Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire: Week 13
As another week nears its conclusion, it’s time for the 13th installment of our waiver wire series. We’re more than half-way through the fantasy basketball regular season and have less than one month left until the NBA’s trade deadline arrives. Rumors abound as experts attempt to predict which players will go where, but so far we’ve yet to witness any of their countless hypotheticals take shape in reality.
If you find yourself in a competitive league, your options may be limited, but they are by no means nonexistent. Once again, we’ve managed to come up with some solid players capable of making a positive impact on teams in most fantasy leagues, so read on and good luck with your search!
Ownership percentages are for ESPN leagues as of January 11.
De’Aaron Fox (PG – SAC) 39.6%
Averaging 15.3 points, six assists, 2.8 rebounds, 1.5 steals, and 1.3 threes in 32.6 minutes over his last four games, De’Aaron Fox may be on the verge of breaking out as an NBA player, and with that, a fantasy mainstay across most leagues. Fox is gaining plenty of experience on a bad team as he’s started the last 16 games he’s played in for the 12-25 Kings — a trend that could very well persist for the rest of the year.
Whether it be holding down the fort while George Hill misses time for whatever reason (currently that reason is of the personal variety) or starting alongside the veteran when he does play, Fox is a virtual lock to receive heavy usage as he’s a large part of the Kings’ future. And, with that less than preferable record in a tough western conference, Sacramento will undoubtedly allow their rookie a long leash, thereby limiting any unnecessary pressure that could adversely affect his production. He’s more of a deep league play at the moment, but owners in standard leagues should consider adding him now because things are only looking up from here.
Michael Beasley (SF/PF – NY) 38.6%
Michael Beasley’s production over the last 14-plus days been impressive, to say the least. Averaging 20.3 points, 9.5 rebounds, 2.2 assists, one block, 1.3 steals, and 0.7 threes in 27.9 minutes over his last six games, the 29-year-old veteran sure is enjoying himself in New York. With the injury to Tim Hardaway Jr., Beasley has seen a sizeable uptick in his playing time, and he’s made the most of the opportunity.
There’s no need to go into much detail about why you should pick him up because the numbers speak for themselves, and honestly, he should already be owned in all leagues with active owners. Instead, this is more of a quick reminder to grab him if he’s somehow still available. Do remember though, that Hardaway Jr., who has been seen scrimmaging with the team and is now able to participate fully in practice, is nearing a return that will cut into Beasley’s current usage.
That doesn’t mean that Beasley’s time in the fantasy spotlight will come to an immediate end when Hardaway returns. Due to the nature of Hardaway’s injury, the Nicks will undoubtedly play it safe and ease him back to his former role, so while Beasley can’t keep this up forever, he does still have time left to make an impact wherever he’s owned.
Bobby Portis (PF – CHI) 22.9%
He’s been somewhat inconsistent since Nikola Mirotic returned from injury, but Bobby Portis still displays flashes of his potential with games like that of his most recent contest against Houston, in which he put up 22 points, four rebounds, two assists, and one made three-pointer in 33 minutes. Owners who are in need of immediate help may want to look somewhere else, as it’s just too difficult to predict when he’ll go off, but anyone with available bench depth may want to take a look at Portis given the possibility of a Mirotic trade occurring before the NBA trade deadline.
Don’t get me wrong, Lauri Markkanen is still Chicago’s focus regardless of what happens to Mirotic, but with less competition in the frontcourt, Portis may be able to develop some consistency and with it carve out a larger role on the Bulls’ second team. He’s worth monitoring in 10-12 team leagues and worth adding deeper leagues.
JaMychal Green (PF – MEM) 6%
Now in his fourth NBA season, JaMychal Green has started every game he’s been a part of this year and is averaging career highs in points (10.2), assists (1.3), and threes attempted (2.2) and made (0.8) to go along with 6.7 rebounds in 27.2 minutes per game. Don’t look now, but the 27-year-old, fourth-year pro is making a little fantasy noise and has logged double-digit points in five of his last six games. At that pace, Green makes for a possible depth option in 10-team leagues and maybe even a serviceable starter in deeper leagues.
He does still own a rather low floor, and owners should maintain a healthy dose of skepticism when considering his long-term viability, but with any luck (like a Marc Gasol trade), he could continue this upward trend for a little while longer. To be realistic, however, Green is probably no more than a deep league interest for those in need of frontcourt depth, but for those in shallower leagues, he’s at least worth keeping an eye on.
Jordan Clarkson (SG/SF – LAL) 46.7%
Much like some of the players above, most of Jordan Clarkson’s current fantasy intrigue comes as a result of the many trade rumors floating around suggesting he may not be a Laker for much longer. Now that the Lakers are at near full health, Clarkson makes for a risky play and, in standard leagues, is only worth picking up in hopes of a trade that might come sometime soon.
As of yet, no deals have been struck, but reports have come out that both the Lakers and Clarkson want to make something happen before the deadline rather than after the season. There’s a genuine chance that both he and Julius Randle could be dealt in a package deal, which would likely mean Clarkson ends up with more opportunities playing in a less crowded backcourt. He may not demand a roster spot at the moment, but Clarkson is a player you should keep an eye on over the next few weeks.
Last Week’s Suggestions
Caris LeVert, Gerald Green, Taurean Prince, Trey Lyles, and Bismack Biyombo were our waiver wire targets last week, and just about all of them are still available in a majority of leagues. The thing is, however, that most of those leagues are probably composed of owners who don’t always do their research.
Since you, dear reader, apparently don’t fall into that category, I didn’t want to waste your time by repeating myself. Instead, if you happened to miss last week’s article (or just need a refresher), you can click here to read what was said, as not much has changed since then.