As we sift through the waiver wire in advance of Week 11, a few familiar names remain available in many leagues. Houston's Jae'Sean Tate and Boston's Robert Williams were popular adds last week, but if they're still un-rostered in your league, now is the time to capitalize. At this stage in the season, it's important for fantasy managers to focus not just on the week ahead, but on the entire second half as a whole. As some teams -- like Detroit, Houston, Minnesota and Cleveland -- begin to shift toward youth-oriented rotations, there will be opportunities for low-rostered players to rise into more prominent roles. The most vigilant fantasy managers will have a leg up on the competition when it comes to identifying those players.
Focusing on Week 11, the key takeaway is that it's an abbreviated week due to the All-Star break, which begins on Friday, Mar. 5. As a result, the vast majority of the league (24 teams) will play two games, while five teams (Denver, Indiana, New Orleans, Portland and San Antonio) have three games on the schedule. Meanwhile, the Timberwolves are the lone team on a one-game week, so be sure to take that into consideration before locking in your weekly lineups. Let's take a look at some of the top players to consider adding to your roster before the break:
As always, the players in this article must be rostered in less than two-thirds of CBS leagues. Players are listed in the order that I recommend adding them, assuming they are equally good fits for your team.
Adds for All Leagues
Jae'Sean Tate, Rockets (64% rostered)
He still qualifies here, so I'll keep talking about him. He's averaging 30.9 minutes since Christian Wood (ankle) got hurt and has topped 30 minutes in four straight. Tate is officially Houston's starting small forward, but functionally he's also their primary backup center and power forward. He's not great in any one category, but he does a little bit almost everywhere. If you missed out on Tate, David Nwaba (11% rostered) is a decent consolation prize.
Saben Lee, Pistons (22% rostered)
The rookie second-round pick's NBA debut was back in early January, but he played fewer than 13 minutes in each of his first eight appearances, spread out across a month. But with Delon Wright (groin) out the last three games, Lee has become a major player in the rotation, averaging 28.0 minutes and 15.3 points. He's also making major contributions in assists and steals without hurting in any category. Wright is slated to be out for at least another week and a half, making Lee an excellent short-term pickup heading into the All-Star break. It's also worth noting that Dennis Smith Jr., who's taken over the starting role in Wright's absence, has been his typical underwhelming self, so there is still some room for Lee to take a few extra minutes if the coaches lose patience with Smith.
Jalen Brunson, Mavericks (24% rostered)
Brunson looks like the latest in the long line of points-and-threes specialists who are worth adding while they're running hot (and who we should be prepared to drop as soon as their production normalizes). Over his last six games, he's averaging 16.2 points and 2.2 threes while shooting 46% from behind the arc. However, if there's anything we've learned over the past couple seasons, it's that we should embrace this prototype. Having a pseudo-streaming spot for this type of player is probably the best way to stay competitive in those two categories.
Bruce Brown, Nets (6% rostered)
When the Nets are healthy, Brown is the odd man out. But his role increases when any of their big three are out. And, in some combinations, his responsibilities increase. Kevin Durant (hamstring) has missed a bunch of games recently, and Jeff Green (shoulder) joining him on the sidelines has further added to Brown's role. When given the opportunity, Brown is a capable scorer, rebounder and passer. For now, at least, he's getting that opportunity.
Derrick Jones Jr, Trail Blazers (26% rostered)
Jones has been a popular add this week, but we should be clear-headed about this: Jones is a blocks specialist, and anything else we get out of him is a bonus. His recent scoring "hot streak" – if 12.6 points per game even counts as a hot streak – is not sustainable. He should be relied upon for blocks, occasional rebounds and threes, and that's about it.
With that said, though they play different positions, Jones appears to be the primary beneficiary of Harry Giles (calf) injury. Portland hasn't provided much in the way of useful Giles injury updates, but he's missed the last five games and could miss several more. Jones is up to 29.0 minutes and 2.0 blocks per game since Giles went out. If you need blocks – and, if you're playing in category leagues, you probably do – Jones is a solid target.
Other recommendations: Josh Hart, Pelicans (52% rostered); Malik Monk, Hornets (18% rostered); Michael Carter-Williams, Magic (30% rostered); Tristan Thompson, Celtics (52% rostered); David Nwaba, Rockets (11% rostered); Justise Winslow, Grizzlies (25% rostered); Isaac Okoro, Cavaliers (25% rostered)
Robert Williams, Celtics (35% rostered)
Williams' roster rate has nearly doubled over the past week, and there's not much in his recent box scores to explain why. Even so, I think these managers might be onto something. The Celtics are in trouble. They've only won three of their past 11 games, despite what was supposed to be an easy stretch in their schedule. Watching the games, Williams is easily their best big man, and it is increasingly hard to justify how little he plays. He's sixth in the NBA in blocks per-36 minutes, and the only player averaging more than 2.0 blocks and 2.0 steals per-36. And he's not just a difference-maker on defense! He shoots 72% from the field for his career with good per-minute scoring and great per-minute rebounding. He's averaging 15.4 minutes right now. He probably only needs 20 per game to be an all-leagues guy. Boston needs to make some changes, and increasing Williams' workload would be a logical place to start.
Deep League Special
Jordan McLaughlin, Timberwolves (7% rostered)
Not gonna lie: it's a rough week for deep league pickups. There are a bunch of guys listed above who might still be around, but if those guys are already gone then it's slim pickings. McLaughlin is an inconsistent scorer, which is a gentle way of saying he put up two goose eggs in his last five games. But he's also averaging 5.7 assists over the last nine games, and that kind of production is almost impossible to find in most deep leagues. He occasionally adds some steals or threes to his box scores, though that's more "ooh what a fun surprise" than "a good reason to add him". Like I said, it's a tough week for deep leagues. He gets a lot of assists. That's the best I can do for you.
Other recommendations: Raul Neto, Wizards (4% rostered); Moritz Wagner, Wizards (12% rostered)