This article is part of our College Basketball Waiver Wire series.
Always a difficult column to pen early in the year, CBB waiver suggestions are often fitting a square peg into a round hole. There seems to be no true standard league set up across the industry, with some leagues using Tier 1 conferences (ACC, Big East, Big 10, Big 12, SEC and Pac 12), others being smaller player pools or dynasty formats, some requiring centers and freshmen starters, and some including secondary conferences like the Atlantic 10, AAC etc. As such, guys included here will have a wide variety of value depending on your league. We welcome suggestions, questions and feedback throughout the year.
Power 6 Conferences
Rex Pflueger, G, Notre Dame
Pflueger's stats aren't pretty (5.0 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 2.0 apg, 16.7 percent 3Pt), and there may not be a huge ceiling, as his career-highs include just 8.1 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 4.3 apg and 39.7 percent 3Pt, but the important takeaway this week is a lifting of a minutes restriction. Pflueger played only 22 minutes or less in the Irish's first three games, but saw 31 Friday against Marshall. There's clearly room for improvement on his shooting, and if he sees 9+ minutes more on a regular basis moving forward, he's capable of contributing across the board.
Jay Huff, F, Virginia
I'm not sure the Cavaliers fully trust Huff yet, given that he's still coming off the bench and is sixth in minutes. I'm also not sure I trust Huff once conference play is the norm, but with only one of those contests between now and January, it's impossible to ignore the all-around production here. He's reached double-digit points in all three games, and is averaging 11.7 points, 8.3 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 2.3 blocks and 1.3 steals. Huff even showed off his long-rumored long-range touch in the Cavaliers' last game, knocking down his first 3-pointer.
Oscar Tshiebwe, F, West Virginia
Perhaps Tshiebwe is already owned, especially where freshmen are a required part of a starting lineup. And I was admittedly blind to his potential in Friday's DFS preview, a mistake that won't happen again. After seeing just 12 minutes in the Mountaineers first game, Tshiebwe was unleashed against Pitt, and responded with 20 points, 17 rebounds and three blocks in 34 minutes. Fouls may not allow him to see that type of playing time every night, but the upside is clear. He'll be a stable source of boards and blocks nightly, with the potential for more.
Ryan Young, C, Northwestern
Young checks a lot of fantasy boxes for desirability, being a freshman with center eligibility. He's started each of the Wildcats' first two games, logging 29 minutes most recently against Providence, turning in 16 points, seven boards, three assists and a block. I'm not sure that offense is sustainable come Big 10 play, but Young's 6-foot-10, 235 pound frame should play well in non-conference play against undersized opponents.
Myreon Jones, G, Penn State
Jones answered a lot of questions as it relates to a potential breakout sophomore season by dropping 21 Thursday on Georgetown. He's scored in double-digits in all three games, sitting with 15.0 ppg, 3.7 apg and 1.3 rpg averages in 26.3 minutes. Jones played just 10.8 minutes nightly as a freshman. Jones, at worst, looks like a great dynasty hold, and some inconsistency can be expected given the Nittany Lions' are playing 10 guys 10+ minutes nightly, but there's plenty to like in what Jones has shown to date.
Koby McEwen, G, Marquette
McEwen looks awfully comfortable in his new surroundings. After sitting out last year while transferring from Utah State, McEwen has been a clear second option to Markus Howard, putting in 17.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.0 steals in three games. The scoring may regress, but this type of production against the likes of Wisconsin and Purdue seem to bode well for his staying power.
Samir Doughty, G, Auburn
Doughty is seeing a big bucket out of the gates, averaging a team-high 18.5 points and 7.0 rebounds through four games, chipping in 2.8 dimes and 1.3 steals to boot. Not bad for a guy we pegged to average 9.2 points and 3.7 boards. The rebounding seems highly unlikely to maintain, but Doughty shot over 40 percent behind the arch last year, and it's very possible the former VCU Ram is in the midst of a breakout season. At worst, he can be added and traded as a sell-high guy, but with his shooting ability paired with the minutes he's getting, I'm happy to grab Doughty and see how long this keeps up.
Aaron Nesmith, F, Vanderbilt
Given the huge production, Nesmith is unlikely to be available in many leagues. If he is, make sure that changes. I watched in person his outburst at Richmond last week, where he scored 34 points and pulled down seven rebounds, at one point hitting four-straight 3-pointers to open the second half. Nesmith's 26.7 ppg is obviously not sustainable throughout the next five months, but it's clear he's the Commodore's alpha and a budding star.
Tyrell Terry, G, Stanford
So much of this column in the season's first month is about opportunity, and that's what Terry seems to have. He's played between 28 and 35 minutes in all of the Cardinal's first four games, scoring in double-digits in each while handing out 15 total assists. The 15.1 ppg is more than double what we had projected in the preseason, and while the naysayer will expect regression as the competition increases, the optimist will point out Terry is shooting only 46.7 percent and 20.0 percent from 3-point range. As such, there's room for growth.
Kareem South, G, California
See above as it relates to opportunity. South is one of three Bears seeing at least 30 minutes through three games, and he's responded with 12.7 points. A grad transfer from Texas A&M Corpus-Christi, South averaged 5.1 boards a year ago and could provide more than just scoring as he adjusts to his new surroundings and playing against better competition.
Tier 2 Conferences
Precious Achiuwa, F, Memphis
Achiuwa wasted no time asserting himself in James Wiseman absence, going for 20 and eight in just 23 minutes against Alcorn State. The minutes were in in line with his previous run when Wiseman was eligible, but that was largely a product of the blowout score. So long as he stays out of foul trouble, and Wiseman remains on the sideline, Achiuwa figures to be highly productive.
Tyson Jolly, G, SMU
While teammate Isiaha Mike has been better, he likely was more at the forefront of Mustang targets to open the year. Jolly, a Baylor transfer, seems much more likely to have slipped through the cracks, and the two are looking like a dynamic inside-outside combo. Jolly has pumped in 19.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.7 steals through three games, playing 35.3 minutes. With no other guard playing more than 25 minutes, Jolly's usage should remain high.
Yuri Collins, G, St. Louis
Full disclosure, I work the scorer's table for the University of Richmond, and while I'm not a UR or A10 homer, it's a conference I follow closely, and have courtside seats to observe often. When I'm penning this column, it's likely to have some A10 influence often. Collins remains in a reserve role, but is seeing more minutes that two of the Billikens' starting guards. He hasn't found his scoring touch of yet, but he's been a dynamic distributor, averaging 8.3 assists, ranking fourth nationally. It's a sustainable number if you think his playing time creeps closer to 30 minutes nightly.