him in all leagues strictly for his schedule and ability to score and hit threes with a low turnover rate.
Ziaire Williams, SF/PF, Memphis Grizzlies (11% rostered)
He might be the lowest-rostered starter in fantasy basketball, and I don't get it. His minutes are trending up (he played 34 on Saturday night), and his production followed. He hasn't done much for stocks, but he's flashing some double-double potential over his past two games. He's playing 30+ minutes for a team that plays Portland on Friday and Sunday this week. He's an add with the Grizzlies still down a couple of bodies in the frontcourt.
Caris LeVert, SG/SF, Cleveland Cavaliers (33% rostered)
LeVert's minutes in this rotation are rock solid. He played 32 minutes with Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland in the lineup in the first game of the season, and now that they're both dealing with hamstring injuries, he's going to ball. The question is, for how long? He's at least worth adding to the Cavs' favorable schedule this week and coming off a 31-point, eight-assist explosion on Saturday night. Add him while he's hot.
The second-tier streams
Saadiq Bey, SF/PF, Atlanta Hawks (32% rostered)
I get the panic drop after a five-point performance on Friday night, but he still has a significant role in the rotation, even after losing his starting gig to Jalen Johnson. He responded to Saturday's demotion with 13 points, nine boards and three assists in a win over the Bucks. He should be rostered in more leagues, even if he's coming off the bench for scoring, threes and steals.
Eric Gordon, SG/SF, Phoenix Suns (13% rostered)
I know it feels gross because he could tank your FG percentage, but the fact remains that the Suns are light on backcourt depth. Bradley Beal (back) has yet to suit up, and Devin Booker (toe) missed the last two games with no update on when he'd be ready to return. Much of that scoring load will be placed on Kevin Durant, but Gordon will also be getting plenty of shots up, averaging 15 shots per game thus far. As long as they're out, he'll be a source of threes, points and low-end assists.
Issac Okoro, SG/SF, Cleveland Cavaliers (23% rostered)
While everyone was hyping Max Strus, I've been looking to add Okoro, who has more fantasy appeal now that he's added the 3 to his D. While this may not be a long-term add, he's hot right now, shooting over 53% from the field and averaging 13 points, six rebounds and three assists with 2.3 stocks to begin the season. The Cavs play four games this week, so he's playable on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday, which are all lighter slates.
Players who I'd stream but have tough schedules (either by opponent or large slates) in Week 2:
Coby White, PG/SG, Chicago Bulls (43%)
Lugentz Dort, SG/SF, Oklahoma City Thunder (43%)
Deni Avdija, SF/PF, Washington Wizards (41%)
Naz Reid, PF/C, Minnesota Timberwolves (39%)
Tim Hardaway Jr., SG/SF, Dallas Mavericks (32%)
Alex Caruso, PG/SG, Chicago Bulls (23%)
Kevin Love, PF/C, Miami Heat (21%)
Delon Wright, PG/SG, Washington Wizards (11%)
Rotation Notes: Help with start-sit decisions
Detroit Pistons: Killian Hayes is starting at shooting guard.
The play: Yikes. Jaden Ivey isn't playing well, so Alec Burks might be the best streaming option if looking for threes and scoring on waivers in Week 2.
Indiana Pacers: The Pacers are running a committee approach at power forward.
The play: Aaron Nesmith signed a new deal, and his minutes appear to be trending up at the expense of Obi Toppin. Nesmith is officially on the watch list.
Golden State Warriors: Draymond Green is back, and Chris Paul hits the bench.
The play: Looney is still worth holding as Green is on a minutes cap.
Los Angeles Lakers: Following the Lakers' overtime loss to the Kings, Lakers HC Darvin Ham said the main thing on his mind is buckling down on the rotation.
The play: Ham had a 10-man rotation in the previous two contests after opening the season with a 12-man rotation. He may go with nine for the upcoming week or tinker with the lineups to get more continuity, but either way, something is bound to change. I doubt it'll impact the starters until Jarred Vanderbilt (calf) returns.
Minnesota Timberwolves: Jaden McDaniels upgraded to questionable for Monday's game versus Atlanta Hawks.
The play: Should McDaniels play, that would directly impact Kyle Anderson's streaming appeal, but hold Anderson until McDaniels is officially back.
Portland Trail Blazers: Anfernee Simons is expected to miss 4-6 weeks with a torn UCL in his finger.
The play: Shaedon Sharpe is now a fixture of the starting lineup, while Malcolm Brogdon will be worth starting regularly.
Utah Jazz: The starting point guard role is a mess, although Jazz HC Will Hardy stated that the Jazz are more positionless than anything.
The play: Drop Talen Horton-Tucker, ignore Collin Sexton and if you want to stash someone, it'll be Keyonte George's job by December.
Favorite games of the week (for fantasy and just ones you want to watch as a fan)
Miami Heat at Milwaukee Bucks (Monday at 8:00 pm ET)
Thank you, Bucks, for swooping in out of nowhere to bring us Emo Jimmy. Hopefully, he rocks that terrible hairdo for Halloween and elite trolling purposes. There are no notable stars listed on Monday's injury report heading into this Eastern conference showdown, so this should be the game of the night.
San Antonio Spurs at Phoenix Suns (Tuesday at 10:00 pm ET)
NBA fans could get shortchanged on Halloween night if Bradley Beal and Devin Booker remain out, but it'll still be cool to watch Wemby go toe-to-toe with Kevin Durant. The Spurs have become one of the most fun teams to watch in the Association, so that'll be a good test for their youth movement. It's legit frightening to see how good Wemby is already.
Speaking of frightening, in the spirit of October 31st, here are a few tracks that always hit around Halloween:
Los Angeles Clippers vs Los Angeles Lakers (Wednesday at 10:00 pm ET)
Battle of LA is always great, and more importantly, both teams are healthy. Russell Westbrook making his return in front of a critical Laker crowd will be something to talk about.
Detroit Pistons vs. New Orleans Pelicans (Thursday at 08:00 pm ET)
Despite the wild amount of turnovers, the Pistons are one of the most fun young teams I've watched this season and going up against a strong Pelicans squad is going to be a good one. Jalen Duren's been bullying the league through three games, but let's see if he can do the same against Zion Williamson and Jonas Valančiūnas.
Dallas Mavericks vs. Denver Nuggets (Friday at 10:00 pm ET)
No one's been able to stop the freight train that is the Denver Nuggets. I'm not saying the Mavericks will either, but Luka does have a winning record against the Nuggets in his career. The Mavs will need to be firing on all cylinders to keep up with the defending champs, and even though it's the nightcap, it'll be worth staying up for.
Teams that play four games: Bulls, Cavaliers, Grizzlies, Hornets, Jazz, Magic, Mavericks, Nets, Nuggets, Warriors, Pacers, Pelicans, Pistons, Raptors and Suns
Teams that play three games: Bucks, Celtics, Hawks, Heat, Knicks, Lakers, Spurs, Timberwolves, Thunder, Trail Blazers and Wizards
Teams that play two games: 76ers, Clippers, Kings and Rockets
Monday and Tuesday (11 and 3-game slates): Magic
Tuesday and Wednesday (3 and 11-game slates): Cavaliers and Clippers
Wednesday and Thursday (13 and 4-game slates): Jazz, Pelicans, Pistons, Raptors
Saturday and Sunday (8 and 5-game slates): Hornets and Suns
Friday and Saturday (7 and 8-game slates): Bulls, Nets, Nuggets and Pacers