Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 22
Most fantasy leagues are in the midst of the playoffs. If you’re reading this, then you’ve got a good sweat going and have two or three days to make some moves before the week ends. Maximize your transactions to get as many games and minutes as you can.
You should know where you stand in certain categories, so hunt down those specialists and be a draconian leader. Throw dead weight off the ship. Only those who have the ability to row and contribute should be allowed a seat going forward. If you’ve already advanced to the next round, look at next week’s schedule and plan your avenues of attack. Good luck to everyone!
I utilized the Yahoo database to highlight players who are owned in less than 50% of leagues.
Monte Morris (PG – DEN) – 15% owned
Morris has been a revelation for the Nuggets. He can score and dish out dimes, but his ability to take care of the ball has endeared him to the coaching staff. In 66 games played, Morris has dished out 252 assists and only turned the ball over 43 times. The 5.86 assist-to-turnover ratio is second in the league. That’s not the reason I’m mentioning him today, though. Denver has essentially dropped Isaiah Thomas from the rotation. As a result, Morris has played 27 and 29 minutes the past two games, respectively, after averaging 16.2 minutes in the prior five games. I’d expect him to receive minutes in the 27-28 range going forward. If so, Morris can provide double-digit points, a couple of three-pointers, a handful of rebounds, plenty of assists, some steals, low turnovers, and excellent percentages.
Jalen Brunson (PG – DAL) – 37% owned
Brunson has been a fixture in the Mavericks’ starting rotation, as he’s started 16 of the last 18 games. During Tuesday’s game against the Spurs, he notched a career-high 34 points. Over the past three games, Brunson has averaged 35.3 minutes, 22.5 points, 2.0 three-pointers, 4.8 rebounds, and 5.3 assists. He has a gorgeous 61.8 field-goal percentage with a high usage rate. Now, he doesn’t contribute defensive stats and he won’t continue shooting over 60% from the field. Brunson, however, is starting and getting the minutes as an integral member of the Mavericks.
Brandon Knight (PG/SG – CLE) – 3% owned
I feel dirty putting Knight in this column, but the numbers speak for themselves. He has started the last 12 games, and the playing time is slowly creeping up. Over the past three games, Knight has delivered top-40 production while averaging 25.1 minutes. He’s providing some points, threes, rebounds, assists, and steals (six in the last three). The Cavs stink, so they will likely continue showcasing Knight to try to get some compensation for him in the summer. He is owed $15.6 million, but he becomes an UFA after next season.
Mikal Bridges (SG/SF – PHO) – 28% owned
Although Bridges isn’t starting, he’s still been getting around 28 minutes of run each game. He’s a low usage player, so don’t expect offensive explosions, but he’s also a valuable 3-and-D performer. Over the past seven games, Bridges has tallied seven three-pointers and 15 steals. He has also contributed three blocks and averaged 3.9 rebounds and 2.4 assists. That’s been good for top-40 value.
Kevin Huerter (SG – ATL) – 19% owned
Huerter struggled for a bit, but he seems to have righted the ship. He’s been a top-60 player over the past three games, averaging 2.7 three-pointers, 4.3 rebounds, and 2.7 assists. While he only averages 27.2 minutes per game, the Hawks play at the league’s fastest pace. He’s not a defensive maven, but he does contribute 0.7 steals and 0.3 blocks. Although Huerter won’t win you a week, he provides a little something in each category and plays in one of the best environments for fantasy.
Jakob Poeltl (C – SA) – 17% owned
With Pau Gasol out of the picture, Poeltl has started the past five games for the Spurs. He has averaged 26.8 minutes per game during that stretch and provided rebounds (7.8 per game) and defensive stats (five steals and seven blocks). He garners no usage on the offensive side of the ball, so don’t expect many points, but he does dish out a few dimes here and there.
Damyean Dotson (SG – NYK) – 20% owned
It’s crazy to write, but Dotson has been the most stable Knick, at least in terms of playing time. He has averaged 33.1 minutes over the past seven games. That number jumps to 36.0 if zooming into the last four contests. The shooting efficiency is poor (39%), but he’s jacking up over 13 shots per game and made 15 three-pointers during that seven-game window. In addition, he’s been providing rebounds (5.6), assists (3.7), and steals (0.9).