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Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire Pickups: Week 18 (2020)

by Stan Son | @Stan_Son | Featured Writer
Feb 19, 2020

Seth Curry has been en fuego, shooting 55% from the field on 11.7 shot attempts.

I’m going to change the structure of this piece a bit. Hey, it worked for Obama. Why not me? With the fantasy playoffs fast approaching, the goal is to maximize games played and focus on specific categories. The time for stashing is over. It’s a what-can-you-do-for-me-now period, so streaming is a must, and the waiver wire will be your BFF.

Josh Lloyd at BasketballMonster is a fantastic fantasy basketball resource, and he always says that some days are better for streaming than others. For example, if a day has 12 games on the schedule, most, if not all, of your starters will be playing, so there will be no streaming slots available. It’s when the schedule has only six games, for example, when streaming will be most beneficial. So, going forward, I will map out the NBA schedule and show when each team has a back-to-back. That should help you isolate the prime days to stream.

Past that, I will identify players for each category that may be able to help. It’s up to you to match it to the schedules. If you have any suggestions on how to improve his piece, DM me on the Twitter machine. My information is at the end of this piece.

Ownership percentages are from the Yahoo database, and only those players owned in less than half of leagues will be highlighted.

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Below is how the NBA schedule maps out for Week 19:

MON TUES WED THURS FRI SAT SUN
8 7 9 4 10 8 7

 

Here are the schedules for each team (shout out to Hashtag Basketball for the grid):

MON TUES WED THURS FRI  SAT SUN
ATL @PHI ORL BKN POR
BOS @POR @UTA HOU
BKN ORL @WAS @ATL @MIA
CHA @IND NY @TOR MIL
CHI OKC @NY
CLE MIA PHI @NOP IND
DAL MIN @SAS @MIA @MIN
DEN DET @LAC TOR
DET @DEN @PHO @SAC
GS SAC LAL @PHO WAS
HOU NYK MEM @BOS
IND CHA POR @CLE
LAC MEM @PHO DEN PHI
LAL NOP @GSW @MEM @NOP
MEM @LAC @HOU @SAC LAL
MIA @CLE MIN DAL BKN
MIL @WAS @TOR OKC @CHA
MIN @DAL @MIA @ORL DAL
NO @LAL CLE LAL
NY @HOU @CHA @PHI CHI
OKC @CHI SAC @MIL
ORL @BKN @ATL MIN @SAS
PHI ATL @CLE NY @LAC
PHX @UTA LAC DET GSW
POR BOS @IND @ATL
SAC @GSW @OKC @MEM DET
SA DAL ORL
TOR MIL CHA @DEN
UTA PHO BOS WAS
WAS MIL BKN @UTA @GSW

 

Below are candidates for each category. Turnovers and free throw percentages are excluded. The players who put up enough volume to affect your free throw percentage are all owned.

FG%

Moritz Wagner (PF/C – WAS) – 24% owned
Wagner missed most of December and January due to injury. Since returning, he’s played five games. His first game back, Wagner only played 12 minutes, but over the next four games, he played 18, 24, 27, and 17 minutes. He averaged 10.8 points, 5 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 0.8 steals, and 0.5 blocks over that span. Those are nice, but he’s here in this section due to his sky-high field goal percentage. He’s been shooting 60% from the field on 7 attempts. For the season, he’s at 59%, so it’s not outlandish to think he can continue with this efficiency. If he does regress, it shouldn’t be much lower than 55%.

Daniel Theis (PF/C – BOS) – 40% owned
Theis is the starting center for the Celtics, but the minutes fluctuate from game to game. He will play 19 minutes one game then play over 30 minutes in consecutive games. So, from that perspective, Theis is annoying to own. With that said, he does provide rebounds and defensive stats, but it’s the 54% on 6.2 attempts that have him highlighted here. The volume isn’t great, but there are periods when he attempts over 8 shots per game and converts over 60%.

Enes Kanter (C – BOS) – 48% owned
Kanter is the ying to Theis’ yang. Kanter does not provide defensive stats and his efficiency from the field is not as consistent. There will be stretches when Kanter shoots 40% from the field. With that said, he is converting 58% of his 6.7 attempts per game on the season.

Seth Curry (PG/SG – DAL) – 22% owned
Over the past six games, Curry has been en fuego, shooting 55% from the field on 11.7 shot attempts. That’s an impressive number, especially for a guard. Now, he’s obviously not going to maintain that pace, since he shoots the majority of his shots from the perimeter, but on the season, he’s converting 47% of his field-goal attempts. Still very good on decent volume. Curry will also contribute points, three-pointers, and some assists.

