Fantasy Basketball Pickups to Replace Deandre Ayton or Marvin Bagley With Both Bigs Set to Miss Time

David Kaestle
Sacramento Kings v Phoenix Suns
Sacramento Kings v Phoenix Suns / Christian Petersen/Getty Images
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Deandre Ayton is facing a 25-game suspension for testing positive for a diuretic, a banned substance under the NBA's performance enhancing drugs policy. Marvin Bagley III is set to miss even more time, with a broken thumb.

With expectations through the roof coming into the 2019-20 NBA season for both of these big men, fantasy basketball owners will likely head to the waiver wire to find a viable replacement. One hot name coming out of the gate is Kendrick Nunn, but he doesn't fit the mold to potentially replace a front-court player like Ayton or Bagley.

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With that in mind, here are three players you can pick up off the waiver wire in your fantasy basketball league – all available in more than 50 percent of ESPN fantasy basketball leagues.

1. Tristan Thompson, Cleveland Cavaliers (41% Owned)

Jason Miller/Getty Images

Tristan Thompson won't get you the point production that Ayton or Bagley do, but he can surely contribute in a number of other ways in fantasy. First, Thompson will have plenty of opportunity. He recorded the second-most minutes played behind Kevin Love in the Cavs' opener and that should stay relatively consistent moving forward. Thompson is also an excellent rebounder and has his days as a rim protector. He just turned in 16 points and 11 rebounds against Orlando on Wednesday, proving that on his better nights he's not much of a downgrade.

2. Mason Plumlee, Denver Nuggets (38% Owned)

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Mason Plumlee is the Nuggets backup center, so you can't expect tons of minutes from him, but he has proven to be efficient and able to contribute in a number of fantasy basketball categories. In the Nuggets' season opener, Plumlee scored five points on 50 percent shooting, to go along with five assists and four rebounds, even adding a steal. Replacing a player like Ayton or Bagley is never going to be easy, but if you're able to find guys that contribute in a number of ways and do it efficiently, it will help get your team through the next few weeks. Plumlee surely fits that bill.

3. Frank Kaminsky, Phoenix Suns (1% Owned)

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Owners might not have to look further than Ayton's own team to find a viable replacement. Listed as the Suns backup center, Kaminsky is in position to benefit big time from Ayton's absence. After an impressive preseason, which he closed out with a 22 points, six rebounds and three assists in just 19 minutes, Kaminsky could be worth a look. He was a flier to begin the season, but with a potential boost in minutes, Kaminsky could turn into a nice piece to help stop the bleeding for Ayton or Bagley owners. He's also a solid 3-point shooter for a big man, which is an added bonus.


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David Kaestle is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, David also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username davekaestle. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.

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