Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 17
I’m writing this article the day of the NBA Trade Deadline, so there could be a changing of the waiver wire landscape. Will there be any seismic shifts? I hope so. Regardless, each move made will have ripple effects. Minutes will be reallocated, depth charts will be moved up, and usage will be redistributed.
Be vigilant and use your eagle eye, as opportunities will sure to surface and be ripe for the picking. As always, I use the Yahoo database and highlight those players who are owned in less than 50% of leagues.
Kevin Huerter (SG – ATL) – 36% owned
I’m still baffled as to why Huerter is not owned in the majority of league. He did miss some time due to injury and the shooting efficiency has been spotty at times, but he plays a ton of minutes for a team that plays at the fastest pace in the league. Over the past three games, he’s produced top 40 value, averaging 14.3 points, 3.7 three-pointers, 4.7 rebounds, 5.3 assists, and 1 steal.
Now, he’s been shooting 51% from the field, so regression back to the low-40% range should be expected, but he chips in enough outside of three-pointers to be a valuable asset. The team is committed to him and this is his rookie year, so improvement and development are not out of the question. Huerter provides a high floor with access to his ceiling.
Josh Jackson (SG/SF – PHO) – 48% owned
I feel dirty putting Jackson here because there are times when I want to puke at some of the horrific things he does on the basketball court. With that said, he’s young, is physically gifted, and most importantly, is receiving a ton of run and producing. Jackson has started the last six games, as Devin Booker and T. J. Warren have been out with injuries, and has put up top-100 value over the past six games and top-25 value over the last three games (37.3 minutes, 25.7 points, 1 three-pointer, 3.7 rebounds, 3.7 assists, and three steals while shooting 55% from the field).
The usage rate has been 28! Now, the minutes and usage will decrease when Booker and Warren return, but Jackson will still get minutes in the mid-20s. In addition, there’s some upside as Booker has been dealing with a hamstring injury that keeps returning and a trade or trades could open playing time.
Dwight Powell (PF/C – DAL) – 20% owned
Maxi Kleber (PF – DAL) – 11% owned
A two-for-one special! I am a man of the people. DeAndre Jordan was traded to the Knicks three games ago. Salah Mejri was released yesterday. I don’t think Kristaps Porzingis plays this season, so that leaves Powell and Kleber as the only healthy bodies at center for the Mavericks. Over the past three games, Powell has been a top-65 player, contributing points, rebounds, and defensive stats while providing excellent percentages. Kleber has been a top-100 player.
He contributes more three-pointers than Powell, but Powell provides more blocks. Both cap any upside that the other could provide, but both provide a high floor, as they will both get around 26-28 minutes of run.
Patrick Beverley (PG/SG – LAC) – 38% owned
Over the past seven games, Beverley has been a top-35 player, averaging 34 minutes, 10.9 points, two three-pointers, 6.9 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 0.9 steals, and one block. The percentages have been good too, 48% from the field and 94% from the line on 2.4 attempts. Beverley is a low-usage player, so the trade of Tobias Harris and imminent return of Danilo Gallinari won’t affect him much.
It’s all about the minutes for Beverley. If he continues getting 34 minutes of run per game, he’s going to produce. Just realize there is risk of a trade or the Clippers turtling up into tank mode.
Kenrich Williams (SF – NO) – 12% owned
Williams has been seeing over 33 minutes a game the past week or so. The coaching staff loves him because he’s a hustling maniac. With the Pelicans rumored to be shopping Nikola Mirotic and the possibility of more moves in the frontcourt,
Williams could be prime for significant playing time down the stretch. The shooting percentages are not good, though (50% from the line on low volume and 41% from the field). On the flip side, Williams has range from downtown, will rebound, dish out a few assists, and contribute both blocks and steals.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (PG/SG – LAC) – 33% owned
With the Clippers unloading Tobias Harris, the direction of the franchise is clear now. They are punting this season to capitalize on the rich free agent market this summer. This should provide more minutes and opportunities for the young players, with Gilgeous-Alexander at the forefront.
He’s only been averaging around 24 minutes the past few weeks, but the usage rate has spiked to 27 from 20. If he can get up to 28-30 minutes, that would be lovely. It’s no guarantee that happens, but it’s within the range of outcomes. If so, top-100 value shouldn’t be an issue, as SGA has the ability to contribute across the board.
Cody Zeller (PF/C – CHA) – 16% owned
Zeller has played two games since returning from a 16-game absence. He’s played 23 and 25 minutes in those two games. Bismack Biyombo is no threat and Willy Hernangomez will never be freed for good reason.
I’d expect Zeller to start getting closer to 30 minutes a game, especially since the numbers for Kemba Walker are much better with Zeller on the court. If you need a big man, Zeller will provide some points, rebounds, and defensive stats. He’s also a decent passer and will chip in a handful of assists as well.