3PTM

Landry Shamet (PG – LAC) – 21% owned
Over the past seven games, Shamet has contributed 3 three-pointers per game. He’s averaged 33.4 minutes as well. Now, Paul George is injured but the Clippers just acquired Reggie Jackson. When everyone is healthy, the playing time will likely decrease down to the low-to-mid 20s. He should still be able to contribute close to 2 three-pointers per game though.

Seth Curry (PG/SG – DAL) – 22% owned
Maybe you should just add this guy. Over the past six games, he’s contributed 3.7 three-pointers per game. He will likely settle into the 2.5 range.

Tim Hardaway Jr. (SG/SF – DAL) – 45% owned
Hardaway starts and plays a ton of minutes. He’s very streaky, though, so it’s tough to own him at times. With that said, he provides the three-pointers and will usually be in the 3 range most nights.

Eric Gordon (SG/SF – HOU) – 45% owned
Gordon is a little banged up right now with a shin contusion, which has resulted in a few missed games. All signs point to him being ready after the break, though. Gordon is one of the preeminent three-point specialists in the game, who will average over 3 per game.

Danuel House Jr. (SG/SF – HOU) – 43% owned
On the season, House is averaging 2.1 three-pointers per game. He also contributes a little something in every category. I still don’t understand why he’s never been highly owned this season.

Doug McDermott (SF/PF – IND) – 3% owned
McDermott rarely plays more than 20 minutes a game. In addition, he doesn’t contribute much in any of other category, but if you need three-pointers, he’s a viable option. He averages 1.9 per game and the field goal percentage is 48% on the season.

Gary Trent Jr. (SG – POR) – 13% owned
Trent has carved out a nice role for himself off the bench. Over the past eight games, he’s averaged 25.3 minutes and hoisted 8.9 shots per game. That has resulted in 2.3 three-pointers, which is why you are here. Unlike McDermott, though, Trent does provide some steals.

PTS

Eric Gordon (SG/SF – HOU) – 45% owned
Averaging 15.3 points per game on the season.

Malik Monk (PG/SG – CHA) – 23% owned
He didn’t get traded at the deadline, which was a bummer, but Monk has carved out a substantial role for the Hornets off the bench. He’s garnered a usage rate of 25% and, over the past six games, he’s averaged 29 minutes and contributed 17 points per game. He’s also provided 2 three-pointers, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists.

Tim Hardaway Jr. (SG/SF – DAL) – 45% owned
Has averaged 18.3 points over the past eight games. On the season, that number is at 14.8.

Kevin Porter Jr. (SG – CLE) – 11% owned
The only reason he dropped in the draft was due to a lack of maturity. The physical talent and skills were never in question. Over the past eight games, he’s shown that, averaging 26.2 minutes and 15.3 points. Both the minutes and scoring production have been steadily increasing as well. The Cavs aren’t in contention and will continue to develop their young players, especially Porter.

Seth Curry (PG/SG – DAL) – 22% owned
Averaging 18.3 points over his hot streak. Will likely settle into the 12-14 range. Yeah, just add him.

REB

Enes Kanter (C – BOS) – 48% owned
Averaging 8.2 rebounds on the season, despite playing only 18.6 minutes.

Ivica Zubac (C – LAC) – 27% owned
Zubac starts for the Clippers but is only averaging 17.8 minutes per game on the season. Despite that, he grabs 7 rebounds per game.

Cody Zeller (PF/C – CHA) – 43% owned
Over the past five games, Zeller has pulled down 8 rebounds, despite playing only 22.6 minutes per game. He will likely continue playing around 22 minutes a night and grab close to 7 rebounds per game.

Josh Hart (SG/SF – NO) – 41% owned
Hart is one of the better rebounding guards in the game. Over the past seven games, he’s averaged 8 per game. On the season, he’s at 6.4, which is still very good. Hart will also contribute some three-pointers and steals, and averages close to 28 minutes per contest on a team that plays at a fast offensive pace.

Daniel Theis (PF/C – BOS) – 40% owned
Averaging 6.2 rebounds on the season. There are stretches when he pulls down over 8 per game.

Dorian Finney-Smith (SF/PF – DAL) – 21% owned
Finney-Smith plays over 30 minutes per game, which is always nice. He’s a super low usage player who won’t contribute much on the offensive side of the ball, but he will pull down close to 6 rebounds per game. In addition, he contributes some three-pointers and a sprinkle of steals and blocks.

