Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 17 (2020)
The All-Star festivities are this weekend, which is a bummer and a joy at the same time. There will be no competitive, meaningful games, and that makes me sad. At the same time, we all get to recharge and prepare for the upcoming stretch run. Most fantasy leagues will begin playoffs in four weeks. It’s winning time, folks! Check the number of games played per week for your players. Any playing time discrepancy is huge. Look back at your team and know where you are weak and strong. If you cannot trade to improve your squad, look for specialists on the wire. That is what I am here to try and help you with.
Ownership percentages are from the Yahoo database, and only those players owned in less than half of leagues will be highlighted.
Jae Crowder (SF/PF – MIA): 28% owned
Since being acquired from the Memphis Grizzlies, the Miami Heat have given Crowder 35 and 31 minutes of playing time. He’s hoisted 11 shots, with eight from downtown, in each game. He’s grabbed 9.5 rebounds and stolen 2.5 times per game as well. Not shabby at all. Now, he’s not going to shoot 54 percent from the field, as has been the case. On the season, he’s shooting 37 percent from the field, so massive regression is due to hit, but if you need three-pointers, rebounds, steals, and/or a warm, breathing body who plays over 30 minutes per game, Crowder can be viable.
Gary Trent Jr. (SG – POR): 22% owned
Over the past four games, Trent has been a top-10 player in fantasy! Ha! He’s averaged 28.2 minutes, 16.8 points, 3.8 three-pointers, 2.5 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 2.3 steals, and 0.8 blocks. The percentages have been 60 percent from the field and 80 percent from the line. He’s obviously not going to shoot 60 percent from the field forever, as he’s a 44 percent shooter on the season. With that said, he has carved out a substantial niche as the main scoring threat off the bench for the Trail Blazers, and he will also provide some defensive stats.
Danuel House Jr. (SG/SF – HOU): 37% owned
Over the past four games, House has been a top-25 player, averaging 34.1 minutes, 12 points, 2.8 three-pointers, 5.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 2.5 steals, and 0.5 blocks. The efficiency from the field hasn’t been great at 42 percent, but the volume is under 10 shots per game. He’s a low-usage player who is out there to knock down the open shot and provide periphery stats. Now, the question going forward is how Coach D’Antoni will configure his rotations. There’s a chance he goes with Harden, Westbrook, Gordon, Covington, and Tucker. Maybe he prefers House in the starting lineup with Gordon off the bench. House is an important player for the Rockets, but his fantasy value will be tied to whether he starts or comes off the bench.
Marquese Chriss (PF/C – GSW): 45% owned
It took me a while to get on board with Chriss, but here we are. I was scared of getting banana-in-the-tailpipe’d again. Chriss has been a top-45 player over the past seven games, and the Warriors believe in him to some degree, as they converted his two-way contract to a standard two-year NBA one. His physical talent and potential has always been mesmerizing, so has it finally clicked for him? It’s possible. If you need rebounds, steals, and blocks, Chriss is a must-add. There is also upside in the points department, and the percentages are very good (53 percent from the field and 76 percent from the line).
Jordan Clarkson (PG/SG- UTH): 36% owned
Clarkson has always been a source of points, but not much else. Over the past four games, he’s been averaging 21 points with 2.5 three-pointers on 60 percent shooting. He’s a 45 percent shooter on the season, so those numbers are going to come down. The reason I’m highlighting Clarkson here is because of the eight assists he dished out last game. Sure, it’s one game, but the Utah offensive system is more motion and passing-based, and there is a chance that he’ll be getting more assists from here on out. He’s played 23 games with the Jazz since being acquired from the Cavs, so maybe he’s just now comfortable with the system? Could be nothing, could be something. Regardless, if you need points, Clarkson is a viable option with the chance for more.
OG Anunoby (SF/PF – TOR): 47% owned
There’s always a disturbance in the Force with Anunoby, as his production has been so inconsistent. With that said, he flashes his potential every once in a while to keep us coming back for more. Case in point, against the Timberwolves on Monday, Anunoby contributed 25 points, 12 rebounds, three assists, a block, three steals, and three three-pointers. That is delicious. On the season, he’s a top-100 player who contributes three-pointers, rebounds, and steals. His free throw shooting isn’t great, but the volume is light, and his field goal percentage is very good at 50 percent. He’s a low-usage player, so points aren’t a regular thing.
James Johnson (SF/PF – MIN): 5% owned
While in Miami, Johnson was buried deep on the depth chart. With the trade to Minnesota, playing time has opened up for him, as Juancho Hernangomez is the other option. Now, Hernangomez is starting, but Johnson has played 20 and 28 minutes. Back in 2016, Johnson was a top-75 fantasy option, as he contributed a little something in every category. He’s 33 years old now, so that level of production may be out of reach, but he still has the ability to be an across-the-board contributor. In Minnesota, he’s averaging 11.5 points, two three-pointers, five rebounds, four assists, a steal, and 0.5 blocks on 57 percent shooting from the field and 75 percent from the line.
Malik Monk (PG/SF – CHA): 10% owned
There was some disappointment that Monk wasn’t traded at the deadline, but things look to be fine with his situation. Since the trade deadline, Monk has played 28 and 29 minutes off the bench for the Hornets. He’s been hot, shooting 58 percent from the field, so maybe that has given him a longer leash. We will see what happens when he returns to his 43 percent ways. With that said, it would make sense to allow him to develop and be the main scoring off the bench. It’s not like the Hornets are competing for anything. Monk can provide points, three-pointers, and steals.