Week 16 is underway and lots of players are picking up steam ahead of February. Trades and injuries have allowed role players to show what they're really made of when given more opportunity. Has your fantasy basketball roster been diminished by players with no timetable for return? Well we have good news, as there are plenty of options to fill-in for the meantime.
So who should managers try to buy in Week 16? Here are five players to consider:
Who to buy
- Precious Achiuwa: Achiuwa recorded his fourth double-double in four starts this season against the Phoenix Suns on Monday. Nick Nurse prefers to start Achiuwa at center when OG Anunoby can't suit up, and the latter might be headed out the door in a trade after growing frustrated with his role as a Toronto Raptor. Achiuwa's averaging 16.8 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 1.8 steals on 35.1 minutes a night as a Raptors starter this season. Keeping that up won't be easy, but those numbers would comfortably make him a top-15 fantasy center in the back half of the season.
- Deni Avdija: I viewed Avdija as a simple waiver wire target a few weeks ago, but he's really started to turn heads following the departure of Rui Hachimura. The Washington Wizards swingman has averaged 16.3 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 2.0 assists per game since Hachimura's last game as a Wizard. Avdija's also tallied at least 10 points and nine rebounds in 10 of the 20 games he's played without Hachimura this season. He's only 56 percent rostered in CBS leagues, but that number will rise significantly if Avdija keeps playing like he has been.
- Benedict Mathurin: Mathurin's hot scoring run has taken place with Tyrese Haliburton sidelined by multiple injuries, but I think the rookie can maintain his value following the point guards Thursday target for a return to the hardwood. Mathurin's scored more than 20 points in five straight contests while averaging 33.1 minutes a night. The Indiana Pacers likely won't give Haliburton his full workload right away, and it's clear that Mathurin is by far their best scoring option off the bench. The Arizona product's averaged 18.5 or more points in every month but December and appears to be just coming into his own ahead of the All-Star break.
- Jeremy Sochan: Sochan's had his ups and downs as a rookie, but January has been his best month by far. The San Antonio Spurs forward has scored at least 15 points in seven consecutive games while shooting 50.5 percent from the field and 52.4 percent from three-point range. His form shooting work appears to have helped his stroke quite a bit, and the rebuilding Spurs have been happy to lean on him with Devin Vassell out. I expect Sochan to play quite a bit down the home stretch in 2022-23, as the Spurs are a long way from contending.
- Nic Claxton: Claxton had his worst game in a while against the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday and posted just six points, but has been on fire since Kevin Durant went down with an MCL sprain. The Brooklyn Nets big man has averaged a tremendous 15.6 points, 10.2 rebounds, and 3.1 blocks per game in January on a ridiculous 73.1 percent shooting. Durant is on his way back, but Claxton's recent play has helped him climb into the top 10 among fantasy centers. Day'Ron Sharpe will play sparingly, but Claxton should get the bulk of the minutes moving forward.