Jae Crowder (SF/PF – MIA) – 43% owned
Since being acquired by the Miami Heat, Crowder has averaged 30.3 minutes per game and pulled down 7.3 rebounds. He’s also provided 4 three-pointers and 2 steals. Whoa. Now, he’s been shooting 58% from the field, so expect some major regression in the efficiency department. On the season, he’s shooting 38% from the field. When everyone is healthy, the minutes may come down, but a reasonable floor for playing time would be around 24-25 minutes per game.

Danuel House Jr. (SG/SF – HOU) – 43% owned
Has been pulling down 6.4 rebounds over the past seven games. A number closer to 5 is a more reasonable expectation going forward.

Bruce Brown (SG – DET) – 15% owned
Over the past eight games, Brown has pulled down 6.4 rebounds per game. 4-5 rebounds per game is a more reasonable expectation going forward. Now, the Pistons depth chart has shuffled. Reggie Jackson is out, but Derrick Rose and Luke Kennard should be returning from injury. The impact should be negligible. If Rose and Kennard go down with an injury, though, then Brown’s value skyrockets. Outside of the rebounding, Brown provides some assists and steals.

AST

Shabazz Napier (PG/SG – WAS) – 19% owned
Napier is now the backup to Ish Smith in Washington D.C. That is a fantasy-friendly environment, as the pace is fast and defense is optional. Napier will receive playing time in the low-20s and provide over 4 assists per game with some three-pointers and steals. The shooting efficiency is the biggest bugaboo regarding Napier.

Ish Smith (PG – WAS) – 27% owned
Very surprised that a starting point guard who dishes out around 5 assists per game is only owned in 27% of leagues. To each their own, I guess.

Darius Garland (PG – CLE) – 26% owned
Over the past five games, Garland has dished out 5.6 assists per game. He won’t provide much else outside of some three-pointers, but he’s playing over 30 minutes per game.

Bruce Brown (SG – DET) – 15% owned
Will likely dish out around 4 assists per game.

STL

Danuel House Jr. (SG/SF – HOU) – 43% owned
1.1 steals per game on the season. There are stretches when he averages more than 2 per game. Just add him already.

Trevor Ariza (SG/SF – POR) – 27% owned
Over the past four games, Ariza has averaged 2 steals per game. On the season, that number is at 1.2. He’s starting and playing over 30 minutes per game. Every once in awhile, Ariza will pop off for a big offensive game, but most of the time that side of the ball is just offensive. He will contribute three-pointers and rebounds as well.

Shabazz Napier (PG/SG – WAS) – 19% owned
Averaging 1.1 steals per game on the season.

De’Andre Hunter (SF – ATL) – 24% owned
Over the past five games, Hunter has averaged 2 steals per game. On the season, he’s at 0.8. Hunter is a very good defender who gets matched up against the opposition’s best player most of the time. Going back to his days in college, Hunter isn’t aggressive playing the passing lanes. He’s more the fundamental, stay between the ballhandler and the basket kind of defender. So, I’m inclined to believe that the steal numbers won’t be great, and lean more towards the sub-1 number. With that said, he has great length and it’s possible he’s adjusted that aspect of his game.

De’Anthony Melton (PG/SF – MEM) – 11% owned
Melton is as much of a steals specialist as there is in fantasy. He only plays around 20 minutes per game, but averages around 1.4 steals per game. He also contributes around 3 rebounds and 3 assists per game. Don’t expect much in the offensive department.

Josh Okogie (PG/SG – MIN) – 6% owned
Okogie won’t provide much in the offensive department, but he will grab rebounds and steal around 1.1 per game.

Donte DiVincenzo (PG/SG – MIL) – 18% owned
DiVincenzo has carved out a role for himself on the Bucks. He averages around 24 minutes and is stealing 1.3 per game. He also contributes 1.3 three-pointers and 4.7 rebounds.

BLK

Maxi Kleber (PF/C – DAL) – 39% owned
Kleber plays between 23 and 25 minutes per game. He grabs rebounds and even contributes some three-pointers, but his main value comes from the 1.1 blocks per game. There are times when that number spikes up to 1.6.

Ivica Zubac (C – LAC) – 27% owned
Blocking 1 per game, with spurts as high as 1.4. The low minutes are the concern, as he rarely plays more than 20 minutes per contest.

JaVale McGee (C – LAL) – 39% owned
Over the past seven games, McGee has blocked 0.9 shots per game. He’s in a slump. On the season, he’s at 1.6 per game, despite playing only 17 minutes per.

Daniel Theis (PF/C – BOS) – 40% owned
Blocking 1.4 per game on the season.

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Stan Son is a featured writer at FantasyPros. To read more from Stan, check out his archive and follow him @Stan_Son.

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